Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.
I hesitate to say this definitively, because I know things can change, but... We may have found the math program that is right for us? Well, the one that is right for one of my children, at least. But it's really, really right for him!! CTCMath has so much available in one place, and instead of having to buy each course separately, it's available by the year. So let's say I have a child who blows through multiple levels of math in one year? Well, this can handle him, and for a bargain compared to other programs! With levels from Kindergarten all the way through Calculus, you might even be able to fit your whole family in using CTCMath.
Video lessons help with tricky explanations without any parent guidance necessary, and the dashboard makes it really easy for students AND parents to track progress. Once my oldest hit Geometry, I knew I absolutely could not keep up with troubleshooting and grading... I needed to outsource math, and SOON. I wish I had found CTCMath back when he started Pre-Algebra, honestly!
Now, I don't think all students do well with screen-based learning. And I will admit that this child in particular struggles with not getting distracted and messing with other things on the computer during lesson time... Which is why I love that CTCMath keeps an activity log, so I know exactly what's going on when I might not be able to continuously monitor lesson time. It's fun (or "fun" for the child, I suppose) to go back through the activity log and ask, "Why exactly did you feel the need to watch this video several times in a row? Were you not paying attention the first time, or did you just turn it on again to waste time? And what were you doing during this long gap of time when no activity was logged?" Learning accountability when on electronics is a tricky skill, and something CTCMath actually helps with!
The video lessons are engaging without any unnecessary "extras," so I feel like they didn't waste time. Lessons were much quicker than the previous program we used, and I really appreciated that. But when it comes to retention, my son seemed to retain just as much - looks like he doesn't need jokes in a lecture, or flashy graphics. Simple is best sometimes! And I think he enjoyed the teacher's Australian accent, too.
Progress is tracked easily via the student dashboard and teacher dashboard, and parents can assign tasks to make sure students stay on track while doing their work. There are fun little "speed games" students can do for a little drill or break, and those definitely got a fair amount of play. I'll allow a little bit of fun, this kid is far ahead of where he needs to be in math right now!
I love that I get emails every week updating me on progress, so I don't necessarily need to log on to the teacher dashboard. And if I wanted to, I could edit the settings to allow only one attempt on a particular lesson, or change the passing grade percentage to make it higher or lower.
CTCMath has a special deal for homeschooling families, and while I'm not sure I'd like my younger kids to switch programs from what's already working for us, it's really tempting to just switch everyone over to CTCMath and let the younger kids do printable worksheets from them instead of doing the program primarily on the computer. Math is one of our #1 curriculum expenses, and switching over to CTCMath would be a HUGE savings! Even without switching the younger children over, though, I'm really glad we've found this program for our oldest.
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