In the end of February you might remember when I reviewed a Science Computer School Program, well today I want to share with you about a Math Computer School Program in review. Another winner for our opinion! With a little bit of a repeat for an introduction to my review for CTC Math (12 Month Family Plan), I want to share with you that the idea of getting involved in “computer school” was a bit daunting for me. Most of what we do in school is from books and interaction. While I’m not opposed and definitely use videos and mp3s when appropriate as well as a plethora of sites for printables, the idea of sitting my girls down in front of a computer that they take charge of in a program is a good bit daunting. While I hear rave reviews of things such as Starfall and the like for preschoolers I’ve always hesitated. So when I had the opportunity to come up to review Science4Us.com as well as KinderBach from the TOS Crew I jumped in, with trepidation. As you might have read in February, KinderBach did not quite work out for us as wonderfully as it might have… so as we were spending more time online I was concerned that a Science4Us.com Online Subscription might have the same fate. However, that is completely not the case, as we love it! And again this echoes with CTC Math!! Which is in an even higher opinion for my family’s uses.
As a family we were blessed with a full 12 Month Family Plan subscription to CTC Math and I am completely delighted with it. It is simple yet very efficient for our uses. We tried it out in a number of settings. CTC Math is a completely online (streaming) program and we used it on my iMac, but the touch mouse was a bit much for my K4 child to deal with. In the one instance where I used it with my two year old toddler, I let her answer and I controlled the data entry and clicking and it worked well. For the main session of using it four or more days a week, we stuck with my K4 child. We used it on the iMac, which called for complete supervision and help. We used it on the old eMachine PC hooked to our living room TV and she was very capable of watching the lesson, navigating to the questions, answering the questions and on to a new lesson all on her own (I was nearby, but not necessary for every click and data typing). We tried it on an old (dying) laptop and were not very successful and lastly while on a family trip we tried in on Grandmama’s iPad and that was an experience. We also tried my new iPhone 5, but it never worked once. Nor did it work with my first generation Kindle Fire. The first attempt with the iPad did not go well, but there was an internet issue that I think was to blame. Later while internet was definitely working things worked fabulously and if I had an iPad of my own this would definitely be the route I would want to take. (I believe it is an iPad 2, but I’m not positive on that.) The formatting here was much more friendly for her navigation even than the PC with a full laptop and old-school mouse and easier to take around and what-have-you. — Can you guess what’s on my wish list?
CTC Math has something for every age and grade. It’s recommended K-12, but my K4 loves it and definitely would have when she was K3 and my two year old toddler does well with it as well (with aid – however I think she could do it on her own with the iPad). I heard many other people were able to se it with their older children and with brushing up their own math skills, but we just stuck with the earliest basics of Kindergarten materials. This is without a doubt something I plan to try to continue long after the review period ceases. Sometimes it was hard for us to manage the four days a week if there were trips or illness, however, as I mentioned before I think with a mobile device that would have been much easier to manage. It is quite a hassle dealing with the old PC.
The timing of lessons completely varied with us because a number of reasons. The video tutorials were all from about 4-9 minutes in length and then the questions that followed could take AppleBlossom five minutes to complete, or if she was really struggling on a topic, or just having a “bad day” it could take her up to 45 minutes to answer the questions. Some days were better than others, but she was always wanting to do more another time. She was mad often when I sad we would wait to another day to do something instead of having a second session, silly girl. Sometimes she did do several lessons in one sittings, other times, not so much.
We have had a lot of fun with CTC Math so far, and I definitely want to continue it and possibly put it on our lists for future years. It is setup to be a complete curriculum, but I do not believe that I would choose to solely do computer math school for our family, but I love it as a supplement and back up as well as sometimes a different way of learning something we’ve covered. I love being able to see the way she answers the questions and discovering that there are certain things I thought we had covered well, but when the vocabulary was changed slightly she was completely thrown off. It has been a very good teaching tool for me as well.
One of the things that I really enjoyed was the weekly status report email that let me know exactly what she had watched, read, and answered in questions. Something that we had to get used to and kept us from earning a status for a while was that she couldn’t just answer the questions. To get credit, she had to watch the video as well otherwise the questions did not register in her report. So it was interesting at first when I knew she had completed material, but it was left off of the report.
I did think it a bit odd when I logged in as a parent that I couldn’t see much. I mean there was a status bar with her most recent updates. But I couldn’t get the depth if information that was provided in the email PDF and I thought that was interesting, since it was my favorite part as a later onlooker (if it was a crazy day while she was working, etc). She absolutely loves that she can see the questions graded and go back to the ones she missed to see why. Early on, she missed on because we thought it was asking the name of an object and answered accordingly when it was asking something else. But once we got the hang of it, things got better and better for us.
Right now, CTC Math is having a homeschool sale, and the current 12 Month Family Plan is available for $118.80. CTC Math is a very neat product, and I’m delighted to have found it.
Social Media Links:
Facebook CTC Math – https://www.facebook.com/ctcmath?ref=hl
Facebook Aus (Maths Online) – https://www.facebook.com/mathsonline.com.au?ref=hl