What makes a good math curriculum? What are my parameters?
It has to have a combination of Video Instruction and Worksheets. Now, my son also likes to have an instant feel for online answers. The Videos need to be step by step instructions. We prefer lessons to be short chunks, working towards mastery.
After walking several kids through schooling, it also needs to be a complete curriculum. As in – you should be able to work from Kindergarten though High School. The student should be able to go at his pace, or have a place to refer back to if a step is lost and needs remediation. It should be able to work in a homeschool with differentiated learning, and also in a private or public school. I should have the assurance that my student is learning ‘on track’ but not be bogged down with the constant reference to state standards.
We have found all of these points satisfied – abundantly – and easily with CTCMath.
I have been using it for High School Math for my 9th grade son. We are using it at the end of his homeschool year to prepare for required State testing. It is through this experience that I really fell in love with the program and the way it is laid out.
I started with looking for Diagnostic Tests. I assigned the tests to my student after I created a student account for Jonee. At first, I didn’t know that there were Short, Standard and Comprehensive tests, so he always got the Comprehensive 32 question test.
As he tested, there are no helps, but if he gets the answer incorrect, it does give him the right answer and we were able to talk through what sort of error was made.
What I loved is the easy access to these lessons and how well they are laid out. It was quick and easy to pinpoint which video lesson he needed. Our delight? They could give the how to in under 5 mintues. Most of the videos that we watched were between 3 and 4 minutes long. Tiny little chunks to a bigger problem. Also – on the right, there are the other lessons that relate, so if it didn’t quite answer the question, you could move up or down until you understood.
What is super cool – is that you can Test, Watch A Lesson, or Print a Worksheet. My oldest son, even now in college, does his math in his head or on a piece of paper. He never did get the hang of online answers. We’ve worked with my younger son to take that extra moment before hitting submit on an answer to make sure your numerical entry is the answer you have in your head. Once it is in, there isn’t an erase button. Ha.
My son liked that it gave his percentage score instantly. I have it set that he can not pass the assignment unless he gets an 80% score. This is important for our OSAA / School standards for sports – and in general, I like him to have full understanding. This past week his score on fractions were at 50% because he wasn’t simplifying the answers all the way. It was enough of a push to make him slow down, and not work so quickly so he could go out on his adventures.
I am sure, that after using this review – he is ready to take his State Testing this week. I’m also sure that I am very glad to have this amazing program to use for the year. We looked at Basic Math and Algebra for the testing, but he has used Algebra 1 this year. The course includes Algebra 2, Pre-Calc and Calculus Geometry and Trigonometry for his High School courses.
We have used other online programs to help with seeing math a different way with his favorite spine curriculum. He’d get lost looking for videos. If he wanted a break from the spine I was never quite sure that he was making any headway in a forward motion, or just picking videos at random.
I like the reports that the CTCMath sends me that he has finished a task, his scores, and a complete breakdown of how he did on each question. As I will be away from home this year working, this will come in handy. We can start the year reviewing Algebra 1 with the Diagnostic Tests, and from there I can assign him his lessons, or he can look down the list and “Do the next lesson” which is our style of planning. Ha.
If you are looking for a complete online curriculum for your home or school – I am highly recommending CTCMath.
Check them out online:
CTCMath (US and Canda)
Maths Online (Australia Only)