Fun with Math Online – CTC Math Review

CTC Math Review

One of the things I love about reviewing materials for the TOS Crew is that I have the opportunity to try new products that I might not have tried if not for the review. This is the case with CTC Math. Reviewing CTC Math and their 12 Month Family Plan was a fun and enjoyable review and I’m certainly glad that we able to do it.

Having decided that we were happy with our math programs, we weren’t sure we even wanted to review anything math related but CTC Math looked unique and something with which we could supplement. However, what we found is that it is a full curriculum in itself or a great supplement to many other math programs.

What is CTC Math?
CTC Math’s 12 Month Family Plan is a complete, online math program providing 1,366 animated and narrated math lessons. Appropriate for all ages and grade level, CTC Math offers almost 60,000 interactive questions from Kindergarten through high school math. There is little repetition and something new to learn at all levels. There are diagnostic tests available on most subjects helping the child (and parent) assess the child’s current understanding of a math skill.

The 24/7 online math tutor is great to have available. Each student has his or her own sign in so they are able to see their progress immediately. The student can work the lessons in order or search through the topics and work on a topic that he or she needs to work on.

Each topic has a 4-9 minute interactive lesson with questions that test their knowledge at the end or there is a printable worksheet. The animated and interactive lessons are colorful and fun. The easy-to-follow instructions make it easy for the kids to use the program independently. CTC Math also includes math games for drilling purposes that the kids will love.

ctcmath lessonsHow We Used CTC Math
My Kindergarten son enjoyed the math section (he’s a math kid) and particularly enjoyed the animation such as counting the bounces of a ball or the digs of a shovel in his counting lesson. We do not have a formal math program for our son and he enjoys using online programs so CTC Math was fun for him.

Mom – I have a new high score                 – Leyton, Kindergarten

My 3rd grade daughter used the lessons as an additional math program. She went through the sections that corresponded with what she was already studying, completing the CTC Math lessons teaching the skill as well as playing the Speed Skills games to drill math facts. For instance, we were studying rounding in math so she was able to find a lesson on rounding to further practice, and, therefore, cement her knowledge of rounding. Having the lesson presented differently than her main math program, to me, showed that she was able to grasp the topic wholly. The program tells the student their progress and the percentage they got right. She had to do it three times before getting 100 percent correct in rounding so I found this to be good practice for her and I was able to watch her progress improve.

ctc speedskills

CTC Math Speed Skills Game

My 3rd grader also used the Speed Skills portion of the CTC Math 12 Month Family Plan. We did Speed Skills most everyday as it is quick and simple to use to drill math facts. In this part of the program, the student is able to work on drilling the math facts for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. There are 4 levels to choose from with Level 1 being only Addition and Subtraction. Level 2 drilling Addition, Subtraction and Multiplication, Level 3 including Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication and Division. And Level 4 including Addition, Subtraction, Mixed Multiplication and Division, Division with Remainder, and Order of Operations. My daughter thoroughly enjoyed her Speed Skills. The Speed Skills portion tests the child to see how many questions they can answer correctly in 60 seconds. Then they play repeatedly to try and beat their high score. She also played Times Table Shoot Em’ and really enjoyed that game as well.

Speed Skills – I Love Speed Skills              – Avarie, 3rd Grade

The CTC Math 12 Month Family Plan provides parents with a separate login in order to manage the accounts and view the progress. I found this very helpful and easy to navigate. It was nice to be able to receive an email with progress reports as well. This was an available option in my online profile. Seeing what each child was doing and how they were progressing was great.

What We Thought
Overall, we all liked CTC Math. My Kindergarten son liked the animation available in the math. My daughter LOVED Speed Skills and I liked the number of comprehensive tests and diagnostic tests available as well as the reports and ease in seeing how the kids were doing and what areas they needed additional assistance. It was easy to find a particular skill that needed to be worked on with the search feature. I liked the one-page summary of the lesson as well, which was nice if we wanted to go back over the lesson together.

We liked that we could skip grade levels easily so we could review concepts if necessary without having to worry that it was in a previous year that we could not access. It was nice to be able to simply go back to where we needed.

You can access a free trial of CTC Math and the 12 Month Family Plan on their website. You can purchase a 12 Month Family Plan to CTC Math for you and your family for $118.80 for a year for the whole family.

Check out CTC Math and their 12 Month Family Plan on their website or on social media:
CTC Math Website: http://ctcmath.com
Facebook CTC Math - https://www.facebook.com/ctcmath?ref=hl
Facebook Aus (Maths Online) – https://www.facebook.com/mathsonline.com.au?ref=hl

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Crew Disclaimer

Elementary Science – A Science4Us.com Review

Science4Us Review
If you are looking for a great science program for your elementary child then you will be interested in checking out Science4Us.com and their great, interactive, online science curriculum.  Our kids love science so when given the opportunity to review Science4Us.com and their Science4Us.com Online Subscription program we jumped at the chance.

What is Science4Us.com

Science4Us.com is a K-2 online, science curriculum. Though designed for kindergarten through 2nd grade, 3rd and 4th graders may find the curriculum fun and helpful to review. This unique, complete science curriculum is one that the child can use on his own and move through assignments scheduled by his or her parent.

Science4Us Review
What Science4Us.com Gives Its Members

Science4Us.com come begins with a teacher account which gives you access to lesson plans, teacher strategies and instructional videos to help you use the site to its max potential.  In the reports section, you see what you child has been work on and how the children are doing on the various subjects. When you first get your account you sign up for the Teacher account and then add your students.  It seems it has been designed for classroom use; however, it is very homeschool user-friendly.

Science4Us Review
How We Used Science4Us.com in our Homeschool

We used Science4Us.com about 4 days a week with our Pre-K son and 2-3 times a week with our daughter.  The online notebook was one feature that my daughter liked that our son had trouble using but otherwise they both liked the Science4Us.com online subscription program.

We tried assigning lessons from the parent area, which worked fine for my daughter for review but did not work out as well for our son.  He liked to just explore the lessons. So we would sign on together and then chose the topic he was interested in exploring and then we would read the 3 interactive learning session first and then I would turn him loose on the games to continue his learning. He found games he really enjoyed.  Some were more difficult for more second grade science or third grade science students and those games we skipped over but the rest were pretty easy to use for even a learned as young as he.

I liked that there was a wide variety of games to help the child work with the information that had just been learned.  The video lessons were interesting and kept the interest of both children.  The user area was easy to maneuver and understand for the kids and for the parents.  It was very colorful and interactive. My son was happy that there was full-screen mode for the videos.

20140205_121358What We Thought of Science4Us.com

We really enjoyed Science4Us.com and the Science4Us.com Online Subscription program.  My Pre-K son really enjoyed it and our 3rd grade daughter enjoyed the simplicity of reviewing topics we were covering or have covered in the past. The colorful, interactive setup of the program makes it easy to use with a lot of variety for learning and review.  Our Pre-K son is 4 years old and he was able to utilize the kindergarten science curriculum on his own and though I did not have assist I did go through it with him, which was fun for both of us.  I did not do it with my 3rd grader. She was able to use it completely independently. I think that there were parts that were difficult to understand for my Pre-K son. Since he is a non-reader, he had to have things read to him. But that wasn’t a problem for him, he quickly caught on how to play the games and go through the videos.

Pros: online, easy to use, colorful, interactive, complete, reasonable cost

Cons: not everything reads to the user, only goes through 2nd grade, no hands-on

20140205_124745How You Can Check Out Science4Us.com

The Science4Us.com Online Subscription program is available for $7.95 per month per student.  This means that you can have a full year of science curriculum for your elementary school child for less than $100 for the year.  This is a good deal for just about any science program.

Check them out on social media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Science4UsSays
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/science4us/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Science4Us
G+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/112259351657747584252/

Read what the rest of the TOS Crew has to say about Science4Us.com here.

Crew Disclaimer
 

The Reason that Math is a Subject We Continue to Struggle With

math_02Though I’m sure many people feel the same, I find the subject I struggle teaching most is MATH.  The funny part is that I don’t really “teach math these days, the DVD does.  However, it is still a difficult subject in our homeschool.

Now i’ll tell you a little about why its such a sore spot in our household. Let’s back up 3 years. Yes, 3 years — that’s when it started.

20130226_175247We started homeschooling in Kindergarten and things went fairly well. I mean, how bad can they be while you are teaching your little ones to count. But then things went a different way when we hit 1st grade.  In first grade math quickly became a difficult subject. The curriculum we were using was just not working. It was what others were using and others were having success so we thought it would work for us too — it most certainly did not.

So, we started down the path of finding something that DID work. We even got to a point where we stopped math all together after three curriculum’s were used with little progress and a LOT of tears.

After the break we started in on our FOURTH curriculum and, as luck would have it, it actually clicked. I have never been so thankful. But i must say…though the curriculum worked, and is the one we are still using today, math STILL has its difficulties.

However, after 3 years and 4 curriculum’s I now have learned to read my daughter and know when we are due for a break or a change and have found some fun ways to keep up with math review WITHOUT burning her out when she needs the break.

How is it difficult?

20131004_103744Well, in addition to the curriculum presenting math in a manner that simple didn’t work well with my daughters learning style and preference, she is a perfectionist and has a difficult time being satisfied with less than perfect worksheets and therefore no matter what curriculum we use, she will never truly be happy. However, we have learned through our years of homeschooling that this is her personality and she is slowly learning that its ok to miss something, ask for help, and practice some more, and I am learning how to present topics better and give her breaks and games to mix it up some when she needs it most.

What have we both learned from this subject?

  • There are many curriculum’s out there. There is a reason for that. If it isn’t working for you, try another one and don’t be concerned with a setback. If you find the right curriculum, things will go much more smoothly and, soon, you will be caught up but happier.
  • It’s important to know your child’s learning style and learn to work with it instead of forcing through it.
  • There’s nothing wrong with a break. If things aren’t going well, try something else or take a break for a while and come back to it.

And the last thing I learned is, as we spend the majority of our 1st grade math year switching curriculum’s, we did not make the progress through a curriculum like we should have. I had to come to terms with the fact that we would be “behind” in math but that it wouldn’t matter because we would eventually “catch up.” But, incidentally, at the end of  our 1st grade year we did standardized testing and found, that though we were “behind” in my opinion, we were right where we needed to be according to the testing. This was some reassurance that helped us realize that its ok to do what you need to do to make things go smoothly for your subject and don’t be as concerned about getting where you feel you SHOULD be. You will likely find it will all work out.

What’s your most difficult subject to teach?

Read about what the other Crew members find to be difficult to teach here.Subject Struggle

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