CTC Math (12 Month Family Plan) – A Review

Math can be one of the most intensive, time consuming subjects in educating your children. No matter which method of learning is used, math instruction takes place in some form. Last year, we were able to use CTC Math to supplement our math studies. We have recently incorporated CTC Math back into our studies via the 12 Month Family Plan. Six of my nine children are working with CTC Math in various ways that suit their individual needs. I would love to share features and aspects of the program that make this  an asset to our homeschool day.

CTC Math is an online math curriculum (nothing to download!). For Grades K-6, CTC Math provides a complete curriculum for the student. The higher levels of the program, while not complete curriculum, work very well as a supplement.

Pat Murray is the instructor for all the lessons. Not only is he an experienced math teacher, he is also the father of ten. Mr. Murray does an excellent job of presenting materials in each lesson in an engaging and understandable way across a wide range of learning levels.

Using CTC Math is very simple and straightforward. With a few clicks to select the area of study to focus on for the day, your child is ready to complete a lesson of math.  After viewing a short video, a worksheet needs to be completed. While the worksheets are all completed online, the higher levels of math have the option of printing the worksheets. My seven year old uses this program independently and rarely has to ask for assistance. It is really that easy to implement!

CTC Math has an excellent video on How It Works.

Even within one household there can be a variety of learning styles and needs. Taking advantage of CTC Math’s Free Trial is a great way to see if this program would be a fit for your family. There is no time limit to the free trial but the content is restricted to the first lesson in each topic.

What I Love About CTC Math

* No Games Needed! Over the past few years, I have seen various online curricula that motivate the child with games and prizes. I love that CTC Math has a simple but effective method for motivating a child. As the child completes portions of the program, an achievement award is given. Since I receive an email when an achievement award is earned, I can quickly give a “way to go” shout out to my child. The smile I get in return is priceless.

There are four levels of achievement: Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze. The awards can be printed if desired.

* Simple Testing for Placement – Each area of learning has two testing options: Standard and Comprehensive. The two tests are basically the same but the Comprehensive has more questions for a more thorough test. I use these tests in two ways. First, I use this for a pre-testing. While my child is working at sixth grade level,I might be concerned that there could be a gap or two. So giving a pre-test allows us both to see weak areas that need to be worked on. Perhaps when a child moves into a new level, I feel he might have a good understanding of the material so he can test out. Who doesn’t love that option?

I also use the tests for a bit of post-testing when needed. If a child has struggled over a few topics, when the area of study is completed, I would have her do a post-test. This helps us see where a gap in learning might be forming. Since math builds on skills as your progress, I don’t want a small gap now to cause a bigger issue later. The tests are not overwhelming. Even my child who struggles with anything called a test, handles these beautifully.

* Color Coded Reports – Reports can be viewed by both the student and the parent. The color coded progress bars allow even the youngest student to understand how they are doing. From Blue to Red, it is easy to see where more practice is needed and when mastery has been achieved. This is a great motivator to my seven and nine year old daughters. They love to see the blue bars dominate the screen. The reports, detailed or summary, can be printed if needed for record keeping or reference.

* Short Lessons – Mr. Murray does a great job of explaining the topic in a concise manner that allows for short lessons. My younger students are able to watch a lesson video and complete the questions in about fifteen – twenty minutes. My student using the higher levels of math, naturally take a bit longer. The instructional videos are around 7 – 10 minutes and the worksheet time is more intensive that the younger students.

* Stop and Save – There are days when even short lessons can be a bit trying and we need to step away from math for a bit. If the child needs to take a break while working on the questions, a “stop and save” option is available.  This has been a great feature when life has interrupted a school day.

* Speed Skills – I have seen in my older children how having quick recall of basic math facts makes higher math much easier. CTC Math has an excellent math drill program called Speed Skills. The child picks an appropriate level and completes as many problems as she can in 60 seconds. The first attempt sets the goal to bet. I love how the child is working to better her own score. Speed Skills also have a level that includes Order of Operations.  You can play it as a guest! Give it a try!

* Great Customer Service –  CTC Math has amazing customer service. I have had a few questions and the support at CTC has always been super helpful and quick! This is great when your high school student has a question about why her course isn’t working properly and the mom brain is fried. We have smooth sailing thanks to CTC’s customer service.

* A Real Family Plan! – It is not uncommon for homeschool families to have more children than the average. CTC Math’s 12 Month Family Plan allows up to TEN students to have access. I love not having to select which child needs this resource the most.I can have all of my children working independently on math and at whatever level is needed.

“CTC Math is fine. I really enjoy doing the speed drills. I like how the teacher explains things and that the lessons are short. He can make you understand something without going on and on and on. When you get something wrong, it shows you a solution. I like being able to see where I made a mistake.” Lydia – 11

Final Thoughts

CTC Math has been an asset to our family. Several of my older children are using CTC Math to supplement their math studies. Even as a supplement, they are using CTC Math in different ways that best suit how they learn. My oldest is using the Algebra course to review weak areas. My other older ones use CTC Math a few times a week to reinforce what they are learning.

“I liked it. It had fun things to do.” Sarah – age 7

Two of my younger ones are using CTC Math as their sole math curriculum. They love working independently and it is rare I have to remind them to do their math. My seven year old really enjoys the Speed Skills. While they do use the program independently, I am still needed a times.

“I’m learning things. He explains things really well and goes over stuff. I like it.” Hannah- age 9

Since the topic or skill presented in a lesson can only be presented in one way, there is sometimes difficulty in comprehension and success with a topic. For example, my seven year old is struggling with number words, counting by 2s, and addition up to 20.  I can very easily see the lessons she is having difficulty with thanks to the report feature. At the end of each week, I look to see where she might have a challenge and then the next week, we take a day or two to tackle some problem areas. I might create a game, present the topic in a different way, or watch the lesson with her and discuss it with her.  It is working out beautifully and they are learning. Who can argue with that? We give CTC Math the Tribe Seal of Approval!

 

As always other Crew Members reviewed CTC Math so take a moment to stop by and see what others are saying.

CTCmath Review
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A+ Interactive Math – A Review

From talking with other homeschool moms, I know that math can often be one of the most challenging subjects to tackle. More and more online options are becoming available for math instruction. We recently had the opportunity to review Adaptive Placement Test and Individualized Lesson Plan one of the options offered by A+ Interactive Math.

Although we were happy with the math program we were currently using, I was a bit concerned that a couple of my children had a few gaps in their learning. Adaptive Placement Test and Individualized Lesson Plan seemed to be a great resource for us. It is specifically designed for this purpose: to help you not only identify gaps in math learning but to fill those gaps.

Three of my children worked with Adaptive Placement Test and Individualized Lesson Plan: Lydia (6th grade), Hannah (3rd grade), and Sarah (1st grade).

After setting up your parent account and activating your children’s accounts, the next step is for the student to complete “mini tests”. Within each grade level there are concepts of learning. You child takes a simple test  to determine if that concept is mastered or if more instruction is needed.

Now we move into the individualized lesson plans for the student. For example, Hannah (3rd grade) struggles with multiplication. After her attempt at the test for multiplication, it was clear that she needed more practice on this. In her account under “View My Lesson Plan”, Hannah would now find a folder labeled “Multiplication”. Inside that folder were a series of online videos explaining various aspects of multiplication such as: Multiplying Using Objects, Multiplying by a 2 Digit Number, Multiplication Tricks.

The videos are straight forward in presentation and not long in length. After viewing the video, there is then an Interactive Q & A that covers the material presented in the instructional video. The child is presented with ten questions with multiple choice answers. If an incorrect answer is given, the child is shown the correct answer along with an explanation. Once the Interactive Q &A is completed, there are Online Practice Worksheets to give further practice on the concepts.

The Adaptive Placement Test and Individualized Lesson Plan provide both the student and parent with a dashboard. Via the dashboards student and parent can track progress, lessons, and goals. The parent can see how the child is doing and what has been completed so far. It is helpful for the child to have the visual as well to see her progress.

This is not a full curriculum and is intended to be used as a resource to recognize gaps in math and to fill those gaps. Often only a short period of time is needed to reinforce those weak areas. Adaptive Placement Test and Individualized Lesson Plan can be purchased just 3 Months at a time for a student.

From May 4, 2015 to May 18, 2015, Adaptive Placement Tests and Individualized Lesson Plan will be available for 40% – 50% off.

Our Experience with Adaptive Placement Test and Individualized Lesson Plan

I had three students utilizing this program and knew that at least two of them had a few weak areas. Lydia (6th grade) and Hannah (3rd grade) both used this independently each week. It was very simple for them to navigate and understand. Since this is not a full curriculum it was used as a supplement alongside their regular math curriculum. They set aside at least twenty minutes about four days a week to work with Adaptive Placement.

Both Lydia and Hannah found the presentation a bit dry. The video lessons show the material being presented while a voice reads what is on the screen. The voice is a bit monotone at times. During the Interactive Q & A, as the questions are shown on the screen, the instructor reads the question. Then slowly each of the multiple choice answers are presented as they are being read. My girls did not find this method engaging at all but rather tedious.

Sarah (1st grade) did not use this program as frequently as my other two students. Sarah could not use this program independently due to her reading ability. While the Interactive Q & A, read the question and answers, the worksheets have no audio. Whenever Sarah had to complete a worksheet, someone had to be there to read to her. I have no problem working alongside my children but I expected this to be an independent study resource. It is surprising at the grade level of 1st grade that the worksheet questions do not have an audio option; especially since all the other aspects of the program have audio.

Top 12 Reasons to use Adaptive Placement Test and Interactive Lesson Plan

Overall, I think this is a very helpful resource but it just wasn’t a good fit for our family. I was hoping that we could fill in a few gaps but the presentation was a hindrance for my students. Even my older students struggle with having math presented through video so I think it is a learning style/method issue for us. However, it could be exactly what your child needs to work through some weak areas.

Your child can take a Free Math Placement Test and you can view a Demo of the Adaptive Placement Test and Interactive Lesson Plan. This is a great way to see if this program will work for you and your student.

A+ Interactive Math has excellent customer service. When I had an issue (totally on my end) they were so quick and helpful! If you have any questions, I’m sure they would be happy to help you decide if this program is a good fit for your student.

Other Crew Members have been using Adaptive Placement Test and Interactive Lesson Plan. Some Crew Members have been using the Family Math Package. If you are looking for a math resource, take a moment to see what others are saying.

A+ Interactive Math Review
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La La Logic – A Review

Don’t you love when you discover the resource you didn’t realize you needed? This recently happened in our home. We have had the opportunity to review a Preschool Curriculum from La La Logic. It has been the highlight of the day for a couple of little ones in our home. This is a resource that I likely would not have been in search of but it has quickly become a favorite!

La La Logic Preschool Curriculum was created by a homeschool mom of three. Utilizing her education and experience in software design, she created a program that would provide her children with the necessary skills for problem solving and critical thinking. While basic math and reading are often pushed to the forefront of early learning, there are basic skills that build a foundation for these studies. Memory skills, spacial awareness, attention, reasoning are all skills that are beneficial for later learning.

What Exactly is La La Logic?

La La Logic is an online resource that contains 100 weeks of learning for children ages three to six. A simple schedule of using the program four to five days a week is suggested but it is completely flexible to your needs. Time needed each day varies from ten to thirty minutes depending on the activity (Screen time is about 10 minutes). Each week contains the same three components: Brain Challenge, Worksheet, and Extension Activities.

Brain Challenge is completed online.  This online portion consist of “games” that help develop critical  thinking skills. No matter the age of your child, you want to start in Week 1 as the activities build and get increasingly more challenging as he progresses. If you are using a computer, the child needs to be able to use a mouse. Using a device such as a tablet or iPad would be a great option for those who can’t manipulate a mouse.

In Brain Challenge your child might work on patterning, sequencing, memory recall, similarities & differences, analogies and more. All of these are presented in engaging ways that are fun for the child. At each activity, there is a “mom voice” that tells the child he is doing “sensational” or “amazing”. If he selects the wrong answer, no worries. “Let’s give it another try” is always encouraged. Brain Challenges are generally completed two days each week.

 

Each week you can download a Worksheet.There is one worksheet for each week and can be completed on the day your child is not doing the Brain Challenge. The worksheet is very simple and reinforces what the child has been practicing during the Brain Challenges. Some of the worksheets we have completed are sequencing the growth of a flower, identifying different shapes and coloring them as instructed, and matching shoes.  The worksheets are in black and white which gets two thumbs up from the mom with a black ink only printer. Here is where your child will enjoy cutting, pasting, coloring and building those fine motor skills!

Finally we have the Extension Activities. This is an excellent aspect of this preschool curriculum. When you download the worksheet, you also download the Extension Activities. We have enjoyed reading stories and practicing narration. Other suggestions such as researching an animal or plant in the story are options. Buying paper cookies with pennies, practicing writing numbers and letters, or drawing a picture are also great choices. Extension Activities are scheduled for two days and cover the same material or concepts for those two days. My children have loved these!

La La Logic provides you with the opportunity to try this program for free. No payment information is required at all.

How Did We Use La La Logic?

I had three children using this program: ages 7, 5 and 3. I will be upfront and say that Sarah, 7,  has been playing with this for “fun” and to be my “assistant”. So far these exercises have not been challenging for her and I didn’t expect them to be at her age. I wanted her to be familiar with the online portion so she could “help” me with my three year old when I was busy with the baby or working with an older child. Sarah loves helping me and has done a great job. A bit of review can’t hurt, right?  I also wanted to get a feel for how a child above the recommended age would respond.

La La Logic can be purchased for $29 per household. This is a one time fee for each household. You can track the progress for up to 5 children at a time. There is no time restrictions for use as your account never expires.

Since Sarah can fly through these exercises, I have had her using the Continuous Brain Challenge Mode. This feature has the weeks bundled into sections of ten weeks at a time. The child can work through multiple weeks at a time at a pretty steady pace. It has served as a bit of fun computer time for Sarah.

Sarah’s Thoughts: It was fun. I really liked the one where you had to catch the balloons with the right number on it.

Martha, 3, is going at La La Logic at a slower pace. I love the flexibility of this program. There is no time limit on the Brain Challenges. Your child can take as long as needed. Martha is doing really well but we are repeating some weeks now and then. Her screen time has been almost non-existent until now so her mouse skills are limited. Using the tablet is a great option for her. We alternate between the two so we can work on the mouse skills. Her understanding of the concepts is excellent but she is not the most eager to listen to instructions.

Martha’s Thoughts: It’s nice. I love it. Bye.

Sam, 5, might just be La La Logic’s biggest fan. He loves when it is time to do his “school”. Brain Challenge, Worksheet, Extension Activities…he loves them all. And this is why La La Logic is the resource that I didn’t know I needed. Sam is a bright, active boy. He spends most of his time making sound effects, building Lego creations, running (inside and outside) and enjoying a good book. He was, however, definitely ready to do some “school” and this is a lovely balance. It is rare that he needs my help for the Brain Challenge. He loves being independent and often offers to help Martha with her worksheet. Sam has been following the schedule recommended but I think he will have a morning and afternoon session for the Brain Challenges starting next week. Since it only takes five to ten minutes for each session, I don’t have to worry about too much screen time. He is building great cognitive skills and still has time to slay the dragons.

Sam’s Thoughts: It was very interesting. I like doing my work. Ezra likes the dancing monkeys.

We love La La Logic Preschool Curriculum. It has combined a variety of exercises that will help your child think, reason, and develop many important cognitive skills. It is engaging and entertaining without being overwhelming or demanding too much of a preschooler’s play time. I highly recommend this if you have a preschooler or a child at this age developmentally.

As always, you can read what other Crew Members had to say about La La Logic Preschool Curriculum. If you give it a free try, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

La La Logic Review
 

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