“Mom, I hate math! I’m never going to use this!” says my Kindergartener as we learn subtraction.
Oh boy. This could be a long road ahead.
I love math, but somehow that love for math has not translated to my two oldest kids. I have two more, so maybe there is hope, but I can’t hold my breath.
Math is one of those subjects that is really hard to get kids excited. There aren’t any fun characters, and most of the time the basics of math are hard to liven up.
Add in to that the work of creating lesson plans, following through (or the guilt of not), housework, and all the rest, and it’s hard to put on that happy face with your kid who is complaining they will never use subtraction.
So, what’s the solution? Take it off your plate!
The following is a review of CTC Math in which I was compensated for my time. As always, all opinions are my own.
I’m generally a low-screen time mom. We have a tablet, but there are days I regret getting it. My kids watch some TV, but only on the weekends. I don’t like to point my kids to a computer unless there is good reason, and getting math taken care of totally counts as a good reason.
What I look for in online learning tools
Not all online learning tools are alike. There’s one preschool site that I looked into and really loved, but then when my kids used it, they never used any of the learning games and spent all their time feeding virtual pets. I was not paying a monthly fee for my kids to feed a fake pet.
CTCMath is a full online math curriculum created by math teacher and homeschool parent Pat Murray. The FREE 4 week trial gives access to ALL levels of the program (Kindergarten through Calculus), no credit card required. If you like it, you get 60% off and a free 6 month extension to your subscription. Offer ends July 31st.
Knowing this is made by a fellow homeschool mom, I know she is going to try to make a site engaging, but not have corners of the site that are total fluff. Get on, get the lesson done, and move on with your day.
So, how does online math work?
If you’ve ever had a stint with a virtual school and having daily assignments at your student’s portal, it’s that, in a nutshell. When your child logs in, they see what is assigned to them, click on the link, and get started:
When you’re up late at night watching Netflix, you can set up the assignments for your kids with assigned dates, or a date range. Personally, I like to use a date range for the week and put in all the assignments I want done for that week within that task. It’s faster to get things set up, especially with more than one kid, and with less work I’m more likely to not put off scheduling their lessons.
Additionally, for kids that want more discretion for how they use their week, they can do a couple lessons on one day and skip math lessons on another. As long as they are all done by the end of the week, then the task is complete!
Here’s a peek at the parent portal to make tasks:
Online learning with young kids
When I bought our Amazon tablet for the kids, I had these romanticized ideas that they would be engaging in educational apps and they’d magically learn things on their own from this awesome apps.
Reality? They dress My Little Ponies and watch Wild Kratz. One day I’ll write the full pros and cons of a tablet, but I have a lot less control than I thought I would.
Still, computer literacy is important as well, so we don’t want to live in the stone ages either.
Compromise? With our children as young as they are, we don’t need fancy parental controls quite yet. On our desktop computers at home, we simply have a couple bookmarks set, and each one naturally has their logo saved along with the website name.
Even non-readers can click on the bookmark where they want to go visit one of the pre-approved pages. As they get older, we’ll have to set up more sophisticated controls, but that works for us for now and allows the kids some independence with their computer usage.
So, does my Kindergartener like math now?
My Kindergarten girl really enjoys the short video lessons, and being able to show me right away how many answers she got right. Add in the certificate she gets when she completes a job well done, and she is downright beaming!
I think the key really is the short videos followed by just a handful of review questions. No 30 minute lecture or drill and kill method.
Making the case for online learning
I love books. I love curriculum books, story books, reference books. I love them all. But over this past year I’ve really started to transition to more digital books because 1) they save me a TON of money when I’m getting classic books (free on Amazon, and can read free with their Kindle app), and 2) I just don’t have the space in my house to store all the books I want to collect.
With an online math option, I can get two kids set up for a whole year for the price I usually spend just on one kid’s books, and it doesn’t take any shelf space. Sometimes there’s just enough benefits to step aside from physical books.
So, don’t forget! Until July 31st, save 60% AND get 6 months free when you buy a year (a total of 18 months of access)!
You get access for the entire year to all of the lessons, from Kindergarten to Calculus. So, if your kid is flying through math, you don’t need to pick up new math books halfway through the year.