Around here, that means a lighter school schedule, visits to the beach and easy science activities that my boys can do on their own (outside of course!).
It also means that I am planning for our new school year.
I know the planning part of homeschooling is not for everyone – but it’s my favorite. There’s something about being able to take the time to think about my priorities, investigate different learning options and start to put together the tentative puzzle we call school – I find it inspirational.
This year, I have to admit, the planning feels a little weightier.
I now have a (gulp) high schooler to consider.
I can’t believe it, but it’s true. My oldest son is entering 9th grade in the fall. As such, I am spending time this summer learning about transcripts, thinking about how to incorporate his special interests into classes for credit and investigating high school math options.
High school math. It pains me to write it.
The time has come for algebra and geometry, for algebra II and trig – the math I remember struggling with most when I was in school.
Moreover, we need a program that is user-friendly, appropriate for my son’s learning differences and provides plenty of tracking for transcripts and high school records.
Enter CTC Math.
Please know, I received access to CTC Math and was compensated for my time in writing this review. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. I only share resources that work well for my family, in the hopes they may help yours as well.
Homeschooling High School: What Should I Do About Math?
CTC Math is an online program developed by a father of ten children, with twenty years teaching experience. It is a subscription math service that provides learning from Kindergarten all the way through Calculus.
CTC Math Overview
I have found that CTC Math has a wide range of benefits and uses in our homeschool. Here are a few aspects of the program that work well for my family and our circumstances.
Access to all Levels
This is huge! CTC Math gives access to every single level, K – 12 at all times. It’s perfect for the learner who is advanced in some topics and needs to accelerate quickly. Conversely, it also works well for a child struggling and in need of reviewing topics covered in a previous level.
Placement Tests Are Optional
This is a personal preference of mine. Having placement tests as optional makes my life and my boys’ lives so much easier. Although I understand the need for placement tests, in my experience, children with learning differences can feel pressure and unnecessary stress associated with them. I prefer to start my boys with an easy lesson or two until they are comfortable with the program, and then allow them to complete the placement tests. They are more accurate in their answers and don’t immediately write off the program as “too hard” or “boring.” (I cannot stress this benefit enough. Online learning works well for my boys, but only if we have this flexibility. Many programs require the placement test upfront, before allowing access to the material. This has never worked well for us.)
Straightforward Interactive Lessons
The lessons themselves consist of 4 to 9 minute tutorials (perfect for my boys’ attention spans). Animated and interactive, each lesson is presented in an online format, and also has the option of a printable PDF with a lesson overview. I love this feature. If my son doesn’t understand something, we can discuss it without having to go back and watch the video again (something for which he has very little patience). I simply print up the PDF, we move to the couch and continue the learning.
Options for Practice
In addition to a worksheet for each lesson, there are also options for practice included in the program. Times tables review, math facts, and even logic puzzles are accessible for extras throughout the program.
High School Math Online
CTC Math is great for multiple ages. Because we have access to all levels for both of my children, it is a great choice for my family. But my primary reason for using it, as a part of our math program this year, is my high schooler’s learning.
He is advanced in many areas but also struggles with some basics. For example, he flew through algebra last year, but still struggles with basic math facts and times tables. The flexibility built into CTC Math is a great fit for his needs.
CTC Math also provides excellent tracking. Parents receive a progress report weekly via email and have online access to reporting as well. This allows my son to be independent in his learning (essential as he gets older) while still keeping me actively involved in his progression through the program.
Interested in learning more as you plan for the next school year? CTC Math offers a generous free trial – 4 weeks with no credit card required. Even better, if you decide to sign-up, homeschoolers receive a 60% off discount, plus 6 months of the program for free.
I encourage you to take a look!
Are you planning for next year’s homeschool? How’s it going?
Shawna Wingert is a former training and development professional turned education specialist, and has homeschooled her two children for the last ten years.Shawna has written four books about homeschooling unique learners and has been featured in homeschooling discussions on Today.com, The Mighty, Simple Homeschool, My Little Poppies and Raising Lifelong Leaners.
You can find her online here at DifferentByDesignLearning.com.