Review of CTC Math

CTC Math Review

Today I have a review of CTC Math.  We recently got to spend time with the 12 Month Family Plan.  CTC Math is an online math curriculum for grades K-12.  The child who spent the most time using it is my 7-year-old son.  He worked on the 1st and 2nd grade levels.  I also had a few more kids try it out–my 3-year-old, 5-year-old, 12-year-old, and 13-year-old.

CTC Math Review
The way CTC Math works is you get a parent account and a specific child account for each child.  The child logs in with their username and password each time they are ready to do math.  They then click on the next lesson to do.  It’s pretty organized into categories, so they know what the basic topic is that they are studying and they know how many lessons are in that category.  The lessons are taught by an Australian man.  (His accent is fun!)  For the 1st grade level, the lessons were pretty short (usually less than 5 minutes).  The lessons often have graphics to describe the concepts.  There are a lot of pictures and cute graphics for the younger kids.  After watching the lesson, they do the questions.  There is a downside here if your child isn’t an independent reader because these aren’t read out loud like the lesson portion is.  One thing that’s neat about the lessons are the bar at the top that shows them how close they are to finishing it.  For first grade there were 10 questions for each lesson.

The first grade math covers these categories:

Number, Patterns, and Algebra:  whole numbers, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, patterns, money.

Measurement: length, area, capacity and volume, mass, time.

Space and Geometry: plane shapes, solids, position.

Statistics and Probablilty: graphs, chance.

One thing I really liked was getting weekly emails that told me exactly what my kids worked on that week and how they did.  They even have certificates to print out for reaching certain levels!  The younger ones got really excited about those!

After completing a category, there are 2 types of tests called standard and comprehensive (one is longer than the other) that the kids can take so you can check their progress and decide if they are ready to move on.  Or you can use the diagnostic tests to determine where in the curriculum your child should start working.

Another feature on the site is Speed Skills, which is a fun math game a couple of my kids played.

My older boys (6th and 7th grade) did a few lessons from the 7th grade section called Basic Math and Pre-Algebra.  At this level there is a sheet to print out for the questions, so the kids can do their lessons on paper.  On the side of it there is a bank of answers to choose from.  They will enter the letter associated with the correct answer on the computer for grading.  My oldest son didn’t like this because he felt it was too easy to guess what the answer would be if he didn’t correctly work the problem the first time.

I would recommend CTC Math for two different types of people.  If you want to use it for a full curriculum, it can be that for the elementary ages.  Or if your child needs extra help in math (for all levels up through 12th grade), it is a wonderful resource for an online math tutor!

 

 

Here is the current pricing:  Homeschoolers get a huge 60% discount off the regular price!  It’s $118.80 for Membership for 2 or more students for 12 months. I set up accounts for 7 of my kids!  (The 12-month family plan.)

Visit their Facebook page at Facebook CTC Math .

 

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Homeschool Essentials: Math-U-See Decimal Street lapbook for “Alpha”

Math-U-See Decimal Street lapbook 003

 

Penguin lapbook 002

 

Penguin lapbook 001

 

Penguin lapbook 003

 

Today is Day 3 of “5 Days of Homeschooling Essentials” and I’m sharing about my favorite math elementary math curriculum: Math-U-See. I love that this curriculum has the lessons on DVD (Steve Demme is funny and connects well with the kids). But most of all I like his approach of trying to help the kids “see” math rather than just memorizing how to do it.

One of my children just started with the Alpha level. Place value is being taught in the first lesson. We created a Decimal Street lapbook for her to practice using the units (ones), tens, and hundreds place. I’m sorry I can’t give credit to the lady on whose blog I first saw this. It was many years ago and the blog site no longer exists.

What we do is write a number in the boxes at the bottom.  If the number is 632, she’ll put on 6 red “hundreds”, 3 blue “tens”, and 2 green “units.”  The boxes are covered in clear packing tape, so it wipes off really easily using a dry erase marker.  Then we practice with me putting the blocks on and she writes down the number.  After a few days of practicing this, I think she understands!

And my younger kids just like playing with the blocks!

Penguin lapbook 006

The blocks are what makes Math-U-See unique. The units are green, the tens are blue, and the hundreds are red. The kids can see and count them in each spot. And they can see that only 9 can fit in each house. This is important for them when they start learning about carrying or regrouping. No, Math-U-See doesn’t completely eliminate math tears, but it helps!

Do you have a favorite math curriculum?  Please share in the comments!

 

5 Days of Homeschooling Essentials

 

 

Be sure to read about more Homeschooling Essentials at the following blogs:

61. Lisa @ Our Simple Kinda Life

62. Tabitha @ The Homeschool Four

63. LaRee @ Broad Horizons

64. Gwen @ Tolivers to Texas

65. Amy @ Counting Change. . .  Again

66. Jacquelin @ A Stable Beginning

68. Adena @ AdenaF

69. Stacie @ Super Mommy to the Rescue

70. Jen @ Happy Little Homemaker
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And don’t forget to enter to win an iPad Mini here!

 This post is linked up to some of these great blogs!

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Times Tales set on Sale!

 

I’ve mentioned before how I’ve used the Times Tales DVD to help my 3 oldest quickly learn their times tables!  There is a sale right now (until August 8, 2013) to get these 3 items for only $29.95!  You get the bundle which includes: Times Tales (print or DVD), a Mini Flip and Memory Triggers: Elementary Math Terms.  If you have  a child working on multiplication, head over to the website and see if this is something you’d like to try!  Use the code GOTTHIS.

 

My 9-year-old daughter learned her times tables in 2 weeks using Times Tales!

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Homeschool Curriculum 2012-2013

Here is our 2012-2013 Curriculum

 

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

B (age 11, 6th grade):

Following “The Grammar Level:  Ten Things to Do From Ages 10-12″

Bible:  Discover 4 Yourself Inductive Bible Studies for Kids — Revelation (Bible Prophecy for Kids and A Sneak Peek into the Future)

Grammar:  Daily Grams 6 (Easy Grammar)

Latin:  First Form Latin

Music:  violin lessons, band (saxophone) at Christian school

History:  Mystery of History and Story of the World, vol. 2 (After Resurrection thru Middle Ages) with notebooking materials from Homeschool in the Woods (New Testament) and Lilliput Station; read-alouds of historical fiction

Pre-Logic:  Logic: Building Thinking skills, book 3 figurative

Math:  Epsilon math, then Zeta math from Math-U-See

Science:  Apologia science Zoology 2 (Swimming Creatures) with notebooking journals and experiment kit

Composition:  How to Write a Story by Evan-Moor, then Writing for 100 Days

Public Speaking:  Institute for Cultural Communicators Basic Public Speaking book
Worldview: Who am I? book and notebooking journal by Apologia
Geography Bee
Spotlight drama class (and possibly perform in a musical)
J (age 10, 5th grade):

Following “The Grammar Level:  Ten Things to Do From Ages 10-12″

Bible:   Discover 4 Yourself Inductive Bible Studies for Kids — Revelation (Bible Prophecy for Kids and A Sneak Peek into the Future)

Spelling & Grammar:   Better Spelling in 5 Minutes a Day and then Spelling Power;  Daily Grams 5 (Easy Grammar)

Latin:  First Form Latin

Music:  violin and piano lessons

Art:  ocean boxes

History:  Mystery of History volume 2 and Story of the World volume 2 (After Resurrection thru Middle Ages) with lapbooking materials from Homeschool in the Woods (New Testament) and Lilliput Station; read-alouds of historical fiction

Pre-Logic:  Logic: Building Thinking skills, book 2

Math:  Epsilon math from Math-U-See

Science:  Apologia science Zoology 2 (Swimming Creatures) with notebooking journals and experiment kit

Public Speaking:  Institute for Cultural Communicators Basic Public Speaking book for public speaking class

Worldview:  Who am I? book and notebooking journal by Apologia
Geography Bee
Spotlight drama class (and possibly perform in a musical)
M (age 8, 3rd grade):

 Reading and Handwriting, Narration:  read to self 30 minutes a day; finish reading Rod and Staff readers–Bible Nurture and Reader Series  (finish brown books and first gray book); copy work of Revelation

Arts and Crafts:  ocean boxes, sewing projects, Picture study of paintings

Music:  violin and piano lessons

Bible:   Discover 4 Yourself Inductive Bible Studies for Kids — Revelation (Bible Prophecy for Kids and A Sneak Peek into the Future)

Math:  Alpha and Beta, Math-U-See

Science:  Apologia science Zoology 2 (Swimming Creatures) with notebooking journals and experiment kit

History:  Mystery of History volume 2 and Story of the World volume 2 (After Resurrection thru Middle Ages) with lapbooking materials from Homeschool in the Woods (New Testament) and Lilliput Station; read-alouds of historical fiction

Public Speaking:  Institute for Cultural Communicators Basic Public Speaking book

Worldview:  Who am I? book and notebooking journal by Apologia
Pre-Logic:  Think a Minutes from Critical Thinking
Spotlight drama class (and possibly perform in a musical)

 

R (age 7, 2nd grade):

Reading and Handwriting, Narration:  phonics (TATRAS) and read aloud to Mom (McGuffey readers then Rod and Staff Bible Nurture and Reader Series, green books); Explode the Code (book 3 – ?);  finish printing Handwriting Without Tears books and then do various copywork.

Bible:  Mom reads aloud The Jesus Storybook Bible ( Lloyd-Jones)Roma Downey’s Little Angels Bible Storybook, and Leading Little Ones to God (Schooland)

Science:  Apologia science Zoology 2 (Swimming Creatures) with notebooking journals and experiment kit

Arts and Crafts:  ocean boxes, sewing projects, Picture study of paintings

Public Speaking:  Institute for Cultural Communicators Basic Public Speaking book

Worldview:  Who am I? book and notebooking journal by Apologia
History:  Mystery of History volume 2 and Story of the World volume 2 (After Resurrection thru Middle Ages) with lapbooking materials from Homeschool in the Woods (New Testament) and Lilliput Station; read-alouds of historical fiction
T (age 5, Kindergarten):

Reading and Handwriting, Narration:  phonics (TATRAS) and read aloud to Mom (McGuffey readers then Rod and Staff Bible Nurture and Reader Seriesgreen books); Explode the Code (book 2 – ?); Handwriting Without Tears books and then do various copywork if time

Bible:  Mom reads aloud The Jesus Storybook Bible ( Lloyd-Jones)Roma Downey’s Little Angels Bible Storybook, and Leading Little Ones to God (Schooland)

Science:  Apologia science Zoology 2 (Swimming Creatures) with notebooking journals and experiment kit

Arts and Crafts:  ocean boxes, painting, play-doh

Public Speaking:  Institute for Cultural Communicators Basic Public Speaking book

Worldview:  Who am I? book and notebooking journal by Apologia
History:  Mystery of History volume 2 and Story of the World volume 2 (After Resurrection thru Middle Ages) with lapbooking materials from Homeschool in the Woods (New Testament) and Lilliput Station; read-alouds of historical fiction
Music:  violin lessons
L (age 3, Preschool):

Reading and Handwriting, Narration:  phonics (TATRAS); Handwriting Without Tears books and do various copywork

Bible:  Mom reads aloud The Jesus Storybook Bible ( Lloyd-Jones)Roma Downey’s Little Angels Bible Storybook, and Leading Little Ones to God (Schooland)

Science:  Apologia science Zoology 2 (Swimming Creatures) with notebooking journals and experiment kit

Arts and Crafts:  ocean boxes, painting, play-doh

History:  Mystery of History volume 2 and Story of the World volume 2 (After Resurrection thru Middle Ages) with lapbooking materials from Homeschool in the Woods (New Testament) and Lilliput Station; read-alouds of historical fiction

Worldview:  Who am I? book and notebooking journal by Apologia
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How I got interested in the Classical Method for Homeschooling

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As I was considering what to write today about Classical education for a link-up, I found a post I had written in 2008.  I changed some things to reflect what we’ve done since then.   Please enjoy this “blast from the past!”

Probably the best way to start is to explain why I started homeschooling in the first place.  I started out as a public school teacher at a junior high (7th-9th grade).  It didn’t take me long to understand some of the inner workings of that system–things most parents never even think about or consider.  I was amazed at the discipline problems and how little time I was actually able to teach the kids.  Even as a strong Christian I felt strapped in how I could express my beliefs, and usually didn’t do it at all.  There was so much wasted time.  There was so much crime (we even had a full-time city police officer on campus at all times.)  I would look up at a few dedicated, sweet kids in my room and think, “It’s so sad that you are in this situation; I never want my kids to be in a place like this if there is an alternative.”

But I didn’t know of any alternative, except for private school.  I had still never heard of homeschooling.  Then I had a child transfer into my class midway through the year who had been homeschooled.  I was very skeptical about it.  And the teacher next door to me told me her daughter was homeschooled because she had severe learning disabilities.  I thought, “How can you be homeschooling her when you are teaching here all day?”  I later learned that her husband actually did shift work, so he was home with the girl during the day; she was old enough to do a lot independently, and there is so much flexibility to when you can learn (evenings and weekends).  My paradigm was beginning to shift.

After three years I couldn’t handle the junior high environment anymore and went to teach at an elementary school.  It was brand-new.  The teachers and administrators were wonderful.  I had a full-time aide in my classroom to help me at all times.  You’d think this would be the perfect situation for the sweet little kids!  But I was seeing what was wrong there, too.  The children spent SO much time standing in line in the hallway, waiting for the bathroom or P.E. or lunch.  It was such a waste. The children had to be treated as a group and taught as a group, instead of as individuals.   And there were those teachers that were screamers or so focused on the problems in their own homes they really couldn’t take care of 22 young kids at school very well.  The saddest moment for me was on the last day of school I looked around at my kindergarteners (I taught K-4th grade music and had 600 students) and realized how few of their names I knew.  If I didn’t even know their names, how could I be teaching to their needs?  I was pregnant by this time and decided to spend some serious time investigating homeschooling.

The first method I studied was about Classical Education.  I read Dorothy Sayer’s article “The Lost Tools of Learning” and was really inspired by it.  Another book that I read soon after was For the Children’s Sake by Susan Shaeffer Macaulay.


What an incredible book!  I learned so much about education and was introduced to Charlotte Mason and her wonderful ideas.  (More on her in amother post!)

I went to my first homeschool convention (Illinois Christian Home Educators, www.iche.org) when my oldest was 17 months old and my 2nd child was 6 weeks old.  I was blown away and brought my husband with me the next year.  He was blown away, too!  We’re now 100% pro-homeschooling and pray that the Lord will allow us to continue until our children graduate from high school.

One of the seminars I attended at that first homeschool convention was with the Bluedorn’s.  They said many things that really resonated with me and helped to form my philosophy of education, but one was concerning delaying formal math.  They explained that forcing the symbolic math before the child’s brain is prepared for it can really cause problems.  (They have lots of data on this at their website, www.triviumpursuit.com).  As they were talking I realized that’s what happened to me.  I never really understood math.  I could memorize all the rules and formulas and tricks in the word problems and get straight A’s.  But I never enjoyed it or really “got” it.  I took college algebra (which is like Algebra I) at 20 years old and finally understood what they were talking about!  I told people that my brain wasn’t mature enough to understand it before.  But now I think that my brain was messed up; things were being placed in the wrong places.

I want my children to really understand and enjoy math.  So I decided way back then that we would delay formal math.  That means that we do not have a math textbook or workbooks until around 4th grade.  We do very little math on paper when they’re younger  (although they do like doing some math apps on the iPad).  Most of what we do is through real-life experience:  playing games, cooking, measuring, figuring out how to divide things evenly, counting, sorting, dealing with money, looking at the calendar, etc.  As I’ve said before, I’m amazed at how much they know!  Around age 8 or 9 I start them with Math-U-See.  They go through about two books a year until 6th or 7th grade.  Then, they’re “caught up” (pre-algebra level).  I have really found this method to work well for us because I can focus on other things when they’re younger (reading and handwriting) and wait for formal math when they can grasp the concepts much quicker!

I’ll write more on the Classical education model in the weeks to come–such as learning Logic and Latin!

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Holy Spirit-Led Homeschooling

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Homeschooling Moms With Apps–Math

When I started this series on homeschooling moms with apps 3 weeks ago I had no idea an incredible new website would burst on the scene last week.  It’s called Apps for Homeschooling.  Jennifer shares reviews, codes for free apps, and insider information about sales.  It’s great!  I’ll keep writing these posts to share what we like to use, but for more comprehensive information on great apps for homeschooling, be sure to visit Apps for Homeschooling!

This week we’ll talk about math.  The iPad is a wonderful tool for practicing math facts, and there are some really neat math apps out there.  Here are the ones my kids enjoy:

Math Bingo

Rocket Math

Dot to Dot Numbers and Letters

Pizza Fractions

Factor Samurai

Pizza Sudoku

Snowman Math

And these are some math apps I’ve heard good things about but haven’t looked into personally yet:

Math Ninja

Match up Math

Pop Math lite

Math A+

iLive Math

Math Girl Number Garden (and House)

Digit z lite

Fractions app

Kids Time Fun

Trade First Subtraction

Math Magic

Park Math

 

Do you have some favorite math apps I missed?

Homeschooling Moms With Apps–Preschool

It’s time for our next installment of Homeschooling Moms With Apps! This time our focus is on Preschool. (Check out last week’s post on geography.)

As you can tell by the picture on my blog header, I have a number of preschoolers. And they all love to use the iPad! (I’m embarrassed to say that even my 14-month-old loves it!) But I want the limited time they use it to be educational, as well as fun for them. Here are some my favorites that they come back to time and again.

Teach Me Toddler

Teach Me Kindergarten

Teach Me 1st Grade

Bob Books

Lots of picture books (mostly the free versions, which are only parts of the book: Dr. Suess’s ABC, Just Me and My Mom, Green Eggs and Ham, Peter Rabbit, etc.)

Dot to Dot Numbers and Letters

Pocket Phonics Lite

Rocket Math

Math Bingo

Pizza Fractions

Montessori Approach to Geography lite

Drawing Pad

Hello Chalk

Hello Crayons

Hello Colored Pencils

Animal Fun

Learn Sharks

Sound drop lite

Aquarium lite

Creationary

Do you have some favorite Preschool Apps I missed?