CTC Math: Online Math Tutor {Review}

By 10:00 AM , ,

We've tried a few different math programs with my son over the past couple of years and we have finally found one that we are happy with.  However, with all our jumping around and different approaches each curriculum used, I have noticed that my son lacks confidence in his abilities and that is evident in how he acts when it is "math time".   With that in mind and knowing my son loves time on the computer, having the opportunity to review CTC Math, an online math tutoring program for K-Grade 12, seemed like something we definitely wanted to try.
online math tutor
We received access to the 12 Month Family Plan  for this review.  Currently homeschoolers can purchase this 12 Month Family Plan for $118.80- 60% savings off regular price.  The family plan is good for two or more students and may also be purchased monthly and/or for 6 months.  CTC Math also provides single student plans. 

Homeschool Math Curriculum 

CTC Math Review
CTC Math lessons are taught by Australian math teacher and founder, Pat Murray.  I must say, his Australian accent made for a unique learning experience for us in the US!  We used CTC Math online math lessons with my 6 year old son 4-5x's/ week; it was a wonderful addition to our existing math program.  Having access to an online math tutor all day, every day encouraged my son to go at his own pace and explore topics at his leisure. 
  • CTC Math provides 1400+ math tutorials ranging from simple addition to trigonometry.    
  • Has automated grading system
  • Includes several levels of Speed Skills drills 
  • Provides Standard and Comprehensive Tests for each topic {I personally appreciate that they are not "mandatory" to access lessons}.
  • Short lessons
  • Easy to use
  • After a topic has been completed, a Bronze, Silver, or Gold Certificate may be awarded.
Once logged in, we had unlimited access to every level of math CTC Math offers.  The "homepage" allows us to choose our Course, Stream, and Topic.  My son completed topics within the Kindergarten and 1st Grade Courses, so our experience choosing the day's tasks went like this:
Course: First Grade -----> Stream: Number, Patterns, Algebra ------> Topic: Addition -----> Adding Up to 20.
* watch short 3 minute video explaining concept
* complete 6-10 questions
The questions provide immediate feedback once an answer has been given; a green check mark for correct and red 'X' for wrong.  Once completed, you are given your percentage, able to review the solutions and print them out, and have an option to try more questions.   
Because I used this in addition to our current math program, I chose topics with no particular rhyme or reason.  So my son dabbled in a variety of math topics in K- Grade 2 Courses.  My main concern is for my son to understand and be confident in his math skills; we are still working on that, however, I can tell CTC Math has been a huge confidence booster for him!  He was so proud to have received a Bronze Award in Multiplication.  And, the day he beat his score AND got every answer right on the speed drills he came "flying" into the room, jumping around and yelled, "I got 28!!!"  Needless to say, he was pretty thrilled. 
Another feature, CTC Math offers is receiving weekly reports via email.  They were a nice addition to the subscription, but not necessary as it lacks details such as what was missed.  It tells when your child logged in, percentage scores, and overall performance.  I believe that math is a subject that needs to be taught, but because this was more of a supplement, reinforcing material we most likely have already covered, I was not always right at his side when he completed his lesson.  With that said, my son didn't always tell me when he was finished and would close out the program, so other than relying on his weighted score (which is an average of first three attempts), I have no real concrete way of knowing if he understood the material or why certain mistakes were made.  I would appreciate having some way to access the lesson summary and/or view the problems that were answered incorrectly to help my son understand why this is the answer, not that
A few other small "issues" we came across were:
  •  cultural, i.e. asked to "compare "cricket ball" to one metre".  My son doesn't have a clue what cricketball is! 
  • The questions within the lessons were not spoken, so for a beginning reader, someone would have to be nearby to help read the questions, which I think kind of negates the "tutor" element of the program.  My son did fairly well reading given the context of the first few questions, though.
  • The images for coins and dollars used to teach Money were very difficult to be read clearly, the images were too little and not very clear.
  • Approach to learn addition; in 1st Grade addition it relies heavily on counting your fingers to add numbers together.  That is how I learned it, but nowadays, there are several other approaches and counting your fingers seems to be frowned upon.  
  • There isn't a way to assign topics, which would be a nice addition to the program.
  • A personal preference, but I would like to know about the founder, Pat Murray and his credentials in some type of "About" page explaining how CTC Math was formed, etc.
  Overall, I have been very pleased with this online math program.  I loved that it was easy to use and naviagate so that my son could do it on his own.  During the past several weeks, my son would sometimes even get on all by himself!  Choosing to do math on his own free time?!  Well, sure!!  We also very much appreciated that he could do any topic he chose- no "unlocking" sections or "show what you know" quizzes.  It was simple and to the point-- exactly how math should be!  I definitely see value in having my son continue to use CTC Math as a supplement to his current program and we will continue to use it beyond this review period.  I've seen my son's confidence blossom since using CTC Math and I am so very grateful! 
Want to know what others thought?  Check out what other reviewers said....
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