Over the past year my two children have been using Maths Online Home Membership as their main math curriculum. If you’re in the United States you may be familiar with this company under the name CTC Math (which my children had been using for the previous two years – you can see our reviews here and here). Maths Online is as it says: math online.
Maths Online has lessons for children from Kindergarten to Year 11 and 12 Advanced and Extension. Right from the basics of the Numbers 1 to 5 up to binomial theorem and everything in between, you’ll find a lesson for it. Available twenty-four hours a day and accessible on a variety of devices, it’s easy for children to learn math anytime.
Maths Online is easy to set up; simply type in your children’s name and password and they’re good to go. This particular program is aligned with the Australia curriculum, but it is easily used in other countries (we’re in the UK but generally use more of a North American approach).
Children can have the freedom to work on any topic and work their way through their year. Alternatively, parents can set their children tasks/lessons to do. Tasks can be set for a particular day or range of days and there’s also a choice of having the tasks marked as complete either when the child has attempted to answer all of the questions regardless of the final score, or when they’ve answered all of the questions and reached their pass grade. You can set each child’s pass grade as you see fit. You can also automatically set up weekly revision tasks to follow the Australian school year. Once the deadline for the tasks has been reached, you’ll receive an email detailing each of the tasks completed, the date of completion and their final result.
Weekly email reports are also available that show each time a child has logged in and what they have done, as well as how well each child has done. This is a good way for parents to stay in the loop with more self-directed learners and to keep children on-track when they know their parents will be receiving these reports.
Each task usually takes about 10-15 minutes, depending on the time each child takes to answer the questions that follow the instructional video for each lesson. The videos can be paused, reversed, and played as many times as a child needs (or not played at all if they’re confident they know the topic).
There are generally about ten questions that follow each video, using a combination of text and visual references. Once the worksheet questions have been answered your child will receive immediate feedback on which answers were correct and which were not. If an answer was incorrect they can see the process of how to reach the correct answer so that they can see where they’ve gone wrong and keep it in mind for their next attempt.
Children are able to access all lessons so that they can go back a year and review a concept if they are having difficulty. Likewise, they are also able to work ahead in any topic if they feel ready to do so. This can give children confidence by working at a pace that is comfortable for them, and is one of the wonderful things about homeschooling; there isn’t the pressure to work at the same speed as every other student doing the same thing at the same time.
I have my children set up with a passing grade of 90%; however with Maths Online they want to do better. They receive printable certificates for reaching silver, gold, and platinum (one hundred percent) levels of understanding. However, my children want to get those platinum certificates so they go back into lessons on their own time if they need to increase their average score to reach that one hundred percent. Self-motivation is a wonderful thing!
Maths Online also has a couple of fun non-lesson features for kids to use. Speed Skills will help children become faster at their basic skills of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Children compete against themselves to achieve personal best scores by answering as many questions correctly within a minute.
Times Tables Shoot ‘Em Up reminds me of an old Commodore Vic 20 game I played as a child. Choose the times table you want to improve, and have fun shooting the answer out of the sky in the form of a space ship. For children who don’t want to do multiplication drills, this is a more exciting way to practice them.
Maths Online has become a part of our everyday routine, and the familiar sound of Pat Murray’s Australian voice each morning in our front room is like having a neighbour over while I drink a cup of tea.
Whether you use this as a complete curriculum or to focus on a few skills that need improvement, I’m sure you’ll find Maths Online a helpful resource in your homeschool.
This review was first published in The Old Schoolhouse * Magazine, LLC, October, 2016