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Online Math Curriculum for the Whole Family | a CTCMath Review

Online Math Curriculum for the Whole Family | a CTCMath Review

Have you been wondering about using an online math curriculum in your homeschool? We’ve been using the same textbook-based math program since we started homeschooling six years ago, so our entire family was excited to try something fresh and different.

I received a free trial of this product and was compensated for my time writing the review, but all opinions are my own!

I’ll be honest — I never expected to use an online math curriculum with our kids, but CTCMath has been a lifesaver for our family this year. Every spring, when the lessons in the math book get harder, teaching math becomes a headache for all of us. I’m raising a natural perfectionist, who wants everything to come easily … and even though we consistently work on our growth mindset and positive language, math is a bit of a trigger for her.

This year, we hit the frustration wall later than usual, and I give a large part of the credit to CTCMath. Both girls have been enjoying their daily practice on the iPad, which we have added to our traditional math lessons (textbooks, worksheets, and pencils) over the past two months.

Online Math Curriculum: Fun for the Whole Family

Why choose an online math curriculum?

Even though the myth persists that homeschoolers are unsocialized, we know how busy our kids are! The benefit of an online math curriculum is that our math lessons can go anywhere we go — without having to lug around a big textbook. Over the past two months, we’ve been able to log in to CTCMath at the library, in the car, and at Grandma’s house. Our softball season starts next week, and I am thrilled that we can get our math done during the 25-minute commute.

Overview of CTCMath

CTCMath is a web-based program, which allows our children to login from our home computer or use the iPad when we’re on the go.

Setting up a family account took hardly anytime at all, and my girls really enjoyed creating their own usernames and passwords. As the teacher/parent, I can login at any time to see my kids’ history and assign specific lessons for them to complete.

When a student logs in to CTCMath, they can complete assigned tasks or work on lessons of their own choosing. There are also a few simple games to practice problem-solving and math facts.

Each lesson has a short video that explains the new concept and demonstrates with a few different examples before giving a child a set of practice problems. The program gives instant feedback, letting a child see if they got the problem correct before moving onto the next one.

There is also a spiral-based review each week that covers a variety of skills and concepts with 20-25 problems. Since we jumped into the program in the middle of the year, there have been a few times I’ve had to quickly teach a concept in the weekly review, but that’s not been an issue at all.

Benefits of CTCMath

I’m rather old-fashioned when it comes to screen time for my kids, so the novelty of getting to “do math” on the computer or iPad is very enticing for both of them. The interface is easy to use, the instructions are very clear, and we have all seen clear progress from Day 1.

My favorite thing about CTCMath is that every child has access to the entire program, which means that each of my girls can work at their own pace. We can go back and review prior lessons or move ahead to the next grade level whenever they are ready.

Typically, we do math together, but children can also complete lessons independently. My husband even enjoys taking over CTCMath time on the days he’s home — and the four of us often end up on the couch together working through some of the trickier problem-solving lessons in the 5th grade section. Sometimes we “race” each other to find the answer first or work in teams so that our younger child can participate, too. Honestly, math has never been so much fun!

As we begin to think about purchasing curriculum for next school year, we’ll definitely be including the 12 Month Family Membership from CTCMath in our plans!

Note: Homeschooling families receive a massive 60% discount from regular price. Purchase any 12 Month Membership and receive a bonus 6 months for FREE! (total 18 months).

We all know how hard it is to switch curriculum sight unseen, so CTCMath offers a free trial for new families! You can also enter this giveaway for a 12 Month Membership.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have you considered using an online math curriculum? Let me know your thoughts in the comment below!

Online Math Curriculum Benefits

Earth Day Activities and Books for Kids

Earth Day Activities and Books for Kids

Spring is here! What a fun time to teach our children about science in a creative, hands-on way. Whether you go on a nature walk, pick up trash at a local park, or start a garden, children can learn to care for the environment with these fun Earth Day activities and books!

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Click here to join our Resource Library, filled with FREE hands-on learning activities and parenting resources!


Simple Earth Day Activities for Kids

Simple Earth Day Activities for Kids

(Just a reminder that Rolling Prairie Readers uses affiliate links, at no additional cost to you. You can read our full disclosure policy here.)

  • We celebrate the beginning of spring with weekly walks around our neighborhood. We look for budding trees, nesting birds, and the arrival of daffodils and tulips in neighbors’ yards. This year, we’ll be starting a family nature journal to document all the changes we see.
  • We’ll also be working in our vegetable garden in our yard. We have a raised garden bed on our back deck, right off the kitchen, which makes it easy for the kids to prune and harvest each day.
  • Visiting the botanical gardens every year is a fun family field trip to celebrate the changes that spring brings!
  • Now that the snow is melting, our family is excited to get back to geocaching, one of our favorite ways to explore nature near and far. We use the Geocaching app to find hidden treasures wherever our travels take us: from the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail Headquarters and Visitor Center in Omaha, Nebraska to Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin to Lighthouse Ann Arbor Park in Menominee, Michigan!
  • This year, we’ll also be watching our Extraordinary Earth DVD from Rachel and the Treeschoolers. You can watch a clip of it below:

 


Earth Day Busy Box

Our Earth Day busy box is filled with green and blue toys found around the house! You can watch the video to see what I included or scroll down for a full list:

 


Earth Day books for kids

9 Earth Day Books for Kids

Picking up seasonal books from the library and placing them in a basket by the couch is another fun way to introduce a holiday like Earth Day to your kids! Here are some that we found at our library:

  • Earth Day by Emma Carlson Berne

  • Earth Day by Clara Cella

  • We are Extremely Very Good Recyclers by Lauren Child

  • The Adventures of a Plastic Bottle : A Story about Recycling by Alison Inches

  • Our House is Round by Yolanda Kondonassis

  • Katie Saves the Earth by Fran Manushkin

  • Why Should I Recycle? by Susan Meredith

  • Earth Day – Hooray! by Stuart J. Murphy

  • The Lorax by Dr. Seuss

Click here to see more of our favorite spring books for kids.


Earth Day Family Activity Guide

Want even more Earth Day activities for kids?

Check out our Earth Day Family Activity Guide, now available in The Play School Club!

17 Weather Books for Kids

17 Weather Books for Kids

Over the last week, we have seen practically every kind of weather: snow, ice, rain, thunderstorms, and even fog! The girls and I have enjoyed exploring the changes happening outside as the snow thaws and reveals a huge, muddy mess waiting in our yard. To deal with the rainy days, we’ve stopped by the library to grab some weather books for kids. Along with books from our own collection, my children have been reading about types of weather throughout the four seasons and making a list of experiments to try over the weekend.

Adding a stack of books next to the couch can make learning about any subject more fun. Some homeschooling families call this strategy “strewing,” and it’s worked well for us since the girls were toddlers! I like to make sure to include a variety of books, including fiction and non-fiction to interest both of my kids.

17 Fun Weather Books for Kids

17 Weather Books for Kids

(Reminder: Rolling Prairie Readers uses affiliate links at no additional cost to you. You can see our full disclosure policy here.)

Being Safe With Weather by Susan Kesselring

Clouds by Anne Rockwell

Clouds by Marion Dane Bauer

Flash, Crash, Rumble, and Roll by Franklyn M. Branley

Kipper’s Book of Weather by Mick Inkpen (board book)

Let’s Investigate with Nate: The Water Cycle by Nate Ball

Little Cloud by Eric Carle

On the Same Day in March by Marilyn Singer

Precipitation by Frances Purslow

Rain by Marion Dane Bauer

Rainbows (Science Matters)

Rain Feet by Angela Johnson

The Cloud Book by Tomie de Paola

Thundercake by Patricia Polacco

Weather Poems for All Seasons selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins

Weird But True Facts About Weather by Lauren Coss

What Will the Weather Be? by Lynda DeWitt


Weather Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers

We like to start any new unit of study with books. If you’re looking for hands-on ideas for your preschool and Kindergarten kids, be sure to check out our 40 fun learning activities all about weather, available here


What are your favorite weather books for kids?

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17 Fun Books All About Weather