Homeschool Creations

Monday, June 7, 2010

Our New Math Curriculum ~ Teaching Textbooks

In a few weeks I’ll be sharing our full curriculum line-up for the 2010-2011 school year. I had mentioned a little bit ago that we were already switching over our math curriculum for both of the girls and they will be continuing with the new program through the summer and then next year.

What did we switch to? Teaching Textbooks.

Are we liking it? Absolutely yes…but this is going to be a lengthy post. :)

We’ve used Abeka since we started homeschooling {and for now Zachary will continue to use it} but during the second half of our school year Laurianna’s frustration was mounting with math ~ and there were many days that resulted in tears for her. In doing the {numerous} reviews for math products this last year, we found one thing that seemed to help her and make it easier ~ the computer.

If I put a worksheet in front of her with 20 problems, she would start, redo, recheck and take f.o.r.e.v.e.r. to complete even five problems. Give her 20 similar problems on the computer and she would answer them in very little time, many times figuring the answer in her head ~ and correctly. Math problems that would have taken her five minutes apiece if done using the worksheet.

The difference? Generally with the computer she is getting instant feedback and won’t sit there second-guessing her answers. If she gets one wrong on the computer, she just moves on without a fuss.

We tried several sample lessons of Teaching Textbooks online, took a few placement test and decided to order Math level 4 for her, even though she is closer to the level 5. Abeka was a little more advanced concept-wise, but truthfully the endless worksheets were killing us.

Our goal was to start her on Math level 4 at the end of the year and have her work on a few lessons each week so she would gain confidence in herself and her math skills {because she is smart, she just doesn’t think she is no matter how much encouragement she receives from us}. Essentially, she is reviewing concepts right now, but we’ll move her into level 5 somewhere in the middle of our school year.

Coughing up roughly $100 for the program was a little difficult ~ but we are loving it enough that we ordered {and are waiting for} the Math 3 Kit for McKenna to use. We also only ordered the cd-roms and not the workbooks to go along with the cds at this point, since they can do any problems on scratch paper at this point. {Note: We ordered our Teaching Textbooks through CBD for the same price that the TT website offers so that a friend could get the affiliate commission from our purchase}.

With Teaching Textbooks, basically you watch the lesson, do the problems and then review any of the problems that you missed or need help on. Each lesson has a guided lecture, Q/A time and it self-corrects. When Laurianna is done with her lesson, I’m able to print off her scores to put into our record book, along with any quiz scores {love this!!}. The parent section of the software allows me to have her repeat a lesson if needed, change answers and also shows me specifically where/if she needs help.

Even though the program is a bit more pricey, it can be used again from year-to-year with the rest of our children {making it $25/child for us}, includes a passcode for 2 computers {you can call if more are needed} and it can also be resold {hooray!!}.

The biggest question is ~ does Laurianna like it and is it actually working for her? She actually asks to do her math lessons now, so that should give you some indication of how it is going at our house.

That and McKenna is upset that her program hasn’t arrived yet.

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25 Comments:

  • We also just started TT. My daughter is doing 3rd. She loves it, but I'm trying to decide if we should just skip ahead a bit. They don't do multiplication until around lesson 50 and she had already started that in her Saxon. I'm thinking of just skipping her ahead b/c the first 50 lessons are really just review for her. We like it though!

    By Blogger Shannon C, At June 7, 2010 at 7:10 AM  

  • We just started it as well. My two who hate Math love it. I didn't know you could only order the CD's, we ordered through Timberdoodle, and they have a kit. Ours were 119.90 for 5th, and 149.90 for 7th. I don't know if we will ever use the books, even though I read you are supposed to read the lesson over, we haven't yet. I have not found a program I am happy with for 1st and 2nd. We just tried Miqoun last week, and all hated it. An order was just place for Horizons. (Fingers crossed!)

    By Blogger Samantha, At June 7, 2010 at 8:36 AM  

  • I too am switching to TT. I have not purchased the CD's yet but bought the 4th grade workbook really cheap at our homeschool booksale. I have a question though, several other moms told me that TT was about a year behind gradewise...is this the case? My son will be in 3rd grade and we have done MUS. I was going to order the 4th grade but wanted to make for certain that was what I needed. Have any of you who have used it found this to be true? Thanks so much.

    By Blogger Lisa, At June 7, 2010 at 9:04 AM  

  • It is definitely 'behind' where we were with Abeka, but we're using that to our 'review' advantage. That's the main reason why the girls will be doing it over the summer. Laurianna has been doing 1-2 lessons a day right now since it's mainly review. She just finished Abeka 3 math and she passed the TT level 5 test...but there were concepts in the TT level 4 that she hadn't covered yet, so that's why we're still doing it. She should be finished up late fall with level 4 and I'll just move her into level 5 as soon as she's done.

    By Blogger Jolanthe, At June 7, 2010 at 9:10 AM  

  • We love Teaching Textbooks here too. It's saved the daily math fight.

    By Blogger Cara, At June 7, 2010 at 9:24 AM  

  • It sounds like TT is offering new methods (ie computer based) since I used it in my classroom. I taught pre-algebra and algebra. I had tried many curriculums to address the many different levels in my class and I LOVED TT!!

    By Blogger The Mom I Want To Be, At June 7, 2010 at 9:39 AM  

  • I am pleased to hear that all of you are so pleased with Teaching Textbooks! We will be using in for the 2010-11 Academic year, as well. I am excited and now you all have made me down-right ecstatic! lol! Thanks for sharing!

    By Blogger Mark & Heather Mac, At June 7, 2010 at 11:18 AM  

  • We have used TT for a year. My oldest finished up third grade, but we did do the level 4 in TT. He did just fine with it. It is a year behind public school, but really just depends on where your child is academically. Just like any other curriculum, we hit our limit with math the last couple of weeks. He was just wanting to be done with it. We just did the CD's the whole year, but for some reason my son wanted to do the workbook the last couple of weeks. He is not a worksheet kind of kid. It worked for him to finish up. Don't know why. Otherwise, I liked it, especially the bonus rounds. We would do it together.

    By Anonymous Fenfer3, At June 7, 2010 at 11:42 AM  

  • We LOVE Teaching Textbooks! Great choice! @Janet...it is worth the price! I recommend you just get the CDs and save a little bit of money. We never even opened the book the entire year.

    By Blogger Laura, At June 7, 2010 at 1:52 PM  

  • I have been looking at this next year for my daughter who will be in 5th grade. Math has been draining me as a teacher. Thanks for the encouragement Jolanthe! I am really leaning in this direction!

    Happy Summer,
    Stacey

    By Blogger Stacey, At June 7, 2010 at 2:14 PM  

  • Great choice! We LOVE TT here at our house too! For my boys that have "struggles", we found that a dry erase board was even better than scrap paper.

    By Blogger Susan, At June 7, 2010 at 5:16 PM  

  • We're in the process of switching from Math U See to TT for at least my eldest son. He's struggled with math and was hanging out for up to 2 years per level for MUS. We were blessed with a set of CDs for Math 7 that he's working through right now and I picked up a set for pre-Algebra used. I'm just trying to decide if the younger boys would benefit from TT. They all love working on the computer, but I also own the MUS books for them.

    As for workbook versus no workbook....for my eldest son I *wish* we had the Math 7 workbook. He's notorious for working too fast leading to mistakes. Once you enter in the answer, you can't go re-do the problem. When he starts pre-algebra it won't be an issue as the comuter doesn't automatically grade for you. But, it would be nice to have the problems in print for those times he has to go back and rework them.

    By Blogger Laura O, At June 7, 2010 at 10:19 PM  

  • I had planned on ordering TT today anyway, so then after reading your review, I went ahead and got two levels of it through your affiliate. :)

    I have to admit, I am a little bit nervous about it being on the easy side. We have been doing Horizons, and so the boys are using a level below their grade level. (When we began homeschooling after they were in public school, that was where they both placed at, although I heard that is common to be a grade level below.) When we did the placement tests for TT, they ended up testing at grade level then.

    By Blogger Angie @ Many Little Blessings, At June 7, 2010 at 10:23 PM  

  • My son loves the computer and is good at math so the logical choice was TT. I was delighted when I saw they had 3rd grade TT. He is quickly working through next year's work already...we might even have to order grade 4 TT before the middle of grade 3!

    By Blogger Alli Miles, At June 8, 2010 at 2:40 AM  

  • Thank you so much for this review. We are doing a modified version of Saxon Math again this upcoming year for 2nd grade, but I am very excited about this for 3rd grade. I went on and did the trial lesson and I know it will be perfect for us. Thanks again!

    By Anonymous Melissa, At June 8, 2010 at 11:22 AM  

  • I'm glad that you found what you needed. It is such a blessing to be able to be able to switch programs until you find what works.

    Our third program was the winner. We started with Saxon in K. We both hated the repetition. Next was Singapore, which was good. We both liked it well enough. Then I heard about MUS and I was intrigued. We were both hooked on the demo dvd alone. It's been, relatively, smooth sailing ever since.

    You know you've found the right program when you're no longer tempted by everything else out there. LOL

    By Blogger Giggly Girls, At June 8, 2010 at 12:28 PM  

  • Jordan LOVES LOVES LOVE it! She is already up to lesson 30 in just two weeks. She will be done 3 by the end of July and then in September she will begin level 4. Lilly will also be using it this year.

    Lexi did Geometry last year with TT and then this year Algebra II and for a girl who hates math - she LOVES TT!

    Hugs and love - Jill
    PS Letters are on the way!

    By Blogger Mom to 9 Blessings!, At June 8, 2010 at 10:53 PM  

  • I too am switching Hanna to TT. I ordered it a week or so ago and we'll begin it week after next when she's completed her Life of Fred. Loved Life of Fred, but TT was our first choice and we should have gone with it from the start. Hoping it works as well as my expectations are for it!

    By Blogger My Family My Forever, At June 12, 2010 at 11:47 PM  

  • We are using our living math (fly by the seat of our pants) mix that currently includes Life of Fred. But I bought TT too. I have Singapore on the shelf as well. Math is one of those areas I feel insufficient in, so I compensate with lots of curriculum, I guess. We'll see.
    I find that variety works really well with my Sprite, so having different formats can help.

    By Blogger Jimmie, At June 15, 2010 at 10:31 PM  

  • Thanks to your review and dozens others I've read, I'm strongly considering getting this program for my son. He's exactly like how you described your daughter before you got her TT. He doesn't like math at all, but he loves working on the computer, so this seems like the answer. It's the price that's scary, but I'll do it if I can manage to get the extra money. Are you absolutely certain I won't need the workbook? I'd dearly love to purchase this as cheaply as possible.

    By Blogger Debbie, At June 19, 2010 at 3:15 PM  

  • This looks awesome! Just checked out the site and sample lessons. I think my boy will be a little young. I am looking for a math curriculum choice for kindergartners. Any suggestions, or anything you've used that you like for that age? Thanks!

    By Blogger The Hatch Family, At September 7, 2010 at 6:12 PM  

  • I'm glad that you found what you needed. It is such a blessing to be able to be able to switch programs until you find what works.

    Our third program was the winner. We started with Saxon in K. We both hated the repetition. Next was Singapore, which was good. We both liked it well enough. Then I heard about MUS and I was intrigued. We were both hooked on the demo dvd alone. It's been, relatively, smooth sailing ever since.

    You know you've found the right program when you're no longer tempted by everything else out there. LOL

    By Anonymous Giggly Girls, At December 15, 2010 at 1:02 PM  

  • My son loves the computer and is good at math so the logical choice was TT. I was delighted when I saw they had 3rd grade TT. He is quickly working through next year's work already...we might even have to order grade 4 TT before the middle of grade 3!

    By Anonymous Alli Miles, At December 15, 2010 at 1:02 PM  

  • We have used TT for a year. My oldest finished up third grade, but we did do the level 4 in TT. He did just fine with it. It is a year behind public school, but really just depends on where your child is academically. Just like any other curriculum, we hit our limit with math the last couple of weeks. He was just wanting to be done with it. We just did the CD's the whole year, but for some reason my son wanted to do the workbook the last couple of weeks. He is not a worksheet kind of kid. It worked for him to finish up. Don't know why. Otherwise, I liked it, especially the bonus rounds. We would do it together.

    By Anonymous Fenfer3, At December 15, 2010 at 1:02 PM  

  • It is definitely 'behind' where we were with Abeka, but we're using that to our 'review' advantage. That's the main reason why the girls will be doing it over the summer. Laurianna has been doing 1-2 lessons a day right now since it's mainly review. She just finished Abeka 3 math and she passed the TT level 5 test...but there were concepts in the TT level 4 that she hadn't covered yet, so that's why we're still doing it. She should be finished up late fall with level 4 and I'll just move her into level 5 as soon as she's done.

    By Anonymous Jolanthe, At December 15, 2010 at 1:02 PM  

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