Math isn’t everyone’s first love in our house
My son is pretty good at math, but a love for math is definitely not there. If he works really hard at it he can “get it.” However, it’s difficult and so much effort for him to grasp it. And if yours are like mine, you know all about mental fatigue in your homeschool!
Obviously, this can happen with any subject, but in our homeschool, math is the biggest issue, followed by writing. When people email me, these two seem to be the biggest issues for them as well. I guess most of us are a bunch of right-brained, art loving, history buffs who also love science! 😉
Too bad we all need some kind of math and writing skills right? It’s like the foundation of learning… This set me on a journey to try all kinds of methods and styles to see what might work for my son.
After using Teaching Textbooks with my oldest, they provided me with a second membership for my younger son in exchange for this honest review, and giveaway, of how it’s working out for our whole family of learners. All opinions are my own.
Choosing a math curriculum that fits our lifestyle
I’ve tried all kinds of worksheets from all kinds of places, and they have definitely not been the answer. Far from it. I considered trying programs with manipulatives but…
To be honest, I’m not even gonna go there. They may be exactly what some families need (so praise God they’re there!) but they’re not for us.
Why? First, there is the cost. I get that it’s an investment and if it makes it math easier it’s worth it. You don’t have to sell me on that part; I totally get that concept and I’m with you. Here’s the thing, the second reason it’s not for me, my kids like to play with anything that resembles a block or shape of any sort along with their Legos. I’m absolutely certain these expensive little manipulative will be sneaked into and lost all over the house. It’s just not going to be a good fit for us. Despite whether or not it fits their learning style, if we can’t find them, we can’t use them.
So I was looking at online options coming up to this year because we were starting to have legitimate meltdowns with my oldest because of math anxiety. The last several months of our last school year was a nightmare for everybody. I surely needed a new curriculum to fit our family’s needs.
If you’d like to see a video demo of some of these features, make sure you scroll to the bottom!
Why I chose Teaching Textbooks as our math curriculum
In this review, I want to share the reasons why I chose Teaching Textbooks and how it’s working out for our family, now that we’ve been using it for a couple of months.
What I loved about Teaching Textbooks right off the bat was that their trial was robust. We didn’t just have just a few sample problems and then a gamble on whether it would work out. Their trial gives you access to the first 15 lessons, without a time limit, and there is no credit card required.
Both of my boys responded really well to their trials and seemed eager to do more. They really loved the funny, encouraging animations (which you can also turn off if they become distracting). If you have any trial questions, be sure to check here.
Figuring out which level to choose
I liked that they had a placement test for every level, so I could feel confident about the level that I purchased for my sons. There’s also great customer service, even in this aspect. I wrote in to ask about what I should do if a child passed with flying colors in one section of the placement test, and fell just short in another. I received a prompt and helpful email, putting my mind at ease.
Teaching Textbooks is a portable math curriculum
We travel a lot.
Nowhere exotic, but as a military family, we’re constantly visiting somebody somewhere through the year, and that means a lot of time the car. We also homeschool year-round, so our family vacations usually include a little bit of school as well. I love that we can now use teaching textbooks on our iPads. I’ll have one less set of worksheets or books to bring with us!
I can just throw the iPads into Guided Access, link them to my phone, and they can use Teaching Textbooks as we drive.
But it doesn’t have to stay online
I like that there’s still an option to print out pages and answer keys. There’s a lot of flexibility over how you can get things done. If you want to take a technology break for a week, it’s no problem. Simply print out the worksheets and answer keys.
If you’re traveling and don’t have an iPad, or can’t use one (think camping), you can just print out some pages.
If they need extra review or practice with a lesson, pages it is! You aren’t locked in to online only.
And if you need a Longer break
You can put your subscription on pause if you need to take a break. You know those times that life just really hits the fan? For us, this could be the weeks leading up to deployment. We take a LOT of time off with dad before he leaves. You can easily pause it from your parent’s dashboard!
Hints and second chances
I love that Teaching Textbooks gives us an option to have hints and a second chance feature. Worksheets can’t give hints. My son definitely needs this to avoid frustration and to find success so he can be motivated to keep going. Which brings me to another great feature that they have, and you may strongly consider using daily – the parent’s dashboard to review lessons.
In the parent’s dashboard, you can turn off the hints and second chances. You can look at the score for their lesson as well as see whether or not they used any hints or second chances.
So the way that we make everything work in our house: as soon as my son is done with his lesson, I go to my dashboard and review how he did. If he gets below a certain score, then we look at how many times he viewed hints, solutions, or second tries. If it looks as though he was phoning it in, we go through, problem by problem (of those missed) in the paper version. This motivates him to not just rely on hints and to also take his second chances rather than just clicking through and saying he doesn’t want to try again.
We’ve been using teaching textbooks for couple months now, and it’s been working out great. Funny thing is, my son used to do math last each day. He pushed it off as long as he possibly could. Now he always asks if he can start with that first! It’s been a Godsend and a huge help. There’s minor whining when he has sections of math he hates, but we are meltdown free now!
Then my other son, who’s actually quite good at math, he ’s been enjoying it so much that he’s been doing multiple lessons in a day! I’ve been having to cut him off. 😂
You’ll also be glad to hear that they have an amazing large family discount, so you can afford it easily at whatever size family you may be.
Teaching Textbooks has generously offered a single subscription to one of my amazing readers and I’m so excited to announce a winner soon!
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