Teaching Textbooks: Math can be your friend too!
Math is the one subject that can make my children cry in my house! To tell the truth it is the subject that I least enjoy teaching. When one of my sons started having trouble in math I started shopping around for a new math program. I was looking for a program that I can stick with all the way through high school. My son was using a great math program but I was finding it was adding too many new concepts too soon which caused much frustration with many of his lessons. In addition, my son was not retaining all the new concepts he was learning. After much consideration I switched my son to Teaching Textbooks for sixth grade. I can say with much delight that math has become our friend for the first time in our home.
What is Teaching Textbooks? It is a math program developed specifically for homeschoolers. It uses the computer and textbook together. Teaching Textbooks have math programs starting at 4th grade level up to pre-calculus.
What is a typical lesson like? Your child will sit at the computer and put in a Teaching Textbooks CD-rom that goes with their program. Once the program is up, your child will click on the lesson for that day. A lecture will then start to teach the child the new concepts for that day. Your child will be able to practice throughout the lecture the new concepts he is learning. After the lecture, which is generally no more than 5 minutes, your child will be given practice problems before he starts his lesson. Your child will work out the problems on paper or in his textbook. Once your child has a problem worked out, he types in his answer on the computer. If your child gets the answer wrong, the program will tell the child the answer is wrong. They can choose to try again or see the solution to the problem. If your child gets it wrong three times the program will give the correct answer and will ask him if wants to see the solution. The child can choose to watch the solution or skip to the next problem. At the end of the lesson the child will be given a grade for the lesson he has completed. We have found that our lessons are taking 30-45 minutes each day (with no tears). After a child completes a chapter he is given a quiz. The quiz is set-up much the same way as a daily lesson. If a child gets an answer wrong on the quiz he is given another chance to get it right. After the quiz is completed your child receives a grade.
The computer component of the program: All of the lessons have a lecture that is done on the screen in a simple easy to follow format. Each problem is on the computer CD and the text. The purpose of this is two-fold; the child can work out his problems in the textbook, then enter his answers into the computer for the automated grade-book; secondly, if your computer breaks down you have the option to use the textbook for your lesson. So far we have not written in our textbooks. My children work out their problems on paper and then enter their answers into the computer. With grades 4th-7th there is the automated grade-book. When a child completes his lesson he receives a grade for that lesson. You can look at the grade-book and see what problems the child got wrong and if he viewed the solutions to the problems. Each problem has a solution that a child can choose to view if needed. Each of the solutions are given in clear concise steps. The grade-book will also show how many tries it took a child to get an answer correct. This is very helpful to you as the teacher. It really gives you a clear picture of how well they are mastering their lessons. Quizzes are given in the same format as a lesson. When a child reaches 8th grade the automated grade-book is not available. Eighth grade and up are able to view the lectures for each of their lessons and solutions for any problem a child needs help with.
The pros of the program: This is a great program for a child who is not naturally math minded. The lectures are done with simple explanations. Concepts are taught in a thorough and concise manner that does not leave the child dizzy with too much new information. It allows the child to be independent with their math program. It is taught in an incremental manner. New concepts are introduced each day but the child continues to review each day from previous lessons. There is plenty of review throughout each of the lessons. The lectures have clear explanations of new concepts. My favorite part of the program is the automated grade book. It is a great tool to use.
The cons of the program: You need to have a computer to view any of the solutions. You could manage to do a lesson without the computer but if you do not understand how to work out a problem then you will not to be able to view the solution. The program does come with an answer key for each of the lessons. If you have a child that is strong in math you may find you will need to move up a grade a level. The programs cost between $119 and $184 but the program can be used for more than one student.
Teaching Textbooks is an exceptional math program that was created just for homeschoolers. I highly recommend this program especially for any child who struggles in math. If you would like more information you can visit Teaching Textbook’s website. On their website they have many samples of each grade level. The website has free placement tests if you are unsure what grade level to place your child in.
Written by Korey