Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew
I'm always super excited when I get to try out a product that I've actually had my eye on but was hesitant to actually invest in, unsure how it would work with my family. Teaching Textbooks is one of those products. We have considered using it in the past, even before it started having a web based subscription option and was limited to the purchase of the courses on computer CDs, but didn't pull the plug because we already had various different options that we could use already. When we were given the option to review Teaching Textbooks Math 4.0 with both kids, I knew it was something I wanted to try out.
For this review, we were offered one grade level for the new Teaching Textbooks 4.0 online course. We elected to choose the Grade 6 level for both Garrett and Ashleigh to use in our home for the last few weeks.
Teaching Textbooks is a comprehensive math program, written specifically for homeschoolers, and contains automated grading with a digital grade book, step-by-step audiovisual solutions for every one of the thousands of assigned problems, interactive lectures for each lesson, and more. It offers complete teaching, as well as explanations to every solution of every problem, and automated grading. Grades offered are 3rd Grade thru Pre-Calculus with an available placement test to find out what grade is right for your student. It is recommended that students use the program 4-5 days a week.
The digital program offers access to the course for 12 months (however, lifetime access is given to the gradebook) . In addition, there are 3 months of pause time to be used for things like vacation and breaks, when families plan to not access their courses. The pause time is set on the parental side of the account and can be used in increments of at least 7 days. The pause time does not count against the 12 months of access.
For the review period, we used Teaching Textbooks daily, five days a week as our primary math curriculum with both Ashleigh and Garrett. Both kids have been working thru the 6th Grade level but each have their own account, password and grade book. Grade 6 starts with whole numbers, moves on to addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, decimals, ratios, mixed numbers, simply geometry equations, and more.
Each day, the kids log into their account and complete their next lesson. Upon entering their password, the application opens directly to the student's dashboard. From the dashboard, the student can work on their lessons, view their gradebook, view the Ebook version of the lessons, and customize their learning experience.
Each lesson follows the same format: students are introduced to the mathematical concept for that lesson. The teaching lessons themselves are fairly short, between 5 to 10 minutes in length. After the lesson, students move on to practice questions followed by the actual assignment. The assignment following each lesson is typically 22 questions consisting of a mix of both the material just learned as well as review material from previous lessons.
Immediate feedback is given as the student answers the question. Parents can selection in the parent's dashboard whether or not the student can reattempt the problems that they get wrong. For us, I allowed this option so that the kids could try the question again when they got them wrong. After a 2nd attempt at getting the question incorrect, the application then provides an explanation as to how to solve the problem.
For those who may not understand the lesson well enough to progress, there is also an Ebook version of lessons available to review. These explain the math concept each lesson covers step by step to help the student to understand. These are available to print out from the application for the student to study off the computer.
Parents (and students) can view the Gradebook to see what lessons have been worked on and how the students scored on those lessons. Each lesson has the option to view the details of the lessons as well which shows what problems answered correctly, which ones were answered wrong, whether or not a 2nd chance was used and if a hint was used to answer the questions.
I have been really pleased with our experience with Teaching Textbooks. Both Garrett and Ashleigh have both done well with it so far and the immediate feedback/grading really helps them, especially when they get answers correct as it allows them the peace of mind knowing they are doing the problems correctly, rather than finding out after turning their assignment in and getting everything wrong because they did not understand the concept. This has been especially true for Ashleigh who has absolutely no confidence when it comes to mathematics. As she has gotten answers correct and scores high on her assignments, I notice her confidence has improved dramatically.
One small hickup we found was the pause option. Parents can pause the course for their students for up to 3 months of time throughout the year they have access to the course. This is done thru the parent's dashboard. Pausing the course turned out to be super easy. I knew we were moving and that we would not have internet access for an extended period of time. To be on the safe side, I paused the course til mid-May knowing that I would have internet access by then.
|Easy to Pause when Needed|
However, when we were able to get internet a few days ago and I wanted have the kids start back with their course work, I was unable to find any way to unpause after the fact. I ended up contacting them this morning via email and quickly got a response from their customer service who unpaused the account for me no problem. However, I think having the option to unpause the account from the parent's account might be a suggestion in the future.
Over the years, we have used MANY math programs, some good, some bad, and some alright. In my opinion, I think Teaching Textbooks ranks up there as one of the best, if not THE best for our family. Having the opportunity to review the digital version and seeing how well my kids have done with it, I think it's safe to say that this is a program we will be investing in for years to come.
To learn more about Teaching Textbooks and Teaching Textbooks Math 4.0, be sure to visit the company's website. You can also find the company on the following websites:
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