How I’m keeping math fun

When Kathryn was little, she loved to find math fact problems in everyday life. Especially on digital clocks. For instance, 2:46 was 2 + 4 = 6, and so on. She loved the patterns (still does) and the logic (still does) but liked math itself less as time went on.

As my firstborn and first homeschooled, I suppose Kathryn was my experimental child. We tried several different math programs over the years, but I hadn’t yet learned to take the good parts of any given curriculum and leave the not-for-us parts.

keeping math fun at seejamieblog.com

Then came our youngest, now 8. He is my builder-boy, my little engineer. I mean, seriously, have you seen his LEGO creations? He builds them all, without kits or instructions, after simply seeing something in real life.

Blows. My. Mind.
Clearly, his brain doesn’t work like mine.

engineering and math-minded boy

The first day I introduced him to multiplication, he declared multiplication THE BEST MATH EVER! He had a blast. He begged to do more. He still gets excited when it’s multiplication time. Did I mention his brain doesn’t work like mine?

I don’t want to squash that excitement. It’s my job as homeschool mom to keep it as fun as possible. Problem is, I don’t love math, I don’t love manipulatives, and I don’t naturally think mathishly. (Yep, just made that up. Words are my thing, not numbers.)

This non-math mama is keeping math fun.

This year, we’ll do more:

  • clocks and calendars
  • cooking and baking
  • board games (actually, I’m farming this out to Ken and Kathryn)
  • money: saving for things he wants, paying himself in the store with cash, talking about the value of things…
  • LEGOS — of course!
  • more STEM-type resources (I’m still hunting)
  • iPad math and logic games
  • occasional worksheets (some from past curriculum + some printables)
  • computer-based CTC Math as our main curriculum

CTC Math: online learning

We’re rather unschoolishly eclectic in our approach to homeschool. I”ve been gradually working in the things on that list above, but I wanted to beef it up a little. My boy loves anything he gets to do on the computer or ipad, so I knew I wanted to incorporate more online learning to keep it fun for him.

(This is where I tell you this is a sponsored post. I was not required to write a positive review and as always, I only share my own honest opinions. See my disclosure page for more info.)

I hadn’t heard of CTC Math until a few months ago. We’ve now been using the program for a couple of months — somewhat sporadically with summer being here — and it’s been such a great fit for us that I’m planning to use it as our main elementary math curriculum this year.

The video teaching portion is short and gives just enough instruction without getting repetitive. The lessons are short and keep his interest. They’re interactive, too. In this lesson (below) on measuring with non-standard units (in this case, ants), he had to pull the little cartoon ant over and line them up end to end to see how many ants long this rectangle is.

CTC Math online

His favorite lessons at the moment are about money. I hadn’t realized how hard it was to distinguish one coin from another in black-and-white workbooks until we got to do them in a computer lesson.

Program features we like:

  • Short lessons. We usually do a few each time he sits down.
  • Students can watch lesson as many times as needed.
  • Mom/teacher can set a required passing score. I currently have it set at 80%. Kids can re-do lesson as needed until they get it, but mom sees how long and how many tries that took.
  • Printable one-page summary of the tutorials if kids want/need to put it in a notebook. We don’t use this feature now but we might in the future.
  • Interactive lessons that are almost as much fun as computer games.
  • Weekly progress reports emailed to me.
  • Access to all grades and lessons. He’s finishing 2nd grade but we can go back to 1st if needed, or hop on up to 3rd any time we like.
  • Lessons work on iPads and iPhones as well as on your computer. Right now we use the iPad for various games and do CTC Math on the computer because he likes both and it’s working for me this way.
  • The program includes complete curriculum through 8th grade. Beyond that, at high school level, it’s recommended as supplement rather than full curriculum.
  • Bonus: Pat Murray’s nifty Australian accent in videos. 😉

The only potential downside for some families might be the investment — but CTC Math offers a significant discount for homeschoolers! With the discount, this online math program costs less than most math curricula on- or offline. Plus, I’ve got an extra-happy offer to share!

Special offers:

You can try CTC Math for free for 4 weeks, no credit card required!

Homeschoolers can purchase CTC Math for 60% off the regular price — and with this link, you’ll also get 6 months free!  **Note: this offer is valid through July 31, 2017.