We’re in our fifth year of homeschooling, and have tried quite a few approaches to math over the years.  We’ve used purchased curricula, worksheets, workbooks, and topics compiled from the internet.  At best, my kids have excelled; at worst, there have been tears, intentionally crumbled pages, and refusal to go on.  My kids enjoy learning through technology, and after friends raved about a math program that is done entirely on the computer, I had to check it out.

Teaching Textbooks can be done on paper or on the computer, so we opted for the computer version.  The software can be purchased directly from Teaching Textbooks, but is often sold slightly cheaper by families who have used the program themselves.  I opted to buy it from a family whose child had just completed it.  We waited excitedly for it to arrive (yes, I’m referring to a set of math discs!) and tried it right away.  The first thing we fell in love with were the fun, animated graphics and characters that cheer on the student.  Each lesson begins with an interactive lecture and practice questions, followed by about 30 problems.  The student can get a hint on how to solve a problem when needed, and attempt the question a second time if making an error the first time.  At the end of each lesson, parents can log in to the grade book, view the student’s progress, and reset incorrect questions so that mistakes may be reviewed and corrected.  After every few lessons, a “bonus round” is earned.  Even though these bonus rounds are actually timed drills, my daughter excitedly plows through these so that she may earn extra “points.” Every so often there are also quizzes to assess the student and identify any problem areas.

We’re nine weeks into school, and not one complaint about doing math.  Not ONE.  Teaching Textbooks can be completed fairly independently, which is another asset.  The student logs into his or her own account, selects the day’s lesson, watches the lecture, and begins the problems.  This level of independence builds confidence, especially in a subject prone to such struggles and frustrations.  My biggest regret is that we didn’t try it sooner.  I was initially hesitant due to the price (about $100) until I found out that the discs hold their value and are resold for almost the original cost.  Every once in a while, we come across a program that we absolutely adore.  When we do, we can’t help but share our excitement with other families, because who doesn’t love using a program that actually makes learning fun?  We have a few other subjects that are greatly enhanced by certain curricula, and I’ll share those in future posts.  Until then, if your family has a resource that makes a difference in your schooling journey, post below to share with our readers. Happy November!