When we first started homeschooling, I purchased a math curriculum for my oldest daughter that was far too advanced for her and didn’t suit her learning style.
Every day, she would cry. And every day, I would force her to do that particular math program anyway. (I still cringe when I think about it.)
We both dreaded math more than anything.
Over the next couple of years, we tried several different programs … and every single one resulted in tears, frustration and conflict.
Until last year.
Last year, for grade three, we decided to try out Teaching Textbooks 3.0. I had heard good things, but I was skeptical. Did a math curriculum actually exist that would work for us?
My oldest girls (currently ages 7 and 9) both worked through Level 3 of Teaching Textbooks this past year, and I can’t tell you what a relief it is to be able to say: We’ve finally found a program that we love.
Before I tell you why this program has been such a great fit for our homeschool, I should probably explain a little bit more about the program itself.
What is Teaching Textbooks 3.0?
Teaching Textbooks is a math curriculum that includes lectures, practice questions, assignments, quizzes and bonus games. It’s designed to foster independent learning (can I get an amen?). The classic program comes in the form of textbooks and computer disks. Teaching Textbooks 3.0 is the online version of the program, which includes everything that can be found in the physical version (even the textbook is included as an ebook) along with some extra goodies like parental controls and permanent grade storage.
Why Do We Love Teaching Textbooks 3.0?
There are several reasons why this has been a good fit for our family. Here are a few:
It makes math Fun.
Sometimes, on the weekend? My girls ask to do math. (I know, right? Who does that?) Even though it’s not always easy, math feels a bit like a game now.
- Correct answers are rewarded with encouraging words (“Good job!”) or little characters that do funny things (called Buddies). My girls love this intrinsic reward system.
- My kids can customize the appearance of their interface by choosing from a variety characters and wallpapers. They love customizing their screens before they start their lessons. They were even more delighted when, after finishing their current level, they discovered that the next level had a completely different set of wallpapers and buddies to choose from.
- The levels we’ve tried (Level 3 and 4) contain several timed math drills cleverly disguised as bonus rounds. These fun drills provide students with the opportunity to earn earn extra points to increase their overall marks. I’ve tried regular timed math drills with my girls and it was a disaster. I love that Teaching Textbooks 3.0 has built the drills into the program and the girls don’t have a sweet clue that they’re doing them. (Nobody tell them, please?)
Teaching Textbooks 3.0 is less teacher-intensive than other homeschool math programs, freeing me up to attend to other children.
When teaching multiple children, it’s important to find time to work one-on-one with each child, to provide individualized teaching and help. However, it can be a challenge to balance it all. Using Teaching Textbooks frees me up from the need to teach daily math lectures, affording me extra time to spend with other children. As a busy homeschool mom, this has been a HUGE blessing.
I don’t fall behind on my marking anymore.
Assignments and quizzes are automatically graded, which means that I’m never behind on my marking anymore. (Well, not in math at least. Ha.) It’s such a relief to have this off my plate.
Review is built into the lessons.
Each lesson contains questions pertaining to that day’s lecture as well as questions covering all of the material previously taught in the level. The extra review and practice have helped my girls master the material well. In addition, the word problems have really helped my children see how math fits into everyday life.
I can easily assess my children’s progress and whether there are any difficult math concepts that need additional reinforcement.
Both the parent site and the student site allow access to the student’s grade book, where marks for each of the assignments and quizzes are conveniently listed. Although this curriculum is less teacher-intensive than other programs, it’s fairly simple to determine whether there is material that I need to spend a little extra time reviewing with my students to ensure that they fully grasp the concepts being taught. I love that I’m able to easily assess how my children are doing.
I am able to erase incorrect answers so my children can retry those questions.
If my children are not scoring well on a particular lesson, I can simply sign into the parent interface and erase the questions they’ve gotten wrong. We review the lecture, work through some examples together, and I give them the opportunity to try again.
My children’s grades are stored permanently.
Families with a TT 3.0 subscription are able to access and print student grades, even after their subscription has ended. Record-keeping is not my strength. As my kids grow older and it’s time to start preparing grade transcripts, I know that I’ll value this feature even more than I do now.
Math lessons and quizzes are printable.
My seven-year old sometimes prefers working with hard copy versions of her math assignments. It’s easy to print out the specific lessons and quizzes that she needs for the week so that she has paper copies to work from. She watches the lecture online and then does her work on paper. We input the answers together afterwards so that the computer can mark her work, but it makes her much happier to do it this way. I love that I can adapt this program to my children’s learning preferences.
We can pause our online math subscription for winter and spring breaks.
Although subscriptions last for 12 months, there is a 90-day pause feature that doesn’t negatively impact the length of the subscription. So if you pause the program for three weeks, for example, you’ll have three weeks tacked on to the end of your subscription. In order to take advantage of this feature, you do have to pause the program for a minimum of seven days, and the maximum grand total pause time is 90 days. It’s difficult for me to relax when I know the clock is ticking, so the ability to stop the clock during Christmas break, spring break and our other vacation times? It has been a lifesaver.
The online learning platform makes it easy to access our math curriculum from any device.
Although this past year, my children took turns doing math on my laptop, next year we plan to set up the home computer as well so that both girls can work on math at the same time. The online learning platform not only makes it easy to access Teaching Textbooks from different devices, it allows us to access the interface on our portable devices wherever there is an internet connection. We’ve brought our math to Grandma’s house more than once, and I’ve even logged in to see the kids’ progress while sipping coffee at a local cafe.
If you have a phone or tablet, you can use Teaching Textbooks 3.0 on those devices as well. The Teaching Textbooks website provides step-by-step directions on how to do so.
Teaching Textbooks 3.0 is inexpensive compared to other homeschool math programs that we’ve tried.
This is definitely more economical than some of the programs we’ve used. Current prices range from $43.08 to $67.08 (USD) per year. If you have multiple children using the program, you do have to pay for a separate subscription for each child; however, Teaching Textbooks offers a wonderful large-family discount plan.
Try Teaching Textbooks 3.0 for free!
Try Teaching Textbooks for yourself! Teaching Textbooks offers a free trial (no credit card required and no strings attached).
- Begin with their placement test to determine which level your child needs.
- Choose the level(s) you’re interested in.
- Enjoy access to 15 lessons per level, including the ebooks, grade books and more.
Oh, and the best part? If you choose to continue with the program, just use the same login information and your child’s progress will be transferred to your paid subscription.
Questions about our experience with TT 3.0? Feel free to comment below. Questions about the program itself? Visit Teaching Textbooks for more information.