CTC Math

CTC Math review

See the complete review in 102 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum.

CTC Math is an online, subscription-based math program for kindergarten through high school created and taught by Australian math teacher Patrick Murray.

For each course, lessons are divided into a number of “streams” or broad areas of math then further divided into topics within each stream. Then each topic will have a number of lessons. For example, kindergarten level has four "streams", and the first one (Number, Patterns and Algebra) has eight topics, Number I, Number II, Patterns, Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, Fractions, and Money. There are a number of lessons for each of these topics. This amounts to a lot of content at each grade level.

At the topic level, there are optional diagnostic tests that might be used either as pre-tests or post-tests for all courses up through Basic Math and Pre-Algebra. As pre-tests, you can find out if your child already knows a topic and can skip to the next grade level in that particular stream. You can also use either test as a final exam when a student has completed the lessons within that topic....

The Basic Math and Pre-Algebra course introduces a “topic test” at the end of some (but not all) topical sections. This is a test that is to be printed and completed offline. Answers are then entered onto an online answer form for scoring. While these appear frequently in this course, they appear sporadically in high school level courses....

On the menu, directly under the diagnostic tests are the lessons for that topic. When there are no diagnostic tests at upper levels, the menu just lists the lessons. Simply click on the first lesson and start.

Each lesson begins with a brief tutorial that runs from four to nine minutes. Tutorials use colorful graphics and animations with Patrick Murray's voice-over explanation....Murray and the written material in the program both occasionally use Australian/British vocabulary and images with which students in the U.S. might not be familiar such as colour rather than color and images of a cricket bat and ball. This is not a huge issue, but students will likely encounter something unfamiliar at one point or another. Interestingly, the program uses U.S. currency, at least at kindergarten level....

Lessons teach in small increments with plenty of practice on each topic. The program allows students to go back and repeat lessons or jump ahead to a different topic if that is helpful.

You can print out a one-page summary of each video tutorial for handy reference or review if you wish. Unfortunately, there is only one tutorial for each topic, so if a student doesn't grasp a concept as presented in that tutorial, they don't have another option. Parents will need to watch for this. If a student seems to be missing a particular concept, they might need to use something besides CTC Math to teach that particular concept.

After the tutorial, students are given a series of interactive questions. Students type their answers into the computer or use the mouse to select an answer. The computer immediately scores their work, and it also maintains student records....

If students don't answer enough problems correctly, they can re-watch the tutorial if necessary, and they can tackle a different problem set....

CTC Math doesn't waste a lot of time with pointless animations and “praise.”
For each topic area, the program shows a reward ribbon symbol that varies by level of accomplishment: bronze, silver, gold, and platinum....Parents can access detailed reports showing topics studied, time spent, and quiz and test scores....

The scope and sequence seems challenging in the early grades but less so as it progresses. For example in third grade CTC Math teaches both multiplication by single-digit numbers and division with remainders both of which the Common Core State Standards (CC) don't require until fourth grade.

However, the scope and sequence on at least some core skills slows down after this. Multiplication with two-digit multipliers and carrying is taught in the fifth grade in CTC Math while it is listed as a fourth grade topic in the CC....

Keep in mind that many math programs used by homeschoolers (e.g., Rod and Staff's Arithmetic series, Singapore Math/Primary Mathematics, and Horizons Math just to name a few) are all more advanced than either the CC standards or CTC Math in the upper elementary grades.

This doesn't make CTC unusable, but you probably need to speed up the pacing to keep your children close to grade level past third grade level....

The early courses are labeled for grades K through 6. These are followed by Basic Math and Pre-Algebra, a broad coarse that seems to “catch up” the scope and sequence. CTC Math also has Elementary Measurement and Elementary Geometry as course headings immediately following Basic Math and Pre-Algebra. These two courses cover geometry topics that are usually taught before high school level geometry, so students should complete the group of three courses before tackling high school courses....

Students at all levels need to be familiar with paper-and-pencil math. While with CTC Math older students will need to do some paper-and-pencil work to solve complex problems, younger students also need to be given other opportunities for paper-and-pencil problem solving in addition to CTC Math. A supplemental workbook, handwritten problems, or computer-generated worksheets should do the trick for little or no cost.

I concentrated on the courses for the early grades for most of this review, so those are the ones with which I am most familiar. In my opinion, CTC Math seems to be an excellent option for math coverage if you keep in mind the few cautions I've mentioned above. It is easy to navigate, and it is efficient in both the tutorials and the presentation of problems to solve. The fact that students can review and practice as needed is a real plus....

CTC Math offers a number of subscription plans: monthly, six-month, or twelve-month. They also offer membership for a single student or a family plan for two or more students. The family plan for twelve-months is clearly the best deal, and especially so if you have more than two children! Each student is given an individual login, and the program tracks their progress. But each student has access to all grade levels for the subscription period. This is especially valuable since it is difficult to identify just one grade level that covers everything a particular child needs to learn. And your child might complete more than one grade level in a year.

While you might have to supplement for topics that students don't understand from the CTC tutorials, and you probably need to have students complete some additional paper-and-pencil math practice, CTC Math should be able to serve as your core math curricula. It also works very well as a supplement since it is easy to locate topics for review or practice.

Pricing Information

All prices are provided for comparison only and are subject to change. Click on prices to verify their accuracy.

Homeschoolers receive a 60% discount off the normal prices.
Individual student: $11.97 per month, $50.80 for 6 months, $78.80 for 12 months
Family (2 or more students): $15.97 per month, $78.80 for 6 months, $118.80 for 12 months

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Instant Key

  • Suitable For: independent learning except for those just learning to read
  • Audience: grades K-12
  • Need For Parent/Teacher Instruction: none except for grades K-1
  • Prep Time Needed: none
  • Teacher's Manual: N/A
  • Education Philosophy: multi-sensory, computer-based
  • Religious Perspective: secular

Publisher's Info

Note: Publishers, authors, and service providers never pay to be reviewed. They do provide free review copies or online access to programs for review purposes.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services that believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 "Guidelines Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."