I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.
I have never regretted the decision to homeschool. It’s a joy to watch my kids learn and grow as we work through different school lessons. Well, all except math. It has been the most challenging subject. Therefore I very eagerly welcomed the opportunity to review Teaching Textbooks new homeschool math curriculum, Teaching Textbook Math 4.0.
Teaching Textbook Math 4.0 is an app-based program that does all of the teaching and grading. It provides audiovisual instruction, assignments, and tests. Students work independently with little to no parent involvement.
Courses are available from Math level 3 through Pre-Calculus. A placement test is available to help parents accurately assign their students.
Enrollment covers 12 months of instruction, and lifetime access to the grade book. There is a pause feature for school breaks. Parents can pause enrollment in seven-day increments for up to three months, which does not count against the 12-month access.
The homeschool math lessons are presented in a spiral approach, where the material is revisited in later assignments. The review of concepts and techniques is performed to reinforce the materials taught and to provide students with a stronger understanding.
The use of this program requires a Teaching Textbooks account and app download. The app is designed to work on a variety of devices. Downloads are available for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and Kindle Fire.
I have learned it’s critical to use placement tests when starting a new curriculum. Concepts presented in a different style or order can create gaps and frustration for the student. I went through the placement testing with Jacob and Johanna. Each of their results was close between two levels. I chose the lower level to practice foundational facts as they adjusted to this new program.
Sam began using Teaching Textbooks Math 3.0 a couple of years ago. He had just finished his current level as 4.0 became available. Therefore we began with levels 4, 5, and Algebra 1.
I downloaded the three different levels onto our computer. Each level has a separate icon on the desktop with the level easy to identify.
When opening the program there is an option for a parent or student login. Within the parent account, I can manage the settings and check grades. There are a number of settings I can choose for how my student can personalize their screen and sound effects, as well as assignment customization.
Homeschool math can feel a little more fun when students personalize their lessons. The app offers custom wallpaper, graphic stickers, and sound effects.
Each new lesson begins with instruction. The main points of the verbal instruction appear on the screen as it is presented. A problem appears and plays out as it is explained and solved. Some of the direction requires student interaction, which seems to keep my students engaged.
The control button in the upper right corner allows students to skip the lecture and go straight to the problems. Although not encouraged, Jacob did this a few times with early lessons if the topic was clearly review and something he had mastered.
If the student does not recall how to solve a problem from a previous lesson, there is a message on the screen citing the prior lesson number where it was taught. Students can go back to prior lessons to review instruction.
I provide scratch paper for my kids to solve longer math problems. The app offers a scratchpad that can be accessed from the control button. The feature is intended for students working from a tablet. Johanna tested it out with the computer mouse and wanted to add the app to our tablet. This image was her effort using the computer mouse.
With three students and one class computer, I recently decided to add the app to a tablet. The kids can use either the computer or tablet and the results of the lessons sync with each device. I did not previously realize it would sync or would have done it sooner.
My kids have only used the tablet a few times, and all of their course information has remained up to date. The app did glitch and freeze when initially using it, but we’ve not noticed any continued issues.
This is my third math level of Teaching Textbooks, and I really like the program. The lessons are not too long that I get overwhelmed with information, but enough that I’m confident I’m learning and progressing. The instruction is really clear and I understand what I’m being taught. It’s a lot better than when mom was teaching me math. (Wisely said with a sheepish grin)
There are obvious appearance changes between Teaching Textbooks 3.0 and 4.0. That is not a big concern to me. I’m glad the instruction is the same. I sometimes like to go back to prior lessons to remember how to solve a problem. The 3.0 version listed prior lessons in a larger list. In 4.0 it appears as a book and I can only see two lessons at a time. It takes a little longer to page back to old lessons. It’s not a big deal, but finding an old lesson faster is an upgrade I would like.
I like that the lessons aren’t too long. Math is not my favorite subject, but the graphics are fun. The lessons have clear instruction and there is a reasonable amount of problems to solve. The work mixes in problems from prior lessons so they are usually easier to solve. That makes the newer material feel less overwhelming. I don’t usually like working out problems, but it feels easier on the tablet with the scratchpad option.
I think the lessons are fun and I enjoy the graphics. The scratchpad is my favorite feature and easy to use when I complete my work using the tablet.
Teaching Textbooks Math 4.0 is the recommended homeschool math program in our house. My kids are enjoying their lessons and I’m enjoying monitoring the gradebook and their progress. Click on the image below to see how others from the review crew are using this program.