FINALLY, since I’ve mentioned it three or four times now, I will regale you with the details of our new math program, Teaching Textbooks.
I’ve been looking at this math program since we began homeschooling. I will be honest with you in telling you that I chose Singapore Math over it for two reasons: First of all, Teaching Textbooks doesn’t begin until around a third grade level. Second, it is far more expensive than a year’s worth of materials for Singapore math. I also had concerns about switching programs as we were going, and Singapore Math can be used pretty indefinitely. (I may as well add that I’m also a hard-core homeschool convert and the word ‘textbook’ is a total turn-off for me.)
We finally switched because I felt the children were not all getting enough one-on-one time with their math, and it won’t be long for Shooter (if he continues to choose homeschooling) before he will need to be utilizing other resources (read as: Not me.) for his math lessons. Teaching Textbooks is an all-in-one package. It contains the lectures, practice problems, assignments and grade book. It does all of these things on a computer.
We are in our 6th week of using Teaching Textbooks and all I can say is that I wish we had tried it sooner. I love it. The boys love it. It gives them a level of independence to schedule and manage their own math lessons (Farmer Boy usually tries to get his done before breakfast while Shooter is practicing his horn for band). It makes the problems fun to do. If a problem is solved incorrectly, there is a second chance to find the right answer. The student can also, at any time, ask to see the solution, where the program will work the problem step-by-step for the child to see.
The narration is excellent. There are hints to new or difficult problems, different funny little characters the student can utilize, and the ability to go back and try a problem or listen to a lecture again at any time. The graphics are fun and easy to read. Because we have a laptop, our math is portable and the boys have done their lessons all over the house as well as on the road. Shooter typically does his while Farmer Boy has phonics tutoring, and several times Farmer Boy has brought his along to do in the Suburban while Shooter is in band.
I’m especially pleased with my dyslexic son’s abilities with this program. He just *shines* with Teaching Textbooks. Math has been an exercise in hard work and frustration for him for a long time – Singapore is heavy on the word problems (one of the reasons I love it – Singapore focuses on practical math) which were a constant struggle for him. He also found it intensely frustrating that I continued to insist on seeing his work (all the writing was just another piling-on). With Teaching Textbooks, the problems are all read to him as he goes, and the computer doesn’t require showing any work (he just keeps scratch paper at hand).
I was concerned about being able to know they were ‘getting it’ since I would not be going over/looking over their math every day with them. It has been quite the opposite. Teaching Textbooks gives me the ability to look at every single try on every single problem if I want to (I don’t) and keeps a running grade book of each lesson and quiz. It’s awfully simple to tell at a glance how well a child is mastering the lessons.
The last reason I am loving Teaching Textbooks is the least important, but it still matters a great deal. It is saving me truckloads of time. I also appreciate the frustration it is saving the boys when they needed to wait for, wanted a review of, needed a check about, or just didn’t understand the way I was explaining their math.
The only drawback? Little Cowgirl wishes *so badly* that she could do her math on the computer. Next year, my darling.
Do you have a third-grader or older you are homeschooling and your math time isn’t fun and easy? I recommend giving Teaching Textbooks a try. We bought ours second-hand at the used curriculum sale last spring and I intend to pay full price for any grades in the future I can’t find a used copy of. The bottom line is that this program is worth your hard-earned money.
Disclaimer: Teaching Textbooks did not ask me to do, nor gave me anything for this review. I am not actually an important blogger or
any sort of celebrity (cue song “If Wishes Came True” by Sweet Sensation – WOW I’m dating myself) so I doubt they will ever know my review exists. But it doesn’t take away from the fact that this is a great product. Consider yourself notified.