An Honest Look at Teaching Textbooks 3.0

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Some of you may be aware that we are a Teaching Textbooks family. After taking a short detour to other math curriculum several years ago, we came running back with plans to never leave again. 

To say I was excited to hear about all the new features of Teaching Textbooks 3.0 is an understatement. I couldn’t wait to get access so I could see for myself if it really was better than the traditional CDs we were used to using. Let me tell you friends, it did not disappoint! Sarah is using it in her homeschool too. She has been using TT since version 1.0. 

Disclaimer: I was provided with a free product and compensation in return for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own and not influenced by the developing company and/or its affiliates in any way. Read our full disclosure here.

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If you are not familiar with Teaching Textbooks and the thought of TEACHING math gives you hives, then you are in for a treat. Teaching Textbooks is a self-teaching and auto-grading math curriculum for grades 3-12. Not only does it do the teaching and grading, but the interface is state-of-the-art and children of all ages love it (as much as anyone can love math!). I have been homeschooling for over a decade; we graduated our first homeschooler this past May. I have seen my fair share of cheesy “video” lessons that bore children to death. Teaching Textbooks knows how to capture the attention of students with fun graphics, friendly voices, and cute “buddies” that students can select to give hints and praise. 

Teaching Textbooks is everything we need in a math curriculum! From the self-teaching aspect to the auto-grading, we will NEVER use another math curriculum in our homeschool again!

Teaching Textbooks 3.0 Set-up

Honestly, I was not looking forward to this part, but was pleasantly surprised that it took less than a minute (I am an open & go fan). It took much longer to install the application on my laptop with the 2.0 CD version. Set-up was a breeze and not complicated in the least. You have one parent interface for all of your children and add each one during the set-up phase (you need to have a subscription for each child, but they have a NEW large-family plan that will make families with 4+ children squeal. You can see details below). In the past, I had to separately install each 2.0 version on multiple laptops as well as login to each individual parent account; now it is all in one convenient place.

Parent Homepage

I really like the improvements in the Teaching Textbooks 3.0 parent interface. It is so easy to login and use – from any device! With TT 2.0 you had to logout of your student’s account and re-login as a parent to make changes or view the gradebook. 

parent-homepage

  • View and print student grades – Just like the amazing gradebook features in 2.0, you can view much detail regarding your student’s grades. Parents can see the scores for each lesson, edit or delete a problem that was answered incorrectly (this comes in handy if you KNOW they accidentally input the wrong answer), or you can delete the score for a missed problem and have them re-do it. If my daughter gets a score of 75 or less I delete all wrong answers and make her re-do them. You can also see how many attempts they made to answer a problem correctly (I require my daughter to try it again and can see when she didn’t). When a problem is answered incorrectly I also require her to watch the solution and the parent section tells me if she watched the solution or not. 

Parents can view, print, and edit the gradebook easily from any device!

Parents can view, print, and edit the gradebook easily from any device!

  • View and Print Student Textbook and Answer Keys – This is a new feature that I really like. I have always encouraged my children to take good notes. Neither of my girls has shown an exceptional talent for math, so making notes of concepts that they struggle with has proven helpful. The ebook in the student section is a bit different; I will go into detail about that below. Parents can print individual lessons or chapters (one week at a time) and you can even use the Index section to jump to a TOPIC that may need to be revisited. I love this feature! Not all lessons are difficult for my daughter, so the option to print them individually is great and saves me money on ink. Additionally, you could always buy a printed textbook, but with this feature, I do not really see the need for the extra expense. While you cannot print the entire ebook at once, you CAN print out the full Answer Key. 

You can print individual lessons or a week's worth at a time - for no additional cost!

You can print individual lessons or a week’s worth at a time – for no additional cost!

  • Change Passwords – This is pretty self-explanatory, but an option I love about 3.0 is if you forget your password for some reason, you can request a reset link that gets delivered to your email address. After a summer break one year (in the middle of a math year because my daughter is in between levels) I forgot my parent password. I had to wait until business hours to contact support at Teaching Textbooks because there was no way to reset my password in 2.0 manually. That problem is solved in 3.0.
  • Change Hint and Second Chance Settings – I mentioned above that my children are not gifted in math, so they need all the help they can get. I keep the hints and second chances turned to “ON”, but it is helpful to some families to turn this to “OFF.” In 3.0 you have that option now. You can switch back and forth as often as you want.
  • Manage Subscriptions – The new TT 3.0 version comes with 12 months access to individual levels. Sometimes life happens though, and you have to break from school for an extended period of time and you don’t want that to count against your 12 months. You can PAUSE your subscription for up to 90 days. You can do this in 1-week increments, so if you are going on vacation, you can pause it for a week and then get back to work without the time counting against you. 
  • Contact Support – This screen just gives you customer service information. It is super nice to know that you can actually CALL Teaching Textbooks and speak to a math tutor if you are completely stuck though. 

There are times when my daughter is doing math and she calls to me that she answered a question incorrectly {accidentally}. With the 2.0 CD version I would have to stop working (I work from home and homeschool) and leave my office, log out of her math and login to the parent interface to erase the wrong answer so she could re-do it. I would then have to log out and have her log back in so she could resume her work. With the new 3.0 version, she can call to me and I can login right in on my own computer and wipe out the answer and she can immediately re-do it. I know that doesn’t sound like a huge difference, but to me it totally is. I love it!

Student Interface

There are some neat features in 3.0 that are new and exciting for children. These small changes may not seem like a big deal to us parents, but can go a long way with kids and getting them to “like” doing math. My daughter LOVES the personalization of 3.0 and how she can make it “hers.” She can change her “buddy” which hangs out in the left corner and gives praise and feedback as well as her background. She makes it different every day and sometimes multiple times while doing her lesson. She can also turn off the buddy and/or the sounds it makes. There is also a hint sparkle and sound she can turn on and off. 

Students can now customize their displays!

Students can now customize their displays!

Interactive Lessons

One of the features of Teaching Textbooks that I have always been so pleased with is the lecture for each lesson. This teaching time has a friendly voice as well as visible math “work” on the screen. After the lecture you student has a few practice problems to do to see if they understood the lesson before moving on to the questions. Practice problems do not count against their score, but you can see whether or not they did the them from the Parent Interface. 

Each lesson consists of a lecture, 5 practice problems, and 22 questions. Some of the lessons have a bonus question which works as “extra credit” and after every 7th lesson there is a quiz reviewing the material previously learned. 

My daughter loves the interactive lessons and the fun interface.

My daughter loves the interactive lessons and the fun interface.


In my opinion, Teaching Textbooks offers a lot of built-in review, which is great if you have children who struggle in math like mine do. If you find that your child has mastered a concept you can look into the ebook in the Parent Interface and view the topics and lessons to see where you can skip them ahead to. If you find that they missed something, they can go back. You do not have to complete a lesson to move ahead. 

If students miss a problem a pop-up is displayed that shows the correct answer. They can then watch the solution to find out what they did wrong. I actually require this and can see how many attempts my daughter has made and if she watched the solution video from the parent dashboard.

Student Access to Math e-Book

I mentioned above that the student’s view of the ebook is different than the parent’s and I want to tell you what I find pretty incredible about it. While they cannot print the ebook like parents can, they can use it to take notes! Okay, that doesn’t sound special, does it? Let me explain. 

Students can view the Table of Contents with the topic for each lesson. When they click on a lesson, the ebook opens for them to scroll through it. This is the exact same content as the 2.0 textbooks and they are actually compatible. What makes it unique and interactive is that they can use the HIGHLIGHT tool to highlight things they need to remember and study (thus the note-taking feature I mentioned). I expect this to come in handy for tough topics like multiplication and fractions.

I love the helpful hints students can use when viewing the ebook!

I love the helpful hints students can use when viewing the ebook!

Student Gradebook 

Students can view everything that parents can in the gradebook. The only thing that is different is they cannot make any edits or delete anything. My daughter loves to look at her grades and sometimes she will come to me and ask me to give her a second try on a lesson that she missed a perfect score on by one problem. I don’t always oblige her – if it is a true or false question, for example, I don’t allow her to re-do it. 

Here are some key points to remember about Teaching Textbooks 3.0

  • You can still get 2.0 (discs) if you prefer, however the new 3.0 is so much more affordable!
  • Teaching Textbooks 3.0 is accessed remotely (perfect for traveling)
  • Use on a tablet or phone – This will come in handy for sure!
  • Store your grades online and never lose them – they will continue to store your grades for you even if you don’t have an active subscription. My laptop crashed one year and all our grades were gone. This is a very convenient feature!
  • Teaching Textbooks 2.0 textbooks are compatible with 3.0 lessons
  • Large family discount plan – Do you have 4-8 children? You are going to LOVE this! 

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Teaching Textbooks 3.0 Pricing

The price of a 3.0 subscription varies from around $43 to $67 per year, whereas the 2.0 (physical) products cost around $120 to $185 depending on the grade level. Teaching Textbooks has always been great about allowing resale of the CDs, but even the used CDs are often double the price of a new 3.0 subscription! For example, a 12-month 3.0 subscription for my daughter (Math 4) is only $43.08 – that breaks down to $3.59 per month, whereas the 2.0 CDs would cost me $119.90 or about $75-$100 used. We have had problems buying used CDs as they get scratched easily when handled by children. Everytime my daughter dropped a CD I would tell her that is going to cost her $15 if she damages it. :-)

 

Large Family Discount Plan

Let’s face it; homeschooling can be expensive, especially if you have 4+ children. I have known of many homeschooling families who wanted to use Teaching Textbooks with all of their children, but it was just not an affordable option for them. The great folks at Teaching Textbooks have come out with something special for large families. 

They have capped the total annual cost for families of 4-8 children to $199.08 per year! That is barely more than what one of the upper grade 2.0 courses costs for just one student!

There are a few instances when it will be more affordable for families with 4 children to use individual subscriptions and they “did the math” for you (pun intended). You can click here to learn more about the Large Family Discount Plan.

So, are you ready to give Teaching Textbooks a try and see if it will stop the tears in your homeschool? Have your child take a free placement test today and ask them if they like it better than what they have been using; I bet they say YES!

You can sign up for a FREE account and give it a whirl (there is no time limit!!)

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Written by Carrie

Carrie

Carrie is the owner & operator of Homeschool Giveaways. She has been homeschooling for over a decade and has successfully graduated her first homeschooler. She has two girls and works side by side at home with her awesome husband. She has been saved by grace, fails daily, but continues to strive toward the prize of the high calling of being a daughter of the Most High God.

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