You may be wondering if Teaching Textbooks is rigorous enough. Some parents also wonder if Teaching Textbooks is on grade level. Can you really just hand it to your children to do independently without any direction from the parent? Read on to get the answers to all these questions and find out how Teaching Textbooks makes homeschool math easier for the entire family.
What is Teaching Textbooks?
Teaching Textbooks is a multi-media online math curriculum that is great for homeschooling families that need help teaching math. It is like having your very own math tutor at home. The new 4.0 version uses an app that you download to your computer. It also works for any device so you can use it on the go, or in different spaces in your home. You do not need to purchase a student book or a teacher guide, everything is included.
The number of lessons will vary, but there are not as many as some math curricula. For example, this year my daughter has 120 math lessons. I like the flexibility of being able to do school four days a week, and this works well with only 120 lessons.
When you purchase your level, you will receive it for 12 months. This is great if you school year-round and take breaks throughout the year or take small mini vacations.
Do you plan on taking a summer break, but won’t be finished with the curriculum in time? That is okay because there is the ability to take a 3 month pause and come back to it without losing any time on your digital course enrollment. You can pause it for a minimum of 7 days with up to 3 months of pause time. However, you do not have to do it in intervals of 7 days.
Is Teaching Textbooks Rigorous Enough?
Some have said they feel like Teaching Textbooks math is too easy and not rigorous enough. That is really a matter of opinion if you are trying to compare different curriculum that teaches math concepts in differing ways. It is not a textbook and is taught in a fun and entertaining way and is great for kids who love games and technology.
One thing that makes it a favorite among homeschool parents is that is tailored to help your child get excited about math. Many reluctant learners will finally start learning and understanding math when they are enjoying it. It gives them a sense of math confidence they may not have had before.
It does not take the drill and kill approach and does start off slower in the elementary levels. It indeed picks up speed in Level 7. The problems are more challenging, and the lectures are longer. If your child sticks with all the levels through their high school years, they will not have any gaps and be adequately prepared for college.
How long do Teaching Textbooks lessons take?
The lessons vary depending on the grade level. Some lectures are much longer than others, especially in the upper grades. The elementary levels can take between 20 and 30 minutes where middle school lessons can be up to 45 minutes.
This includes the audiovisual lectures, the practice problems and working out the actual math problems. My older daughter takes about 50 minutes to an hour to complete her lessons – longer if she needs to watch a lot of the solutions.
With this program your student will watch the lecture, then try the practice problems. After the 5 practice problems they start their lessons. Each lesson has between 20-25 math problems to solve. There are also cute bonus rounds in the younger grades. Throughout the year there will be quizzes and chapter tests.
Visual Solutions to EVERY Math Problem
Once your child finishes a problem, they will get immediate feedback and know if their answer was correct or not. If they get it wrong, they have a second chance to try the problem again. The good news is they can then view the solution and get a step-by-step breakdown on how to solve the problem.
This is a HUGE plus because watching the solutions will show your child what they did incorrectly, and it will help solidify new math concepts. If they get a question incorrect, they will never know why if there were not solutions.
Is Teaching Textbooks spiral or mastery?
Teaching Textbooks takes a spiral approach to learning which is a review method. This is nice for children who get frustrated with mastery and drill and kill. It does not use rote memorization for review but includes it naturally throughout the program.
In each lesson, new concepts are introduced, and review is built into the program. So, the lessons review concepts and techniques. They will be building new skills and reinforcing older problems each day.
They are also given second chances to correct mistakes if they answered a problem wrong the first time, however, that this is an optional setting and parents can turn off second chances if they do not want them.
Is Teaching Textbooks common core aligned?
Many people have concerns about new math curriculum being common core aligned. Though it is not stated directly on their website, it is not common core aligned, rather considered independent.
It does not teach math in a new way but teaches a new concept the way we were taught when we were in school. They do meet all the state standards, and if you complete their entire series your children will cover all of those standards.
Is there a placement test for Teaching Textbooks?
You will be happy to know that there are Teaching Textbooks placement tests for grades 3 through Pre-Calculus. These tests are good for both the 2.0 and 4.0 versions of the math curriculum. Each link is a pdf that you can print for your child to work out on their own with a printable instruction and placement guide.
If your child is coming from a rigorous textbook-heavy math program they may test at a higher level than their grade. For instance, your 6th grade son may be advanced and do best using 7th grade.
In addition to a placement exam, you can also try the digital course enrollment for free with the new 4.0 edition free trial. The free trial gives your child an opportunity to try the complete version of the program and entire lesson at any level of your choice. It includes the first 15 complete lessons with all the video lessons which include the lectures, problems, solutions, ebook and even the automatic grading and gradebook.
The trial never expires and if you decide to continue with a membership all their grades and progress will transfer directly over. You can even try out as many of the different levels as you would like!
The offline capability of having an app already downloaded for the curriculum has been such a blessing to our family this year! We can now take our Chromebook with us to our full day homeschool coop. The church we do classes at does not have Wi-Fi available for us, so they always had to do math late in the day when they got home.
Now, my high schooler has a study hall break between classes, and she can do her math on that day, regardless of Internet connectivity. It is so convenient to not have to worry about having to do math when we get home because we did not have Internet.
Teaching Textbooks Gradebook
The new gradebook is my favorite feature and makes record keeping a breeze! Back in the day, in the previous versions we had to print out the gradebook and sit down and manually add up all the grades. Then we had to do the math to get an average score and final grade. I would print out many pages and sit with a calculator and add them up over and over again to make sure I got the correct number.
The new 4.0 version has a lovely gradebook that can be accessed through the parent dashboard as well as the student dashboard. All the lessons are automatically graded and stored in the gradebook.
It will show you detailed information on lesson scores, as well as indicate if your student needed to view the solutions to the problems, or if they had to try it a second time. If your child makes a mistake on their second try, you can change their answer in the parental control section, or even delete it so they can try again.
Since this version uses an app, it is readily available to use on mobile devices such as a laptop, chrome book, tablets and even cell phones. I could not imagine my kids using a phone for school, but the option is there if you need it.
New Teaching Textbooks 4.0 Features
We have been using Teaching Textbooks in our homeschool for math for over 12 years now. We started when our now adult son was in the 5th grade with version 1.0! Each new edition has loads of upgrades and new features that makes math a little more tolerable for my kids (and even easier for me to teach!).
Brand New Features of Teaching Textbooks 4.0:
- More buddies and new wallpapers: The original buddies were a little childish. My high schoolers really love the new wallpaper backgrounds and buddy choices. They are colorful and fun, with cute animations when you get a problem correct are encouraging and cute. I have heard no complaints from my oldest daughter about the choices of buddies this year.
- Built in ebook: There is no longer a huge separate textbook to purchase. The ebook is built directly into the program that is now searchable, and also printable. I have one child who prints all her lessons and keeps them in a big binder, while another just likes to write her answers in a notebook before entering them into the computer.
- New scratchpad feature allows students room to work out problems directly in the app. This is perfect for on-the-go math days. It is a wonderful new feature that the kids enjoy as well, and it saves lots of paper too.
- An improved gradebook now has a running course average and tells when assignments were completed. (I love this feature!)
- Can be used on any mobile device and even without Wi-Fi.
Favorite Features of Teaching Textbooks 4.0
- Teaching Textbooks0 does all teaching through interactive lectures. No more worrying about if you are teaching correctly, and no extra time and money spent on a tutor.
- Automatic grading and instant feedback with step-by-step solutions for every math problem. After your child is done with their lesson, they will see their final grade pop up on the screen and show them how many answers they got correct. You do not have to grade their work. This is such a time saver and one of the most favorite features by many parents. You can login to the grade book at any time.
- Extra options and support are available when help is needed such as free tutoring over the phone.
- Daily progress report emails* with last completed lesson and score. This is a good thing for busy parents who do not have time to check work at that very moment.
- It is the only homeschool math curriculum that teaches and grades all the work.
*This feature is coming soon.
How much does Teaching Textbooks cost?
When you sign up for a course you are signing up for an annual enrollment which covers one full school year. The annual cost is for individual students. Once you sign up, you get to choose the day that you start your math lessons.
The new version is almost half the price of the previous versions with the discs and workbooks. The lower elementary levels are less expensive than the upper grades. Levels 3, 4 and 5 are only $43.08 for the entire year.
Levels 6 and 7 are $55.08. Which is less than you would spend on any elementary or middle school math textbooks and teacher guides combined!
Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1 and 2, and Pre-Calculus cost $67.08 a year. This is so much more affordable than any other middle and high school level homeschool math programs
Teaching Textbooks Large Family Discount Plan
With this plan you can have 4 to 8 students enrolled in their own levels. This works out very well when you have children in the upper levels as well as the more affordable early elementary levels. The more children you have the cheaper it gets!
Why Teaching Textbooks Works Best for Our Family:
I have always been a work from home homeschool mom, so I have time limits on what I can devote to school each day. I am also not good at math, neither is my husband. Teaching Textbooks is perfect for our family because I do not have to sit with each child one at a time. I also don’t have to teach or grade it. Every now and then I may sit and help them if they cannot figure out the solution after watching the video. Other than that, it is very hands-off.
We love that it is independent, and that each child can work on their own at their own pace. The self-grading saves me so much time. There is literally nothing I have to do. I can log in and look at their grades throughout the year, make sure they are on track and getting their work completed. At the end of the year I just print their gradebook and put it into their portfolio.
It is very affordable. When we were first using the 1.0 and 2.0 versions, I was paying close to $200 a year for the discs and workbook. It is such a relief to pay so little for our math curriculum each year.
Teaching math was always the most dreaded subject for me. With Teaching Textbooks, it is the easiest, especially since I do not have to teach it myself or track grades.
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Sarah is a wife, daughter of the King and Mama to 4 children (one who is a homeschool graduate)! She is a an eclectic, Charlotte Mason style homeschooler that has been homeschooling for over 16 years now. She is still trying to find the balance between work and keeping a home and says she can only do it by the Grace of God, and Coffee!