There are times that teaching a gifted child can be intimidating. For example, my son started asking to do algebra when he was nine years old. NINE. I'll confess, I pushed it off because I felt like we needed to save something for high school. That, and I'm not fond of the idea of teaching statistics, numerical analysis, or probability in high school. I mean, that's what college is for, right? When I mentioned this to a veteran homeschool friend, she said, “why not let him do algebra with an online math program and dual enroll later for higher math?” Ooooohhhhhh…
Online Math Curriculum
Using an online math curriculum for my son really IS an ideal solution. My girls both require a lot of one-on-one instruction. Mister is a rather independent learner. I was pretty ecstatic, then, when I recently received an opportunity to review Teaching Textbooks 3.0, which is a self grading online math program for 3rd grade through Pre-Calculus.
Teaching Textbooks Online Math Curriculum
This is the perfect opportunity for my son to start algebra. That said, I am aware that scope and sequence varies in different curricula.
I want to know that he is in the correct math level for his ability. I printed out the Teaching Textbooks Placement Tests for Math 7, Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1, Algebra 2, and Geometry.
Each Teaching Textbooks Placement Test has a statement that tells what score is necessary for the student to do well in that course. His scores for the placements tests were:
- Math 7 – 30/30
- Pre-Algebra – 27/30
- Algebra 1 – 24/30
- Algebra 2 – 18/30
- Geometry – 14/30
Since he did well on the Math 7, Pre-Algebra, and Algebra 1 placement tests, he wanted to attempt the Algebra 2 and Geometry placement tests. He did well on section 1 of both tests, which is essentially review, but struggled on section 2 of both. I opted to place him in Algebra 1.
Benefits of Teaching Textbooks
One of my concerns with using an online math curriculum for my son is that he often wants to “skip” the tutorials (sigh). He also tends to do math “in his head.” While that isn't a problem in lower math, per se, I really think that doing higher math requires pencil to paper. I appreciate that you can actually print out the textbook chapter by chapter. I can have him read the lesson before he ever logs in. Score.
He's only 7 lessons in, but so far he is really enjoying Algebra 1. I really appreciate that I can view all of his lessons at a glance, to see how he's doing.
Each lesson is also viewable. I can see see whether or not he's viewed solutions while in the lesson and how many attempts it took to get a correct answer.
Because I can view the entire ebook, I can see which problems he answered incorrectly and we can review them together.
Our opinion of Teaching Textbooks
My 11 yo thoroughly enjoys the Algebra 1 course on Teaching Textbooks 3.0. He is excited that I finally said he can do algebra. The lessons are engaging and succinct. He says the lessons are relatively easy, and the problems do reflect the material covered in each lesson. I like that each question tells where it was first covered, so he can go back and look if need be. He also likes that there are only 142 lessons and that he can track his own progress easily.
I also appreciate the ability to edit a problem within the parent view. On one of his quizzes, he rushed and hit enter with a typo. Because the problem was correct on paper, I was able to give him credit for it.
We like the interface, so we're going to attempt Teaching Textbooks Math 5 with our oldest daughter. She really struggled with math last year, so I'm not sure how it will work out, but she wants to try, so… I just wish Teaching Textbooks had math available for 1st and 2nd grade, too.
Currently, the only thing I would change is that I the program doesn't record how long a student spends on each lesson. I am in a state that requires a specific number of hours of instruction each year, so I have to pay attention to when he logs in and when he's done. Of course, since he's working in his printed copy, a digital log wouldn't tell the whole story anyway.
Free Trial of Teaching Textbooks
Not sure an online math curriculum is right for your family? You can get a free trial of Teaching Textbooks Online Math Curriculum. You do have to register for the trial, which is 15 lessons, but there's no time limit to it. I would recommend to take the placement test first, so you know which level to get the trial in.
Teaching Textbooks 3.0 is just $67.08 per student for a 12 month subscription. Teaching Textbooks does offer a large family discount plan, which is $199.08 for anywhere from 4 to 8 students. That's a big deal for big families!