CTCMath Family Membership Review

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

We are so excited to be able to use the 12-month Family membership from CTCMath. We school all year long so it’s nice to be able to add additional students if they need some additional help.  Keep reading below to see what CTCMath is all about.

What is CTCMath

CTCMath is a full math curriculum that covers all the math topics your child will need all the way threw high school.  The program is an online subscription that has lesson videos and review problems.  I reviewed the Family membership which lets you set up all your children in whatever grade they are in.  You can give assignments to each child and due dates or you can select what lessons you want them to work on.

As a parent or teacher, you can see all your children/students and see what progress they are making.  The picture below shows what the teacher screen looks like where you can see the child’s progress and what lessons are coming up.  It is also where you can assign tasks.

When your child logs in with his name he can work on the tasks you assigned or you can help them select a specific lesson or unit you want them to work on.  Each lesson has videos your child can watch and then there are questions for them to work on after they watch the video.  The questions are all answered online but you can also print out questions if you would like.  Once the question is answered, the correct answer is shown if they got it wrong.  The student then clicks on a button to go to the next question.

You can also have your child take a diagnostic test on the subject. The picture below shows one of the diagnostic tests for second grade.

Lesson results are easy to see as shown in the picture below.


What did we think

I was really impressed with CTCMath video lessons and my kids liked them also.  I thought the explanation and the graphics used to explain the lesson were really good.  I wasn’t planning on using CTCMath with my high school daughter for her Algebra but after watching some of the lessons I decided I would use them for her also.  There are so many different topics so you can easily find any topic your child might be struggling with to review.

I didn’t really like the option of giving assignments.  I preferred just selecting a lesson for my sons and letting them work on that instead of assigning him work.  It just works better for us that way.  I feel like I know what math topics my son needs to work on so I can just have him select those lessons to work on.  Maybe if your child is self-motivated you could assign tasks and just let them work on the assigned lessons.  Whatever works best for you if you are looking for a comprehensive online math curriculum then I would recommend CTCMath.

Be sure to visit the Homeschool Review Crew blog to read more reviews of CTCMath.

From Kindy to Calculus CTCMath 12-month Family membership {CTCMath Reviews}

Progeny Press Review


Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

Progeny Press makes earning High School Literature credits easy with high school level study guides such as My Side of the Mountain Study Guide and Animal Farm  Study Guide.  The guide suggests that one study guide is worth 1/4 of high school credit.  So if your high schooler does two different books you can use the guide for a half-semester credit.

I was excited to see Progeny Press has a study guide for My Side fo the Mountain.  When I was a boy, My side of the Mountain was one of my favorite books.  I was initially going to read the book out loud to my boys but after reviewing the My Side of the Mountain Study Guide I decided to assign reading it to my older boys for school.  The guides I reviewed in my opinion seemed to be High school level of work.  Even though the guides are for older kids there are still activities in the guides that you can use with younger children if you are reading the book out loud.  For example, there are Prereading activities you can do with younger kids like suggested field trips related to the book.  Like in the My Side of the Mountain Reading Guide one of the activities mentioned was to go on a fishing field trip which is always a hit with my boys.

The reading guides are in pdf format so I can use it over again.  The pdf actually allows you to type answers in right in the pdf.  You can have your student work on the computer and save it or you can just print it out and have them write out the answers. Each pdf has a Synopsis of the book and information about the author.  The guides also have a section for additional resources for you.  Each section of the book is covered in the reading guide with a vocabulary section and a set of questions about the chapters. Of course, the answers are provided in a separate pdf.

If you are looking for a study guide for your high schoolers literature then I would recommend you look at what Progeny Press has to offer.



Other study guides available at the high school level include The Red Badge of Courage, The Yearling, Heart of Darkness, Jane Eyre, Hamlet, Out of the Silent Planet, To Kill a Mockingbird, A Day No Pigs Would Die, The Great Gatsby, and A Tale of Two Cities. Visit the Homeschool Review Crew blog to read more reviews of Progeny Press.

Study Guides for Literature - A New Coat for Anna, In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson, My Side of the Mountain, Animal Farm & Little Women {Progeny Press Reviews}

MaxScholar Reading Program Review

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

MaxScholar offers a variety of activities for students to improve reading skills with their MaxScholar Orton-Gillingham Software. I was provided a six-month membership to use with up to five students.  I used MaxScholar with two of my boys who are learning to read.  Keep reading to see how we used MaxScholar and if the program could help improve your child’s reading skills.

What is MaxScholar?

MaxScholar is an online computer program that focuses on reading using an Orton Gillingham approach.  The program can be used for homeschooling multiple children or used in a classroom setting.  As the teacher, your login has all the settings along with helpful reading material and lesson guides.  The program works with a regular computer and it also worked fine on my iPad.

The program has three parts: MaxPhonics, MaxReading, and MaxWords.  I mostly used MaxPhonics but the MaxWords helps with vocab and syllables while the MaxReading helps reading skills and reading comprehension and also vocabulary.

Here is an example of a text for the MaxReading part.  The student highlights different parts of the text as instructed.

Here is an example of the MaxWords module options. You can see the student can practice spelling rules, learn about Prefixes and suffixes, and learn about Greek and Latin roots for words.  The Clover button allows the student to learn and practice the six types of syllables.

How we used it

So I have two boys learning to read. The older of the two has struggled to read for a while so I looked through the MaxReading and decided he really needed to work on his phonics skills with MaxPhonics. Since I know what level he is at I went into his student settings and enabled the phonics level I wanted him to work on. The picture below shows the different settings I changed.  I turned off the placement test and gave him access to MaxPhonics by selecting override of the placement test.  Then I also selected modules for him to work on blends.

This is what it looks like on his login.  Module 3 Blends is unlocked.

Once I got his student settings right I had him log in to MaxScholar and work on his phonics.  The picture below shows one of the parts of the lesson where the student has to choose which picture starts with the Blend sound being studied.

For the Blends, each lesson presented a new blend and how it sounded.  Then there is practice for writing the blend along with words that use the blend.  There is a video of someone making the sound for each blend and the audio to go along with the sound.  This really helps my son know how to form the sound with his mouth by being able to watch someone else make the sound. At the end of the lesson, there is a quiz to determine if he has mastered the blend. Each module is pretty easy and my son did not get bored or tired of working on the module.  Sometimes I even had him do two different Blends in a day.

My younger boy is at the beginning stage of reading. He knows most of his letter sounds and can read simple words. I initially had him start the placement test (which is the default for MaxPhonics) however after a while I realized he already knew all the test questions and I didn’t see the need for him to keep testing. I went in with the teacher setting and unlocked the phonics stage that I thought he was at. I put his settings on Module 2 which has constants and short vowels. I selected where I thought he should start. Pretty soon the program was having him work on sound blending.

There were also games to play however some of the games my boys were not ready since they were still in the early stages of reading. The only game they could really play without a lot of help was the Memory Game.

Final thoughts

Overall I really like the MaxPhonics part of MaxScholar.  The lessons were not boring and I felt like my son learned the sounds he went through.  I like how the sound blending was presented.  It seemed to make it easier for my son with auditory processing issues.  It was also helpful for my son that each lesson had a video of someone sounding out the new sound/blend and that really helps him connect the auditory sound with lip movements.

I did not feel like my sons were ready for MaxReading.  The initial lessons were just pictures and questions about the pictures and the reading sections seemed like they were for those reading well.  Maybe there were some sections that would have been appropriate but I felt like my sons needed the MaxPhonics practice more than the reading so that’s what we used. The MaxPhonics was what I really wanted to focus on so they will become good readers.

I would recommend using MaxScholar with the iPad over a laptop if possible.  My sons found the letter tracing on the iPad easier than with the trackpad on the laptop.  The iPad is also portable so your child can take it to a quiet part of the house so they can concentrate on the letter sounds.  The only downside to the program with the iPad is that you will need internet access.

We used MaxScholar for my beginning readers, but other families used various levels of MaxScholar so be sure to visit the Homeschool Review Crew to read more views.

MaxScholar Orton-Gillingham Software {MaxScholar Reviews}