Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.
I have heard about Teaching Textbooks for many years. A friend of mine showed it to me back when we lived in Michigan—it must have been at least 15 years ago now! I was mildly interested, but at that time I had never so much as used a computer, so didn’t think about it much. Then, about six months ago, I was offered the chance to use this course for a review. Mr. Diligence needed something for math for this year, so I thought it would be an excellent course to try. The level he needed, Geometry, was one of the courses offered, so it worked perfectly. He started using level 3.0 in October, and after a break over the summer, he went back to it, using Teaching Textbooks 4.0—they upgraded in the meantime.
I’m quite impressed with Teaching Textbooks. It’s working very well for Mr. Diligence. He does his lessons with very little help from me. Once or twice, he has gotten stuck on a problem and asked for help, but otherwise, I don’t do anything with his lessons. Each lesson starts with a lecture, illustrated with animated slides, and then there are, I believe, five practice problems. After that, there are 20-25 problems, some having to do with the new concept taught in the day’s lecture, and some being review of concepts taught earlier. He is doing very well with this course, and really likes it.
Each problem is read aloud, and then needs to be answered in one of several ways. Sometimes there are multiple choices to click, other times it is a true/false question, and other times the answer needs to be calculated and typed in to the answer box. Immediately, the program lets you know if you got the answer right, and then you can choose to try again, or see how the solution is arrived at. A lot of the problems need to be worked out algebraically, of course. There is a “scratch pad” button, which allows you to write on the screen with the mouse. It’s a lot slower than using paper and pencil, but apparently works well with a tablet.
Do you remember doing proofs when you did Geometry in high school? I do, although I can’t remember details very well! This program has a way to do proofs. Some of the statements and some of the reasons are given; for the others, five choices are presented and you have to choose the correct one.
Version 3.0 was entirely online. He didn’t do a lot of lessons with it, because we were going into the summer holiday soon after we received it, but as far as I can tell, version 4.0 is easier to use and clearer. It is also not all online. You install an app on your device and several lessons at a time are downloaded into the computer. That makes it much more useful to us; my computer is getting very old and regularly loses connection with the internet for a minute or two. One of the features I really like about 4.0 is that I can pause our subscription, for a week or more at a time, when I know he won’t have time to use the course. This is very helpful, because we only have it for a year! 3.0 could be paused, as well, but I had to call and talk to someone to do that, and being international, that is difficult. Now, I can do it through the parent dashboard.
I am quite impressed with this program. I like the way the lessons are presented clearly, and that there is plenty of review. I like that I don’t have to do anything with them; I can just turn my boy loose and he can do the program all by himself. (This is something I’m learning about my children with dyslexia—computer programs that include lectures are very useful! I’ve been reading the lessons aloud to some of them all their lives to make sure they get it, but with a program like TT, I don’t have to!) I noticed on the website that you can get a free trial of the first 15 lessons of any level. That sounds really good to me! That would be enough to get a good feel for how the course works and if it will work for a particular child.
I like the Parent page, too. That is where I can manage the subscription (like pause it when needed!), and I can see exactly what scores he is getting on all lessons. The overall score so far for the course is shown, too. Now that we have tried Teaching Textbooks, I will likely have other children use it when we need math courses for high school.
Click on the image below to find reviews by a number of other families who also used Teaching Textbooks 4.0 recently!