To say that math used to be our youngest daughter’s least favorite subject would be the understatement of the century. Over the years we have tried a few different math programs, of all different styles. I am a teacher, so I know “how” to teach math (up until the high school years), and believe me, I tried just about every different approach trying to find the right fit for her until we discovered all the reasons why we love Teaching Textbooks.
Teaching Textbooks has been over the last two years by far, the best choice for my now-13 year-old who is just finishing 7th grade. So when I was offered the opportunity to try the new 3.0 Version of Teaching Textbooks 7, for our honest review, I jumped on it! We have enjoyed the 2.0 version so much, that I was eager to see the new changes and updates.
Teaching Textbooks is very interactive. This keeps the attention of my daughter, and she loves that she can choose her “buddy” – a graphic cartoon that voices encouragement and say s funny things when you get a problem wrong like,“Oh well! When life gets messy, you might as well play in the mud!” Her favorite buddy right now is Wiggly & Wayland who are two very cute animated worms who obviously like to play in the mud. There are 16 other choices for buddies, and they are have their own voice and style. She was very happy to see brand new buddies in the 3.0 version.
Students can also change the look of their program by choosing from 15 different wallpapers, too, which helps change things up and keeps it interesting. If you have a visual child, like I do, you will love these features.
With Teaching Textbooks, the lesson is read aloud to your student, great for auditory learners like my daughter! Students also receive “hints” in the form of a quick refresher which is read aloud, before they go ahead and try the problem. They know a hint is coming up, because they will hear, “Time out for a hint!” These have been very helpful for my daughter, because it reinforces the concept in a fun and encouraging way. If you’d like to turn off the hints, it’s easy to do from the parent log in.
Students also receive second chances to get an answer right. Parents have a lot of control over these features, and this is another that can be turned off. As a teacher and homeschool mom, I appreciate this because I fully believe in mastery-based learning.
Speaking of mastery-based learning, you the parent, have control over the child’s grade book. You can delete scores for individual problems, or entire lessons. The best part about this is, if you, the parent are working at your own computer, you can log into your parent account and delete those while your child is working on the lesson. You do not have to log in on the same device your child is working from. I love this update! Our rules are, If Kate does not score a 90% or higher on the lesson, I delete the entire lesson score in the parent account, and she does it again the following day. This has never failed to help her master the material.
Permanent Grade Storage
Your child’s grades are stored permanently, which means that they are not stored on your hard drive. If you have a computer issue, and lose data, you will NOT lose your child’s grades. This gives me great peace of mind.
Teaching Textbooks 3.0 is much more affordable than the old version, which makes it nice for everyone, especially large families. They have a large-family discount plan, which I think is fabulous. I don’t know many other curriculum companies that do this.
With the 2.0 version, Teaching Textbooks came with the CDs, the textbook and the answer key. Personally, we rarely used the textbook and never used the answer key, but I know that some like that option. Not to worry! With the 3.0 subscription, you receive the textbook as an ebook which means that you can print off whatever pages you wish to use. If, however, you still wish to have the entire physical textbook, it is available for purchase from the Teaching Textbooks website.
A Few Glitches
Sometimes we are convinced that Kate is going to be an editor one day, as she is quite perfectionistic about grammar, spelling and other errors. It is no surprise that this girl has been keeping a running list of the glitches that she noted with the new 3.0 version. Here they are: With the 3.0 version of Teaching Textbooks 7 we notice that the pop-up which says, “Sorry, you cant’ type that in your answer” comes up quite frequently even when K is not trying to type in an answer. This can happen if the cursor hovers over the box for too long before typing in an answer, but Kate says she’s not waiting that long. We need to keep an eye on this.
Hopefully, these small glitches will be taken care of in the next release, and if Teaching Textbooks would like to hire my daughter as their editor she’d surely take the job.
The Same Great Customer Service
I only had to call customer service a couple of times over the years, and I was used to the phone being answered (on the second or third ring!) by an actual live person who was always friendly and super helpful. I am happy to say that when I had to call this time when setting up the 3.0, the customer service was still super fast and super helpful. I called the first time to see if our 2.0 grades could be transferred over to the 3.0 grade book. They cannot. It’s not a big deal to me, right now, as I have all her grades for the 2.0 version and can add those to the grades that get recorded in the 3.0 version. The second time I called customer service, I had a question about how to make the workspace larger on the screen, which was not a Teaching Textbooks issue, but a Chrome issue. Still, though, the answer was quick and the fix was easy! I like that!
Overall, since using Teaching Textbooks for the last two years, it has really helped build Kate’s confidence in math. She knows that if she doesn’t get a problem right, she’ll have another opportunity, and having the “buddies” cheer her on seems to really help keep her encouraged. This girl has gone from crying every day over her math lessons, to actually enjoying them, and that is a big gigantic win for all of us!Follow us!