Our Favorite Homeschool Math- Review of Teaching Textbooks 3.0
Teaching Textbooks is now online!
If you’ve been scouring the internet, homeschool conferences, and local homeschool curriculum sales looking for the best educational resources available, then Teaching Textbooks is probably a familiar name. In fact, this resource may even be on your wish list.
Up until recently, Teaching Textbooks was only available in a physical format. However, they have officially rolled out their online program – Teaching Textbooks 3.0 – and it is amazing! Techie homeschoolers, rejoice!
What’s so great about Teaching Textbooks 3.0, you ask? Allow me to share my opinion and experience, then you can try it out for yourself.
What is Teaching Textbooks?
Before I go into the review of Teaching Textbooks 3.0, I want to talk a little about Teaching Textbooks for those who may not be all that familiar.
Teaching Textbooks is a math curriculum that was designed for independent learners. The 700 page textbooks features step-by-step dissections of every single problem. The textbooks are accompanied with CD-ROMs that contain 120-160 hours of instruction from professional math teachers who give audiovisual breakdowns of each problem. This means your kids get the benefit of textbook learning and lecture-style teaching all in the comfort of your own home!
You will find grade level packages from 3rd grade to 7th grade, plus Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1, Algebra 2, Geometry, and PreCalculus. It’s a program that grows with your child throughout the years as they expand on their mathematical skills. With short, engaging lessons, Teaching Textbooks is also a way to make learning math (dare I say it?) fun.
In addition to a textbook and CD-ROM, the original version also includes tests and answer keys to help you assess your child’s understanding of the concepts that he or she is learning. Years ago, when I introduced my kids to Teaching Textbooks, I had the CD-Rom version and the huge, rip your backpack, weighs a ton textbook.
How Does it Work?
Students start by watching a short lecture taught by a math teacher. The lessons are reasonably traditional, though the presentation is often light-hearted and (dare I say it again?) fun. The teacher introduces a new concept, gives clear examples, and then provides some practice problems. After that, your child is prompted to complete a set of 18-25 problems to be graded.
When completing the to-be-graded problems, the answers are automatically graded. If your child gets the answer wrong, they have the option to either try it again (second chance) or see how the problem should have been solved. They can also receive voice hints to help them get on the right path. Their progress is saved in a grade book that you can access at any time. You also have the ability to edit their lessons by deleting problems or entire lessons.
What’s New in Teaching Textbooks 3.0?
Obviously, the biggest change is that the program is now completely online! You don’t have to worry about discs getting lost, broken, or scratched because all of the lectures are available at your fingertips.
If you’re trying to save space on your bookshelves, you’ll also be happy to know that the textbook is digital as well. The quizzes and answer keys are also online. But the great thing is that the content is all the same – just in a different format.
If you are a fan of Teaching Textbook 2.0 because of its content, you won’t be disappointed with version 3.0! Also, because my husband was Active Duty in the Army for over 20 years and we moved constantly, Teaching Textbooks 3.0 would have been perfect for us! No discs, no books, no mess, perfect for all those moves to keep your kid on track!
The parental features have been upgraded as well. Not only can you manage your students and their lessons with the click of a few buttons, you can also turn certain features (such as voice hints and second chances) off and on.
Another exciting feature is PERMANENT grade storage. You already know that Teaching Textbooks saves your child’s progress and grades; however, they will now also give you permanent access to your grade book – even if you decide down the line to use a different math program. That’s great customer service and notably convenient!
Why I Love It
There are a TON of reasons why I love Teaching textbooks and 3.0 specifically. For the purpose of this review, my kids were sent a full year of Teaching Textbooks 3.0 for 4th grade, 5th grade, and 7th grade. Let me be the first to tell you that my oldest son hates math. I mean HATES it.
However, in the last year he has realized that he must embrace this subject with a positive attitude and a desire to learn in order to attend college and eventually reach his life goals. Finding a Math curriculum for someone that hates math is a huge task. I can honestly say without a doubt that Teaching Textbooks 3.0 IS that Math. He truly loves it!
On the other hand, my 6th grade Math student is a whiz at math. He truly loves it and has always begged for more math sheets/problems. Needless to say, we were not facing the same situation as with my oldest.
However, this kiddo was super impressed with the features that you can read about below. This is his first time using a computer to complete math and he is obsessed with doing more. When he wakes up, his first question is about doing math on Daddy’s computer. He is excited about this curriculum!
My other kiddo, my 4th grade Math student, was also very eager to get started! Unfortunately, when my other two students began working on Teaching Textbooks 3.0, this kid was sick! He had to wait until the following week to get started and that was torture!
He listened to the other kids laugh, have fun and enjoy their lessons. When he was finally able to start, he was even more excited! He has whizzed through his lessons and loves learning Math. So what features do they and I love most about teaching textbooks 3.0? Read on as I share……
Great for visual and auditory learners
If you have kids whose learning styles are spacial (visual) and/or auditory (aural), this is a great program to help them succeed. When this program was put together, the creators most definitely considered all learning styles. It is well done, engaging, easy to use and can hit huge target audiences with it being both visual and auditory.
Lessons are short and fun
If you want lessons that are long enough to help your child become acquainted with a concept, yet engaging enough to make it fun, that is one of the big pros that parents (including myself) have to say about Teaching Textbooks. The language is easy-to-understand and the graphics make it visually appealing. My kids appreciate choosing their “buddies” (similar to cartoon avatars) that give them encouragement and having the ability to choose fun wallpaper.
I can’t tell you how much I enjoy the that each problem is automatically graded as the solution is submitted. If your child is struggling with a concept and don’t realize it until they’ve completed 35 problems, that would frustrate anyone! With the automatic grading feature, your kids can find out instantly if they are on the right track or if they need to use a second chance.
Second Chance and Voice Hints
Speaking of second chances, isn’t this an awesome feature?! Sometimes you just need to go back and try again. Same for getting voice hints. I know we’ve all needed just that little nudge to help us remember something. However, I also appreciate the option to turn these features off to challenge our kids a bit more once they’ve understood a concept.
As I mentioned before, I am super impressed that they offer a PERMANENT grade book. As homeschoolers (especially in states with strict record keeping requirements), it can be a real pain to lose access to all of your kid’s work just because you switched to a new curriculum. I am impressed that Teaching Textbooks has removed that concern. The grade book feature also helps parents know what their child’s strengths and weaknesses are.
WIth 95-142 lessons per course, lessons can be assigned at a comfortable pace. There’s no need to accomplish several lessons in one day unless you want to. This summer our kids have done more lessons because they were so excited to get started and they are LOVING using Teaching Textbooks 3.0!!!
Minimal teacher involvement
Although you are free to get as involved as you want, I admire how Teaching Textbooks is constructed to help children work independently. The lessons and the problems are all geared towards the kids, so they can work through everything with little to no help from you, the parent.
Teaches kids to learn
Because they are teaching kids HOW to work the problems, kids are actually learning and applying rather than memorizing and regurgitating information.
Access on Multiple Devices
If you’re like me, you don’t do everything on one device – and neither do your kids. Teaching Textbooks 3.0 can be accessed on computers, tablets, phones, and Chromebook. It’s great option if you want your child to be able to learn on-the-go (remember those military moves I talked about?). Learn more about using Teaching Textbooks on mobile devices here.
Great Customer Service
If customer service is important to you, you’ll be happy to know that I’ve always had very pleasant and helpful experiences with customer service. Did I mention you have access to live tutoring available by phone?
It’s Not a Replacement for 2.0
For those who prefer 2.0, have no fear! 3.0 is not a replacement, it’s just another option. Customers can also continue ordering the physical textbook and answer key to supplement 3.0 if they prefer having those things in their hand.
Who Should Use It
Wondering if Teaching Textbooks might be the right fit for your family? Here is a list of people that I think it is great for:
- Parents who want to provide their kids independent learning options – especially those who are teaching multiple age groups
- Parents who know that math is not their strong suit, but can’t afford a personal tutor
- Parents of visual learners
- Parents of auditory learners
- Parents of kids who have dyslexia
- Parents of struggling readers
How to Get Started
If you’re ready to just dive right in to a full course, you can get started here. However, if you would like to give a course (or 10) a trial run, Teaching Textbooks 3.0 offers an amazing free trial offer. You can request a free trial for any (or all) of the courses. With each trial, you have FULL ACCESS to the first 15 lessons – with NO TIME LIMIT. How awesome is that?! BEFORE you request a trial and send them a level, I recommend taking the placement test to verify your child’s level.
Step 1: Request free trial for course(s) of your choice
Simply go to this page and fill out the form. You should receive an email within a few minutes letting you know the next steps. (Note: If you do not, try going back to the site, look at the top right corner for “View Cart” and see if you need to complete the order. If so, do that, and then keep an eye on your inbox).
Step 2: Check confirmation email
You will receive two separate emails. One is a “receipt” (don’t worry, you don’t have to enter any credit card info). The other will be a welcome email that contains a link to set up your free trial.
Step 3: Create password
Click on the link in your confirmation email and you will be prompted to create and confirm a password for your student account.
Step 4: Set up subscription
Once you have created your password, you will need to set up your subscriptions (this will require you to have the updated Adobe Flash Player, but don’t worry – it will prompt you to get it if you don’t).
Step 5: Complete student set-up
Next, you need to enter student info. It’s really basic – first & last name, birthday, nickname (optional), gender (optional), and password. You will have the opportunity to confirm everything on the next page (even the password).
Step 6: Log in and get started
Once you’ve gone through this process, both you and your child can log in and get familiar with the program. Simply go to the login page and select the correct account (student or parent).
The latest version of Teaching Textbooks 3.0 is a paid online subscription. Each subscription that you purchase is for 1 child. Since I have 3 kids, I would need to purchase 3 different subscriptions to cover them all.
The good news is that it is super affordable! You can get an online subscription to 3.0 for $43 to $67. That is honestly very affordable! For you bigger families with 4+++ children, Teaching Textbooks is a wonderful company and cares about keeping costs down. For families with 4-8 kiddos, Teaching Textbooks caps the price for a family plan at $199.08!!!
I hope this review helps you decide if Teaching Textbooks 3.0 is right for your family.
PS: I am so excited to be a Teaching Textbooks Ambassador, and did receiveTeaching Textbooks 3.0 as part of my relationship. All opinions expressed on this product and other Teaching Textbook products are 100% my own.