I am so thrilled to share my honest and unbiased review on Teaching Textbooks with anyone looking for a math program. While I received a year subscription for my two students in exchange for this review, I’ve been bragging on this curriculum ever since we stumbled onto it a few years ago. It has been a complete game changer for us.
I sat at my aunt’s dining room table, rows of numbers and fractions swimming on the page in front of me. I felt both hot and cold, and my pencil twiddled between my sweaty fingers. You could ask me to write a book report on Colditz, or bake a sour cream latticed top apple pie, or sing a song in Spanish, and I would have done any of them gladly. But math made me break out in a sweat. A real, genuine sweat.
“You can do it,” my aunt coached kindly. She was a math whiz and a homeschool mom so she knew all about coaching kids through pages of numbers. But the paper in front of me blurred beyond recognition.
“I wish it would just speak ENGLISH and not MATH!” I muttered angrily.
I hated math; I honestly and genuinely hated it. My brain was fine, but somehow the way I looked at math was a jumbled pile of numbers and occasionally letters that seemed to have no reason to be together. Why couldn’t we be tested on tree climbing or painting or sewing? Why did math have to be so HARD?
My sister could have learned to read out of the classified section of the newspaper, but I had needed colored pictures and stickers and motivation charts. It was finally my mom’s recognition that I just needed a little more time and the “Book It” program that offered the personal pan pizzas were eventually the winning tickets that lured me into the world of reading. Once I got over the hump, I dove deep into the world of printed word. And while I started a little later than some, I made up for lost time quickly. Soon I was an avid reader, reading late at night with the nightlight clipped on my top bunk bed.
When I started looking for a math curriculum for my own children it was with some trepidation since I knew first hand that not everyone learns the same way or on the same time schedule. I wanted to avoid those salty tears I still distinctly remembered. I was determined to provide my children with everything they needed to love learning.
But with our first math curriculum I watched history repeat itself as in front of me were tears and crumpled papers, and that grumbled under breath “I HATE math!” One of my students has dyslexic type learning challenges, and I knew I needed something that would connect with that learning style.
I asked around and kept hearing, “You really should try Teaching Textbooks math.” I did some research, had my son take a placement test and promptly ordered him the correct grade. Once our CDs and textbook came, it took us about two minutes to completely fall in love with this program. We had finally found our groove.
Part of life is recognizing we cannot do ALL things well. I knew I needed a math program that would permit someone else to do the teaching and explaining new concepts. Math was one area where I knew I really needed to pull in expert help and pass on the math teaching baton.
Being able to completely remove myself from the teaching position on a subject I’m not good at has been a huge positive for everyone. It actually feels like my children have a personal math tutor while they do math now!
I can rest assured that my children will have the kind of math training they need, from 3rd grade all the way up to PreCal without me sweating over the teacher’s manual. My husband is in college and recently was cramming on difficult PreCal concepts. I pulled out my Teaching Textbook PreCal book, and he found fresh explanations on the concept he was working on.
It’s colorful and fun
Teaching Textbooks is colorful and animated and immediately takes down the “boring” school label. The fun “buddies” that cheer or jump when a problem is done correctly is a great incentive for my students to do things well. Many times I’ve been called to the school room, “Mom, watch what the cowboy will do when I get this right!” I’ll take excited students over frustrated ones any day!
I love that the lectures and the lessons are read aloud- great for my student who does best when read to. My children can rewind and re-listen to something if they need to, but that happens very rarely.
Occasionally, my children need their memory jogged as they work through a new concept. The hint feature doesn’t give them the answer but provides just enough refresher that they can usually complete the problem they’ve stalled on.
I’ll be honest: the automatically graded lessons are a massive plus for me. Being able to access the teacher’s portal and look over lessons, grades and numbers of attempts have helped me to be involved but with minimal interaction, which is really wonderful. If a student doesn’t get over a certain grade, they always know that I will go in and delete the incorrect ones, and let them have another run through it. This has helped us be able to work through problem areas, and still come out with a good grade. I love that I can keep track of their progress while letting them learn independently.
Outstanding customer service
Once I needed to replace a CD that had gotten lost, and when I contacted Teaching Textbooks, I spoke with a real person who spoke English well. He solved our problem (replacing the missing CD for $15) in a matter of a minute or two. He could not have been more polite, and I got off the phone quickly, and very happy with TT. If only all companies offered such competent and helpful customer service.
Introducing the 3.0 and how it differs from 2.0
Teaching Textbooks has now released the 3.0 version. Nothing has been taken away, only convenience and mobility added. 3.0 is available wherever you have internet access and can be used on any device (yes, even a smartphone!). No disks to get lost or scratched. Score!
Now the textbook is online, and you don’t need to carry around a paper one. (If you have the 2.0 textbook on your shelf, the 3.0 lines up perfectly with it.)
Multiple students? No problem, each student has their own login, and account. It is slick and easy, and they offer free tutoring if a student is really struggling with a concept.
3.0 allows the teacher to have more control over options like hints and second chances. Does your student rely too heavily on them? You have the freedom to go in and change the settings with a simple click of a button.
There are new buddies and wallpapers in 3.0, which my children have really enjoyed. They have both customized their settings and are enjoying the new buddies.
When you sign up for TT 3.0, you immediately have 12 months access to that grade for your student and they allow for 3 month pause time.
Planning a month-long vacation to Spain? No problem, just enter those dates and pause your subscription. (And bring me along, ok? I want to see Spain!)
They also have lifetime grade storage, so if your computer crashes, your grades are safe. Even after your subscription ends, you can still log on and access your student’s grades.
They even offer a family package, which is a fantastic option for families with 4-8 students. We have a few years till our fourth child will be working numbers on a computer so this will have to wait for us. 😉
DO YOU WANT TO TRY TEACHING TEXTBOOKS 3.0 FOR FREE?
If you have been itching to give Teaching Textbooks a try, I’m delighted to tell you that Teaching Textbooks has agreed to provide a free 3.0 trial. You will be able to try the first 15 lessons of any level of Teaching Textbooks (and yes, more than one level is allowed) before buying!
The Free trial does not require a credit card and does work for the first 15 lessons with no time limit.
Just click HERE to go to their free trial sign up page. This should give you, and your child, a good feeling of how the program works. Even though I purchased the 2.0 version on faith that it would work, I know my fears would have been eliminated if we had gotten to try it first. So the free trial is a wonderful way to give it a risk-free trial. There will be an upgrade feature in the program, so if you decide to purchase a year, after you set up your subscription you can remove free trials, carry over all work, or delete work if needed.
And better yet, Teaching Textbooks is giving away a FULL YEAR subscription to one of my readers!
Hopefully, Teaching Textbooks will eliminate the math stress in your homeschool like it did for us. This program was genuinely a Godsend for our family and met our needs perfectly. As my children have grown, it has continued to be what they need and that’s why Teaching Textbooks is here to stay.