We are not year-round homeschoolers. I tried it once and realized that I like my summer vacation too much! But, I also know that it's so easy for that 'summer slide' to occur - when it seems like all the stuff you've been teaching (and learning!) with your kids throughout the homeschool year seems to slide right back out of their brains once summer vacation begins.
To avoid that summer slide, I like to make sure we're still doing a little bit of work so daily math and reading are the norm for us during the summer. And to make my job just a little bit easier, I like to make sure we use different things to make it fun - after all, it's still summer vacation!
This post is sponsored by CTC Math. I received a free membership & was compensated for my time spent using the program and writing this article. All views and opinions expressed are my own.
4 Easy Ways to Avoid the Summer Slide
If your children are anything like mine, then you know that it's normal for them to forget math facts - especially during a long summer vacation. We like to do a few different things to avoid that summer slide:
- play math and logic games
- read math books
- work on logic puzzles
- use fun math Apps
All of these things work well for continued math learning but the best thing we've ever done (and continue to do) is to just keep working on math during the summer. We've always used two math programs - one as our main curriculum and a second that teaches things differently - either a different format or method. It's a great way to reinforce learning and look at math in a different way. Since we've been using a workbook-based program all year, an online program was the perfect solution for summertime and CTC Math fit the bill.
Avoid the Summer Slide with CTC Math
CTC Math is an interactive online math program that really takes the teaching pressure off mom and dad (something this homeschool mom is really thankful for!). The full program covers math from kindergarten-high school (best of all, they offer a homeschool family membership deal).
After signing up (you can even give the program a free trial first) you can login to your parent account and quickly set up student accounts for each child (they'll each have their own username & password). After your children begin working through the program, you'll be able to easily see how many lessons they've completed, their overall grade, and even check when they've logged in and viewed lessons. You also have the option to set specific tasks for your kids to complete.
When students are logged in, they begin on the Lessons screen and will need to choose the appropriate grade-level before jumping into the lessons. Each grade-level has divided lessons by topic and it's quick and easy to move between sections. Each sub-topic also includes diagnostic tests which are a nice tool to make sure students really understand the information.
Each lesson begins with a video for students to watch. (One very nice feature is the ability to rewind or fast-forward the videos as needed.) The instructor is clear and explains each step in good detail. After viewing the video students can move on to the questions, typing their answers right into the boxes on the screen. When the ten questions are completed, the final section of the lesson shows their score and gives the option to print the results or work on more questions (which is a very nice option).
CTC Math is simple and straightforward to use - there isn't anything complicated about setting it up or using the program. Kids will be working independently in no time! A few other benefits:
- Easy for mom - let someone else take care of teaching math (even the grading!)
- Lessons and topics are divided into small, manageable chunks (perfect for easily distracted kids)
- Kids can learn at their own pace (and fast-forward or rewind if they need to)
- Checking on kids is a breeze with the weekly email progress reports
How we've been using CTC Math
We began using CTC Math towards the end of TJ's 6th grade school year, to transition to our summer schedule. I had planned to alternate the program with our usual math books but she's been enjoying the lessons so much that the workbook sits on the shelf covered in a layer of dust.
I love that she's working independently and doesn't need to check in with me because of the built-in tools that CTC Math offers - it's a great learning experience for both of us.
A few tips:
- Set up your parent account to receive weekly progress reports so you can easily keep track of how your children are doing on their assignments
- Discuss a passing score with your kids - use that as a baseline for each lesson (if they get a score that is below that level, make it a requirement that they complete more questions before moving to the next lesson)
- Use the Diagnostic Tests to assess your child's understanding of the topic
I can't begin to tell you how much of a relief it is to have my daughter doing math independently! Math is not my strong suit (especially as she gets older) and I'm so glad to find a strong, reliable online math program that we both like. CTC Math makes my homeschool day so much easier.
We've loved CTC Math so much that my daughter wants to use it as her primary math program for 7th grade - which sounds great to me! Now I can spend more time focusing on the subjects I know I can teach well and let CTC Math take math off my busy homeschooling plate.
More About CTC Math
CTC Math is available as a single membership or a family membership with monthly, 6-month, and 12-month payment options. Best of all, they are offering a generous discount right now!
Use this link to receive a 60% discount: CTC Homeschool Discount
They also offer a free trial if you want to give the program a test run with your kids first.