Teaching Textbooks is an excellent middle school math curriculum choice for families, specifically if you’re looking for an online math program.
If you are homeschooling tweens and teens, I would encourage you to check out their completely updated version, TT 4.0. The changes are quite extensive and definitely improve the experience for kids and parents.
I feel the updates suit older kids especially well.
This has been a go-to math curriculum for homeschoolers for years, and it’s still one of the best choices available.
I received this product for free to write about my experience and got compensated for my time. I was not required to post a positive review. These are my honest opinions. See my disclosure statement.
Middle School Math Curriculum
Teaching Textbooks has some major changes to the way it looks and works, so if you haven’t seen it lately, it’s time to check it out. We were able to spend some time going through math 7 and I’m excited to share with you what you can expect from TT 4.0.
So, what’s changed?
With the discontinuation of Adobe flash, they completely revamped their offerings, moving away from the CD-ROM textbook combination. Instead of installing the whole curriculum onto your computer, you’ll use an app.
Yes, you will need to download it to your computer, even if you’ve used the program before, but it’s simple to do. And because it’s an online version and not a direct installation, you won’t be using up a bunch of space on your computer.
Another huge benefit is that it now works on all kinds of devices including computers, tablets, and mobile phones.
What’s stayed the same?
It’s still a rock-solid, comprehensive math curriculum that’s committed to helping kids learn math in a way that’s fun and engaging.
Online Math Curriculum
Middle schoolers should be comfortable with online learning before starting high school, and math is a simple way to get them the experience they need.
Unlike other programs, this one uses a combination of online access and downloads. If your family struggles with consistent Wi-Fi or your tweens like to do their work away from home, this will be a huge benefit for you.
This online math curriculum downloads a few lessons at a time, instead of loading them on your computer all at once. So, there are always exercises available, even if you don’t have an internet connection.
This means teens get the benefit of e-learning without the constant connectivity requirement.
Is Teaching Textbooks Spiral or Mastery?
Teaching Textbooks takes a spiral approach to math. That means that every lesson includes topics from previous ones. This is good for two reasons.
- Math is a subject that can frustrate kids, especially when it seems like they’re not moving forward. With the spiral method, instead of feeling stuck, kids keep going, reviewing along the way.
- Students learn more about a subject each time they’re exposed to it, so every time they circle back, their skill level improves.
Let’s be honest, kids hate standard review. No one wants to sit and do endless flashcards or worksheets. That’s why I add as many math games into our lessons as possible.
Luckily, this curriculum builds extra practice into each lesson. It’s enough to keep the material fresh in their minds, but not overwhelm them.
Homeschool Math Curriculum for Auditory Learners
My youngest is an auditory learner, which means she understands best by listening. So I incorporate things like audiobooks, reading aloud, and video lectures into our homeschool.
Teaching Textbooks includes an auditory component to every lesson, which is great for students who learn this way.
Kids can watch the lectures as often as they need to in order to grasp the material. And if your tweens constantly skim over lessons, missing key parts of information, having someone read it to them is a big bonus.
If your student would rather read through the lessons, there is an ebook included as well.
Like what you’ve read so far? Try it out for yourself. Their generous free trial lets you check out 15 lessons of any grade level.
How This Online Math Course for Middle Schoolers Works
In short, each online lesson comprises a lecture, practice problems, and review. The lessons are fairly short. Tweens get it and move on.
Teaching Textbooks introduces students to the material through a video lecture, and afterwards, the teacher works through a few sample problems. Then, kids answer around 20 questions on their own.
There are plenty of practice problems and completed examples, which is great for students who need more practice. You can also turn on animated hints for them.
The program grades answers immediately, and if they get any wrong; it gives them the opportunity to do those again. If they miss a second time, a video will walk them through the problem.
Someone else does the teaching and the grading, which suits us well. There’s no extra prep work for me to do. I just have to make sure my daughter has lessons available and verify that assignments are finished.
Scores are moved right into the gradebook where you’ll have access to all kinds of information like:
- what problems have been done
- when they were finished
- the number of problems completed
- the grade for each section
- your child’s overall average – great if you’re thinking about high school and transcripts
Just think of how simple end of the year evaluations will be this year.
Note – if you have more than one child, you must go into each individual gradebook to see their scores. They don’t get combined into one teacher’s dashboard. They’re working on it, but it’s just not a feature that’s up and running yet.
6 Reasons to Use Teaching Textbooks with Your Older kids
Here are 6 ways this program shines with older kids. They’re things I look for in a math curriculum for my teens, and I think you’ll appreciate as well.
It seems like homeschooled teens love doing their work anywhere but their desks. Since they can download this program to all of their devices, they can do math wherever they want.
My teen loves switching between her laptop and tablet, and often works in her room or in the hammock on our porch, so this was a huge plus for her.
With this homeschool curriculum, teens don’t need you to teach, review, or grade their lessons. It’s designed in a way that students can work through the modules independently.
This gives them a bit of independence and encourages them to take more responsibility over their education.
Now they won’t have to stop and wait for you to be free to answer their questions because the software takes care of it.
My teen thrives on instant feedback with math. She wants to know right away how she did on quizzes and tests and enjoys seeing where she’s gone wrong on a problem. Teaching Textbooks makes it easy for her to know where she stands.
When we used textbooks for math, sometimes it took a while for me to grade lessons, which frustrated my youngest. She wanted to know her score immediately.
Sometimes by the time I graded her work, she was onto a new topic. If, after grading, I realized she hadn’t grasped the material; we had to go backwards. It was frustrating for both of us.
That’s why we love that this online program grades everything immediately.
Math is one subject I am happy to farm out to someone else. Personally, I want to be as far removed as possible because I often give my kids the wrong answers when I’m trying to help. I’d rather have subject experts teaching and grading their work.
I don’t want their success riding on what I remember from decades ago.
Parents can control how many lessons are available at any given time. This helps you manage the pace your kids move through the material.
Tweens can sit and do one section or a few. My daughter likes to keep working when she’s in a groove. This allows her the flexibility to slow down when she’s struggling without making her feel like she’s behind.
I appreciate that Teaching Textbooks lets kids move at their own pace.
I don’t care how old your kids are, they still get excited by small rewards.
This homeschool curriculum includes wallpaper, stickers, and animated buddies to help motivate and engage kids. It adds stickers to a virtual sticker book when tweens solve problems and various wallpapers are unlocked as they answer more questions.
They’re quite generous with the release of these which my teen appreciates.
Additional Notes on Teaching Textbooks
As with any rollout of this magnitude, you may encounter a few bumps as you get started. But they are incredibly committed to making the move to TT 4.0 as easy as possible for you. Personally, we didn’t have any issues.
Don’t forget, they have a risk-free trial, so there’s no reason not to check it out to see if it will work for your family.
It’s compatible with mac and windows. Add it to your computer and handheld device of choice for easy access to the gradebook and teacher tools.
Overall, I think that Teaching Textbooks is a solid online math program for homeschoolers, especially those teaching tweens and teens, and I encourage you to try it out.