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For those who use teaching textbooks I need advice. I am trying it out this year with  my fourth grader. Please help me with these questions

How can I have the child show their work? I want to see her work since its multiple choice on the computer? Would you suggest printing out the lesson or keeping a notebook?

Give me all your advice on the program. I am moving away from Saxon because we are a large family and I do not have time to do those long Saxon lessons with each child. I want something student led.

How have your children done? Has it prepared them for college?

Edited by Homeschoolmommy44
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Oldest is entering grade 10, so I can't comment on the end-game of TT.  There are some other threads on that.  I'd also search outside of TWTM.  My biggest piece of advice would be to check up on your kids often and make sure they are understanding and mastering the material.   We typically have the kids view the lecture, work the problems on paper and then I correct.  If you don't want to correct, you can have them enter the answers in to the system.  We do all tests on paper and I correct them.  This allows me to see what they are learning and remembering.     

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For the elementary grades, I use TT with just the book (no computer at all). This way they have to read the lesson and do all the work in a notebook. My high schoolers do it on the computer, so I have them keep a notebook where they show all their work. That's probably what I would recommend - have your child keep a notebook of the problems they need to work out. I think it is very wise of you to check their work every day and be somewhat involved, rather than just letting them go on the computer alone without input from you. I've heard some negative stories about kids who are just left to do TT on their own without parental input, like they learn how to "game" the system rather than actually learning the math, etc.

There are lots of success stories out there of kids who have used TT and gone on to college and been fine. I personally don't have that experience yet, and I am not in the US so my "sucess in college" story wouldn't be relevant anyway, but I will say that my son completed Algebra 2 and I'm pretty sure he will never need that level of math for what he wants to pursue after he graduates (electrician). It was way more than he'll need. In my area, for what my kids want to do, it's more than enough.

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We used TT for the first time this past school year (2018-19). Loved it. I did make my boys (one is high school, one is middle) write out the problems in a separate notebook. There is a thread somewhere on the high school board where I was tearing my hair out because they were NOT writing out the problems. I think that is the downfall of TT, it is so easy for the kids to do the math in their head or guess at it. It is so helpful for so many reasons to have them write it out. If they get a problem wrong, makes it so easy to go back and look at it to see where mistakes were made. Also, it helps reinforce the process. Also, you have a written record of what they did for math if anyone ever needs to see it. Hope you enjoy the program...the self grading feature is absolute bliss!

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We used the streaming TT this past year (our first yr with the program). My DD had to write out/show work for all the problems. We just keep a spiral notebook next to the computer. At the end of the lesson, I look at the chart that shows how many right/wrong, attempts, if she had a hint, etc. 

I can't speak on being ready for college, though I am concerned about that. DD was previously  struggling with math and her confidence... but this past year she  did well with and liked using TT. 

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DD10 is about 20 lessons into Level 5 and started with level 3, so we have a few years' experience, although no end game advice. 

I chose TT for this kid because math is very difficult for her, she has numerous special needs, and she just really needed something straight and to the point with math, with as little interaction from me as possible. We previously did Saxon (way too long) and CLE (great, but also too long daily for her to focus and required me a lot more).

I turned off all hints and second chances. She does math on the computer while I am in the room, usually helping one of her sisters with their school. She is required to write down any remotely complicated problems and solve them on paper. At times I require her to show me all her answers before typing them in and moving on to the next problem, because she makes a lot of sloppy mistakes as a result of her ADHD and executive functioning difficulties. Sometimes I'll let her do it completely on her own for a week or two if she's doing well, but if she gets less than 80%, she has to redo all her missed problems at the end of the year before moving on. Honestly, it's been the best math program for her and I don't see us changing away any time soon. But this is my kid that I'll be super happy to get through Algebra 1 with by the end of High School, so take that as you will. None of my other kids will be doing TT.  All my kids also do XtraMath daily to work on math facts. 

She did go from crying daily about math, usually for an hour or more and talking about how stupid she was to choosing to do math at the beginning of the day and almost no tears. This kid has enough challenges going on her life, I'm glad to have TT, even if it isn't the strongest math program out there. Not everyone needs that.

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Have them write out their work on paper/spiral notebook/etc. Just have them number the problems, that's all. No big deal. 

As for ready for college, my son used TT for several years, and did fine on our state's Algebra 1 end of course exam with just a bit of test prep (mainly to make sure he understood how the state words the problems, as there can be differences from curriculum to curriculum) and later, as a junior he took the placement test for math at the college and without having done math in a full year (long story) he still placed just a few points shy of College Algebra, with no test prep what so ever. And that was doing the VERY bare minimum of TT, and not finishing Geometry at all, etc. 

Also, make sure you check the full assignment, not just the grade percentage. Found ou the hard way that it grades only the problems attempted. So if he did 4 problems out of the 30 assigned, and got all 4 right, his grade showed up in my grade book as a 100 percent...despite not doing most of the problems...yeah. So I assume if he'd actually DONE the work, and not waited a full year, and finished all the courses, he would have done just fine on the placement test for college math, lol. (he did take the placement test again, with test prep, and did fine)

Edited by Ktgrok
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I'm interested in TT as well so I'm following this thread. A question I had that might add to this thread. Is it hard to go back and find information that a student might forget or need review on? If I used a text book or even something like CLE I could always go back and have them go over the information or teaching if they forgot. This is a concern about TT. I think I want to try it for high school math because of ease of use and grading for me. 

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One other option for Saxon if you like it (other than being there to help) is to get a dvd that explains it (like dive or art reed) and then use Virtual Homeschool groups AYOP (at your own pace) free online course that automatically grades it. My son did so well with it last year! I felt it was much stronger academically then TT because of the way it does the answer portion.

Edited by seemesew
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1 hour ago, Mom28kds said:

I'm interested in TT as well so I'm following this thread. A question I had that might add to this thread. Is it hard to go back and find information that a student might forget or need review on? If I used a text book or even something like CLE I could always go back and have them go over the information or teaching if they forgot. This is a concern about TT. I think I want to try it for high school math because of ease of use and grading for me. 

Each question in every lesson in the book has a little number in brackets beside it, which is the number of the lesson where the concept was taught. So it is very easy to look up things they need more work on. I'm not sure those numbers are in the computer portion of the program, but they are definitely in the book.

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49 minutes ago, hollyhock2 said:

Each question in every lesson in the book has a little number in brackets beside it, which is the number of the lesson where the concept was taught. So it is very easy to look up things they need more work on. I'm not sure those numbers are in the computer portion of the program, but they are definitely in the book.

Thank you! 

 

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3 hours ago, Mom28kds said:

I'm interested in TT as well so I'm following this thread. A question I had that might add to this thread. Is it hard to go back and find information that a student might forget or need review on? If I used a text book or even something like CLE I could always go back and have them go over the information or teaching if they forgot. This is a concern about TT. I think I want to try it for high school math because of ease of use and grading for me. 

 

1 hour ago, hollyhock2 said:

Each question in every lesson in the book has a little number in brackets beside it, which is the number of the lesson where the concept was taught. So it is very easy to look up things they need more work on. I'm not sure those numbers are in the computer portion of the program, but they are definitely in the book.

Yes, they are on the computer portion as well. 

Also, there is CONSTANT review of old topics. So the lesson starts out by teaching something new. During that instruction it pauses and asks the student to do things, to keep their interest, so you can't just space out and ignore the whole thing. If it asks you a question and you don't answer after a few minutes little animated guys start making noises, lol. Then it has you do "practice problems" on that new material, that are not part of the grade for that assignment. All the practice problems are on the new material. Then it gives the rest of the assignment, which has a few questions on the new material, and the rest is a mix of all the old material they have covered so far. If they are confused they can ask for a hint, which basically gives them the first part of how to work it out. If they use a hint that is noted in the grade book. If they get it wrong they can try one more time, and that is also noted in the grade book. And there is a lesson number by each problem, so if they really get stuck they can go back to that lesson and watch the instruction again. 

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On 7/31/2019 at 8:24 AM, Homeschoolmommy44 said:

Do you print out the lesson so they can do it on paper?

No, we buy the cd/text combo.  They don't write in the text, but keep a math notebook, allows me to use each level for multiple kids. 

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18 hours ago, Ktgrok said:

 

Yes, they are on the computer portion as well. 

Also, there is CONSTANT review of old topics. So the lesson starts out by teaching something new. During that instruction it pauses and asks the student to do things, to keep their interest, so you can't just space out and ignore the whole thing. If it asks you a question and you don't answer after a few minutes little animated guys start making noises, lol. Then it has you do "practice problems" on that new material, that are not part of the grade for that assignment. All the practice problems are on the new material. Then it gives the rest of the assignment, which has a few questions on the new material, and the rest is a mix of all the old material they have covered so far. If they are confused they can ask for a hint, which basically gives them the first part of how to work it out. If they use a hint that is noted in the grade book. If they get it wrong they can try one more time, and that is also noted in the grade book. And there is a lesson number by each problem, so if they really get stuck they can go back to that lesson and watch the instruction again. 

This is great! Thank you :)

 

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