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Pros and Cons of Teaching Textbooks

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I wanted to have a program that my ds could use with minimal teaching from me. We find the lessons to be presented clearly; review of previous concepts is part of each set of daily problems but not to excess (as in Saxon). I highly recommend it.

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LOVE TT here. My 11yo son who is about average in math skills and would be 5th grade uses TT6. I would advise taking the placement tests as you might want to pick a level a little above their grade level. That being said, the lectures are clear and engaging. I like that it provides some independence...he puts in the disc, listens to the lecture, does the problems and reports back to me about what he's missed. I can check the gradebook to see his progress. Hands down, one of our best curriculum choices!


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worth every single penny.

now brace yourself for the posts which follow which will tell you that TT is substandard and not rigorous enough.


:iagree: We love it! DS did TT5 this year and will start TT6 soon. We are having fun with LOF right now.

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Our daughter used Algebra 2 teaching textbook because she was not able to understand the traditional book. She enjoyed it and learned through it. We beleive it to be a wonderful program and worth the money. We plan to use it with our son as soon as his grade level becomes avaible.


dd 18 college

ds 6 R&S reading/phonics, math, Abeka Hist. 1, Science 2, Health 1, Art 2, lapbooking for fun !

Edited by gevs4him
put dd for son
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First let me say, I am not bashing Teaching Textbooks. I think for some kids it works perfectly. We are happy with the year we spent on TT7, but will be moving on to another curriculum for next year.


After considering our year, here is how I see the pros & cons....





  1. taught my son to be more independent
  2. forced him to be neater in his notebook & to pay more attention to careless mistakes, also not to rely on me constantly! - this happened because the program immediately tells the child if he has made a correct or incorrect response. They are then given a second opportunity to answer the question. This forced my DS to look at his work and find mistakes (I would not do it for him)
  3. Constant review tends to cement the procedures in the child's mind, however this works betterl with the earlier concepts taught because they are repeated most often.
  4. Gave me more time to work with my DD on her reading.
  5. Lessons & quizzes are automatically graded for you (in TT7, not sure about other levels). My DS found the grading of each lesson to be motivational; some might find it upsetting. It helped to give me more free time, although I did make sure to check the written work too so I could keep up on where the mistakes were being made.




  1. Not enough teaching of, examples of, or practice with new material for my DS (again, what is provided might work well with some children who do not need as much practice) It seems that so many review problems don't allow room for practice of new learning. You could use supplements to help with this issue. I used Life of Fred.
  2. New concepts will not receive as much review - this is due to the nature of their design of lessons. Later lessons just can't get as much review simply because they are newer and there aren't as many lessons in the future that include that material in the review. Hope I'm making sense. This is a true weak point in the program because of the lack of practice in each lesson for new learning.
  3. Errors in some of the word problems and a few typos - both of which will cause your child to get the answer wrong. There aren't many, but we did find some. I never checked on the website--maybe they have updates?? But, the problem here is that your child is receiving a grade at the end of the lesson and so, being penalized (so to speak) for those typos & author errors.
  4. Automatic Grading does not allow for partial credit. This was a real problem for me at first, but we adjusted according. Also the option of trying the problem a second time also helps in this area. You could keep your own gradebook and adjust grades if necessary. I found I didn't need to.

I don't think I forgot anything. If I think of anything else, I'll add it later. HTH



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My math-y son disliked TT, mostly because (in my opinion) I placed him in too low a level. Also, he didn't like the teacher's voice on the DVD. He loves Life of Fred.


OTOH, TT transformed school, entirely, for my daughter and me. Switching from Singapore to TT eliminated crying, arguing, and procrastinating. Eliminating Singapore helped my daughter's attitude, too:).


Seriously, TT turned my otherwise difficult child completely around on all her subjects - that is how much she hated Singapore. SHe is completely grasping all the math topics, can apply what she has learned to random questions I ask her, and is able to complete the review questions with little difficulty (so she is remembering what she has learned).


I agree that there are not enough questions on the new material and I wish there were more word problems. She is almost done with TT5 and I am supplementing with Singapore Challenging Word Problems 3. This is working for us.


I think math curriculum is so child-specific. You really have to find what approach works best for each individual kid.


Good Luck! If nothing else, you should know that TT has a really high resale value right now. IF you buy it and it doesn't work, you will be able to relatively easily recoup a lot of your money.


(For example, TT 6 new costs $150 - I want the workbook. I watched four different used curriculum sites almost every day for about six weeks. I finally got one for $115. If you can find one used, you should be able to come close to getting your money back.)

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I looked into this program too in the last few months and read tons of posts here are elsewhere. http://www.homeschoolreviews.com has lots of reviews too.


One thing I was sure to pay attention too-the reviewers that gave negative reviews or criticism-did they actually USE the program for their child or just do a few samples? I only pd attention to these if the reviewer actually used it for a year.


I was happy to use the criticism from those that experienced it. KWIM?


I also looked primarily at the type of child the program did/did not work for. My son is an auditory learner so for him to HEAR these lectures instead of just reading instructions is wonderful. He also tends to "get" math but is not a math whiz so the "slower" pace of this is good for us.


So I took all the info, had my son do some samples, and he took the placement test.


We are just starting TT5 and he's enjoying it so far.

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