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I'm a wife to my "Mr. Right". A momma of five. A maker of slow food and simple living. A collector of memories, a keeper of books, and a champion for books that make memories. An addict who likes my half-and-half with a splash of coffee. A fractured pot transformed by the One Who makes broken things beautiful. I heart homeschooling, brake for libraries, and am glad you're here with me on the journey! Be sure to subscribe to my monthly newsletter. Or, follow along with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google +, Youtube, or Pinterest.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Teaching Textbooks 3.0: Learning for the Digital Age

Teaching Textbooks 3.0: Learning for the Digital Age #homeschool #curriculum #math

Once upon a time, I hated math and my kids did too. But then I Providentially stumbled upon Teaching Textbooks and like manna from the heavens, it was exactly what we all needed. My kids love math now. In fact, it's not unusual for my oldest son to plunk away at long division and complete an entire assignment even before the rest of us have rolled out of bed in the morning.

(This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for full details.)

Full disclosure: Math and I are still bitter enemies, but we're learning to get along more and more. Teaching Textbooks is stitching our broken relationship back together by making it possible for us to sit in opposite corners! I never have to teach fractions again. Glory be!

If you're not familiar with Teaching Textbooks, you're gonna want to know why I use it and why I think you should too. (Friends don't let friends take on geometry proofs all alone! You're welcome.) In all seriousness, I know without a doubt that I could not homeschool through high school without Teaching Textbooks.

As if the program wasn't 100% on-lock before, the folks at Teaching Textbooks have upped their game by launching TT 3.0, an online digital subscription service. So parents can now choose whether to order the classic CD/textbook combo like before or the digital subscription/eBook pack.

Teaching Textbooks 3.0: Learning for the Digital Age #homeschool #curriculum #math

The kids and I got to take the new program for a test drive this year. To be honest, I expected to hate it. Digital is typically a dead-end street for me. (It's rather generous to call me revolutionary. I'm an old-fashioned gal who balks at change.)

But after having used it for several months, I've found the program to be even more lovable and liberating than before. I dare you to snatch it from my steely grasp!

What I love about Teaching Textbooks 3.0


Here are a few simple reasons why I think there is no other path than Teaching Textbooks 3.0 subscription program.

TT 3.0 can be used on multiple devices.

We own three laptops. Yes, I know that seems a bit excessive for folks who shirk digital devices. (My husband and I both work from home and we homeschool. 'nough said.) In the past, we've always designated specific computers to specific children in order that several kids could always be doing school projects at the same time. Since each classic Teaching Textbooks grade level CD set had to be registered to a particular computer, we registered half the kids onto one laptop and the other half onto another. Problems arose when a child was ready to start math only to find that someone else was already using the laptop that hosted his/her math information. Even if another laptop was available, the child would have to wait to start math, throwing quite a wrench into our daily schedule. 

Because it is an online program, TT 3.0 can be used on any device we own, even our smartphones. It's a digital service that works with MAC, Windows, Chromebook, and any tablet or phone that hosts a Puffin browser. My kids no longer have to play musical laptops. They are welcome to start math at any time on any device.

Teaching Textbooks 3.0: Learning for the Digital Age #homeschool #curriculum #math

TT 3.0 is easier to steward.

Let's be honest, an elementary-aged kid who can be handed an entire pack of CDs, use them correctly, and return them all unscratched every single day for thirty-six weeks is like the 8th wonder of the world. In the past five years, we've lost or damaged a small collection of math discs. Fortunately, Teaching Textbooks has amazing customer service and has always promptly replaced our missing or messy CDs for a nominal fee.

But since TT 3.0 is completely digital, there is a zero percent chance that I'll ever have to tear the house apart looking for missing math.

TT 3.0 is more accessible for missionary, military, and large families.  

My family currently supports a homeschooling missionary family in the middle east. In recent years, it's been difficult for these folks to afford curriculum because of the high shipping rates for packages sent overseas. The mom has pieced together a lovely patchwork of learning for her many kids, but it's cost her much time and lots of effort. 

With a completely digital program like TT 3.0, that offers large-family discount plans for up to 8 kids, she can now homeschool like she's always wanted to, at least in the area of math. Since both the lessons and the textbook are online, all that's required for the subscription is a decent internet connection.

Teaching Textbooks 3.0: Learning for the Digital Age #homeschool #curriculum #math

TT 3.0 grades are permanently available. 

I don't give my elementary kids tests or grades. (But you knew that.) As my kids have entered junior high and high school, however, I've begun to save their math scores in their annual portfolios for record-keeping and transcript making. That being said, two years ago when our main math laptop died in the middle of the school year, we had to purchase a new one and reinstall the TT CDs. All of the previously finished lessons were erased. Granted, my kids were able to start on the appropriate mid-year lesson, but their scores for the earlier lessons were unretrievable. 

TT 3.0 permanently stores all grade data on a server which is accessible anytime from anywhere. In addition, the new program stores a family's info together. I now have access to all of my kids' info from one central control panel. No more popping in and out of math programs to see the completed scores of four different grade levels. It's a one-stop-shop!

Teaching Textbooks 3.0: Learning for the Digital Age #homeschool #curriculum #math

TT 3.0 offers more control.

While the content and lessons are unchanged from the original, the new 3.0 version offers more control for both parents and kids. As before, I still have access to all student passwords, grades, and grade books. I can see at a glance the scores for each individual problem within each lesson in order to learn how many attempts (1 or 2) my child took to answer each question, if he listened to the solution instructions, and if he attempted the practice problems. But, should I choose to, I can now turn off any hints that might be available on multi-step problems and the second-chance option that is almost always given for an incorrect answer. 

In addition to offering more "buddy" avatars for kids to choose from, the digital program also gives them the option of changing the background wallpaper on their lesson screen.

Teaching Textbooks 3.0: Learning for the Digital Age #homeschool #curriculum #math

Some things you should know before ordering


Still not convinced that Teaching Textbooks 3.0 is a must-have purchase for the busy homeschool mom? Well, here's a few additional thoughts for you to consider.

The lessons and format have remained the same.

The structure and content of the lessons have not been changed. Each one opens with a thorough teaching of the new concept. The student hears the audio lecture while watching a brief digital video that reinforces the concept. He's then given a handful of practice problems to complete, usually around 5. Since these problems focus on a brand new problem, they are not counted for or against his final score. 

If he so chooses, a student can skip the lecture and the practice problems and jump right to the 20-25 graded ones. These problems review both the new concept and a variety of other math skills learned in previous lessons. Within each lesson, a student can skip around from problem to problem. The lesson does not have to be done in sequential order. (I'll not name any names, but one of my kiddos seems to always save his toughest ones until the end. He's clearly not yet learned the "eat that frog" concept!) TT 3.0 still uses the same spiral approach as the original which guarantees the review of all previously-learned material. Each lesson offers variety so that a student never gets bored.

Teaching Textbooks 3.0: Learning for the Digital Age #homeschool #curriculum #math

You can order a la carte if you prefer.

While an all-digital program is such a huge gift to the homeschooling community abroad, some kids just do better by having a physical textbook in hand while working through the digital program. I have one with dyslexia who struggles to transpose the problem correctly onto a sheet of scrap paper in order solve it and then transfer his answer to the screen. It's frustrating enough to miss an answer, but to miss it simply because you copied the problem incorrectly is deflating, to say the least. For that reason, I still prefer to have most of my kids use the hardcopy textbook as opposed to the digital eBook.

Even while using the new subscription service, one can still order the classic textbooks separately for an additional fee. They are listed on the CD section of the website but do not necessarily have to be ordered in a CD/Textbook package.

Side note: If the thought of handing your child a digital program makes you want to kick kittens, no worries. Teaching Textbooks still has their trusty 2.0 program available. It's the same great curriculum it's always been. Sturdy. Solid. And always worth ordering!

The subscription lasts for an entire year.

Those who choose a Sabbath-schooling schedule or year-long schedule can enjoy TT 3.0 subscription service too! A subscription applies for one child for an entire 12-month period. Since the folks at Teaching Textbooks understand that we homeschoolers don't always follow the marching orders of the old guard down the road and like to make our own way, they've also included a 3-month pause option to the service. You can pause your lessons in order to squeeze in middle-of-the-year vacations, holidays, sanity weeks, or just to braid the fur of your long-haired cat if you need to. (No judgment from me. You do you and make no apologies to the rest of us.)

Teaching Textbooks 3.0: Learning for the Digital Age #homeschool #curriculum #math

My thoughts regarding placement tests still apply.

If you are new to Teaching Textbooks and need a little time to let my propaganda percolate, might I suggest you revisit my original thoughts about the program? Head HERE to learn why I think a placement test is a must and why my children occasionally repeat lessons. If you're currently using a more traditional curriculum, like I did at the very beginning, and want to know how and why I switched over mid-stream, head HERE

Final Word


Math is not my native tongue. Numbers are about as interesting as a houseplant, in my opinion. But I would never want my distaste for equations and exponents to sour the opinions of my kids. I have a couple who are naturally gifted mathematicians. Teaching Textbooks has been a life-giving addition to our homeschool. It has allowed me to nurture number strength in all of my kids while not growing emotionally tone-deaf in the process.

For more information on TT 3.0 or the rest, be sure to visit Teaching Textbooks online or check them out on Facebook or Instagram.

Want to win a subscription of your own?


Of course you do! From now until midnight, July 27th, you can enter to win a year-long subscription for any Teaching Textbooks 3.0 of your choice. One winner will be randomly selected via Rafflecopter and announced sometime after Friday, July 27th, 2018.  The winner will be notified by email and will have 72 hours to respond.  If an email is not provided or the winner does not respond, the prize will be forfeited and a new winner will be randomly selected. Even if you're not the winner, you can still snag a free trial of any TT 3.0 level by heading here>>>.

This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

6 comments:

  1. We're long-time TT users and are looking forward to using the 3.0 version. I didn't know that it was accessible from ALL devices. I'm in heaven! No more "I can't do math because it's not loaded on this computer and he's using the laptop..." Yay!

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    1. Yes! That's exactly what I've bee saying all the live long day!

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  2. I am new to TT and thinking of ordering for my daughter. She placed in Math 5, but I see some things in Math 4 she hasn't covered yet. She will be in 4th grade, but 3rd grade was her first home school year and we did MUS. What if I pick Math 5 and it's too hard or if I pick Math 4 and it's too easy?

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    Replies
    1. I would bump her to 5th. TT does a good job of reviewing the previous year's concepts.

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  3. Thanks for the post! I've been looking for an online math solution for my kiddo for the upcoming school year, and this is the first time I've seen anything about this program. I've signed up for the free trial, and I hope we win the raffle...(free math curriculum for the year? Yes, Please!)

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  4. Great giveaway! We've been using TT for years and am excited about the new format.

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