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Homeschool Math Curriculum: Teaching Textbooks 4.0 vs. CTCMath

Homeschool Math Curriculum: Teaching Textbooks 4.0 vs. CTCMath

Teaching homeschool math can be a stress inducing thought. Many of us were not strong in math ourselves, or have not done much of it since graduation, and worry about how we can successfully teach our children. Using a homeschool math curriculum is something I would strongly suggest! A good homeschool math curriculum can ease your stress and help you to be successful in teaching your own children to be solid mathematicians.

UPDATED to reflect Teaching Textbooks 4.0! Homeschool Math Curriculum: a side by side comparison of Teaching Textbooks 4.0 and CTCMath. A review from Starts At Eight

In our many years of homeschooling I have used a multitude of math programs. Depending on the level we were at, and the individual needs of our children, I have found a use for each and every one of these throughout the years:

Homeschool Math Curriculum We Have Used:

Teaching Textbooks along with Singapore Math have been two of our most used homeschool math curriculum choices. I have used Singapore Math in the younger years through about 5th grade and then switched to Teaching Textbooks.

When my oldest was a senior we had the opportunity use CTCMath for Pre-Calculus. Given our experience with both CTCMath and Teaching Textbooks I thought I would share a more side by side comparison of the two.

About Teaching Textbooks

  • Teaching Textbooks now an app! Teaching Textbooks 4.0. That means they are totally mobile and work with EVERYTHING! {Windows, MAC, Chromebook, iPhone/iPad, and Android phones and tablets} 
  • Also works offline for up to 6 lessons at a time.
  • No need for paper and pencils on the go! There is a scratchpad built in to the Teaching Textbook interface.
  • The price for 12 months of access to a digital 4.0 course varies from around $43 to $67 and caps out at $199.08 for families with 4 to 8 students. It includes a PAUSE feature you will love! You get 3 months of pause time with a 7 day minimum pause up to 90 days total!
  • Video based lessons followed by on screen assignment questions which are also read to the student.
  • Access to the printable e-book text.
  • EVERY SINGLE Teaching Textbooks problem comes with a detailed step-by-step audiovisual solution. That means the student can be walked through the entire problem step by step, helping to teach them along the way.
  • FULLY AUTOMATED GRADING!! Each level has fully automated grading which means the program does it for you! No more time spent going through and grading math!
  • There is Parent Portal which can be accessed from anywhere and contains all your children’s grade books (both current and past 3.0 and 4.0 gradebooks), as well as controls for managing the Hint and Second Chances.
  • **COMING SOOON** a daily e-mail of your students’ progress.
  • Hints and Second Chances give students who take longer to understand the material a chance to learn at a more comfortable pace. Hints appear on screen in addition to being read to provide a vital push for kids who are struggling with math in general or with a newly-learned-concept.
  • Has a free math helpline. Both the call and the helpline tutor’s time are totally free for all Teaching Textbook users!

Check out my full Teaching Textbooks 4.0 Review!

Be sure to check out my full review for more screenshots and details about all the Teaching Textbooks 4.0 features!

Homeschool Math with Teaching Textbooks 4.0 is math made easy. Online, interactive, independent, auto-graded, and so much more! A review from Starts At Eight

About CTCMath

CTC Math Logo
  • A CTCMath membership allows you to enroll up to 10 children in their online math program, for ONE LOW COST!
  • has math for all levels from Kindergarten through Calculus (high school)
  • video based lessons with audio instructions for the comprehension questions
  • Short manageable lessons (even in the upper levels)
  • Parental Notification – you can set up to get weekly update e-mails of your child’s progress. This makes it so easy to check in each week and see how they are doing (especially when they are older, more independent learners.)
  • The parent portal gives you the ability to add assignments (which they call tasks). These then show up on your student’s homepage for them to complete.
  • For each skill set there are testing options. The tests can be taken at any time, or not at all. This means they can be used as a placement to see if the student is ready for the topic or as an end of topic assessment. The comprehensive test, which is longer and would make a good unit review because it contains problems from every topic in the stream.
  • In the lower levels, the answers are entered into the program directly. In the upper levels, there is often a worksheet for the student to print out and work on.

CTCMath vs. Singapore Math

Interested in seeing how CTCMath stacks up with Singapore Math? Click on the image below to see my comparison!

Home School Math Curriculum: CTCMath vs. Singapore Math from Starts At Eight is a comparison of the the two math programs including both similarities and differences and reasons why one or the other might be a good fit as your home school math curriculum.

CTCMath vs. Teaching Textbooks 4.0

App vs. Computer Based

With the new Teaching Textbooks 4.0 being totally app based, both CTCMath and Teaching Textbooks 4.0 are accessed online.

This means you can access both Teaching Textbooks and CTCMath from any computer (OR MOBILE DEVICE) that has Internet access. BUT Teaching Textbooks is app based and you can do up to 6 lessons at a time without the Internet. That means you can easily be mobile, doing math lessons online or offline – without access to the Internet.


While I will not do a cost analysis for you, I will lay out the cost and you can decide for yourself and your family circumstances which is more beneficial.

Teaching Textbooks 4.0 ranges from $43.08 for Math 3 to $67.08 for the advanced math. There is also a Large Family Plan for families with 4 to 8 children using Teaching Textbooks 4.0 for $199.08

The CTCMath membership for 1 homeschooled child per year is $98.50 and for 2+ children is $148.50

Money Back Guarantee

Teaching Textbooks offers FREE access to everyone of their levels. Each 4.0 free trial is a complete version of TT 4.0 program up through Lesson 15. Beyond this they also have a 30 day money back guarantee.

“Although our “official” policy is to require that a product be returned 30 days after a customer begins using it (not 30 days after purchase), TT is committed to customer satisfaction as a company. Therefore, we almost always allow customers to return products well beyond 30 days if it is clear that they have not used them or if it is clear that the product was a bad fit for various reasons, such as the difficulty level was too hard or too easy.” 

CTCMath comes with a 12-month money-back guarantee. No questions asked! Just email CTCMath, and they refund!

Spiral Approach vs. Mastery

Teaching Textbooks takes a spiral approach, meaning concepts are reviewed regularly along the way.

CTCMath uses a mastery approach to math, meaning that the previous topics aren’t reviewed. This type of approach assumes you have mastered the content and can therefore move on.


Teaching Textbooks intended workflow moves the student from one lesson number to the next in chronological order. They recommend this for the sake of building on concepts. However, it is possible for students to move around and not have to do lessons in chronological order. This feature can be accessed in the Parent Portal.

With CTC Math you can schedule assignments (tasks) from your parent portal and they show up in the student dashboard.


Teaching Textbooks is like having a tutor on-demand. There are lectures for every single lesson, as well as detailed audiovisual solutions to every one of the over 30,000 homework problems. Plus there is a free helpline you can call if you’re still stumped (after having watched the solution).

CTCMath has tutorials that last around 4-9 minutes, presenting the concepts of the math lesson step by step. Once answers have been submitted a printable containing the fully worked solutions becomes available.


Teaching Textbooks not only teaches, but grades too! Every single one of the problems in their entire product line has fully automated grading! Teaching Textbooks has instant grading.  This feature allows students to know immediately if they have done a problem incorrectly, as well as how to solve the problem correctly.  This prevents students from practicing incorrectly, which is what would happen if corrected answers were not unlocked until all of the problems were completed.

CTCMath utilizes multiple choice answers that are to cover grading for some of their problems and levels, but also incorporates printed worksheets which must be checked and graded by you or the student.

Other Math Articles

Homeschooling Algebra with Mr. D Math from Starts At Eight
The Ultimate Guide To Homeschool Math Curriculum & Resources from Starts At Eight


  1. colleen
    Aug 10, 2016 @ 16:45:31

    we love ctc math. for us it was much easier to use then teaching textbooks, and with having a special needs child , I can go back and forth if need be.

  2. Col
    Aug 14, 2016 @ 19:34:08

    Thanks for the great article. I tried to click though the free trial but it’s returning a message – page not found. Your help much appreciated

  3. Heidi
    Aug 15, 2016 @ 08:26:34

    Sorry about that! Thanks for letting me know. I have updated the link to a working one.

  4. Karen Buck
    Aug 17, 2016 @ 08:40:19

    I’ve been checking out CTC and hearing mixed reviews about its completeness as a high school course. We need to accomplish Algebra 2 this year with my math-reluctant junior…do you think it stands alone as a program for high school, or is it a better tutor/supplement?

  5. Heidi
    Aug 17, 2016 @ 18:24:29

    Karen, similar things have been said about Teaching Textbooks (being a year behind, not rigorous enough, etc.). I feel that especially with a reluctant student you need to do what works. We used Teaching Textbooks with my oldest (now graduated) from pre-Algebra and up and she had no issues with the placement exams she needed to take for college. I feel the same about CTC. She actually used CTC for pre-Calculus in her senior year and I felt it was plenty strong enough to stand alone. This might not be the case for a student who is math strong and looking to enter a math heavy program in college (although I can’t speak to that), but I definitely feel it is a plenty solid enough math program to use alone.

  6. Crystal
    Aug 25, 2016 @ 09:48:54

    We use both 🙂 the kids love it and it fun to change and listen to the australian accent 🙂

  7. susanhomeschooling
    Sep 01, 2016 @ 10:43:15

    It was so helpful that you compared it to Teaching Textbooks, which is what I use. It sounds like CTC is a great math curriculum.

  8. tablelifeblog
    Sep 01, 2016 @ 17:26:52

    We’ve never used Teaching Textbooks, but I’m currently using CTC with my youngest for kindergarten math. We’ve been thrilled with CTC thus far, but it’s great to have some comparison points for Teaching Textbooks to look at later on!

  9. Dana Irwin
    May 20, 2017 @ 17:05:00

    If you took away the cost factor and focused more on content of the lessons and problems, which do you like better Teaching Textbooks or CTC?

  10. Heidi
    May 23, 2017 @ 09:14:19

    We have always preferred Teaching Textbooks.

  11. Michelle Farmer
    Oct 14, 2017 @ 10:27:52

    Thank you so much for the extensive comparison. I have been at a quandary concerning one of my child who is dyslexic and possibly dysgraphia. I think we tried CTC for awhile and she did like it but she forgets her steps easily and I found there was not enough review for her. I have thought about A+ but not sure how that compares to CTC. I would love to know your comparison on those two.

  12. Heidi
    Oct 16, 2017 @ 15:26:28

    When it comes to choosing a math program I would choose something that she can functionally understand and the has the right process for her to learn. If you need to add in review and extra problems, once she as learned the concept through whatever program you choose, adding in the review using something else shouldn’t be a huge deal. As it as has been a VERY long time since I have used A+, I’m not sure I can give you a great comparison.

  13. Charissa
    Nov 09, 2017 @ 15:17:41

    How do you feel ctc and tt compete in difficulty level (comparing equal grades)? My kids are in Singapore math which tends to be ahead. Not sure what level to put my 7th grader in if I decide to switch her.

  14. Heidi
    Nov 09, 2017 @ 18:33:57

    Charissa, all of my children did Singapore Math in the elementary years before we move on to Teaching Textbooks. Each one of them (struggling learner or lover of math) started one year ahead in TT. For instance, my now 6th grader who just started TT this year is doing 7th Grade. I highly recommend you take the placement tests that TT provides to decide where to start your children.

  15. Emily Lomuscio
    Dec 23, 2017 @ 19:28:20

    Is CTC math only for children or can adults benefit using it for refresher or to refresh to help children in brick and mortar school?

  16. Heidi
    Dec 26, 2017 @ 13:42:30

    I wouldn’t say CTC Math is just for children. You could definitely use it as an adult refresher!

  17. Katie
    Feb 24, 2018 @ 11:47:29

    Does CTC math have an accompanying book available?

  18. Heidi
    Feb 27, 2018 @ 16:23:52

    I don’t know that they have a book. However, following each math tutorial there are interactive questions or an optional printable worksheet which test the understanding of key concepts. There is also a printable one page summary of each tutorial that provides the student with concise and complete notes from the math tutorial.

  19. Robin
    Mar 17, 2018 @ 07:44:34

    Sounds similar to Aleks math. How would you compare the two?

  20. Heidi
    Mar 19, 2018 @ 10:45:42

    Unfortunately I have never used Aleks so I cannot compare them for you.

  21. Susie
    Apr 01, 2018 @ 11:55:03

    We love Beast Academy Math. It teaches kids to really learn how to think. It’s amazing!

  22. Heidi
    Apr 02, 2018 @ 08:27:40

    I have never heard of Beast Academy Math. Thank you for sharing!

  23. Robyn
    Jul 09, 2018 @ 13:05:28

    Teaching with textbooks is now available for a fraction of the price with an online classroom platform.

  24. Heidi
    Jul 09, 2018 @ 13:38:45

    Isn’t it awesome! They have rolled out their 3.0 which is the online version!

  25. Lisa
    Jul 12, 2018 @ 16:37:58

    Teaching Textbooks now has the online option. Excellent curriculum! Prepared my son well for math in college.

  26. Heidi
    Jul 13, 2018 @ 08:20:17

    It’s so exciting isn’t it? The online option is so affordable!

  27. Jen
    Jul 30, 2018 @ 10:17:51

    I really want to hear more comparisons for TT and Mr.D’s Math..

  28. Heidi
    Jul 30, 2018 @ 14:55:25

    Jen, We have used both. That is a great suggestion! I will add it to my list and hopefully get something together in the future comparing those two!

  29. Lorraine
    Sep 05, 2018 @ 19:51:34

    I used TT and was kind of annoyed with it. I found CTC math today after a search and I just signed up with CTC! Its more straight forward in its lessons and layout. I also searched up Mr. D’s math, and I but it on bookmark for when my children are older, in 8th grade and above math.

  30. Heidi
    Sep 05, 2018 @ 21:51:26

    We have used all 3 and I honestly like all 3 of them! My son LOVED Mr. D when he used it. Part of my decision to continue with TT for all my children is because I already own all the cds and we have been very happy with the program. I guess, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” kind of thing.

  31. Lourdes Olson
    Jan 09, 2019 @ 03:12:51

    Teaching Textbooks now has an online subscription. But the subscription is per student.

  32. Heidi
    Jan 11, 2019 @ 16:40:24

    You are correct. They do have an online subscription now. This was written before that option.

  33. Liza
    Jan 18, 2019 @ 21:03:54

    Teaching textbooks are now online also just like CT math.

  34. Michele Donnelly
    Mar 11, 2019 @ 12:27:22

    As a working mother of 10 children and a self-proclaimed “math hater”, I was so relieved when we stumbled upon CTCMath.

    For homeschooling our large family, CTCMath has been a life saver! I no longer spend all my time switching from child to child trying desperately to teach math.

    Instead, while my older boys work at their computer on math, I am now free to sit with my younger students and focus on learning to read and write.

    I am free to read more living books aloud with our children, make science projects, and prepare dinner. And the best part? My children no longer complain about doing math!

  35. Amy
    Mar 26, 2019 @ 13:12:52

    My kids dislike CTC and really enjoy Teaching Textbooks. Love that TT is now online and much more inexpensive than before. Now if they’d roll out an even better deal

  36. BD
    Aug 05, 2019 @ 15:19:16

    I am looking for my daughter who is in high school. We have tried so many math programs. Currently we have been using TT but my older (16/almost 17) daughter finds it way too time consuming and parts of it really silly (the animations and over the top praise). She REALLY dreads doing math with TT because it takes so long every day. She is not a math whiz so she needs simple, easy to understand instructions to grasp the concepts. I’m wondering if CTC would be a good fit for her? CTC is touted on the website as being taught in a simple manner but have you found this to be true? I read some cons that it only shows one explanation for a concept so if you don’t get that one explanation, you’re stuck? I looked at the online setup of pages and it seems – complicated rather than simpler. But I am used to TT layout which I’ll agree is a bit more childish in its looks and such. Thank you for your help!

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