Have the Good Math Teacher Every Year: A Teaching Textbooks Review

by | Jan 23, 2017 | By The Subject, Resources | 35 comments

Growing up in school, there were years when math was painful.  I didn’t understand the concepts.  I didn’t get the help I needed.  I felt lost a lot of the time and began to really dislike math.

Then there were years when my teacher got it.  He or she explained concepts clearly and gave enough example problems in class that I was able to complete my homework successfully at home.  My confidence grew and I actually enjoyed math.

That’s just how it was in school; some years you had the good math teacher and some years you didn’t.

As homeschoolers, it doesn’t have to be that way!  With Teaching Textbooks math curriculum it is like having the good math teacher at home every year.

Teaching Textbooks Review-Read my review to learn why using Teaching Textbooks math curriculum it's like having the good math teacher every year.

An Overview of Teaching Textbooks

Teaching Textbooks is a computer-based math program with levels beginning in 3rd grade and progressing all the way up to Pre-Calculus.

The program comes with a large spiral-bound student book and a sleeve of computer CDs. Students can complete the lessons straight from the book or, as our family prefers, complete the lessons on the computer.  CDs will run on both Mac and PC.  A soon-to-be-released version 3.0 will run on tablets and mobile devices.  Note:  TT has generous upgrade options.  Contact their customer service for more information.

Computer-based lessons include an audio presentation of the lesson including several interactive practice problems.   Students type their answers to the problems right into the lesson. Feedback is immediate.  The screen design is simple and bright.

Teaching Textbooks Review

Students complete the lessons, entering their answers into the program. If their answer is incorrect, they are given another chance to complete the problem correctly.  If the answer is still incorrect, there is an option to watch the solution to the problem right away.  As a busy homeschool mom, this is one of my favorite parts of the program!

The automatic grade book feature creates reports for how many practice problems, assigned problems and quizzes your child has completed, how many problems were answered correctly and if the student watched the solution after missing a problem. It also calculates a final grade based on lesson problems and quiz scores.

Lessons include the audio lecture and 5-6 practice problems followed by 18-25 practice problems. Problem sets include a generous amount of review of previously learned material.

Benefits of Teaching Textbooks

We have used just about every math program on the market in our 20+ years of homeschooling.  When we discovered success with Teaching Textbooks over 10 years ago, we no longer felt the need to switch curriculum every year or two.  Here’s why we love Teaching Textbooks:

Here’s why we love Teaching Textbooks:

Independent work.  On a very practical level, having my kids be able to do their math independently has been a huge time saver.  We are currently homeschooling four kids but at one time were homeschooling and managing eight kids!  There are times when our kids get stuck and need my help to understand a concept being taught. After sitting with them for a lesson or two, they are up and running independently again.

Audio lectures.  Since seven of our eight kids are dyslexic, not being able to read lessons such as those found in traditional math programs, has been a considerable stumbling block all of our 20+ years of homeschooling.  The audio lectures included with Teaching Textbooks help tremendously with comprehension and the interactive practice problems keep my kids who struggle with attention engaged.

Automated grading.  Before we discovered Teaching Textbooks, our kids would occasionally do an entire lesson incorrectly.  By the time this busy mama got around to correcting their assignments, they had moved on the next lesson and were essentially building their math framework on a faulty foundation. Teaching Textbooks math curriculum corrects each problem immediately.  This immediate feedback provides meaningful information while the student’s thinking processes are still fresh in their minds.  This is much more effective and efficient.

Ample review.  With a houseful of kids who struggle with learning in one way or another, the amount of built-in review is just right.  There’s not so much that they despise the program (well except maybe with long division – but I call that a right of passage for middle schoolers!) and not too little that they are forgetting what they’ve learned.

Buddies!  Every level of Teaching Textbooks comes with a variety of ‘Buddies’.  Buddies are animated animals or scenes that change each time a problem is completed.  After completing several problems and after completing the entire lesson, the Buddies cheer or make some other amusing comment.  These can easily be changed by the student by clicking directly on the Buddy.  They are surprisingly fun and motivating for kids.

Tips for Using Teaching Textbooks

  1. Placement Tests. Consider taking one of the Teaching Textbooks online placement tests if you’re not sure on which level to begin.
  2. Follow the instructions for installing and registering the software system on your computer.  Create both parent and student accounts. Teaching Textbooks customer service is easy to reach if you have any problems.
  3. Show your kids how to use the program.  Plan to sit with them until they understand how to watch the lecture, type in the answers, and move on the next problem.  Show them how to change their ‘buddy’, a surprisingly fun and motivating part of the Teaching Textbooks program.
  4. Store your discs in a safe place.  You’ll need to insert the disc each time you use the program. Replacement discs are available for $15/each by calling Teaching Textbooks super friendly and helpful customer service.
  5. Still have questions?  Visit the Teaching Textbooks FAQs Page.

Get to Know Teaching Textbooks

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Have you used Teaching Textbooks for math?  Share your experience below!


  1. Emma

    We recently started using TT with my eldest son who has dysgraphia and dyslexia. He is able to work independently, something that has been a huge relief to me. Honestly I wish we’d made the switch much sooner. We are only a few weeks in and he hasn’t really hit any ‘new’ concepts yet, but he is working towards independence, an important skill in itself.

    • Marianne

      Exactly! I love how the program starts out slowly and my kids are able to have some success.

  2. Kali Cone

    I have a question. We have been using Math-U-See for my 8 year old son. We are finishing with the Beta book and wondering if I should be getting Gamma or switching to Teaching Textbook 3. What are your thoughts?

  3. Suzanne

    This program has been such a blessing! We were just all in tears with Saxon. I was at the point of saying I’m just not cut out to home school. Thank you for this recommendation!

    MATH TIP: By the way, we have a notebook next to the computer that I let my daughter work out her problems on. Each lesson resulted in “math graffiti” …her answers were all over the page, overlapping, chaotic. I designed a grid for her to use that she likes a lot (with some built in white space). But we recently discovered we could turn the notebook sideways (wide ruled) and use the rules to line up her numbers. Having a math problem correctly lined up to start out with means that she is more likely to get the right answer. 🙂

    • Sarah

      Love that notebook sideways idea! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Esther

    My daughter, who has dyslexia, is struggling with Saxon. It’s not that the math is too difficult for her, but rather there is too much on a page. I keep looking at Teaching Textbooks, since they give you one problem at a time, but I’ve heard TT is not challenging and/or not comprehensive. Is the solution to supplement with other math curriculum? Thoughts?

    • Marianne

      I’m not sure why people say that about TT. It does progress a bit slower than other programs but it covers everything other programs cover. My kids struggle with remembering math facts, so we supplement with games etc to help with that. Other than that , they’re doing really well!

      • Tracy

        Will they ever be able to memorize math facts? My 11yo cannot remember facts to save his life

        • Marianne

          If they use them a lot, yes. My kids who are in Pre-Algebra and Algebra now finally know most of their facts. The younger kids skip count. 🙂

          • Zafiro

            HI Marianne, I just downloaded the pdf that Elisa shared from multiplication.com for remembering the times tables. Is this as effective as city creek’s program? We’re just starting and I wanted to see what your thoughts are.

        • Elisa

          My son is in third grade and had to learn times tables this year. I went through this pdf with him https://www.multiplication.com/sites/default/files/files/ebooks/MemMinutesStdWrkBk.pdf We did one problem per day. It was amazing! He was easily able to retain the stories in his head and, once we reviewed them sufficiently, had no problem using the stories to do division as well.
          This was absolutely amazing, as nothing else we did helped him to remember facts long term.

          • Becky L Smith

            Thank you for sharing. This is so cool!

          • Zafiro

            Hi Elisa,
            I just reviewed the pdf you attached and it seems very similar to city creek’s times tables the fun way. Have you seen that program? I’d rather use a pdf that is free, especially at a time like this when my income stream has stopped. Please let me know. Thanks!

          • Zafiro

            I just went through all the lessons and am so very happy that you posted this. The numbers rhyme with the stories and that works for my son and I perfectly. Rhymes work well for him and will be much easier to remember than arbitrary stories that are not easy to link to the numbers.

    • Sara

      I know this is a very old comment, but I’d like to reply for future readers. I also have heard from others that TT is not rigorous, but we have not found that to be the case. We have 11 children, including 2 college graduates and 2 currently in college (the younger kids are 11th grade down to 2nd grade). Teaching Textbooks is all we use along with some math drill help. Our older kids scored well on the ACT, got A’s in college math and science courses, our 11th grader does great in math and is in computer science. Our Jr in college is doing well in pre-med which requires calculus. I just haven’t found any issues with TT and prep for life/college etc. Best of all, all my kids think that math is *just fine* even though I am terrible at math! We love TT and it has worked really well for us. We have some kids we start a year early doing 3rd grade level beginning in 2nd grade, and others right on grade level. Some of our kids have dyslexia, others don’t. It works for all of them.

      • Marianne

        Thanks Sara! That should put peoples’ minds at ease. 🙂

      • Jessica

        Thank you for sharing this!! Really helpful!

      • Lisa Harris

        Very helpful to know that TT works with all your kids. I have one who is very good with math, one who is average and one with mild dyslexia. To know that I can use one program is very helpful.

  5. Erika

    Does Teaching Textbooks move on if the child shows they understand the material? For example, in MathUSee, I can move on quickly based on what my children understand. I wasn’t sure if TT would do that automatically? We are already into the school year and I’m a bit hesitant to switch, and my son does quite a bit of his MUS on his own once he understands it. However, I was thinking this would provide me even more time.

    • Marianne

      TT doesn’t move on automatically but I have allowed my kids to skip certain types of problems if they had mastered them. I have them do those problems on the quizzes just to be sure they aren’t forgetting. TT saves me a TON of time and we LOVE it! 🙂

    • Tracy

      Is your child dyslexic? Mine is and I’m looking for good curriculum for him. Thinking TT, MUS, or master

      • Marianne

        Yes. Seven of 8 of our kids are dyslexic. 🙂

        • kathy conway

          I am curious about this question as well. Or at least a way to figure out which is best for our children without buying all 3.

  6. Karie

    Thanks for this review! You mentioned a 3.0 version that will work on other devices coming soon. This was back in January 2017 and I’m wondering, as a customer, if you’ve heard any update on the release date. I’ve been looking online but cannot find any more info.

    • Marianne

      They have not released it yet! I’ll check with them and see what they say.:)

      • Annika

        Marianne, what do you think of Easy Peasy Homeschool for a dyslexic child? Lee Giles, the amazing, renowned author has created this curriculum for her children. It’s all free and online. I have been using it for my 4th grader for the last three weeks when we pulled her out of public school. I really love it so far. I only just recently found out my daughter is moderately dyslexic because she wasn’t excelling anymore in reading in spelling. (This is weird though: she has no problem reciting scripture she has memorized. As for math facts, she does not seem to enjoy them per se, but I feel she is getting improving with them. She’s been doing XTRA Math. Is my mind playing tricks on me? Should I just not have her memorize math facts?? And should I have her read graphic novels if she is going to read? And audio with everything else?) Sorry for all the questions. I’m pretty overwhelmed.

  7. Leasa Allington

    I really recommend Times Tales for math facts. I have one severe dyslexic child and another one that really struggles with math (14 years old) and has to see a calendar to add or subtract. I am grateful for these reviews on TT!

    • Leanna Kelly

      This is old, but I have to second Times Tales for dyslexia! Made a huge difference for my daughter.

  8. Jennifer P.

    I am homeschooling my daughter in the fall for the 1st time. She is going into 8th grade and has struggled every year in school. My friend just suggested TT math and while researching I found your info it being good for kids with dyslexia. While we haven’t had my daughter tested she exhibits many of the same struggles with learning! She reads a few grades below her grade level and comprehension is so difficult. Can you suggest a program for Lang Arts middle school? I’m overwhelmed and have researched a lot! We are looking into charters but I just need help with curriculum for those kids that struggle!

  9. Amiksa

    We just switched to TT back in June and it was the BEST advice for math we’ve had. We supplement fact practice with a free online program X-tra math. It is similar to the drills that Saxon uses, but is all online and bite sized. We are SO glad to have a solution to the how to teach math dilemma. Hours of tears and frustration were our story when we tried 5 other programs. I still love Saxon for classroom use, but it is not the best fit for my DD with dyslexia and son who just wants to get his math done! These programs have freed up so much of our time and I am seeing incredible results, especially in my 13 year old DD. We doubled up lessons in the summer to have a slower pace during the year and to see if we could catch up a bit. It was a bit rough, but has paid off as we can easily finish the year and move on to the next year by spring. For the first time in a long time I am seeing that my girl will get there with her math skills!

  10. Shauna

    I know this is an old post – but I just found your site through Read Aloud Revival podcast today. I have teens with executive function. One really struggles with math. We have used Math U See through Algebra. We just switched over to TT for Geometry, but one of my boys is struggling with it. I’m wondering if you’ve had to sit down with any of your kids and go through the video lessons and computer work together. We are using the newest 4.0 version which is all on the computer. He has asked to go back to MUS, but I think what he liked about that is we’d sit down together as he worked through the problems. Thanks!

    • Marianne

      Hi Shauna. I have one son who is overwhelmed by TT. He has very low executive function skills and switching between different types of problems is tiring for him. We have been using CTC Math with him and he is doing much better. They teach one topic per lesson and he can complete the lessons on his own with little fuss! Amazing!!

  11. Audra

    It does seem to be true that TT moves at a slower pace. My daughter is in 7th grade using TT Math 7 and it is similar to what the 6th graders are doing in the public school system here (California). But she is doing well with it and is on track to take TT Pre-Algebra in 8th grade. We used TT for my math/engineering son, too, starting with Pre-Algebra in 7th grade and ending with Pre-Calculus in 11th grade. He took Calculus his senior year through the community college’s high school enrichment program and got A’s. TT prepared him VERY well for college level calculus. So whether you have a naturally “mathy” kid or not, TT is a great program in my opinion.



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