My new favorite math program is Teaching Textbooks. Why, you might ask? Because it has what other math programs before it have - computer lessons with very detailed instructions for each concept - but this program has one more thing that I think makes it awesome: the computer grading system!
Here's how it works. The student goes to the computer, pops in the appropriate CD for the lesson they are on and see and hear the explanations for the concepts contained in that lesson. There are then practice problems that they can answer before they begin. The answers to all of the problems are entered into the computer at that time. Next they move on to the lesson problems, seeing and hearing the problem, inputting their answers and then getting immediate feedback as to whether they are right or wrong. The computer then scores the lesson and keeps track of the grades.
I'm telling you, this is revolutionary. I like this program because it gives very in-depth lectures as well as solutions. If you get a problem wrong, you just click on a button and watch how it is supposed to be answered. I also like the fact that it keeps the grades so that at the end of the year, you just print out the grade book and keep it with your records.
The Teaching Textbook Kit comes with a text book and solutions manual as well as the CDs. However, the text book and solutions manual are duplicates of what is on the CDs, so if you think your child will only use this program on the computer, then there is no need to by the text book and solutions. If your child, or you, will want to look at a physical book, or if you will need to do math while you are away from your computer, then you will want to get the entire kit.
There is also a workbook that you can purchase that has the problems for each lesson written down so your child can see it written and do the work in the workbook before they enter the answer into the computer. If you don't have the workbook, you can just give them a spiral notebook like I have where they can do the work and then have them enter their answer into the computer.
There 3.0 option is a subscription based program where everything is done online. All you do is pay an annual subscription fee and you have access to all of the same material in the 2.0 program but it's all online. There is even a large family discount program, so the overall cost might end up being lower than purchasing the CDs. You have to go to their site to check out the 3.0 program.
I have heard some criticism that this program is a grade level behind what it says it is. The easiest way around that is to have your child take the placement test that they offer and then place them in that level.
If you like computer based programs, or if you need a bit of a break from teaching math everyday to reluctant learners, then this is a great program to try out!
I think you'll like the automated grading system as much as I do!