Math Curriculum: CTCMath v. Saxon

I was chatting with some new moms the other day and we were discussing how incredible the differences are between each child. They think differently, relate differently, and develop differently. We have to treat our care taking and parenting of each child like an art form—unique and specifically tailored to each child. This is what I've found I need to do with our math curriculum with our kids. CTCMath has been one of our favorite tools - make sure to read to the end so that you can enter to win a year access of CTCMath for your homeschool!

I received a CTCMath membership as part of this review and I was compensated for my time in writing it. All views are my own and I was not required to write a positive review. Please see my full Disclosure Policy for more details.

Our Math Curriculum Choices This Year

My oldest has always done well with Saxon Math, so naturally I assumed my girls would too. Last year we homeschooled two extra kids in addition to our three, and I was so happy to find CTCMath to help me manage the masses. My girls really enjoyed it, especially my youngest who has struggled with reading and was completely overwhelmed by Saxon text books.

This year we are back to our three students, and here are our curriculum choices:

  • Oldest Son "The Senior": Saxon Advanced Math - He's done well with this math text, so we're sticking with it.
  • Middle Daughter "The Freshman": Mr. D's Math - She appreciates a live teacher that can interact with her. His teaching method clicked with her, so we're taking that path for her high school math education.
  • Youngest Daughter "7th Grader": CTCMath - She has used this for more than a year now, and it has really clicked with her. She's enjoying math, and I love seeing her math confidence grow.

CTCMath homeschool math curriculum

How CTCMath Works

Step 1: View the Tutorial

Each of the thousands of CTCMath tutorials last around 4-9 minutes and presents the concepts of the math lesson step-by-step. Students listen to Pat Murray, the instructor, explain the concept while they watch the math worked out on the video. His Australian accent and enthusiasm about math make listening and viewing fun!

Step 2: Complete the Interactive Questions or Worksheet

After the instruction, students are given the opportunity to test their understanding of what they've learned by completing a short set of questions. Younger students enter their answers in an automated marking system, and older students print worksheets to complete and then enter their answers. Students get instant feedback on their work.

Step 3: Review Summaries As Needed

Each of the videos has a detailed PDF summary that students can print for review. There are also downloads of each math problem worked out if students need more help.

Step 4: Parents Review Progress

All of the progress students make is stored for easy review by the parents. I love that it tracks the time, date, and number of attempts on each lesson.

As a father of 10 himself, Pat Murray knows that it can be difficult to afford quality math curriculum for a big family. A CTC Math membership allows you to enroll up to 10 children in their online math program, for ONE LOW COST!

CTC Math vs. Saxon Math

Since I've had the most experience with Saxon Math, I thought I'd share some comparisons of these two math curricula.

Online vs. Textbook

The CTCMath membership is accessed online and Saxon Math works out of a textbook.

CTCMath vs Saxon Math

I have really enjoyed being able to access CTCMath from any of our computers, iPhones, or iPads. This has made taking math curriculum on the road easy for multiple kids.

Mastery Approach vs. Spiral

CTCMath uses a mastery approach to math meaning that one skill building on the next. In a mastery math program, a student develops a thorough comprehension of one topic before moving on. For example, the instruction involving working from simple addition to adding multiple digit numbers will come all at the same time while the concepts are fresh in the student's mind. Once they've mastered the concept they can move on to a new one. 

Saxon Math takes a spiral approach – so concepts are reviewed and repeated regularly along the way, but one lesson might not have anything to do with the next.

Multi-Sensory vs. Reading Approach

When students are introduced to a new topic in CTCMath, they are seeing it demonstrated visually, they are hearing it explained aurally, and responding to what they learned kinesthetically as they enter their answers into the interactive questions that follow the lesson.

In Saxon Math, students are reading through the new concept material on their own and then moving on to the lesson practice. Since my youngest took a while to become a confident reader, this created a challenge for her in the time it would take to complete a math lesson.


With CTCMath we set a timer for 30 or 45 minutes depending on the day, and my daughter can complete multiple lessons. There are also games for students to work on speed skills or times tables if they have a little extra time or need practice on those.

In the middle school years and up, Saxon Math includes a warm up (which can take up to 15 minutes), new concept, lesson practice (2-10 problems), and mixed practice (30 problems). Even when my kids were in the younger Saxon Math text years, we struggled to complete a full math lesson in less than an hour.

While I really value math education, anything that takes longer than an hour for my students has proven to be less productive.

Flexibility of Levels

With a CTC Math membership students are free to access any of the levels at any time. This means if they are struggling with a concept, they can

With Saxon Math you purchase one whole level at a time. While the student tests and worksheets book might need to be purchased again for another student, this material could be used again for another child in the family.


The CTCMath membership for 1 homeschooled child per year is $78.80 and for 2+ children is $118.80

Saxon Math Homeschool Kits range from around $85 on sale to $152 for Calculus. If you want additional help or video instruction, those are available at an additional price for each level.

Get CTCMath for Your Homeschool

CTCMath membership is an affordable homeschool math curriculum option for homeschool families. Purchase any 12 Month Membership and receive a bonus 6 months for FREE! (total 18 months).

Do you want to know more? Want to try it out before you buy it? You can check out CTCMath for yourself with their FREE TRIAL!

There is also a 60% OFF Membership Discount for homeschool families!

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  1. Michele Donnelly on March 11, 2019 at 11:34 am

    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!

    Read about how CTCMath is a life saver! –

  2. Jennifer on April 12, 2019 at 10:28 am

    What are your thoughts on CTC Math for the high school years? We have been using Saxon since 4th grade & my child is now in 9th. He gets frustrated with how long Saxon takes him & he feels like they throw in problems sometimes that are a little different than what was taught. He’s an auditory learner so he’s been watching Saxon teacher vidoes that have been helping. This CTC math sounds amazing though!!

    • Jennifer on April 12, 2019 at 10:29 am

      We are also in CC Challenge 1 this year. How well does it work with CC?

      • Betsy on April 22, 2019 at 4:50 pm

        I really like CTC Math for the younger years, but my daughter struggled a bit once she made it to the upper levels. She’s really thrived with Mr. D’s math. He offers live classes once a week, and then extra help classes throughout the week. The live interaction and his classical teaching style has really made a HUGE difference in her math confidence.

  3. Jeri on July 13, 2019 at 4:07 pm

    Between Mr. D Math, Shormann, and CTC how do you think they compare preparing the student for their SAT?

    • Betsy on July 15, 2019 at 7:23 pm

      I don’t know if I’m the best one to answer this question for you, but as far as SAT math goes, our greatest help was using College Prep Genius. Mr. D does a great job of alerting his students of tips and tricks for the SAT throughout his courses, and he also has a SAT prep class specifically for techniques for the standardized math tests.

  4. ctcmath login - Credit One on April 23, 2021 at 5:37 pm

    […] 11. Math Curriculum: CTCMath v. Saxon – Family Style Schooling […]

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