CTCMath vs. Math-U-See: Which One Should YOU Use?

Student completing math worksheet

Math has been a long-standing struggle in our homeschool. Over the past thirteen years, we have used a variety of homeschool math courses and math accommodations to meet the individual needs of each child.

Two of the math curricula we have used with success are CTCMath and Math-U-See. Both programs are excellent and have met our needs at various stages of our homeschooling journey.

Wondering which one would be the best fit for your family? Read on for a full comparison of CTCMath vs. Math-U-See.

This post is sponsored by CTCMath.

I received this product for free and was compensated for my time. All thoughts and opinions are my own. I was not required to post a positive review. See our Disclosure Policy for more information.

Comparison of CTCMath vs. Math-U-See

Available Courses

Both CTCMath and Math-U-See are available for all grades from kindergarten on up. There is a slight difference in the naming of the grades and the course content within each curriculum, though.

CTCMath courses include:

  • Kindergarten
  • Grades 1-6
  • Basic Math and Pre-Algebra
  • Elementary Measurement
  • Elementary Geometry
  • Algebra 1
  • Geometry
  • Algebra II
  • Trigonometry
  • Pre-Calculus
  • Calculus

Math-U-See courses include:

  • Primer (kindergarten)
  • Grades 1-6 (named Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Epsilon, and Zeta)
  • Pre-Algebra
  • Algebra 1
  • Geometry
  • Algebra 2
  • Pre-Calculus
  • Calculus

BOTTOM LINE: Both math programs follow the same basic outline, with a few minor differences.

  1. CTCMath offers separate Elementary Measurement and Elementary Geometry courses, while Math-U-See includes these concepts within the elementary level texts.
  2. CTCMath has a separate trigonometry course, while Math-U-See includes trigonometry within its pre-calculus course.
Boy doing a CTCMath lesson on a laptop

Teaching Method

CTCMath is taught completely by an online instructor. Parents do not need to be involved in teaching at all. Even if the student has difficulty understanding a particular lesson, simply rewatching the video together and reinforcing the concepts of the lesson should be sufficient. No prep, no planning!

Math-U-See is designed to be taught by the parent. The MUS Instruction Pack includes videos of Mr. Demme teaching each lesson to a “live” class, but the videos are intended to be watched by the parents to help them teach the lessons themselves.

However, my kids (who love independent learning) have usually done just fine watching the MUS videos on their own. Occasionally when the concepts weren’t presented thoroughly enough, I have needed to actually teach the lesson myself.

BOTTOM LINE: CTCMath is taught directly to the student. MUS is not, although some students may be able to use the videos independently.

CTCMath lesson on virtual whiteboard

CTCMath lessons are demonstrated on a virtual whiteboard.

Course Format

CTCMath is a total online learning experience. Students watch a lesson video each day, with problems and examples demonstrated on a virtual whiteboard. Each video is followed by practice exercises which are completed online as well.

Practice problems are automatically corrected by the computer as they are completed. Progress reports and test scores are maintained automatically—no parent scoring or grading is necessary.

Math-U-See consists of an instruction manual (with text lessons and solutions), an instructional DVD, a student workbook, and a test booklet.

One lesson is covered each week or so (either by the parent or, in some families, by watching the instructional DVD). Each lesson is accompanied by three worksheets focused the current lesson, as well as three cumulative review worksheets.

The worksheets are corrected each day by either the student or the parent. Tests are graded and recorded by the parent.

BOTTOM LINE: CTCMath is completely online, with no books or parental record-keeping required. MUS does have video lessons, but practice problems and tests are completed on paper and require manual scoring and grading.

Completing CTCMath problems online

CTCMath exercises are completed online and graded automatically.

Teaching Approach

CTCMath uses a mastery approach to teaching math. Basically this approach assumes that students master the concepts as they are presented and that there is no need for constant review.

Students learn primarily by watching (and listening to) videos and completing practice problems online.

Math-U-See also follows a mastery approach. However, it also incorporates three review worksheets each lesson, allowing students to review past concepts.

MUS emphasizes hands-on learning using math manipulatives such as integer blocks, fraction overlays, and decimal inserts.

BOTTOM LINE: Both CTCMath and MUS use a mastery approach. However, they differ in a couple ways.

  1. MUS includes some built-in review in the lesson worksheets.
  2. CTCMath uses primarily audio-visual teaching methods, while MUS uses a more hands-on approach.

Get Started with CTCMath

Ready to get started with CTCMath? Homeschool families automatically receive 60% off the regular price of CTCMath membership. In addition, if you purchase a 12-month membership, you will receive an extra 6 months for FREE!

Still undecided? Try CTCMath for yourself with a FREE trial membership!

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  1. Hi, Judy! Thanks for your review. We currently use MUS Delta but are considering switching to CTC for 4th grade. My son grasps concepts easily but often works problems a bit differently than Mr. Demme does. I was thinking that it might be good to switch things up with the online program. Have you had success moving from MUS to CTC?

    1. Judy Hoch says:

      I know what you mean about doing problems differently than Mr. Demme sometimes! We aren’t currently using CTC Math, but I do think it is a solid program. I’m sorry that I can’t be more helpful. :/

  2. I was hoping for a more honest review and comparison. If you’re not currently using CTC, why do you promote it so heavily. From your review, it sounds like you prefer it. I’ve used both, and I still can’t decide which one to stick with. I love MUC, but CTC has so much stuff. I don’t like that CTC sometimes (often) gives the kids problems that the videos don’t teach, so I have to step in and teach anyway. I also don’t like that, starting with Pre-Algebra, there’s no built-in review. I do like that, starting with Pre-Algebra, they give solutions to all of the problems. I don’t like that CTC sometimes gives unsolvable problems and logic questions that they don’t prepare the kids for – many of them even stump me. But, there’s so much stuff. I’m curious to know why you aren’t using it anymore.