Math! One of those subjects that everyone has to take. You either love Math or hate it. There's usually not many people in the middle. I, for one, have always enjoyed Math. I liked using the formulas to try to solve the problem. Our oldest used to like Math, but since about 6th grade, his attitude has changed. Our youngest, who is at the end of his 3rd grade year hasn't really made up his mind yet. He does, however, really enjoy having his classes online, so I thought that A+ Interactive Math by TutorSoft Inc. would be a good fit. They have 2 such online programs: Adaptive Math Curriculum Online and the Family Math Package. I opted for the Adaptive Math Curriculum Online for him to try.
I have to be honest. I wasn't all that impressed at first. There is so much to this program and it took us about a week to feel like we knew what we are doing. As the parent, I went in to register our youngest in 3rd grade. This tells the computer what levels to give him. Then when he signed up, he saw a huge list of tests. This was overwhelming to him, at first, but I just had to tell him that he didn't need to do all of them at once. We would work through them one by one. Whew! Crises avoided.
The tests include everything from Number Sense and Multiplication to Fractions and Money. They include everything that you would want to cover in third grade. Cool. I really like that.
What I found appealing is that A+ Interactive Math states that they will help to "fill in the gaps" of his learning. I believe this is true. I started him out on the first test "Number Sense". I wanted him to work through it by himself to see if he could do it. Nope. He didn't get very far at all. So, I had him do it again, but this time with me looking over it with him. Did I give him the answers, no. I did, however, help guide him through how to take the test. It went all the way back to first grade material. You know, things that he hasn't done in over 2 years and forgot how to do? Yep, those things. He tried to tell me that I never taught him those things. Um, nope. I know that I did. The problem was that the wording was different than what he was used to. That's all. Once I reworded things for him, he got it. Thank goodness. I was starting to feel horrible as a teacher and parent.
When the child misses so many questions, the test is stopped and a list of lessons come up on the side. I love this! To be honest, again, I missed these the first time he took a test. I didn't know what those were. Once I figured out that they have given him an individualized lesson plan to learn the concepts that he missed on the test, we were in business! We started getting in to a routine. Take a test, do the lessons, repeat. When he had gone through all of the lessons, he would take the test again. When he missed enough, the test would stop and he would have a new list of lessons to complete. He was so excited when he passed the first test! So was I! We were making progress. I love that he can print out a certificate when he passes a lesson and a test. I have to tell you that that is huge for our third grader. He loves that!
I want to mention that these tests are long. Remember when I mentioned that the material goes back to 1st grade (remember, he is on the third grade level)? Guess what levels are on each test? Yep, you guessed it. First, second, and third grade. So these tests are LONG! It took him over 45 minutes to complete one test. That is too long for this 8 year old to complete. Did he pass? Yes. I really had to keep him going. I would prefer that the tests were broken down into at least 2 separate parts. Maybe a Number Sense 1 & Number Sense 2 perhaps?
I want to talk a little about the lessons. As I said before, the Adaptive Math Curriculum Online gives the child an individualized lesson plan. He would just click on the first lesson and away he went. There is a video first and then some interactive problems to work through. After each problem, he would know if he got it right or wrong. I like that he didn't have to go through the whole lesson and then to find out that he was doing them all wrong.
Here is what our third grader had to say about A+ Interactive Math:
"I like doing the math on the computer. I think that the tests were a little bit too long. The lessons teach you a lot about what the test was about. I think that the videos were very informative and fun to watch."
I agree with him. I like the Adaptive Math Curriculum Online. A+ Interactive Math by TutorSoft Inc. is a great online Math program. I appreciate the fact that it first evaluates what my child knows and then will teach him what he struggles with. This makes me feel confident as a parent and teacher. Check out the review from other Homeschool Review Crew Members who used the Family Math Package.
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