With a preschooler and a new baby in the house I have been working towards more independent/self study lessons for the older children. So I was grateful for the opportunity to review the Family Math Package by A+ Interactive Math (by A+ TutorSoft Inc.) with my oldest son. He is a sixth grader who has typically done well in math but struggled some this year with decimals and fractions this year.
This program provides online lessons and practice questions followed by online quizzes and tests. When we got started I realized that I needed to show him where to take the quizzes and help him with general navigation around the program’s interface. After that initial help he was able to operate the system independently. I loved that the practice questions allowed him to go back and fix mistakes but the quizzes showed me the score he received on his first attempt. If a child does poorly on an attempt, you can have a new quiz created for them to complete. Since we chose the Family Math Package we had the ability to place him in the grade level that we felt best fit his needs and chose the lessons I wanted him to work on. The Family Math Package allows you to use the programmed order or skipped around to work on the areas of highest need.
We have found that it takes my son about 15-20 minutes to do a daily lesson including practice problems. This length of time is nice for us because it fits well into our philosophy of short lessons to keep attention and it is easy to fit into a busy day. He does work through problems reasonably quickly and it could take a bit longer if you have a student that works at a slower pace.
When I reviewed the first quiz result I was shocked that he only scored a 20/100. Normally he’s pretty good at testing, and the first lesson should have been a review for him. So, I asked him about it. “Mom, I thought I could only use the computer. I didn’t use any scratch paper.” Sometimes he does follow instructions! The moral of this anecdote; if your learners are new to online math it may be worth it to encourage them to work their problems out on paper before answering.
Once he understood how the lessons worked and that he could use his pencil and paper to figure the answers things went smoothly. This week he even came up to me all excited, “Mom, I got a 100, that is three 100s in a row!”
I love all of the reports and data that I can access to keep track of how he is doing without having to constantly look over his shoulder. I can see how he did on the practices and worksheets, what his averages are, what lessons he has completed, and other useful reports from the admin panel. You can see some examples of reports that I had for my son below.
We have enjoyed using this program. For our family, I do not think it would work as a standalone math program this year. My son needs a bit more instruction and practice but it made an excellent review for him and helped him understand some areas he had been struggling with. With the instruction, practice, and quizzes it could be a complete math program for many students depending on the ease at which they learn new math concepts. I intend to use this program to continue reinforcing math concepts and introduce new concepts. He enjoyed the immediate feedback of the online grading and the ability to go back and see what he missed.
If you are looking to foster some independence in math or to review skills that your child is struggling with I suggest checking out the Family Math Package by A+ Interactive Math (by A+ TutorSoft Inc.). If you want even more automation they also offer an Adaptive Math Curriculum that has the student go through pretests and then gives them lessons based on the results of the pretests. You can click below to read reviews about that program from some of the other Crew members.
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