Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A+ Tutorsoft, Inc. {Schoolhouse Review}


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The moment I had dreaded since I started homeschooling Brynne (and then Eli) had arrived ... it's was time to teach multiplication! I don't know why this has been such an area of stress for me, but it has! We have been using a Hungarian model of mathematics for the past three years. Brynne calls it "paper math". So I was very interested to review an online math program! A+ Tutorsoft, Inc. has an interactive program called A+ Interactive MATH that can either be utilized online or by use of cd. We chose to review the 2nd grade Homeschool Edition - Multi-sensory Interactive MATH Online program, because it was the first program that introduced multiplication. My children are actually third graders, but I just researched the program's website and determined that the introductory multiplication lessons would work best for us. It was a good match. There are also FREE placement tests available.

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The approach of A+ Interactive MATH. is unique in that it is a multimedia program that combines audio, visual, and text to teach the concepts. There are different ways to work the programs, by interactive assignments, online worksheets, and printable worksheets. There are also end-of-lesson timed tests. There is the opportunity for re-teaching on missed problems, e-book texts, and parent reports. Really, the program just contains so much that I am having a hard time expressing it all! So, I'll show you how we used the curriculum.

How We Used the Curriculum


Using the program was a cinch. It only took a few minutes to register me and my students and then get ready to go. Each day the kids pulled up the site, typed in their Username and Password, hit "Launch" and chose the lesson of the day, and then got started. Although no other materials are needed to use the online program, my kids always had some paper, a pencil, and their multiplication table handy for working out the problems.

We started on Lesson 4, moving ahead to Addition and Subtraction (remember, my main goal was to utilize the Multiplication assignments to their fullest). We also only used the Interactive Lessons because both kids have a pretty strong background in Addition and Subtraction.

After we completed Lessons 4 and 5, we moved onto the lessons on Multiplication. On the first day the kids listened to the audio lessons and then answered the Interactive Questions.

Scope and Content of 2nd Grade Multiplication Concepts

On the second day they did the online worksheet. It was at this point that Brynne said, "I want to go back to paper math." (We had only been doing interactive assignments.) So I decided I would print the worksheets for her while Eli continued to do the online worksheets, because he preferred them. I could have also printed the textbook for her to read and us to do together, if she would have wanted to do it that way. She was fine listening and watching the instructions, however. That is something that I really liked about this program. I knew that my two kids learned things in different ways, and had their own preferences. A+ Interactive MATH allowed them to each learn the same material but in the way that suited them best!

The e-textbook

We did not do the end-of-lesson exams for Addition and Subtraction because I felt that they had mastered those concepts and I just wanted us to move on. And as of the date of this post, we have not completed all of the lessons on Multiplication, but I plan to have them take the exam at the end. The exam is 25 questions and there is a 50 minute time-limit. I am not sure my kids are ready to sit for 50 minutes straight on a test, but we'll see.


When the kids completed their assignments I reviewed the various reports available to me, and we went back to review missed questions.


There are also printable charts and multiplication tricks that we utilized often! The introduction to multiplication wasn't teaching them the facts, necessarily, but the whys and hows of multiplication, so the "cheats" were a very important tool for them at this level.



Opinion

Overall, I think that A+ Interactive MATH is a superb product. When we have completed the multiplication section of the program, we will move on to some other products until I feel that we have a full grasp on multiplication. However, when we are ready to start Division, we will first go back to A+ Interactive MATH and utilize the 2nd grade introductory materials.

Probably the thing I liked best about the program is that I DIDN'T HAVE TO DO ANYTHING! The material was taught to them in an easily understood fashion, with lots of examples given. So far, I haven't had to teach multiplication (remember, the thing I was dreading?)! A+ Tutorsoft, Inc., has been doing it for me!

The price for the Homeschool Edition - Multi-sensory Interactive MATH Online program at $19.95 per month, $49.99 per quarter, or $124.95 per year per student is a bit pricey for me. However, right now A+ Tutorsoft, Inc., is offering 50% Off with the Coupon Code SPOFFER50! This coupon is good through the end of March. That makes it much more desirable! Other than the higher (than I would normally pay) price, I had absolutely no complaints about the program.


If you are curious about what the program offers, you can watch a Demo about the Interactive Math Online program by clicking HERE. You can also subscribe for one FREE month on the A+Tutorsoft, Inc., site.

To make your purchase, please visit A+ Tutorsoft, Inc.

I did want to mention one final thing. When we were offered this program for review, I e-mailed the company and asked if they would allow me TWO subscriptions so that both of my children, who are at the same level cognitively, could utilize the program. A+ Tutorsoft, Inc., graciously gave me two subscriptions to use. One of my children has mild Asperger's and the other is advanced academically for her age, so I was very curious to see how the SAME program would work for both of their individual needs. With all of the variety available from the A+ Interactive MATH program, I can happily say that they have both enjoyed it and learned a lot! There were lots of "high-5's" going on while they worked alongside each other.


If you would like to hear what other Crew Members thought of the product I reviewed, the other age groups, and/or the CD version, please visit the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog.

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