Wednesday, April 25, 2018

A+ Interactive Family Math Review

I think every family is looking for the perfect math curriculum. Engaging for the students, easy for the teacher, and thorough, ensuring that there are no gaps that will come back to bite when higher math comes knocking. Does it exist? Can we find the way to make math a happy time for both the students and the teacher? Do we know they really get it? We've been pretty happy with our workbook based math curriculum this year, but since I'm always on the lookout for that Holy Grail of math curriculum, the girls have been learning math with the Family Math Package  from A+ Interactive Math (by A+ TutorSoft Inc.).

A+ Interactive Math

I really, really wanted to like this program. Many people do, highlighting how it can address weak spots and focus on them, how the students can basically drive themselves once they get started, how easy it is for the parent. But for us, it wasn't as user friendly as I was hoping for. We struggled to figure out how to get started, how to find the lessons, how to mark lessons as complete, how to switch between users. We spent a lot of time frustrated, reading through "getting started" and "help" documents, and that didn't set the right tone for the lessons. My girls are still young enough where they like their computer time to feel more like a game, and this had them asking if they could just go get their workbooks and finish their math there. When my kids are begging to get OFF the computer and do workbooks, it's not a great sign. I think that we probably could have struggled through and come to a happier place, but at this point, it was a chore, and that's not how I want them to see math right now.

Family Math

Another thing I didn't love was that it wasn't tablet friendly, due to the need for Flash. The girls have tablets (an iPad and an Android) for school use. They use my laptop and the computers at the library, but right now, they don't spend a lot of time on a traditional "computer". The Flash issue was moderately annoying. We were able to work around and adjust, but again, it wasn't as easy as I'd hoped.

There are some great things about this program. Once you figure out all the little things that can impede your getting started, the lessons are thorough, and as the parents, you can go in adjust, based on the reports you're getting. Although some of the lessons are dry, others are cute. It's easy to find a specific skill and work through that, filling in any gaps your students may have.

Adaptive Math

To be quite honest, although this program is loved by many, it wasn't something really loved by us, and for now, we're going back to what we'd been using. For our family, I do not think it would work as a standalone math program. My girls, at the earlier end of the program, need more hands on instruction and paper/pencil work. That being said, it could be a complete math program for many students depending on what they need and how they learn. We may revisit it from time to time for reinforcement and to check for gaps.

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. It's always so nice to hear that something we struggled with was perfect for someone else - and that someone could be you!

Family & Adaptive Math Online {A+ Interactive Math Reviews}

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