We love going to homeschool conventions. We have been to three of the large ones in the past three years. One of the things I love to do is just visiting the booths in the vendor hall. You can learn a lot about products just by talking to the vendors at their booth. One product that we have seen and become intrigued by is A+ TutorSoft Inc. We have talked with the vendor and really liked what we saw. When I found out that Joshua and I would have the opportunity to review the Third Grade A+ Interactive Math Online Homeschool Edition I was thrilled.
I really wanted Joshua to try using either the A+ Interactive Math Online Homeschool Edition or the CD Software version of A+ TutorSoft Inc. becuase he had been using the same math curriculum for a couple of years. It has been working great for him and he is learning, but it is paper and pencil and I wanted to see how he would do with an online math program. Other than one small thing (which I explain later) he seems to really enjoy using it.
Here are the things that we like:
- It is easy to access. You and your child (two separate ones) must create a login name and a password. After the simple registering and creating, you are ready to begin. You can see what the main screen generally looks like in the graphic below. You just click on the table of contents, choose what chapter and section you want, and start working. There is a short video that you can watch to get you started if you like.
- There are 15 chapters with about 10 sections in each (some have a few more, some have a few less). This curriculum covers the usual things such as the four main operations, decimals, fractions, time and money, but also contains chapters for algebra and geometry. I found this interesting for a third grade curriculum and we are looking forward to getting to those chapters. The reason I like the chapters and sections clearly shown is that we can know where we have been and where we are going. With an aspergers child that is often very important. It also shows me that A+ TutorSoft Inc. really thought this out and divided everything into bite sized chunks.
- Now, here's what I really like - everything is animated! No, not with some silly cartoon character, but, when you click "play", the concept that is being taught is clearly explained. There are really three things that happen at once. The words appear, a ladies voice reads and explains as the words appear, and then there are animated graphics that appear that explain each step in a very clear manner. Some words and graphics are colored to give them more emphasis. It is really well done.
- After the lesson is "taught" using the animated graphics, there is a Interactive Question and Answer Section that your child works through to make sure they have learned the concept begin taught. I like that it is animated like the lesson, and that there are a lot of affirmations for the child when he correctly answers a problem. If he incorrectly answers a problem, the section that he needs help with is explained again.
- That is really all there is to the regular lesson. If you feel that your child needs additional help, there are both online or printable worksheets that your child can work through. I like the fact that you can choose either an online worksheet or a printable worksheet for your child to use. Some children need to be able to touch and manipulate things. It's good to put the pencil to paper every once in a while. The online worksheets are exactly the same as the printable worksheets. They are structured a bit differently than the online review questions that the child completes after each lesson is taught, but they are still easy to use. There is also an online calculator that your child can use if desired. I thought that was a nice added touch.
- After your child has completed all of the sections in the chapter, he takes an exam that covers everything that was in the chapter. If he takes the exam online, then he must take it in a required amount of time. The time, however, can be adjusted by the parent. The online test has the time counting in the corner so the child knows exactly how much time is left. The test can also be printed out to be taken with pencil and paper if desired.
- I appreciate how both the worksheets and exams have solution guides so that the parent can check the child's work or to have a problem explained to them. If desired the solution guides can be left open so that the child can check his own work, or they can be locked so that only the parent has access to them.
- I really appreciate all of the "extras" that the A+ Interactive Math Online Homeschool Edition has for the parent and even some extras for the child. The parent and child can keep track of the progress being made by checking how the child is doing with the worksheets and exams. "But wait!" You may be thinking. "What if we printed out the worksheets and exams to be done with pencil and paper?" Not to worry. You can manually put the scores that your child made back in to the program and it will generate a progress chart for you and your child to see. After a child has completed a chapter successfully, there are Certificates of Accomplishment that can also be printed out. Things like this are a real hit with Joshua!
- I also like that everything can be printed out. There is even a way to print out everything that has been taught with the animations. Or, you can view the text version of chapters online.
We have really enjoyed using this program and plan to continue using it. So, what was the problem that Joshua had? Well, aspergers children often have very strong senses. They can often smell, taste, feel and hear things more acutely than other people can. Joshua has a very acute sense of hearing. For some reason he had a difficult time listening to the ladies voice during the animations. I couldn't figure it out at first. The voice seemed very kind and caring. Finally, he was able to explain that it wasn't the voice, it was how it was recorded. For some reason the recording makes her sound as if she is speaking in to a tin can. It has that kind of tone to it and it really bothered Joshua. I had to listen carefully to be able to notice it, but Joshua noticed it quickly and it really annoyed him. Probably a child that doesn't have sensitive hearing wouldn't notice it at all, but I thought I would mention it in case one of my readers has a child with an acute sense of hearing like Joshua.
We think that the A+ Interactive Math Online Homeschool Edition is great but what is equally as great is the price. Usually the price is $124.99 for a full year, $49.99 quarterly, or $19.95 monthly, however, if you order between now and the end of March you can save 50% by using the coupon code SPOFFER50. What a deal! To find out more about this program and all of the A+ Tutorsoft Inc. just click here or on any one of the hi-lighted links above.
As usual, many of the other TOS Review Crew members reviewed this product and other A+ Tutorsoft Inc. products in all grade levels and you can find what they had to say by clicking on the banner below. Happy Homeschooling!