When doing this review, we were given the possibility of reviewing two different "aspects" of this program. I want to touch briefly on the two different options and then focus primarily on the second one, which was the one that I was assigned for my review.
The Family Math Package does not pre-test students. It is instead a package for grade level 1-6 (and then for Pre-Algebra and Algebra 1). Basically each grade level is an entire curriculum featuring:
- video lessons
- interactive review
- practice worksheets
- chapter tests
- automatic grading
- and much more!
The Adaptive Math Curriculum Online is the program we used. I will therefore be spending the remainder of my time on this review, discussing this particular aspect of A+ Interactive Math (by A+ TutorSoft Inc).
In this program, the parent (me!) enrolls each student in a target grade level. I chose third grade for my nine-year-old sons and first grade for my six-year-old daughter. Then, each of my kids logged on themselves and took a "mini-test" for each major math concept. And here's where the program gets cool!
- The program automatically adjusts the difficulty level based on how the student is answering and then creates an individualized plan for the student.
- The program then gives a mini-test for each major math concept to gauge student’s skill level.
- The program automatically adjusts the difficulty level of questions based on the answers provided by student.
- If the program detects any learning gaps between the “target” grade level and student’s current skill level, it automatically creates an individualized plan for the student.
- The plan includes:
- video lessons
- interactive review
- practice worksheets online
- automatic grading etc.
After setting him in the third grade, Sidge logged into the program.He then comes to a screen that (after doing some work with the program) ends up looking like this.
So Sidge started with the first item: "Number Sense." The first time he took the test, he didn't do so hot on it. So we went over all the questions he missed, and he attempted the test again. This time he did totally great and had reached his goal. In fact, if you look closely, he even passed the goal. Go Sidge! (This is pretty typical for Sidge. He simply goes too fast and knows the answer to many questions he missed.)
I especially loved that while reviewing the questions he missed, it showed how much time Sidge took on each question. There was one question he missed that he had answered in 7 seconds! He couldn't have even read the question in 7 seconds and he agreed that maybe he needed to slow down a bit.
Since I was pretty confident he knew what he was doing on that program, we moved on and did the same with "Addition."
Sidge has since gone on to take a test on "Subtraction" and "Multiplication" and he has scored "below goal level" for those two items. He can then click on the buttons out to the right of those to spend more time learning in an individualized lesson format. He can also "Retake Test" at anytime!
There are many items that Sidge has not gotten to, and we will continue working through.
So what do I love about this program?
Well, I love that I can fill in homeschooling gaps first and foremost. That is a huge worry for homeschool parents. "What if I am missing something?" This assures that you aren't! You can spend the time and make sure you have covered all the bases.
I also think this program is priced VERY reasonably. There is a 30 day money-back guarantee which is always nice. But if you have anywhere from 2-10 children, the program is just $149 for the year. For someone like me who has four children, this works out to about $37 a year per child for them to take math! This is about $3 a month. And if you happen to have 10 children (the Lord bless you and keep you), well, you are spending just under $15 per student and just over $1 a month!
The program is not perfect. They are still improving their interface and there were a few stumbling blocks to my kids. (A quick example, on one test, if they clicked "enter" instead of a button that said "next" it sent them out of the program and made them start again.) However, these were easily overcome and after the first day, they really didn't impact us again.