Adaptive Math Curriculum Online from A+ Interactive Math (by A+ TutorSoft Inc.): A TOS Crew Review

A+ Interactive Math Math is one of the more difficult areas to teach in homeschool if the conversations I have with my homeschool friends is any indication. It is usually not that we moms do not understand the concepts, but conveying them to our kids in a way that makes sense to them can be daunting. When difficulties arise it can be even more frustrating! Adaptive Math Curriculum Online from A+ Interactive Math (by A+ TutorSoft Inc.)  is an excellent alternative from traditional book lessons for mathematics. My daughters really enjoyed their time using this program.    Adaptive Math   The best part about this particular curriculum is that it is adaptive, meaning it adapts to your individual child’s needs, not requiring them to waste time reviewing material they have already mastered. This intuitive learning structure is excellent for homeschoolers. I can’t tell you how many times I have said, “It’s complicated,” when discussing grade levels. Homeschooling is so wonderful in that we have the opportunity to teach directly to our children’s level, but with math it gets complicated. It is harder to assess if a student knows something already or what exactly they are missing in a concept. This online program really takes our the guess-work entirely. 

All three of the girls used this curriculum to try it out. One of the things they really liked about it was that neither my husband nor I had to be available to complete the work. They like the independence and since everything is tracked fully online they could complete this at any point during our school day.

Rose has used the grade-level programs from this company before, but she said she really liked the fact that she could take a pretest for a concept so it would place her exactly where she needed to be. She does prefer pencil-to-paper learning for math, but the printable worksheets are a great for kids like her. 

Grace is fairly advanced in mathematics so I appreciated that while she is technically a 2nd grader, she could move forward to the 3rd grade level and still refine this even further to specific task skills she still needs to master. She especially liked having more computer learning time because being younger she is not on the computer as much as her older sisters. Overall I think this is the highest quality and most user friendly of the many online math courses we have tried. I asked the girls and they all said that while they liked it, they still preferred the pencil-to-paper method of our traditional learning. If I were looking for a program to take math learning off my plate, this would without a doubt be the one I would choose. The individualization and tracking makes it so very easy. I can see the answers my daughters gave and exactly how they are doing on any given concept. The teaching is clear and easy to follow. It also does not take extensive amounts of time. I’m all about quality over quantity! If you have never used an online math program or even if you have, but haven’t tried out this company, their free trial is definitely worth checking out for your family. If you don’t think the Adaptive Math Curriculum Online is the best fit, take a look at Family Math Package. While students are not tested for placement, all of their grade-level options are available so you are free to move grade levels at any time. Both of these math options are incredibly affordable no matter how many students you have in your family! 
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No-Nonsense Algebra from Math Essentials: A TOS Crew Review

Math Essentials  My girls are getting older and I’m always on the lookout for where we are heading with math in the higher grades. I’ve had my eye on Math Essentials for a while now because of recommendations, incredibly low price, and the availability of video lessons if desired. I was super excited to have the opportunity to review  No-Nonsense Algebra from Math Essentials. I decided to have my middle daughter, Beth, give this a try. She is beginning 5th grade, but has always found math to be both enjoyable and fairly easy. To be honest, she’s never been challenged really. My husband and I decided it would be good for her to give this a try and see how she did. I also have been working hard to brush up on my own mathematics skills. It isn’t my strength, but this does not need to mean it is a weakness. I’ll touch on my own experience at the end of the review.  No-Nonsense Algebra I love the title. No-Nonsense is absolutely the best description for this course! There are no frills or excessive practice pages. Honestly, there isn’t a need with the direct way the course approaches math is beautiful. I struggled to excel in mathematics once I passed the elementary levels and I can’t help but think a more stream-lined approach may have helped me. The instructional videos are clear and easy to follow. They are also fairly short, so if a student needs to watch a video again it will not feel it is taking an excessive amount of time.  

 As I said before Beth is entering into 5th grade, but has never found math challenging. She just turned 10 and almost always makes a perfect score on every math assignment I give her. I honestly rarely even have to “teach” a concept to her in the traditional way because she intuitively understands mathematics concepts and reading the instructional information is usually enough. Because of these things which are consistently true to her nature I was pretty certain she would do well with this Algebra course. I was not disappointed!  Beth thoroughly enjoyed doing her math on the computer. I was a little surprised because while she enjoys the screen time we give her, she’s never been one to ask for computer-based learning. She told me she liked the lesson because it was easy to understand. Because Beth finds math easy, it is never a subject she complains over completing. What was really neat to see was that she was even more eager to complete math lessons than usual and this is really high praise indeed!  

Our standard course for mathematics is to use graphing paper for written assignments. This math course is non-consumable (My favorite kind!!!!) so students will need to copy the problems onto their own paper. This was excellent for Beth. Our regular curriculum does not function this way and I found this to be a skill in which she was lacking! For the first time in a very long time Beth missed several answers. Now this may not be cause for celebration for most people, but it was for me. Finally my smart little girl was being challenged! What I discovered was all but one of the mistakes was due to a transcription error. This was only in the first lesson, but she was learning about the concept of negative numbers which was completely new to her. She comprehended the lesson completely, but the transcription errors were her downfall. This was an incredible learning experience for her I had not anticipated. 

Since Beth is young compared to most students beginning an algebra course, I had her take more than one day for each lesson. This was an excellent pace for her. The first day she watched the video and completed half of the written work. I would check the work. If there were multiple errors the second day she would watch the lesson again if needed and correct her errors. If there were no errors we moved forward and finish the rest of the written work. This gave her between 8 and 10 problems a day which worked very well.  

Beth has thoroughly enjoyed this program. I too have enjoyed working through it, although at a slightly faster pace. The concepts were more familiar for me. I did not feel the need to watch the videos as the instruction in the book were adequate for review. Because this is review I felt very comfortable working on one lesson a day and did so rather quickly. If I were not already stretching my time as far as possible I would have been able to complete two lessons in a day. For anyone needing to brush up on higher mathematics prior to testing for college entry this would be a good course with which to begin. 
I highly, highly recommend this math course. In fact, it has been such a great fit for our style of learning that I fully intend to explore the other courses available from Math Essentials.
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