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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A+ Tutorsoft Review


Math is not my favorite subject to teach. I didn't mind math in school...until I hit my sophomore year of high school and Algebra 2. Math wasn't the easiest subject for me, but I understood the concepts up until that class. I quickly lost confidence in my ability to do math and that hasn't really ever gone away.

PhotobucketI anticipated reviewing A+ Interactive MATH from A+ Tutosoft, Inc with mixed feelings. While the idea of giving over the actual teaching portion of math sounded appealing, I'm typically not someone who uses computer-based teaching. I was impressed with the concepts covered for first grade and decided to look forward to this opportunity with an open mind. Beth is in Kindergarten, but completed her kindergarten math by the end of October and was more than ready for something to challenge her thinking. The program costs between $99 and $124.99 depending on whether you want to be able to have parental track and reporting (feature available for up to 5 students). It also offers levels 1st-6th grade as well as Pre-Algebra and Algebra and is available in an online version in addition to the CD format I received. 

My husband helped me install the program the day after we received it in the mail. It was easy to setup and easy to get her started. I simply needed to print the corresponding worksheets for each lesson. I also had the option to print the answer key, but decided just to use the answer key on the computer to save paper. The pages are colorful, but not overly distracting with lots of unnecessary illustrations. I appreciated this fact since Beth tends to get distracted with wanting to tell stories about the pictures! 

My sweet little girl was over-the-moon excited to use the computer for one of her subjects! The girls typically only get to use the computer as a reward after school-work is completed. She was also excited to be the only one of her sisters to get to use it. 
Beth used headphones most of the time since we school all together each morning. It was very easy for her to use the mouse and to know where to click to move the program forward. She did not want to repeat after the lady who was teaching the lesson, but after some coaxing I convinced her she would learn her math more easily if she followed the directions completely. She seemed to feel a little self-conscious about this until I told her she could whisper. After that she didn't mind so much.

Both Beth and I really liked the virtual quiz given at the end of each lesson. She loved when the little frog would ribbit as she pushed the submit button for her answer. The first time this happened she giggled and said, "Mommy! The froggy says, 'Ribbit,' when I get it right!" Nothing makes my heart smile more than hearing my girls enjoy learning! I really liked this portion because if she missed something the program immediately reviewed the concept and then gave her another chance to answer immediately. The only issues we had with this was the frog wasn't always present and she was sometimes confused what to do when he wasn't there. 

Next came the worksheet portion of the lesson. My sweet girl can get overwhelmed when she thinks she has to do a lot of work, so when I handed her multiple pages she gave me a rather panicked look. I quickly explained there were only a few problems on each page and then she was fine. In fact, when she finished the day's work she would typically ask to do another lesson! There were a couple of times I had to explain a concept, like how to group tens, one more time, but overall she did great on her own letting me know this program was doing it's job! 

At the end of every unit is a test which looks very much like the daily worksheets. I wasn't certain how Beth would do for several reasons. Because she is only in kindergarten she had not yet taken a formal test. In addition it was 9 pages long and contained 40 problems...many more than she had ever had to do at once. To my pleasant surprise she took this in stride and just handed me page after page as she finished. She was getting over a cold as well, but this didn't stop her! Out of all the problems she only missed 3, which I was very pleased with. 

The one downside is I missed being the one to teach her this particular subject. Although I could check her work I did miss being directly involved in the learning process. However, this is a program I would like to revisit as my girls move forward into more difficult math concepts I may not feel as confident teaching. 

Overall I feel A+ Tutosoft, Inc math program is an excellent program for any family looking for a computer-based math curriculum. It is thorough, builds skills logically, and reviews concepts for the students when they don't quite get something. I also liked that I could track my daughter's progress and review any missed problems from the program in addition to her worksheets and tests.

A+ Tutorsoft, Inc has generously offered Review Crew readers a coupon for 50% off! If you are looking for a computer-based math program this is an excellent opportunity! 

Use SPOFFER50 at checkout for 50% off until the end of March.

Don't forget to check out other reviews by the TOS Review Crew!

I received a free copy of this product through the Schoolhouse Review Crew in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. No other compensation was received. 

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