A+ Tutorsoft Review
If your looking for an online math program for kids that does grading and has printable worksheets check out this course.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this product for review, all opinions are 100% my own. This post may contain affiliate links my full disclosure can be read here.
I received the 3rd grade online program, however it is also available in CD format. A+ Interactive Math is designed to be a full math program for grades 1 to 6, they also cover pre algebra and algebra.
After going through an easy signing up process you reach the parents account. From here you can set up personal accounts for your children with their own username and password. After they login they are able to watch a short tutorial on how to use the program then start with the lessons.
When the student logs into the website they can launch their workspace. Each lesson starts with an introduction video, it's more of an sideshow presentation with audio. On the left hand side of the screen is a Table of Contents section that lets the student select the topic of study and the lesson under it.
The topics in the 3rd grade program are:
Basic Number Sense
Fractions and Basic Operations
Math Operations Using a Calculator
Time and Money
Word Problems and Problem Solving
When you are logged into the parents account, you need to launch your workspace to find most of the helpful information.
The first tab is MM Lessons. In this you can view and try all the lessons that are in your students program.
The second tab in the menu bar has a 4 page PDF you can use to manually track your lessons. It is broken down by week and suggests what chapter to use, what interactive lessons to watch and what worksheets and exams to use.
The third tab is for printables. Under this you find printable worksheets, exams and a reference sheet.
The forth tab is Ebooks, under this you find curriculum book. Worksheet solution guide and exam solution guide. The solution guides are obviously the answers to the problems in the worksheets and tests. I like that it not only shows what the correct answer is, but HOW you get that answer and WHY it is the right answer. The curriculum book covers each lesson of the program and looks like a transcript of the video lessons. It also includes the images used in the videos.
The fifth table is Online Worksheets and Exams. Under this you can view all the worksheet that are available and see the date it was taken and score. I'm not sure what the purpose of seeing the score information here is though. The results your child has in their account is NOT shown under this tab. This is actually where the parent can work on the lessons on their own and only shows the results that way.
The sixth tab is the Admin area. In this you can select your student, then select what mode of tracking your using automatic or manual. Then you have 4 choices. You can delete the student, you can change parental controls, see a list of all the certificates they've earned and view the progress tracking.
The last tab is the help menu.
One thing I like about online programs is how portable they are. It's easy to use on our netbook that does not have a CD drive. Also it doesn't matter what computer the child is using or if the software is installed on each pc or not.
Although this program is intended to be a full math program, I decided to use it as a review or supplement to our normal math lessons. I have mixed feelings about this math program. I do like that it's online and my 3rd grade daughter really liked it at first. She LOVED earning a little certificate after each lesson. However she became frustrated with some of the lessons. The videos move at a fast pace and the volume is very low. We had to make sure to plug in our external speakers just to hear the lessons. We haven't had this problem before.
After watching the tutorial video the child can do an interactive quiz. In this questions are put on the top of the screen and read to the child. Then multiple choice answers are placed below and read to the student. Again this is read very quickly and I wish there was a way to replay it. I would also like it if it would re read the answers if the student hovered their mouse over it. Many times I had to come and read it back to her. I found the questions and answers much more wordy than any math program I had used before.
Another issue I had with it, was on the interactive quizzes when it asked the child to enter the answer to an addition problem. The normal practice is to enter the answer then click next to find out if your right. In these they wanted the child to click a green frog to submit the answer. This direction was written in very small print under the blank number box. It would have been very helpful if this was read out loud to the child like the rest of the lesson is, or made in larger print. My daughter was very upset when she was entering the right answers and clicking next, only to come to the end of it and get a 0 for these questions. All changes in format should be easy for young children to find and understand.
Because I'm using this as a supplement to our normal math lessons, I haven't used many of the interactive worksheets or exams. The few we have used I had to make sure to remind dd8 to click on SUBMIT after answering the question then click on next. If you answer the question and click next as you do in the interactive quizzes then the answer is not saved in your grade log. I found this out after trying to find worksheets I knew she had completed, but was not finding them listed in the admin area as finished.I also noticed for the lessons we have used the worksheets are almost identical to the interactive quizzes. My personal learning views are not to keep working on material the child knows. So if they watch the lesson and pass the quiz and can explain it to me, we move on to the next topic. But the worksheets could be helpful if they needed extra practice on a topic.
I do think that this makes a great supplemental program for us. Using it to review topics I've already taught her helped me to see that she really understood them. I found using it for review lessons she enjoyed using the program so much more. I think that if some of the unclear points I've mentioned above were fixed this would be a really great program.
Each grade of A+ Interactive Math is available on their website. The CD standard editions are $99.99 and the premium editions $124.99. The online version that we used are subscription biased per student. The prices are currently $19.95 per month, $49.99 per quarter or $124.99 per year. They also offer a free one month online subscription so you can try out the program before ordering. This is a great option to see if it is a good fit for your family.