My homeschooling family has really struggled in the math department in finding a curriculum that works for everyone.. Garrett enjoys math but he doesn’t enjoy textbooks and being lectured to. Ashleigh hates math in any shape or form. This is a genetic thing as I disliked math when I was in school and had to repeat Algebra 1 my 10th grade year and now my oldest daughter is at risk of failing Algebra for the second time in public school. To say we are not a mathematics inclined family would be putting it mildly. We’ve tried a few different curriculum and while each have their advantages, none have been the right fit for my family. When I was given the opportunity to try the Family Math Package from A+ Interactive Math, I knew it was something I desperately wanted to try. Maybe I would get lucky and find a curriculum that would be a better fit with my children than other curriculum we had tried.
Family Math Package is an interactive year-long multi-sensory program that addresses several learning methods (visual, auditory, and textual) for Grades 1 thru 6th, Pre-Algebra, and Algebra 1. Each course level includes step by step video instruction, lesson plans, and both online and printable worksheets, exams and reference sheets for each lesson. Lessons are browser based and ran smoothly on both Chrome and Firefox browers (I did not try it on Internet Explorer). I was not able to run it on my Kindle Fire but A+ Tutorsoft does not claim to support this platform.
For the purpose of this review, we used the First Grade Online Homeschool Edition. Thinking I would just jump in to where we were currently at with another curriculum we are using, I quickly realized that A+ actually goes much more in depth than the other curriculum we were using. We decided instead to start from the very beginning with Lesson 1.1. The First grade level consists of 14 chapters for concepts such as counting numbers, number sense, addition, subtraction, money, measurements, fractions and Algebra. Each of these chapters are then broken further down into individual lessons covered within these broader chapters. A complete list of what is covered in the first grade level can be found on the website.
Just with the first chapter, I learned exactly how many holes were in what my kids had learned from the previous math lessons.
The other thing I noticed was that both Ashleigh and Garrett seem to really enjoy this math curriculum. Yes, Ashleigh still baulks every time math is mentioned but once she gets started, she’s all smiles. It’s like the concept of doing the math upsets her but once doing it, she seems to forget she’s actually doing math. Several times she has told me “This math is easy” even though, in my opinion, the math concepts being presented are much more complex then what we have done before. Garrett asks me almost daily if we can skip English and instead do Math. (As an added point here, I loaded up one of the lessons on a Saturday night to take a screenshot and as soon as they hear the voice form the lesson, both kids came running expecting to do a lesson.. What parent can say that about math?)
They both enjoy the interactive quizzes after each lesson, especially the questions that have the frog (which they enjoy the croaking sound so much they have resorted to making their own croaking sounds every time they answer a question correctly).
They also do not mind doing the daily worksheets that go along with the lesson. At the beginning of the week I print out all the worksheets for what we will cover. Stapled together, these sheets equal anywhere from 15 to 30 pages, with each day being 2-6 pages depending on the lesson. Usually, my kids throw a hissy fit having to do 1 page worth of math. We have managed to do these pages daily with very little complaining. The worksheets make for a great gauge in making sure the kids picked up what the lesson was about and for me to explain those points that they do miss before we get to the tests at the end of the chapter. I found the printables to be a very valuable part of this curriculum.
My honestly overall opinion? I think we found our math curriculum. A+ Interactive Math was kinda enough to provide us with their curriculum for a set period of time but my husband and I have already sat down and discussed the fact that we will be continuing with this curriculum with our own money after that trial expires and will probably continue to pay for the yearly membership each year.
Want to find out if A+ Interactive Math is for you? They offer a 1 Month Free Trial of any Grade Level that might be of interest to you. They also have a free Math Placement Test to help identify any learning gaps in your child's mathematics education. . They do not ask for a credit card number so this is a great way to try it before you buy it without worrying about having to cancel in time if you find it isn't the right fit for your family.
A+ Interactive Math will be starting a 2-week 40% to 50% off sale on their “Family Math Packages” and “Adaptive Placement Testing w/ Lessons” program starting on Monday May 4th and running until May 18th. This is a great opportunity to get either of these wonderful programs at a highly discounted rate.