How do you feel about teaching your math to your child? Math is one of my favourite subjects, but the teaching methods have changed since I was in school so sometimes it’s nice to have a little help with the ‘new’ ways of doing it and to refresh my my mind with the terminology. Since the third week of March Tristan has been trialing out the Family Math Package by A+ Interactive Math and helping us both get up to speed.
Tristan has been working his way through the 2nd grade math. There are 15 topics in this level, and each topic has several chapters to work through. Each chapter has a short video that explains what you need to know before it’s time for you to practice using the interactive quiz which is about 7-11 questions.
If you’re not confident after the quiz, you can either watch the video again or move onto a worksheet for more practice. Worksheets can be done online or you can print them off. Unfortunately, if you like to do printed worksheets, you can only print one for each lesson. With the online worksheets you can generate additional worksheets if more practice is needed to fully understand a concept.
After each chapter, there is an online exam available to ensure all of the concepts are fully understood. In addition, there is also a progress tracker where you can see your results and get a clearer view of your overall grades to date.
Tristan used the Family Package for grade 2 at the same time as he was finishing off the grade 1 Adaptive Placement Test and Individualized Lesson Plan that we reviewed a little while back. He’s just completed the Adaptive Placement Test work today, and he’s worked his way through 17 of the 36 grade 2 Family Math Package lessons in the past 6 weeks.
For the most part, Tristan has been doing lessons a few times a week. But since my parents are here visiting, our routine has varied. Tristan’s still completing the work, but doing it in fewer, more extended sessions during the days we’ve had bad weather and been in the house.
We have ‘adapted’ the Family Package a little to suit our own needs at the moment and have been inspired by our previous review. Instead of boring Tristan with having to do lessons on topics he already knows inside and out, I’ve been challenging him to learn more. If I think that he should know a good portion of the lessons in a chapter, I’ll let Tristan take the chapter exam of 25-40 questions and then see how he does. I go over it with him to see where his strengths already are, and what he still needs to learn. Then we go back and I have him watch the videos and do the worksheets only for the areas he doesn’t yet have confidence in.
This is the beauty of homeschooling – children don’t have to be bored, and you don’t have to do everything the way it is ‘supposed’ to be done! Find what works for your child and run with it.
We’ve had a few frustrations while using the Family Package, and I’ll share these with you.
- The main one is that we often can’t access it during our usual school time as it is down for maintenance. I grant that we do live in a different time zone, but it comes without warning. Some days the system is fine, and others we can’t log on. On others, Tristan can be part way through a quiz when it shuts down.
- The program only uses part of the screen, and you can’t adjust it. You are forced to use sliders to see all of the topic and chapter titles.
- I think it would be easier to have all of the worksheets in one place. Currently the online and printable sheets are in different locations and if your child is more ‘hands on’ additional printables cannot be generated.
- It would also be nice to see the lessons and lesson plans combined so that you can see what has been completed in the same place as where the lessons are located instead of toggling back and forth.
- When Tristan completed a worksheet he had to finish it, save it, and then go back into the worksheet to ‘finalize’ it so that it would be recorded. It would a lot easier for a worksheet to to finalize on its own when it was done instead of taking the extra steps that are currently needed.
What did we like about the Family Package?
- You have access to all levels from Kindergarten to Algebra
- You can switch levels at any time
- You don’t need to do the lessons in a particular order – this is a big plus for us.
- The lessons were short enough that they can hold attentions
- Extra online worksheets can be generated
- The program isn’t exclusively online so that Tristan could do the printed worksheets anywhere so he’s not always in front of a screen.
- If an online answer is incorrect then an explanation of how to achieve the correct answer is provided.
Overall, I think A+ Interactive Math is on the right track and is on their way to a fine program, but for our family, at the current time, it doesn’t fit in very well with our daily routine. However, if you are in the USA where the down-time is during the night, you may very well find that A+ Interactive online math is a program that could work well for you.
If you are interested in how A+ Interactive works, you can try out these two freebies:
To read more reviews about A+ Interactive Math by the Schoolhouse Review Crew, click on the graphic below and follow the instructions. You will find 100 honest reviews by the Crew for both the Family Math Package as well as the Adaptive Placement Test and Individualized Lesson Plan. If you’d like to know more or would like to follow A+ Interactive Math, you can connect with them through their website, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest.