About the Program
A+ Interactive Math is an online program that offers full curriculum and these new Math Mini-Courses. Since gaps can often occur in math, the Mini-Courses provide a great way to close those gaps. For example, a child weak in addition could do a mini-course on addition and quickly close that gap in just a few lessons.
Lessons are taught on the computer through animated video lessons and interactive q/a sessions (question and answer sessions.) Lessons can be viewed as PDFs and there is also the option to print worksheets and tests if you desire. This would be excellent for more practice if it’s needed after the video lesson.
Place Value and Number Combinations teaches place value in a way that seems easy to understand. Boobear caught on with very little trouble. Even and odd numbers, zero, even three digit numbers are all covered. This was Boobear’s favorite of the two courses.
Tables, Charts, and Graphs starts by introducing tables, charts, and graphs. Then it goes into each type – tally charts, bar graphs, picture graphs, and so on. Even stem and leaf plots are covered. This course was far from Boobear’s favorite – it brought tears. To me, it felt as if it jumped ahead too much and moved too fast. I don’t know if it really did or if it was just Boobear’s challenges making it harder for him to understand, but this course was a source of tears and arguing.
Overall, I think both courses are very good and would certainly fill in any gaps that a child might have. For example, if you’re using the older Ray’s Arithmetic, you might grab a mini-course or two to make sure things like tables and charts are covered. Or if you’re switching curriculum, you might want to just strengthen any weak points.
What We Liked
If a child makes a mistake on the q/a sessions, the program will reteach that part right away. It explains the answer and the why behind the answer. This is a really nice little feature that I find very helpful.
Boobear liked the video lessons and, though he found the q/a sessions a bit long, he enjoyed working on the computer a lot.
I liked that if he needed it I could generate online worksheets or print something out as desired. There are also reports that I could view. For example, want to see how your child did and whether they need more practice? Simply view the reports. You can see tests, lesson completion, the q/a summary, and any generated worksheets. This allows you to keep track of grades and stay on top of how your child is doing. This is very useful since it’s easy for the child to take themselves through the lessons without you hovering over their shoulder, so it’s great for independent work.
What We Didn’t Like
Boobear got very frustrated by the way he was supposed to submit answers – he had to click a frog to submit anytime he typed an answer. He often forgot and I quickly found that, despite the fact he could do it independently, I needed to be right there to remind him about the frog or it was like he never answered the question. My black and white boy saw the next button and expected that to be the same as submitting the answer, so that was a source of frustration.
I also did not like that it didn’t automatically mark lessons and q/a sessions as complete. I had to remember to go in and do it myself, which admittedly took me a little bit to figure out. And if you forget and go in the next day, it marks it completed as the next day. That was a bit frustrating for me.