Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Review of A+ TutorSoft, Inc.


As part of the Schoolhouse Review Crew, my 3rd grade twins and I were given the opportunity to review A+ TutorSoft, Inc.'s A+ Interactive MATH 3rd Grade Premium CD software.  This software constitutes a complete 3rd grade math curriculum and it is simply loaded with features.  Best of all, both of my very different twins like it, and for completely different reasons.

A+ TutorSoft, Inc.: The Product


Unlike many traditional math programs, A+ TutorSoft, Inc. gives children a completely multi-sensory experience.  Lessons are presented visually with just enough graphics to teach the concept (i.e., single color pie charts) without creating an unnecessary distraction.  Text accompanies the graphics and the text is narrated by a very pleasant female narrator.  In the past, narrators with accents have sometimes thrown my children when we are experiencing a new product.  Accent is not a problem with this narrator.  Her voice is perfect for presenting a math lesson - lively without being irritating.

The lessons themselves are very short! For example, the entire chapter on fractions (covering equivalent fractions, comparing fractions, and adding and subtracting fractions) took one of my twins only two days to complete.  The lessons (as enumerated above) took him about 7-10 minutes each, including watching the lesson, answering the interactive questions and answers and completing the printable worksheet.  Although Michael has never done fractions before, he understood the lessons as presented the first time, and was able to progress through this chapter quickly.  More on how my twins used this program below, but first, here is a summary of exactly what A+ TutorSoft Inc.'s A+ Interactive MATH Premium CD software includes:

  • Multi-Sensory Interactive Lessons
  • A curriculum book with the lessons in eBook format (in other words, the textbook version of the lessons)
  • Printable worksheets and tests
  • Printable worksheet and exam solutions guides which allow you not only to print the answers to the worksheets you give your child, but the detail with which the answers are explained actually allows your child to be able to piece through the answer himself, especially as the solutions are presented in a way that mimics the way the concept was originally taught
  • Formula reference sheets
  • Recommended lesson plans
  • Parental controls to lock the solutions guides
  • The ability to track student progress
  • Weekly certificates of accomplishment
The last three items are included on the Premium CD I received; otherwise the regular CD and the Premium CD are identical.

When you install the software on your computer and run it, you are able to see the chapter headings on the left hand side of your screen, so you know immediately where you need start up, whether that is continuing from where you left off, or re-watching a previous lesson.  At any time you can choose to watch a tutorial for how to use the software.

Michael, Mary-Catherine, and A+ TutorSoft, Inc.

Like a lot of homeschoolers, my 8 year-old twins aren't easily placed in a grade.  Fortunately, in math they both seem to be solidly in 3rd grade.  Thanks to the easy navigability of A+ Interactive MATH 3rd Grade Premium CD software, I was almost immediately able to see where I should start them in their new math program (decimals).  They transitioned to the new program seamlessly and (spoiler alert!) we plan to continue with it through and past 3rd grade.

When I have more than one child using a computer-based learning program, I usually hook my laptop up to the TV in order to avoid jockeying for position in front of a small screen.  In this way, I am also able to turn the sound up nice and loud (no "I didn't hear! He was talking! The guinea pig squeaked!").  Here, Michael and Mary-Catherine learn about fractions.

It is a true delight not only to have someone else teach my twins math (math is not my friend), but for it to be on the TV (via the laptop) and immediately replayable (key for Mary-Catherine who tends to have math meltdowns).

Michael loves doing math this way.  He is perfectly content to sit down, watch the lesson through, do the interactive Q&A and the worksheet and call it a math day.  Often, because he picks up concepts quickly and because the lessons here are concise and well explained, Michael will do multiple lessons in one day.  For example, two days ago, he did adding and subtracting fractions lessons on the same day.  It is essentially the same concept, so it made sense.  I did have him do both worksheets to make sure that he really did "get" it.

Mary-Catherine is a different story.  I always start her with Michael in math....and we always end up going back and doing it again.  She has watched some lessons three or four times.  I honestly don't think it's because she finds the concepts too hard.  I think that she has decided that math is hard and, therefore, math *is* hard.  Regardless, as much as I love this program for Michael (because he gets in, learns, and gets out), I really like it for Mary-Catherine.  It is not visually intimidating.  It teaches in very small bites (short lessons). She can watch the same lesson as many times as she needs to and it will never take more than a few minutes to rewatch it.  Several times, she has started watching a lesson again (especially in decimals), and has told me, "I get it now," even before the lesson is over.  I think that is the whole multi-sensory thing kicking in.  She sees the lesson and then remembers what it was like before -- and then realizes that she actually did learn the concept. Maybe she just needed the trigger.

Because it is multi-sensory, A+ TutorSoft, Inc's program is great for all kinds of learners.  The progress tracking feature of the premium software is nice, especially if you have more than one child doing the same grade level.  I am able to log in my twins separately and track each of their progress separately.  I don't actually need to since I do math with them, but it's great to know I can.  Truly, this math software takes all of the guesswork out of math: lessons, lesson plans, eText, worksheets, and tests.  It's all here.

You can view a demo of this great software on the A+ TutorSoft, Inc. website.  You can purchase the A+ TutorSoft, Inc.'s A+ Interactive MATH 3rd Grade Premium CD software I received for $124.99.  But wait!

You read that right! This generous company is offering 50% off all of their products, CD and online, through the end of March.  4th grade is on my list! I rarely use the same curriculum more than once; I have curriculum ADD.  For me to say that I plan to use the same math curriculum next year is huge, but I really like how A+ TutorSoft, Inc. is working for my twins.  When you combine a great product with an amazing low price, you have a huge winner in my book!

A+ TutorSoft, Inc. has lots of other great math products.  The Crew reviewed both online and CD versions of 1st-4th grade, so you'll definitely want to check out the other reviews.  If you're in the market for a new math program, or even if you're remotely curious about what else is out there, please give this company a look.

Disclaimer: I received this CD free through the Schoolhouse Review Crew in exchange for my honest review.  I received no other compensation.  I am disclosing this in accordance with FTC regulations.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the great review. Kathy B (A+ TutorSoft Social Media Manager and fellow TOS team member).