This school year, the running joke has been, which math curriculum are we going to use this week?
It is a joke and it is funny, but that has been our reality; and that is not funny. We had a shift in our math levels this past school year. I have two in algebra and my youngest is in fourth/fifth grade (you know us homeschoolers, we can’t decide).
Even after homeschooling for more than eight years, the question as to whether my children are where they should be academically by grade, in every subject, crosses my mind occasionally.
For many, math is one of those subjects that may cause some concern. If a child gets behind in math, it is not impossible, but it may be difficult for them to catch up. A+ Interactive Math (by A+ TutorSoft Inc.) has created the Adaptive Math Curriculum Online program that assists parents and teachers in evaluating learning gaps in a child’s math comprehension. The adaptive math program is geared towards students working on their first through sixth grades and into pre-algebra level math skills.
The gem of the program is it helps identify learning gaps in a child’s math comprehension through a series of placement tests they take. I chose to start Canyon in the testing field for third grade math. Since he is currently working through fourth grade level math (and not completed), I did not want the tests to be too difficult for him. Also, since he is finished with third grade level math, I want to know if he already knows what he should “already know”.
In the third grade, students are tested in 14 different math topics that include Number Sense, Multiplication, Money, Geometry and more.
All math curricula are not created equally. Although River and Lily have used a comprehensive math program over the years, I got creative with Canyon and tried several math programs with him. There were different approaches as well as different scope and sequences. Somewhere along the way, I am certain some learning gaps occurred. Using Adaptive Math Curriculum Online is helping me identify those gaps.
The interface for Adaptive Math Curriculum Online provides a colorful, engaging and interactive learning experience. It will easily appeal to a child, especially one who needs some incentive to do math.
I let Canyon choose the tests he wanted to take first. The results from these tests are used to create the individual lesson plans your child will use. The program is designed to cover areas where the student may not be as adept. Because of that, the testing was thorough and at times, may become a bit tedious. I understand the reason for the thorough testing. I know the results that come at the end help prepare a good lesson plan to get my child up to speed in any areas where he may need more work.
Online worksheets are created from their tests results for your child to complete. This gives them practice in the areas where they need work.
It would be ideal to have them complete all of the tests in one or two days, but I have a suggestion. To make the experience more tolerable, let them work through about two tests per day until completion. I think is reasonable and realistic, but that is something you will have to determine for each child. Also, depending on the age of your child, you may want to sit with them while they take the tests. For some children, taking timed tests can be challenging. Also, their mood at the time of testing is an important factor. If they are cranky, tired or just do not want to test, it will show in the results. You want to be sure the results truly reflect their comprehension and not their attitude.
The homeschool math program allows parents and teachers to step back from teaching and gives the student some independence. I love the parent dashboard area. The parent or teacher has a lot of control as far as how the tests are administered (ex: time per question, etc.).
Full detail with the question, the typical grade level of the question, how much time is allotted for that question as well as how long it took the child to answer the question is included. The Adaptive Math Curriculum Online is comprehensive on the front end (for the student) as well as on the backend (for the parent).
Your student even has access on their dashboard to see how they performed on a test. I love the encouragement that is offered along the way.
The child is given a decent amount of time to complete each test question. Students are also able to view their dashboard where they can see their progress, review questions they missed and have access to their lesson plans. Students may take the tests more than once, but their original results are saved and the number of attempts are recorded. You may have them test again after working through the material in their lesson plan. I am certain they will be impressed with their progress.
All this testing does lead to some good; better math comprehension. The best part is it that the lesson plan that is created is not a general math level lesson plan. It is one that is specifically created for the learning needs of your child. Any math struggles they have will be addressed and hopefully resolved.
The program is solid in its goal of closing math learning gaps. There is a whole lot of testing going on to get to the core of the needs of the student. If your child is not use to taking tests, this program will definitely acclimate them to the experience. I mean that in a good way. We will continue using Adaptive Math Curriculum Online through the summer, which is a great time to boost math skills.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
You may purchase Adaptive Math Curriculum Online for as a single student option or one for a family that allows up to 10 students to use the program. Also, take a look at the Family Math Package to see what it offers homeschool families.