I’m not going to lie. We’ve struggled with algebra. It’s the first real struggle we’ve had since this journey of homeschooling began, but a struggle it’s been. Not so much because my daughter nor I can do it, but because it’s one of those things that’s harder to backtrack with and find the method to the madness when you get stuck.
This year, I’ve made sure we have an arsenal of help awaiting us when necessary. My daughter CAN tackle algebra successfully, and I CAN be her teacher! We’re still using Saxon Math as the main curriculum because I’ve grown to dearly love the thoroughness and incremental approach. But, three new products sit on my shelves: Saxon Teacher, Math Dictionary for Kids, and A+TutorSoft’s Algebra 1 CD Curriculum.
I’ve gotten to know Vinod, the author of the A+TutorSoft curriculum, through various conventions I’ve attended and upon hearing of my struggles with algebra, he was quick to offer me his Algebra 1 Full Curriculum CD in exchange for a review. So, in this post about algebra, I’d like to highlight the A+TutorSoft weapon in my arsenal.
Consider the joy of having your very own tutor at the ready whenever you or your child gets stumped on an algebra concept. That’s what you have with A+TutorSoft! Every algebra topic you can think of is taught clearly by a teacher’s voice while examples are “written” on a computerized chalkboard. Additionally:
- Text of the teacher’s lesson is available for re-reading yourself.
- You can rewind or fast forward the teacher’s lesson.
- All concepts are introduced in a clear step-by-step fashion.
- You get to work sample problems within the lesson to make sure you get it.
- Immediate feedback is given whether answers are right or wrong.
- You can print off practice pages for extra understanding on the topic.
The CD is very organized, too. You can easily locate a particular topic and go directly to the specific tutorial(s) you need. With A+TutorSoft, there’s been no need to pay a pricey real-life tutor! My daughter is tackling algebra with success this year – and I couldn’t be more relieved!
Because of the multiple choice nature of the computer-based practice problems, I would not feel comfortable using A+TutorSoft as a full curriculum. It certainly covers all necessary algebra 1 topics, but there wasn’t quite enough written accountability for me to consider using it as our sole text. Honestly, some people may disagree with me – and that’s okay. I encourage anyone who has used it to leave their thoughts about whether or not it should be used as a stand-alone.
When I spoke to Vinod about this stand-alone question, he responded:
Our curriculum is designed to be a full curriculum and hopefully the only resource homeschoolers will need. And that is the reason we provide printable worksheets and exams where student is required to show their work. And of course, because they are printable, a parent teacher would need to check student’s work using our “Worksheet Solution Guide” and “Exams Solutions Guide” (the parental manuals) which are also included with this MATH curriculum software.
You have automatically graded interactive quizzes for each lesson which provides instant feedback with step-by-step explanation for each problem if the student answers it incorrectly. And at the same time, if you need additional practice with problem solving, we provide printable worksheets and exams, which can be used in more traditional way. And as I mentioned, there is help (the solutions guide) for every problem on the worksheets and exams.
We explain step-by-step solutions to each worksheet and exam problem. And that’s what makes this such a great MATH curriculum product. Because of this reason and thoroughness of all the material that is covered, I would highly recommend that A+ TutorSoft MATH curriculum be used as a full curriculum. However, if parents want to supplement it, sure you can to that but we don’t believe that is really necessary.
Either way you decide, it’s truly a great resource – professionally done, full of meat and worthwhile!
Kim Bean says
We use A+ Tutorsoft as a full curriculum. Both of my children sit with notebooks and still write out the problems as they are being instructed and we require them to show their work on the worksheets. A part of me likes that it is multiple choice because if they see the numbers in the options provided it builds their confidence in knowing they are at least on the right track, however, I am still old school and think that they should be writing out the problems and solving them that way, so we do both. When we began using the product, the fourth grade curriculum was in the developing stages so we started my daughter at the fifth grade level, as the beginning lessons are all review of the fourth grade year. We have had no problems. My children require a challenge, and it has been just that for them.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Kim!