Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Factor Tree - BzzAgent Campaign

BzzAgent recently added The Factor Tree to my list of campaigns, and having a daughter who will be starting kindergarten this fall, and a son in 6th grade, I thought it would be a fun program to try out.

The Factor Tree is regularly $20 a month.  But you can get a free 2 week trial for you own kids, using promo code BZF

After signing up, it was easy to add both my son and daughter, and choose the correct level for each child.  From there you can dive right in!  I sat with my daughter and my 2 year old son and started on some of the kindergarten curriculum.  There are topics such as shapes, beginning to tell time, and counting.

We started with shapes.  Even my two year old could do this one!  A shape is shown on the screen, and you much choose from a list what the shape is.  Later we did time telling and counting, both of which required typing in the numbers.  So this is definitely not a program where the younger kids can sit and do the tasks themselves.  I was in charge of reading and clicking during the shape task, and later on typing in numbers.

Most of the tasks did seem very age appropriate. My daughter did have some problems with sorting numbers from smallest to biggest - but it opened a discussion on numbers and how to start with 1 and work up to 10, looking for the numbers.  There is no 'instruction' with this program - it's only quiz like tasks to help reinforce what they already know or to help you teach while going through.

I had fun introducing time telling.  It gave me an easy way to show my daughter to look for the hour hand and minute hand, and since they are all whole hours, she quickly learned to look at the hour hand number and then say "O'clock" for the minute hand.  Her face beamed with pride as she got more and more confident at saying the times for each question.

When my son gets home from school later this afternoon, I'll ask him to check out the 6th grade curriculum.  He'll be able to tell me if it's close to what they are learning in school or not.  There is also a placement test that I'd like him to check out for me and give his opinion on.

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