Tuesday, February 14, 2012

TOS Crew Review : ALEKS


Math ... ugh, not my favorite subject by a mile. Thankfully, our son loves math and teaching him more advanced concepts has been easy. {My girls are still in easy elementary math concepts.} I have been wondering what math would look like in a couple years for us. I figured middle school would start bringing some more complicated math concepts that I would not enjoy figuring out again or teaching.

As always, anytime I begin to worry, if I just commit it to prayer an answer comes along. For us, that answer seems to be a product I just got the opportunity to review, ALEKS.

So what is ALEKS:
Assessment and LEarning in Knowledge Spaces is a Web-based, artificially intelligent assessment and learning system. ALEKS uses adaptive questioning to quickly and accurately determine exactly what a student knows and doesn't know in a course. ALEKS then instructs the student on the topics she is most ready to learn. As a student works through a course, ALEKS periodically reassesses the student to ensure that topics learned are also retained. ALEKS courses are very complete in their topic coverage and ALEKS avoids multiple-choice questions. A student who shows a high level of mastery of an ALEKS course will be successful in the actual course she is taking.
Devin was not initially impressed with ALEKS - in fact, it did take some prodding on my part to get him to sit down and use it but, once he began mastering the different areas and seeing his progess on the pie chart he was motivated to continue on.


I loved being able to see what he was learning and the fact that even though he mastered a certain concept he would still occasionally be rechecked on that area when he first signed in. Also, loved that when a concept is mastered the student is not required to then do page after page of "busy work" on that concept. That is especially helpful for us with a child who excels in math. {Devin can become quite frustrated when our math curriculum seems to be repeating something he learned months ago and has down pat.} I should also note that while ALEKS can be used as a supplemental tool in homeschooling it is meant to be a stand alone curriculum. There is this great section on the website which talks about using ALEKS in a homeschool environment.


ALEKS also offers Quick Tables to assist in the learning of math facts. We did not use this area much mainly because Devin has his math facts memorized but, I know our other two would benefit from using this program. ALEKS also gives you the ability to print out worksheets - which I really like. I like the ability of being able to take math with us - without having to take along the kids' laptop.

ALEKS is for grades 3rd - 12th. So what does it cost? ALEKS is a very affordable subscription based program which runs $19.95 a month for one student, $99.95 for 6 months of access for one student, or $179.95 for a 12 month subscription for one student.  For families with more than one child, discount pricing is available. Subscriptions can be purchased directly from their website. They also offer a free 2 month trial - which I highly recommend.

Would you like to read what my fellow crew mates thought of ALEKS? Then head on over to the TOS Crew Blog.

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Disclaimer: I am reviewing this product on behalf of the TOS Crew. I received no compensation, other than a trial subscription to ALEKS, for the writing of this review. The contents of this review express my personal opinion of the math curriculum.

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