Wednesday, December 8, 2010

ALEKS Online Math Review


Ages: Third Grade and Up

Cost:  $19.95 per student, per month, or only $99.95 every 6 months, or  only $179.95 every 12 months.

Per the web site, ALEKS stands for Assessment and LEarning in Knowledge Spaces and is a Web-based, artificially intelligent assessment and learning system. I haven’t tried online programs prior to now, so I was interested to see the differences between that and the CD based curriculum we already use.

What appealed to me most initially was the fact that students begin by taking an assessment that determines the aspects of math that they are already competent in and the areas that require improvement. Not having to repeat content that has already been mastered is very appealing. Most of us have started a new year having our children complain, “But, Mom, I already know this!”

I wanted to target two specific areas for my boys in the time I had to review the product. First, my oldest son needed an Algebra refresher for the SAT’s. I had him take the Algebra II assessment to see the areas he needed to practice. This was a great tool as we were able to see his strengths and weaknesses right away and focus only on those areas that needed reviewing.

The second area I wanted to target was for my younger son. He doesn’t like anything timed. However, when it comes to the multiplication tables, he needs to speed up his response time. He would prefer to use his fingers for twos, fives and a song he knows for threes rather than just mentally computing the answer. So, I used the Quiktables feature to assess his abilities with the timestables. Each day, he logs in and practices the tables. The program only lets him do this for a set period of time. Once he’s completed the practice, he earns the chance to play a game. A feature he really likes.

What I like most about this program:

  1. Parent mode – a parent is able to see the students progress, create quizzes, print out worksheets, and determine the amount of time being invested all through a Master Account.
  2. Pre-assessment – mentioned above
  3. Instruction – students are given problems and then offered the opportunity to work the problem or click on an explanation for further understanding.
  4. Tools – the program is complete with calculation, graphing, etc. tools for the student to use
  5. Work at own pace – students can move as quickly as they are capable of. They aren’t limited to one course of study for a term. If they master Algebra II, they can go right on to pre-calculus.
Parents, if you are looking looking for an online option for mathematical instruction, take advantage of ALEK’s free trial to see if this format is right for your family. Students who like to work independently, but enjoy the interactive nature of online learning will benefit from this program.

To see additional reviews by the Homeschool Crew click here.

*** I received this product free of charge as a member of The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew for my honest review.

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