The product being covered in this blog post is an online math program called ALEKS - Assessment and Learning and is available at the website www.ALEKS.com. The acronym ALEKS stands for "Assessment and Learning in Knowledge Spaces" and this program does just what it's name implies. Each student is initially assessed and then placed in the appropriate math level. As the student moves through the level they are continually assessed and challenged, moving forward toward completion of each math level.
The program works in a simple manner; each student has their own account and when they log in, any concepts that need to be reviewed will be the first thing they work on. After completing any needed review work, the student can look at their "pie" ~ which is the key tool the ALEKS math program uses to movtivate the students in their work. The "pie" is a simple pie chart that clearly displays the student's progress. At any moment, student (or homeschool mom!) can quickly see what has been learned, what has yet to be learned, and which math topic needs the most focus. My children found it very satisfying to fill in the pieces of their "pie". And I found it satisfying to see how quickly they were working through the concepts in their individual "pies" - both new concepts and those they had previously learned and were simply reviewing.
My 12-year-old daughter (6th grader) absolutely LOVES this program. Normally my child that D-r-E-a-D-s doing her math assignments, I have found her to be excited about math using ALEKS; in particular, filling in the pieces of her "pie" has been very motivating. She also seems to prefer to do her math on the laptop rather than with a pencil and notebook. Of course, she still must write out some of her work in order to solve equations using ALEKS ~ but she likes having her progress ready to view immediately; no waiting on mom to grade her math in order to see how she has done. Instant gratification keeps her moving forward with her math!
My 14-year-old daughter (8th grade) does not enjoy doing her math on the PC or laptop (whichever is available to use when she does her math). She prefers to have all her work written down in her math notebook and she doesn't mind waiting for her work to be graded. Filling in her "pie" was one aspect of ALEKS that she enjoyed, and it was nice for her to see exactly what she has mastered at a glance. However, her personality is such that she primarily saw what she had not yet mastered and she felt frustrated by what she had not already learned. She also prefers to have a person teach her new concepts, so reading instructions and then attempting to solve problems did not best match her preferred method of learning.
My homeschooling mother's opinion of this product was generally favorable. It accomplishes math mastery is a simple-to-use format. Weekly emails delivered to my inbox let me know exactly how each student is coming along in their "pie". The customer service is top-notch - they are very helpful and quick to notice potential problems & solve them. The entire set up of this curriculum works to make the homeschool mom's life easier. And there is NO GRADING required because ALEKS does all the grading for each student.
I also thought the layout of the program's levels of math were well done. Rather than typical grade-level or age-level courses, the students progress as they are ready. Mastery is a key component of ALEKS math and I feel it is a very thorough and complete way of teaching math. The higher levels as well as the SAT prep impressed me as well. Over all, I would be willing to give this curriculum a strong, favorable endorsement.
Some of the other products ALEKS offers include AP Statistics, Math Review for AP Calculus and Physics, Fundamentals of Accounting, Business Math, Essential Math Skills for Business, Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences, Quick Tables (for elementary grades), and much, much more. The payment options for ALEKS subscriptions are $19.95 per student per month, OR $99.95 every 6 months, OR $179.95 every 12 months. eGiftCertificates are also available for purchase at the website ~ www.ALEKS.com
Look into this company's products and see if they might be a good fit for your homeschool family. You might find just what you've been searching for!
As always, this product was received by me free of charge for review purposes.
Day 60 done :)
Jan L. Burt