ALEKS Math Program
Sunday, December 14, 2008
I am very happy with the ALEKS math program we have been using. This has been particularly successful for my oldest 2 children. It has succeded where other programs have failed for us. It is not working as well with our 11 yo. That has more to do with his reading skills and not the program itself. With help from me, he has made progress as well.
ALEKS is unique compared to other math programs we have tried. In the past we have used Switched on Schoolhouse, Math U See and workbook based programs like Singapore Math. While all these have seemed to be very good and I have liked them, it seemed like my kids would do well with the parts they already did well and didn't on the others (like fractions for some reason). I like that ALEKS pin points what my children are ready to do and then teaches them how to do it. Also, the lessons are clear to understand.
My kids do like the program and are making progress. It is slower than I wished for. However, I have had the advantage of my own subscription as well. So, I have been able to test it out more than just relying on the reports or checking progress "blindly".
ALEKS provides parents with a master account and reports sent directly to your email account. I would like to recieve these automatic reports more frequently, but I can also access my student's account. ALEKS shows a graph and charts of what your child is learning , what they are set up to learn and how long they have spent.
I have 6 children. When I ask my children to do certain subjects for certain lenghts of time, I often get "I did" or "I will" and then it is up to me to remember to check. Often I really have no way to know how much time they have actually spent. ALEKS has made it really easy to see at a glance how much time my children have put in.
With younger children who are not reading really well, this might be frustrating. Perhaps there is a way to have the material read outloud and I am not aware. I should ask about that. My 11 year old has reading delays and he had problems with this.
I have already recommended this program to other homeschooling friends and people who have mentioned their child(ren) struggling with math. I believe the prices to be very good. It is less expensive than some programs I have seen (based on a year, but of course you can't reuse ALEKS with other children), but it is more than others. However, if you currently using a math tutor, ALEKS might be a much more cost effective method.
There are so many courses and you can switch the courses. So, over the course of a year you might actually be able to finish several levels. So, in that way, the price can be even better.
We do plan on continuing with ALEKS even after our trial ends. You can have a free month trial. I strongly recommend trying it out. We did have an issue with having more than one child on their separate computers , but linked into one main computer. The program would freeze up. So, we simply alternated and made sure each child had their own math slot. This worked with us and 3 kids. Also, since it is an online program, it will be necessary to allow your child access to the site. We currently do not allow any of our kids access to websites - other than our own family site.
ALEKS has flexible subscriptions for 1 month - $19.95 , 6 month - $99.75 and 12 month - $179.95 so it can be used however best suits your family - either short or long term. The best thing is ALEKS offers a 48 hour trial offer and now through this link , you can try it out for a whole month . Family disounts are also available.