Thursday, August 13, 2009

Online Math? Aleks Review

When I was given the opportunity to review Aleks math with my two boys I thought, "We always use the same math curriculum.  This will be a quick review and then back our old routine."  Our boys will be in 7th and 6th grades this year.  I've bought the same math curriculum since kindergarten.  As a matter of fact, I own the next three years' books because I got a great deal on them at a used curriculum sale.  I've seen the Aleks advertisements and received emails from them through TOS, but I always ignored it.  I've got math covered...always have...always will.


So, do you want to buy some great math curriculum that I got used at a curriculum sale a few years ago?


Aleks is phenominal.  We opted to do the 30-day free trial.  You can go here to start your 30-day trial.  I created log-ins and passwords for each of the boys.  With the student password comes an instructor or parent password so that you can sign-in and check your child's progress.  I haven't needed to do that as I've been looking over the boys' shoulders when they work each day. 


I was able to choose the level I wanted the boys to study.  I put our youngest in the sixth grade level and my oldest in the pre-algebra level.  There was a tutorial which both of the boys completed to teach them how to fill in the answers and use the tools provided with the lessons.  Upon signing-in the first day, the boys were given an assessment test based upon the level I had chosen.  When they were finished with the assesment test, they were shown a pie chart.  This chart features all the skill-sets that the student will master at this level.  From the assessment, portions of each of the sections were shaded showing how much of the skill that student had mastered thus far.


Each day the boys sign-on to Alex and choose which portion of the pie chart on which to work.  After less than a month, our oldest is almost finished with one section of the pie chart.  It provides a tremendous feeling of accomplishment to see those shaded areas growing across the pie chart.  But even when an area is considered to be "mastered" there may be review questions for them at the beginning of one day.  Just last week, the boys signed-on to their Aleks accounts to work for the day and instead of seeing a pie chart, they were given a list of review questions to complete first.  After they've finished their review, they are then taken to the pie chart to complete their tasks for the day.


So, we're all really enjoying this new way of completing our math and THEN I got two separate emails from Aleks, one for each boy.  They were progress reports!  These were well-organized, detailed reports telling me how much time each boy had spent on-line using Aleks (our youngest is winning in hours); how many areas each boy had mastered (our oldest is winning in the number of areas); and what areas remain to be conquered.  There was even a link to a more-detailed on-line report.  It was so great.  I can print these reports and place them right in the boys' portfolios for year-end review.  There are also quizzes to be taken but we haven't gotten there yet.


In our youngest son's level, he has the option of working "quick tables" as well as his regular program.  In Quick Tables you get to do drills of basic math to hone your skills.  This feature is fun with a robot graphic. 


Aleks is available for grades K through 12.  The higher maths are included such as Trigonometry, Geometry, and PreCalculus.  There are also a few AP courses available.  Aleks has a number of pricing plans available, including discounts for multiple accounts for one family.  Their initial pricing structure can be viewed here.  Family discounts are detailed for you here.


So, I'm ditching the purchased curriculum.  The boys love this new way of dong math.  Being on the PC has definite appeal for our guys, but the graphics are appealing too.  I love that it gives my guys more independence.  Our youngest son got up yesterday and started working on his math before his brother got out of bed.   You can give Aleks a try for 30-days free by going to their web site at  You can also email any questions you have to  Check them out.  I'm really glad we stopped ignoring the ads and gave Aleks a try.

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad you're enjoying all the great perks of being on the Homeschool Crew!