Thursday, August 20, 2009

ALEKS review for TOS


We received Aleks to review as part of the TOS crew. My son was excited to start trying it. I think he like the fact that it was an internet based program. This program is a web-based assessment and learning system. ALEKS offers a free one month trial for anyone wanting to try their software. When you sign your student up they take an assessment to determine the level that they should be learning at. We tried level 4 and it caused a lot of stress so we switched to level 3. The interactive program lets you know what your student is proficient at and what they still need to work on by showing you a pie graph. There are two different colors so that you can tell this very easy. It is nice because the student and the parent can tell with a quick glance what they have learned. This program is for grades 3-12. It can be used with any computer that has internet access which makes it convenient for when you are learning away from home. You can read ALEKS success stories on their website.

This is what the website has to say about this interactive program.

ALEKS is a Research-Based Online Program:

  • Complete Curriculum Solution for Math with Access to Full Course Library
  • No Textbook Required
  • Artificial Intelligence Targets Gaps in Student Knowledge
  • Assessment and Individualized Learning for Grades 3-12
  • New and Improved Master Account - Includes Quizzing, Attendance Tracking, Automated Reports, and More
  • Unlimited Online Access - PC and Mac Compatible
  • QuickTables - Complimentary Math Fact Mastery Program for Multiplication, Division, Addition, and Subtraction.

The student first takes an assessment to determine what he knows and what he still needs to learn.


The student sees “his pie” which tells him what he has mastered and what he still needs to work on.


We liked this because it was encouraging for him to see that he was making progress. He also liked the fact that there were some things he had almost completely mastered.


ALEKS QuickTables: QuickTables is a research-based math fact mastery program for multiplication, division, addition, and subtraction. This was nice because my son has a lot of trouble with his multiplication and addition facts. This was great practice for this.

Things we liked:

* Internet based.

* No grading by the parent.

* Students receive instant feedback and help with mastering the problems.

* Allows parents to get automated reports and track the time that the student has been studying.

* Provides review questions to make sure that the student retains what they have learned.

* There are several training tutorials to help you learn how to successfully use ALEKS. This is very helpful for the parents.

Things we didn’t like:

* We had a hard time finding a good stopping place each time. I never figured out how to save what my son had been working on. There was nothing to tell us how much he had done if he was unable to finish the entire lesson. This may be available but I wasn’t able to do it.

* I don’t think the explanations are thorough enough for a student to be able to do the problems without help. Several times I had to explain complete concepts that Griffin hadn’t learned before he could continue on.

* The excitement of this program wore off very quickly unfortunately. Although this didn’t work well for our family, I feel like it would probably be great for a student who doesn’t need a lot of explanation and hands on practice.

I feel like this is a good review program but not really one that will “teach” your child concepts that they are not familiar with. Griffin really enjoyed praticing the concepts that he had mastered. I think it helped his self esteem when he was able to do the problems and it made him feel like he was really “getting it” when he could continuously get the review problems correct. We personally would not use this as part of our homeschooling curriculum but enjoyed trying it out. We need something that has more explanation and enjoy a more hands on style learning. This would great for a family that doesn’t need a lot of review.

ALEKS offers a huge amount of programs which you can see here. They are for grades K-12.

A subscription to ALEKS is

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

There are also family discounts available.

You can read more reviews on this from my fellow crew members at TOS Homeschool Crew.

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