Tuesday, October 16, 2012

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My last year homeschooling.... and I finally find the perfect math program

Ok, so we all no that there's no such thing as a perfect math curriculum for all children, but this one is as close to heaven as you get.  I am really upset that it took to now for me to find and implement this math program in our homeschooling program.  Oh the program... its called ALEKS.

ALEKS is available for every grade, K-12 and then some.  I discovered it because many homeschoolers who were taking CLEP exams were using it to learn college level math and science.

When we realized that the Personal Finance program my daughter was using did not give enough guidance, I decided to try ALEKS Business Math instead (as it included all of the personal finance
topics I wanted her to learn).

My daughter has been using the ALEKS account for four months now and it at 80% mastery in the program.  The student is first tested to see how much of the curriculum they already know.  My daughter started business math with 27% of the coursework already mastered.  That saved a great deal of time.  Then the student is taught 16-18% of the coursework then tested again.  Some students will test through everything they are taught.  Some students will test through a portion of what they are taught.  My daughters second test put her at 36% master, the next at 48%, and the next at 57%.  After that, the rate at which she accelerated though the program slowed down, with her hitting a couple of plateaus, but slowly but surely, she has progressed through the program.  She can keep working until she reaches 100% if she pleases, but plans to throw in the towel once she earns an A. 

ALEKS keeps track of hours the student has worked (not including testing time).
It keeps an attendance chart.
It keeps track of subjects mastered.
And... there's also a handy, dandy pie chart that lets you see at a glance where they are doing well and where they are having trouble.

My daughter loves it and I really think she would have retained math better these last few years had she used ALEKS.

I only have one problem with the program, and that the instructions on how to do each math function is written in steps.  I am a very visual person and prefer graphics and visuals.  I have been able to match up Khan Academy videos in areas where she has gotten stuck though.

ALEKS costs $20.00 a month, but seeing how kids can complete a full year's math in 6 months, it comes out cheaper than most popular math curriculums (That average at $200).  Even if they take 10 months, then you will not over spend your usual math budget.  By the way, there's a free trial.  I used it for the month free trial that was available over the summer and was sold.



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