Aleks Math - K-8

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DSDecker

  • Reviewed on Thursday, November 15, 2012
  • Grades Used: 3rd-8th
  • Dates used: 2010-current
We use Aleks to provide additional practice and supplement our math curriculum, and we have been generally pleased. My older students are able to learn new concepts independently and like seeing their progress on a pie chart. I like weekly email progress reports. I have used the Quick Tables function with my youngest to help her learn math facts for addition/subtraction and for multiplication. We aren't at division yet. The Aleks customer service department is generally responsive and helpful. Aleks is a little pricey and they have an auto renewal feature for billing that I'm not happy about. We may discontinue Aleks as they are unwilling to bill other than with auto renewal which has hit our account at inconvenient times and without warning if we forget the six month renewal date.

ElizWachtler

  • Reviewed on Tuesday, March 22, 2011
  • Grades Used: 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, Pre-Algebra
  • Dates used: 2010 - current
In my experience, ALEKS is a great program for both self-motivated, independent learners and for students who have days when they balk at completing even one page of work. It has been a very good match for my child who has an intuitive sense about math and was bored to tears in a traditional math book. It has also enticed my more reluctant child to ask if she can complete one more "topic" in ALEKS before she has to get off the computer. I love ALEKS because it teaches my advanced learner at his advanced pace and it attracts my reluctant learner to want to do more.

As explained by another reviewer, there is no “lesson” in ALEKS unless the student specifically asks for an explanation. When my child doesn't understand a topic, he asks me for help or he clicks the explain button and studies the explanation by himself. Once the child sees a tough problem written out, then they can (usually) understand how to do that kind of problem. ALEKS allows my children to work independently at their own level and reinforces that they alone are responsible for understanding and completing the math work. I like the quizzes and the assessments – they challenge them to apply their skills under slightly more pressure. My son says that the best part of ALEKS is that he can choose math topics to work on that match his mood – he can choose something easy to work on or something challenging if he wants.

One of the things that I like best about ALEKS (which is probably also true of other computer based math programs) is that I don't have to correct the work! There is no way I could keep up with my advanced learner in math and teach my other children. The independence of ALEKS allows my child to progress at his pace and not wait for me to review anything.

Even though I appreciate the program so much, I worry about 2 small things. ALEKS allows the student to progress very quickly without requiring a lot of review. I wouldn’t mind more review. Also, my son is now out of practice writing in a math workbook and groans when I make him work on a traditional math worksheet. However, I highly, highly recommend ALEKS for a student for whom math comes easily. I also recommend it for children who are motivated by change, for example, a child who doesn't want the same old math book every day. The pie chart of math topics really motivates the kids to want to finish more problems to fill in more of the pie chart.

Like other reviewers, I thoroughly recommend the free trial before you pay for it. Also practice with the Quick Tables part of ALEKS – it helps the student practice basic facts and has little games worked into it. We use ALEKS with Windows Vista and have had no problems.

Pokie3

  • Reviewed on Monday, December 13, 2010
  • Grades Used: 5th
  • Dates used: 2010
Not a good fit for our family. I wish they would do a real "lesson," where they cover the material and teach the new content. Unfortunately, this only comes after a question is asked and the child pushes "explain." I also find the explanation truly lacking. Also, there doesn't appear to be much if any review of previously learned material. This was brought to light when my son was completely stumped on adding fractions, something he knew how to do well at the end of last year. I just can't risk continuing with this product anymore.

LisaM

  • Reviewed on Thursday, September 2, 2010
  • Grades Used: 3rd
  • Dates used: 2010
I just wanted to say to try before you buy. This program might be great, but it depends on your computer being compatible. It was not compatible with my brand new Macbook. I tried it on the Macbook months ago and emailed Aleks when it did not work and they tried to help, but it seems to just not be compatible.

So I wanted to try it again and have a brand new HP. I figured for sure it would work on a brand new PC. Instead, it is not compatible. My guess is that the software from Aleks is a bit out of date and not fit for the new computers. Both computers are brand new in the last few months.

I do intend to try Aleks again in case they update their software in the future so we can use it. But for now, we have to let it go. I wish it would have worked for us.
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