Thursday, February 9, 2012
online Math help from ALEKS #hsreviews
The TOS Homeschool Crew was given a for ALEKS online math program. I had heard of the program and thought it could be useful for the boys. Nathan likes to be challenged even though he is only 1st grade, and Cameron is my reluctant Math guy. I thought it could be helpful in at least giving us some direction and something a little different to try.
I started out with Cameron taking the placement test, totally forgetting that I had done a learning styles test with him before we started this school year and not even thinking about it.. The test is all visual with no audio online. He tends to lose his place when reading online unless he uses the mouse, this made taking the test a struggle for him as he was having to move the mouse around a lot. The test is a white background with minimal colors which was hard for him to focus on. We did finish the test and were able to look over his results. is the My Pie screen. The colorful pie chart did get his attention at first but as we read through it together, he felt like he didn't know anything and that he was being shot down. Since we use a variety of curriculum and his learning style is so hands on when it comes to math this started out hard for him. We printed out a couple of the worksheets so we could move away from the computer and really talk through the exercises. We really liked that you could print the worksheets for the various lessons.
We tried a couple of the online lessons but it became such a battle that I couldn't handle it and moved him back to his hands on lessons. I did decide to use the lessons as a chance for Mom to gain some lessons.
As a Mom who is not a formally trained teacher, I tend to teach in a more reactive style, or straight out of the teacher's manual which can sometimes become too dry. I thought going through the lessons and taking notes would give me some insight into ways to teach some of the different areas. What I found out is, that I am a hands on teacher as well, so the dry settings lost me too. I can take great notes and I can put ideas on paper, but transferring and changing all those notes to a hands on method didn't work out as well as I had hoped.
I hoped to try the quick tables with Cameron as he is getting really good at his addition and multiplication facts and improving on his subtraction facts, but after he struggled with the pre-test that seemed like it took forever, I gave up and just had him tell me the answers to the facts I asked him.
I'm sure this program works for others, and I know that members of the TOS crew have had success with it, unfortunately it did not work out for us.
If you would like to give the program a try ALEKS has offered a Free 2 Month Trial, just click on the button below
Be sure to check out the rest of the Crew's reviews HERE