ALEKS Math: Review and Free Trial for Raising Olives Readers

Read to the bottom of this post for an opportunity to try ALEKS for a full month FREE!

ALEKS is a Web-based, artificially intelligent assessment and learning system.  It is a complete, student-directed math program with no additional textbooks required.   ALEKS uses adaptive questions to determine what a student does and doesn’t know and then gives step-by-step instructions for the topics that the student is most interested in learning.  ALEKS offers K-12 math courses in addition to higher education and continuing education math, business and science courses.
We used several of their elementary math courses in addition to a middle school math course.

Each student begins their ALEKS experience by taking a placement test.
At the end of the test they are presented with a pie chart of what they will learn and what they already know.  The student is allowed to pick the topic that they would like to work on and ALEKS gives them step-by-step instructions and guidance as they work through their new problems in the learning mode.   Our kids enjoyed having the freedom to determine what they would study each day.  One day ALEKS did tell Matthew that he had done enough geometry and should select a different topic, but generally their learning can be delight directed.When they give an incorrect answer ALEKS explains their mistake and allows them to try again.  This is an important key to quick learning, immediate feedback when a mistake is made.  It prevents the children from developing bad habits that could happen if they worked a full page of problems incorrectly.  It also allows the children to work more efficiently, again no full page of problems worked incorrectly.  You know how discouraging that can be for both parent and child.

As they demonstrate proficiency with the subject matter, ALEKS adds that topic to their completed pie and new topics become available for them to study.

For the elementary levels of ALEKS, Quick Tables are available for drilling students on their basic addition, subtraction, multiplication and division facts.  Students are drilled on their facts and then given an assessment of facts they know and choices on which facts they may choose to work on next.  The green indicates the student has mastered that fact and the yellow are facts that they may choose to review some more.  As the student masters more facts they “win” new review games to play.

Each week I was emailed a progress report for each child that summarized their attendance, topics mastered and quiz scores.  These reports are available in more detail online through the master account.  The options for tracking student progress are divers.  Through the attendance tracking, I can see the exact amount of time that my student spent on ALEKS each day, the number of topics that they worked on and the number of those topics that they mastered.  The master account also offers detailed progress reports and quiz results and more.

An ALEKS subscription costs $19.95 per student, per month OR $99.95 every 6 months OR $179.95 every 12 months.  There are family discounts available, our 4 students would cost $299.84 for 6 months.

Our family loved using ALEKS math.  Our children appreciated being able to choose their topic, they were very motivated to make progress on their pie chart and they understood the directions and mastered many new topics and problems.  Mark and I love that it is very easy to implement and manage, we can check on the children’s progress and understanding of each topic and it automatically reviews topics that the children have already mastered which makes this a truly unique and complete math learning system.

There are a few potential drawbacks with ALEKS math.

  • For many families the cost might be prohibitive.  ALEKS is per month, per student fee and it is completely consumable.  There is nothing to pass down for your younger children to use.
  • Since ALEKS’ fees accrue each month there is a distinct disadvantage to covering material more slowly over the course of a year, rather than intense work during a 6 month time period.  Making it even less economical for families who school year round.
  • Another problem is scheduling for families who, like us, have only one computer.  Our oldest 4 were using ALEKS and I scheduled everyone 30 minutes each day which means that 2 hours of our school day was spent with the children cycling through ALEKS.  The older children would have benefited from more time, but we simply couldn’t fit it all in to our schedule.

ALEKS is easy to implement and all of our children enjoyed using the program, were motivated by their progress and learned a lot of math.  For a family that has the resources I would highly recommend considering ALEKS math for your children, but you don’t need to take my word for it.Visit ALEKS for 1-Month Trial

ALEKS is offering a full one month trial membership to any homeschoolers who read Raising Olives.  If you sign up for the ALEKS trial on the main website you will only have 48 hours to try it out.  So click on the link above and try it for yourself.

Here is my warning:  You may get hooked.  This is an amazing math program and when you see it for yourself, you will not want to go back to textbooks and grading math problems again!  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

You can read more Raising Olives reviews or you may want to read why we homeschool or how we homeschool to help you to better understand where I’m coming from.

This post is included in the Homeschool Curriculum Review Roundup.

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8 Responses to ALEKS Math: Review and Free Trial for Raising Olives Readers
  1. Brandi
    August 20, 2009 | 9:06 am

    We used this program last year and are using it again this year and we love it. While it is by far the most expensive thing we use in our homeschool, it is amazing how God has worked it out in our budget. Our children had saved their money and last summer which was a tremendous help in allocating time for using the program. We initially started with the free month trial and then if you refer so many people you get another month’s free tral. I didn’t have to pay for our first month until late october. I payed month to month so in december I removed my credit card so it wouldn’t charge. I restarted it in January and I removed my credit card at the end of May. It maintained all of our children’s information. I do wish it had a couple of additional features such as a clock on the students portion so they can see how much time they have logged for the day and I wish it had a button on the master account to suspend the account (especially handy for homeschoolers). It would also be nice for auditory learners if there were some voice instruction as well. Over all my children also love this program. You can see another review I did on the ALEKS website.

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  2. Mama Mirage (Jessica)
    August 23, 2009 | 11:42 pm

    It sounds wonderful! I wish I’d had something like this when I was a kid. Math was always and still is, a struggle for me. I don’t understand the more advanced stuff like geometry and had a hard time with fractions.

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  3. [...] ALEKS for those finished who’ve completed 8th grade Matheltics. [...]

  4. Katie
    December 1, 2010 | 3:56 pm

    I’m a college student using Aleks and I think it’s not that great. I wish I could go back to the textbooks and the math teachers. At least if I get a problem wrong they tell me how to fix it. If you get a problem wrong on an assessment even if it was a dumb mistake you have to go over the stupid problem all over again even if you know how to do the problem.

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  5. Victoria
    January 20, 2011 | 11:16 pm

    I’ve always done very poorly in math. I took college algebra with Aleks last semester, and now I’m taking Trig with it. I LOVE IT. It really breaks down the material in the simplest ways. It can be time consuming, but it makes the material understandable. It doesn’t give partial credit, so it forces you to train yourself to pay close attention and not make simple errors. I honestly can’t imagine taking another math course without it. However, while I love the Aleks program, Aleks customer support is a joke. I had a billing error (they charged my card twice) and the rep I talked to basically said that it was my problem so tough. I had to spend over an hour on hold with several different people to get it corrected, and in the they all acted like it was my fault. I never even got an apology. But, again, I love the program, and for the first time in my life, I love math.

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  6. Michelle
    April 23, 2012 | 2:06 pm

    Math has never been easy for me, but it’s never been hard. Using Aleks is the first time I haven’t been able to pass a Math program. Mainly due to the no partial credit, on top of that when you take the final (or any) assesments you can’t skip a problem and go back to it. There were many times I would spend 20+ minutes looking at a problem to finally skip it and 4 problems later remember how to do it. I find this to be a MAJOR flaw in the program. Especially when teachers (and the program) tell you during the learning process to go onto another topic and come back to learn it later. Sometimes you just need time and to move on and the assesments don’t allow it.

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  7. Matt
    August 29, 2012 | 5:45 pm

    Aleks is a great program for learning. Up until factoring that is. Factoring has a lot of “This answer is preferred, but this one can clearly be worked out and will have the correct answer” however Aleks only accepts a specific answer. That being said, I’ve worked out an answer to make sure it worked out correctly, put it in on Aleks, and was told my answer was incorrect. Not “It can be simplified more” but completely wrong. I also had a problem on there that was incorrect. I had two math teachers verify it being incorrect. Still a great program, but it has its faults.

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  8. Kay B
    October 23, 2012 | 2:18 am

    I had a subscription to ALEKS during my first year of math at college due to the fact that I was in remedial math class, but I used ALEKS only once during that class. I really didn’t like it. And now I’m in another remedial math class that’s only one step up from my last one, and it’s focused mainly on using ALEKS. I’m really struggling because any time I get a problem wrong, ALEKS only gives a vague way to solve the problem. Many times, I just get so incredibly frustrated using ALEKS because it doesn’t explain in detail how they came up with the answer. This program is really setting me back and I’m falling behind in math class.

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