ALEKS - Assessment and Learning

Implementation Strategies

View a selection of implementation strategies from homeschoolers who are successfully using ALEKS to achieve dramatic learning outcomes.

Christina Anderson
North Billerica, MA
Scenario: Homeschool Core Curriculum
Purpose: Individualized Tutoring, Preparation for Another Course or Program
Time Spent in ALEKS: 1 hour per day, 2 days per week
ALEKS Course: High School Geometry, Algebra 2, Trigonometry

Overall Experience:

My son had not done any formal work in mathematics for about four years because he was busy following his passions in other areas. He had completed Algebra 1 using a textbook when he was 11; he also had explored some topics in Algebra 2 and Geometry in a very informal way when they came up in other areas of his life. When he turned 15, he was thinking about applying to colleges in the not-so-distant future, and realized he needed to do quite a bit of mathematics if he wanted to get into a top-notch school. ALEKS appealed to him because it assessed what he already knew and didn't make him spend valuable time on topics he had already learned. In two years, he finished High School Geometry, Algebra 2, and Trigonometry. He did well on the SAT and is now attending one of his top choice schools.

What challenges did the student face in math prior to using ALEKS?

My son never really had any difficulty with mathematics, but it just was not as interesting to him as literature, philosophy, history, etc. He hated the repetitive nature of doing math problems.

What were you looking for in an online math tool?

He wanted a program that would not make him repeat topics he had already learned, and that would keep repetition to a minimum. I wanted something that he could do on his own, with a minimum of my input needed; however, a convenient way to track his progress was also desired.

What math progress has the student experienced since using ALEKS?

Using ALEKS was a great way for my son to learn the mathematics he needed. It had everything he needed to learn on his own. He seemed to enjoy ALEKS more than the traditional text-book method of learning.

How does the student feel about his/her progress in ALEKS?

He was happy that he could do mathematics on his own terms, i.e., deciding when and for how long he would do a study session. He enjoyed learning the concepts and how they relate to other areas. He was pleased that he could finish three courses in the two years he had before applying to colleges. 

Are there any best practices you would like to share with other ALEKS users?

What worked best for us was to just let my son have complete control over when he would use ALEKS. It was his goal to get into a rigorous college, so it was this motivation that caused him to finish three ALEKS courses in two years. He knew it was up to him to accomplish that if he wanted to attain his goal.