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Top 10 Things You Need to Know About Teaching Math

- Includes a FREE 3-Month Trial to ALEKS! -

January 5, 2011

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Some homeschool parents might question if math is a difficult subject to teach. They may have questions about whether their children have pre-conceived ideas about their abilities, and some may question their own competence as a teacher.

There are so many questions--especially when it comes to math! ALEKS (Assessment and LEarning in Knowledge Spaces) is a Web-based, artificially intelligent assessment and learning system that takes the stress off of homeschooling parents and has the answers to some of these questions and more! In fact, here is a list of the top 10 things you need to know about teaching math:

  1. Learn more about what types of curriculum are available for math instruction. Many homeschoolers choose to use a structured math curriculum. A structured curriculum can be used as a full time or supplemental program. Many homeschoolers choose ALEKS to meet their math needs. ALEKS is a research-based online math program that provides highly-targeted, individualized assessment and learning for grades 3-12. With a robust course library, ALEKS offers instruction and support for parents homeschooling their children. ALEKS can be used by itself or as a supplement to an existing homeschool math program. ALEKS is also accessible from virtually any computer with Internet access, making it a flexible and mobile educational solution.

  2. Discover your child's unique learning style and base your teaching and curriculum on what you find. There is no universal teaching style or math curriculum that works for every child, so it's important to know how your child learns best. Many homeschoolers use an online program, such as ALEKS, to accommodate their child's unique needs. A computer-based delivery of math content allows technologically-inclined children to learn in an environment that's comfortable to them.

  3. When teaching math, make sure you assess, teach, monitor and review. ALEKS administers a personalized, adaptive assessment that includes approximately 25-30 questions. This assessment quickly and accurately determines exactly what a student knows and doesn't know within a course. ALEKS then instructs the student on the topics she is most ready to learn. As a student works through a course, ALEKS periodically reassesses the student to ensure that topics learned are also retained.

    Assessment: Students begin in ALEKS by taking an individualized, adaptive assessment to determine what they already know and what they are ready to learn next.

  4. Make math fun to both teach and learn. Make your teaching interactive and engaging for your child. Using methods such as games, stories, and real-life examples can turn learning math into something both fun and educational. For example, ALEKS QuickTables is a math fact mastery program for multiplication, division, addition, and subtraction that uses games to provide additional review, as well as built-in rewards to keep students motivated and on-track.

    ALEKS QuickTables: QuickTables is a research-based, math fact mastery program for multiplication, division, addition, and subtraction. Interactive games are available for additional review and built-in rewards.

  5. As teachers, we need to emphasize the importance of math to our students. Math is an essential skill set for all students. A large percentage of lucrative and rewarding careers require a background in math. If your child wants to be a scientist, an entrepreneur, a musician, or a homemaker, math is important!

  6. Every child can find success in math. Don't let your child get discouraged when it comes to learning math. Constant feedback and a visual guide of their progress can help motivate your children to reach for the stars. A visual guide such as the color-keyed pie chart used by ALEKS is an example of how your child can view their own progress and have control over their learning. This pie chart also summarizes a student's current knowledge and offers topics that she is ready to learn next.

    MyPie: The ALEKS Pie summarizes a student's current knowledge and offers topics that the student is ready to learn next. The darkened portion of each pie slice represents the topics that the student has mastered and the lighter portion represents what the student has yet to learn.

  7. A good foundation in math is vital. To reiterate this point, you can liken math to building a house. When you build a house it must have a strong foundation. Without one, the house, or the student, cannot succeed. To build this strong foundation you need to find out exactly what your child knows. ALEKS does this by using adaptive questioning to quickly and accurately determine exactly what a student knows and doesn't know in a course. ALEKS offers truly individualized instruction that meets the student at her learning level and instructs her on the exact topics that she is most ready to learn. As a result, no two students will experience the same learning path while working in ALEKS.

  8. Monitor your child's progress constantly. It's important to always keep track of how your child is progressing through their math curriculum. ALEKS provides homeschooling parents with a robust Master Account that they can use to monitor their child's progress through dynamic, automated reports that are always current based on the child's current knowledge and course mastery. Parents can also direct their child's learning by creating and assigning quizzes that are automatically graded by ALEKS, and the results are immediately available to both parents and students.

    Master Account: Easily manage all student accounts, assign quizzes, and monitor student progress through automated reports.

  9. Incorporate math into your everyday life. Math can be taught through cooking, home maintenance, and other everyday activities - even through road signs! How can you use everyday activities to teach math to your children?

  10. How you feel about math will impact your teaching. If you are worried or concerned about teaching math to your children, you may unknowingly communicate your unease to them. These concerns or fears may cause them to feel anxious about learning math. It is important that children not be afraid to learn math! With ALEKS, you will be able to easily teach your children mathematics topics precisely when they are ready to learn them.

ALEKS has been used successfully by homeschoolers, as well as by millions of students at schools and educational institutions throughout the world. Additionally, some ALEKS course products are American Council on Education (ACE) credit-recommended, meaning that your student may be eligible for college credit at participating colleges.

ALEKS is a Research-Based, Online Math Program:

  • Complete Curriculum Solution for Math with Access to Full Course Library
  • No Textbook Required
  • Artificial Intelligence Targets Gaps in Student Knowledge
  • Assessment and Individualized Learning for Grades 3-12
  • Master Account - Monitor and Direct Learning Progress 
  • Unlimited Online Access - PC & Mac Compatible
  • QuickTables - Complimentary Math Fact Mastery Program for Multiplication, Division, Addition, and Subtraction
       • Learn More

ALEKS is currently offering a FREE 3-month trial for new users (a value of $59.85). Sign up by January 27, 2010 for this limited time offer and see why ALEKS has been used successfully by homeschoolers, as well as by millions of students at schools and educational institutions throughout the world.



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