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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

False starts, do-overs, and adjustments

 Now that my son is delivered safely to college (sob!), I can focus on my daughters senior year.

I have been homeschooling for about a decade, and every August has been an experiment.  After all, I am a homeschool mom, not a curriculum expert, so sometimes I choose curriculums that don't gel with my child.  This year was no exception.

This year the curriculum I had to shelf was at least free.  It was the packet from The Actuarial Foundation for Personal finance.  It is not a bad curriculum, but it does not do enough explaining, as it was designed for the teacher who actually already knows personal finance... not for the mom and child who don't really understand compound interest and mortgage amortization.  So we had a false start with math this year and
switched to which is actually a great program that I now wish I had used in previous years.  What a great way to learn math!

Assessment and LEarning in Knowledge Spaces is a Web-based, artificially intelligent assessment and learning system. ALEKS uses adaptive questioning to quickly and accurately determine exactly what a student knows and doesn't know in 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. ALEKS courses are very complete in their topic coverage and ALEKS avoids multiple-choice questions. A student who shows a high level of mastery of an ALEKS course will be successful in the actual course she is taking. 

So this means at 1/3 way through my daughter's Business Math (with personal finance) curriculum she started over with ALEKS business math which includes personal finance.  The good news is that she will still finish it pretty quickly.  After 6 weeks, she is 65%  of the way through it when she stumbled for 2 months through the last curriculum.  (It was supposed to be done over the summer... she will probably take another month).

Hopefully our false start in this curriculum will help to introduce to you a math and science program that might make your life easier.


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