Tuesday, November 11, 2014

IXL Review

We received a full year subscription to IXL's Math and Language Arts online learning programs to review. Their programs can be used by children in grades K-12 and are meant to be supplemental lessons. We mainly used them for on-the-go lessons while we were driving somewhere or running errands. It keeps the kids busy and they enjoy the lessons.

We started out by using the Pre-K math lessons for Munchkin and the Kindergarten math lessons for Bean. Sadly there are no Language Arts lessons available on IXL for children under the 2nd grade level. But we still checked out the Language Arts section and look forward to using it for review activities in the future. We used the math lessons for practice and review activities.

When you sign in, you can choose whether to use Math or Language Arts (if you have access to both). In the main screen you'll see each of the different grades available (on the left are tabs that will take you right to the grade you want). This screen will show you some of the activities available in that grade, and if you hover over the link, a picture image will appear that will show you what the problems will look like. At the bottom of each grade on this screen is a link that will take you to the rest of the lessons available.

There are so many skills to learn, but this program makes it easier and groups it into lesson blocks. This is just a small glimpse of the practice problems available for Kindergarten math.

If your child is young, they may need assistance using a mouse and keyboard, but if they have experience, they should have no issue selecting the answer. It shouldn't be too confusing, since the program only presents one problem at a time. There is also a auditory option, in case you'd like to hear the problem. I typically start off the lessons with them and once they are comfortable I leave them on their own. I stay nearby in case they have questions or need help. 

Pre-K example:

Kindergarten example:

We did not have much of a chance to actually use the Language Arts portion of IXL. My children are still learning to read and spell and haven't reached this level yet. However I did check it out and I did like what I saw. I will admit that the questions are pretty basic and it's not exactly "fun," but it will serve perfectly fine as practice and review problems.

2nd Grade Language Arts example:

We really liked the basic layout of the website (it makes it easier to find things), especially the student views. There aren't many options to stray into and I find that the kids stay more focused when there are less things to distract them. However, I really wish there had been an option to remove the timers. One thing we do not do is time the kids on any problem. From personal experience I know that timers can interrupt concentration and make you anxious. Luckily my kids are easy-going and just ignored the timers. 

Another feature we really liked was the amount of skills available for each grade level. These problems will certainly keep a child busy and if they finish, they can just move on to the next grade level (if able - I'm assuming they are homeschooled and not trying to keep pace with their class). Many of the grades have over one hundred skills available!

IXL has on-the-go mobile apps. The iPad app features the complete K-12 Math content and 2nd-8th grade Language Arts lessons. The Android app allows you to practice Pre-K to 6th grade Math (with higher levels on the way). IXL for Kindle also features practice lessons for Pre-K to 6th grade Math, with higher level math lessons on the way. You can use up to 20 questions a day for free without signing in!

An annual subscription to IXL's math lessons is $79 and $129 for both Language Arts and Math for one child. For two children the prices are $99 for Math and $149 for both Language Arts and Math. You could also purchase the monthly subscription, which is $9.95 a month for one subject. Each additional child costs an additional $2 per month or $20 per year. For more information, check out their family membership benefits. Just keep in mind that IXL's online program is specifically for supplemental lessons and is NOT a full curriculum option.

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