A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

IXL.com review

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Jack and Eli helped me review the website IXL.com this past few weeks.  Jack used both the Math program and the Language Arts program, and Eli, due to his age, used only the math.  We received a family membership for review purposes.  Pricing starts at $9.99/month, or $79 for an annual membership.

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IXL's Math program currently has levels from Pre-K through Algebra 2, with even more on the way!  Jack, age 9, used the 4th grade math, and Eli, age 12, generally used the 7th grade math, although I did get an email letting me know he had mastered 100 problems in the Pre-K level.  I'm so... proud.  I guess the positive spin on that would be that he enjoyed playing on the site, even if it wasn't at the level I suggested he work at.  

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IXL's Language Arts program currently has second, third, and fourth grades, with more levels coming soon.  While Jack is technically a 4th grader, his reading delays make it hard for him to work at a 4th grade level, so we jumped around a bit in language arts.  This leads to one of the things I liked best about IXL.  Your student can work at any level.  You're not boxed into a set grade, like some of the programs we've tried.  Second grade has 82 skills to work on, third grade has 106, and fourth grade a whopping 111 different areas to learn and practice!

I also like that all the topics are laid out very clearly, so you can see all the options available.  This makes it a great reference!  If your child finds they need to know how to multiply a fraction (perhaps cooking for a large family?) you can go straight to that area and let them practice that skill.

IXL sends out emails containing certificates as your student reaches milestones, which, for me, is a nice reminder to log on and look at the reports!  The reports are very clear and helpful.  I can see, for example, that Jack does excellent work in the 4th grade Reading Tables section in math, but needs improvement in the Roman Numerals area.  In Language Arts, I often sat with him to help with reading, and we worked and worked until he got mastery in some areas (identifying nouns, base words, prefixes and suffixes, etc.), but he still needs improvement in some other areas, like identifying sentence types.

Another of my favorite things about IXL is that it's available as an app!  I big puffy heart apps.  It's nice to be able to hand Jack my iPad and have him doing schoolwork and enjoying the novelty of working on the iPad to make it fun at the same time.  So far, you can only do the math on the app, and only grades Pre-K through 6, so Eli was unable to use the app, but Jack enjoyed it.  The app is free, and without a subscription, your child can practice 20 problems per day.  This might be a great way for you to check out IXL and see if your child likes it.  I'm hopeful they'll make the language arts available by app as well, but I don't know if that's in the works or not.

The students are granted awards within the program as they hit milestones in time or number of problems completed.  Jack unlocked various pictures such as a kayak, a leopard seal, a snowman, a hockey stick, etc.

You can read what other families thought about IXL here:

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  1. I've seen this as an option offered at a discount from the Umbrella school I belong to and was skeptical to try it out. Thanks for giving me a firmer overview of the product.

  2. We are using IXL and love it! I have 3 using it now and I love how they ask to do it and I don't have to force them :)