Friday, June 22, 2012


 My kids are geeky. It's ok, they come by it naturally. Their father's a geek, too. They love all things electronic and techy. There have been days when one child is on the iPad, one is on the computer, and one is on the laptop. I do allow them to play games that are purely fun, but I prefer them to play that are more educational. Some of the learning games are more learning than game and produce groans from my oldest child. 

The past few weeks, we've been practicing math skills with IXL. It's not a game, but surprisingly, no complaining accompanied it. Did you catch that? No complaining. I know. I was pretty shocked myself.

IXL is a math review site for Pre-K through algebra. It is broken into sections for each grade level. Each grade is then divided into different skills. Jake (6 yr) practiced using the first grade level, and Alyssa (4 yr) reviewed the Pre-K. After looking at sample questions, I realized that Zac (2 yr) could easily answer some of the questions. He also practiced at the Pre-K level. 

I sat at the computer with the two younger ones when it was their turn to practice. I read the questions for them and clicked the answers they chose. The program is set up so that the parent does not have to help though. There is a little volume button that the child can press and it will read the question to them. Another thing that is helpful is that you don't have to click directly on the circle to choose an answer, but instead can click in the general vicinity and the answer will be selected. That makes it easier for the child who has a hard time controlling the mouse.

 There are 41 skills for Pre-K and 151 skills for first grade, so the student can practice a looong time before ever getting bored or even seeing all the questions. Also, the questions will increase in difficulty as the student improves.

IXL tracks the student's progress. There is a section on the site where the parent can see exactly how the children are preforming, what skills they practiced, and even where their trouble spots are. You can also get email updates to keep you informed. There's also a way for the student to keep track of his own progress. As he answers questions and advances skills, an award will show on his board. My kids all loved finding the star and clicking on it to see what they "won." They also liked comparing their awards to their siblings'. It's the little things.

IXL memberships start at $9.95 a month (plus $2 each addition child) and $79 a year (plus $20 each additional child. Benefits include:
  • Membership benefits:
  • Complete coverage of math curriculum from pre-K to algebra. 
  • Unlimited questions in over 2,000 skills.
  • Fun and colorful practice formats.
  • Questions that adapt to your child's ability, increasing in difficulty as they improve.
  • Immediate feedback and question-specific explanations to solidify understanding of each concept.
  • Audio for all pre-K through first-grade skills.
  • Weekly e-mail updates on your child's progress.
  • Informative, detailed reports pointing out successes and trouble spots.
  • Awards and certificates for you and your children to print out as they reach important milestones.

If you're looking for a way for your kids to practice their math skills . . . and have fun while doing it . . . IXL is for you!

Don't forget to stop by the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog to read more reviews of IXL.

*Disclaimer: I received a temporary subscription for this product in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.
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