TOS Review - IXL

What Is It:

Christmas Book Review

IXL is an online program offering practice for students in Pre K all the way through the 12th grade in math and language arts for those in 2nd through 8th with more grades coming soon.  The program is available online and in an app making it a great way to get in some on the go practice.  IXL doesn't teach skills, but provides awesome practice.

IXL is a focused approach to practice.  They have taken out any distractions without taking out the fun.

For this review, we were given one year access to both math and language arts for up to five students. 

How We Used It:

I reviewed IXL last year and it wasn't a good fit for us.  Josie just wasn't into computer learning and Gabe was too young to really get anything out of it.  When it came up to review again this year, I decided Gabe was probably ready and he really loves getting to be on the computer, so I decided to try it again.

I am so glad I did!

I decided to download the app instead of using my computer.  I wish I would've done this last year because I think we would've gotten a lot of use out of it.  The interface is much easier to use.  Rather than having to log in each time, when you open the app they just had to pick their name and grade and it would take them to their level and document their work.

This program is meant to be a practice for kids.  Meaning it doesn't teach them.  If they get an answer wrong, there is a pop up that will explain what they did wrong and how to correct it.  You just need to be sure to pick levels that they have all ready learned the material.

For Gabe, we started with Pre K and I sat with him for his computer time, which he did 4 times a week.  At Pre K, math is the only subject.  Some of the topics include number recognition, counting to 20, simple addition, and comparisons.  There is a button that will read the question to the child, but since I was sitting with him I just read them to him.

He had no trouble with this level at all.  I'm still having him work through the levels just to make sure we cover it all, but he will bump up to kindergarten by the end of the year which is kind of fun.

For 2nd grade and up, kids can practice math and language arts skills.

I'm not sure what exactly changed since last year, but this go round, IXL has been a perfect fit for Josie.  I had her spend 15 minutes a day doing math and another 15 minutes practicing a language arts skill.  For math, I picked what level I wanted her to practice and she watched the timer to see when she was done.

This was an awesome way to get her a bit of extra practice on her math.  She got to get excited about getting them right and if she got them wrong, it explained it to her so that I didn't have to get involved.  Since this wasn't her actual math lesson, I was ok with staying out of it.

I really loved the language arts portion of the program.

We are using an excellent program for grammar, spelling, and phonics but it isn't neccesarily going by what she's required to do in 2nd grade.  I'm going to have her take the standardized test at the end of the year to see where we fall, so I think it's important to be at least touching on what will be on the test.  IXL is great for that.

For this, I sat with her and explained the lesson.  Most of them have dealt with the parts of speech, sentence structure, and punctuation so I've been able to explain it to her then go through the questions.  We are going back and redoing a few that she's had a hard time with, but she's picking it up pretty fast.  I'm so glad we have this simple way to make sure she's getting the information she needs.

Another thing I love is the reports that are emailed to me.

When they master a skill or do a certain number of questions, I get an email.  I also have my own tab at the log in so that I can see how many they are getting right and nail down any things that we really need to work on.  Since I'm with them during parts, this has only really been helpful with Josie's math.  Next year when Josie is able to do the practicing by herself, I will use this feature a lot.

I also love that the pages with the questions aren't busy.  It's the score and the question and that's it.  Nothing distracting.  After meeting certain milestones they get a badge on a separate page, but even that isn't very flashy.  I'm glad the focus is on the questions and surprisingly the kids really don't mind either.  They get the work done and are excited about the work they did.

My Opinion:

I am now a IXL lover!  We will continue to use this throughout our schooling as a way to practice skills in a fun way.

Product Details:

Yearly Membership - $79
Monthly Memberships also available

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