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Thursday, June 21, 2012

TOS Review: IXL

We are feverishly working on memorizing math facts here at the Cain house this summer!  It's our mission to have addition, subtraction, and multiplication facts down by the time we start up school again mid-August.  My children seem to be hands-on sight learners so I was thrilled to be chosen to review IXL, an online learning site which COMPLETELY covers all math topics from Pre-k through Algebra.
  Parents can choose which level to start their children on- and for guidance, IXL uses state standards to assess your student's performance.  Parents can then target tough spots thanks to weekly reports generated and sent via email and posted under the "reports" tab on their homepage.

 IXL uses many different techniques to address different learning styles to build mastery and confidence.  They also encourage students to learn from their mistakes by providing explanations when problems are answered incorrectly and to move at their own pace through challenges.

  So would you like to know what my kids thought?  We had two schools of thought between my two kids.....
  Ben struggled with IXL.  He became very frustrasted when sometimes, after answering a question, the screen would freeze but the time would continue counting the seconds.  Also, he struggled with the very large and verbose category list. He did not want to have to choose something on the list because he said he was very confused by what it said.  He simply wanted to be led to the challenge he needed to complete next.  This led to him becoming frustrated and ultimately shutting down.

  Abby, however, really enjoyed IXL. She is not the competitive type so she did not mind if the timer misbehaved now and then.  She really enjoyed the reward aspect- which comes from the "awards" page where kids can complete challenges to turn over various prizes.


I feel this is a great tool to help your children in math.  If you have smaller children, you may want to help them navigate the categories in which they choose their challenges, but otherwise I think they will thoroughly enjoy the program and grow in their skills as a direct result of it.  Memberships are sold to families for $9.95 a month or $79 per year.

To see what other TOS review crewers thought, click here.
Disclaimer:  I was given a 6 month subscription to IXL in exchange for an honest and objectie review.


snapdragon said...

I use this for my 6th grade students. I think it is a very good program- especially the way it works in visual models of math (area for multiplying, for example) and gives explanations for incorrect answers.
You can click on the standards for your state and focus on the grade level standards- very handy for homeschool parents who don't want to navigate the official-looking websites from their state superintendent of public schools.

snapdragon said...

Oh, and if you want a FREE quick flash-card type program, try

It helps kids get through all the basic facts from addition to division. Not as flashy or sophisticated as IXL, but it is free, it helps parents identify tricky spots, and they get a certificate when they finish each level.

The Cains said...

Oh thank you for those great comments! Very good points!