We’re wrapping up our year on the Crew! One of the last things I’ve gotten to try this year as part of the Old Schoolhouse Magazine’s Review Crew was IXL and a subscription to IXL Math and IXL Language Arts for my older five children… even Charlotte, age 4, got to get in on this one! Language Arts is available for grades 2 and up, so Charlotte and Ruby (6) mostly stuck to grade level math instead, but Liberty, 11, Eden, 9, and Sterling, 7, all got in on both math and language on IXL.
IXL is a math and language arts supplement – not a full curriculum. It provided practice of most of the topics each of my kids have discussed – and a few we hadn’t for my younger kids. It worked well on the computer and has an app for my Kindle – something much appreciated when we were trying to find computer time for five kids several days a week! For my younger ones, especially Charlotte in K4, the touch screen was a much easier thing to maneuver instead of a computer mouse.
PreK through pre-calculus is offered. We used mostly at my kids’ grade level – 6th grade, 5th grade, 2nd grade, 1st grade, and K4. The math and language arts subjects are all broken down by title, and the kids could choose whatever topic they wished. Every so often, they’d win a “medal” or a “prize” – and while it’s all paperless and in the cyber world, when Charlotte uncovered that she’d won a bear or a wagon, she was thrilled. She never stopped pestering to play on IXL.
Her K4 level was spot on at first, but as a freshly-turned-4 year-old that hasn’t had formal schooling yet, she soon ran out of what she knew and things got harder. She could only work on math, and has a hard time counting objects higher than 5. She can count… but she cannot get each number attributed to each object when she gets up higher than five. She got frustrated at that point, but we found other things in the math section she could do, and she could always redo any section she wished. I hope they continue to develop the language arts section to grades younger than 2nd, because she’d have loved some letter practice.
My older four found IXL easy to maneuver, and the practice was good for them. They learned a few new things along the way and found their own grade levels to be challenging. Finding time each day, in this busy world, was difficult, but worthwhile. I liked how easy they found their way around – and how little I had to help them. The instruction can be read to them if they click on that button, but even without that, the repetition was easy enough for even Ruby, my less than stellar reader, to figure out. She loved it.
I regularly got emails telling me “Ruby finished 500 questions in math!” and other exciting news. I received of a weekly email that detailed what all they did for the week and the time spent on IXL, as well as sporadic ones based on use and achievements. I appreciated them both – but the sporadic ones that came right after an achievement were so much fun. I could congratulate the child on their work right then and there instead of at the end of the week. Very cool.
IXL was a hit in our house. The kids love the computer time, and I love that they are learning and not just playing. It’s colorful and fun without being super animated or annoying or loud or distracting. We were highly impressed with the program and had exactly zero technical problems along the way. I can remember very few programs we’ve used that haven’t had their issues. Way to go, IXL!
IXL is on Twitter, Facebook, and Google +. IXL has apps available for Ipad, Android, and Kindle. Best part: practicing on the app and online is seamless, recording progress in both places and communicating with the other.
IXL has a monthly fee per student of $9.95 for one subject or $15.95 for two or a yearly fee of $79 per student for one subject or $129 for two subjects. Additional children after the first are $2 per month or $20 per year.
To read what others thought about IXL – there’s many more grade levels available and all were reviewed – head over to the Review Crew Blog.