BigIQkids {review}

BigIQkids is an e-learning site for kids in grades K-8 that help them develop the needed skills to excel in U.S. geography, spelling, vocabulary, and math. Through independent learning and the use of multimedia reinforcement, the program “promotes spelling efficiency, vocabulary building, math fact mastery, and US geography knowledge.” The lessons are presented to the student using animated characters/tutors that interact with the student throughout the lesson offering them guidance and providing occasional reinforcement and encouragement when they complete work.

We had the opportunity to review the premium program which includes many features that are also included in the free section of the site. To give you a better idea of the difference between free and premium access that is offered you can view the differences for each covered subject:

FREE vs. Premium spelling program
FREE vs. Premium vocabulary program
FREE vs. Premium math program
FREE vs. Premium U.S. geography program

The student is presented with an interactive experience that allows them to be taught in a manner that is specifically tailored for them. Since BigIQkids uses interactive tools, areas where special attention is needed (ex: addition, spelling, etc.) are given just that, special attention. Lessons are created around the needs of the student who can work at his own pace and his progress through the lessons to completion occurs only after the information in the lesson is mastered.

The lessons are short and ones that can be completed daily and at the end of completing a lesson, the student is awarded a game coin that he can use in the BigIQkids game area. There are many games to choose from that are fun and earning coins work as a great incentive for completing the lessons.

BigIQkids is set up for the student to be able to work independently through the lessons. Besides setting up the individual material for specifics like spelling word lists where you can input your own words (or choose from the list provided in the program) or maybe focusing on practice with a specific math fact, the teacher can pretty much sit back and just be available to help the student when needed. Although you can track the student’s progress online, progress reports are also sent to the parent’s/guardian’s E-mail box once a student has completed a lesson.

We have been “traveling” across our beautiful country for a while now and the geography section is where we spent most of our time. It was fun going through the section where the kids have to plot the states on the map. Also, they are able to learn facts about the different states some we have covered and some we will be studying a little later.

I did have to change the feature for dispersing coins earned at the end of each lesson because I preferred for the games to be played after ALL of the lessons were completed for the week. I had the kids save their coins to use on “game day.”

I like programs that allow customization when it comes to the type of material used in the lessons as well as rewards that are offered and the frequency that they are offered.

It is nice to have spelling words that are grade specific, but I liked the ability to create my own lists and using words from River’s current spelling lists so that he wasn’t just learning random words for the third grade. Even though this is more of a drill type (math) and informational (geography) program rather than one that teaches the process/steps and understanding of the subjects, it is still a lot of fun to use.

One thing I didn’t like is that there are ads, although few, once in the program. Even though they are not shown while the student is working through a lesson, they are available and clickable in the game area. This aspect took away a little of the student independence when using the program because of the access to external sites. I would really prefer not seeing advertisement while using the paid area of a site, but am more forgiving of advertisement when using something online that is free so I would expect it in the free areas only.

BigIQkids has two different type of program membership options which are FREE (something we all like) and also the option of a premium membership which includes all four of the learning programs. Although you may be tempted to sign-up to only use the free portions of the site, in this instance it may truly be worth it to seriously consider the features and options of the premium membership.

The premium membership can be purchased for $19.99/month or at a good savings for an annual membership which is $99.99 (which comes to $8.88/month). Either of these options includes all four of the programs. There is also an option to purchase the programs individually for monthly or annual access. You can learn more about the various prices for the packages. If you would like to give Big IQ Kids a try, then take a look at the free trial that is offered.

You can read more reviews of this item by fellow crew members on The Homeschool Crew Blog.

The product featured in this review was provided to me free of cost by the manufacturer or representing PR agency as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew. The opinions expressed are my own and are not influenced by monetary compensation.
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