When it comes to academic curriculum, online options were always my last option when it came to curriculum. I did not want my child sitting in front of the computer spending endless hours glaring at the screen. I did not want my children playing games and treating their school work as fun and not something serious. I just had not found a program that seem to really offer quality instruction and was worth paying for the amount of money charged.
IXL broke my stance on using online programs. We love IXL. I love IXL and have enjoyed using it every time we have been able to review the program. As far as the amount of time spent using the program, obviously that is up to you as the parent. Yes, they sometimes want to spend more time using the program and sometimes, that is okay, because they are learning.
Using IXL is fun. Their tagline says, “Practice that feels like play.” Well, I can’t take that away from them. According to my children, using IXL is fun. My response is, at least they are learning.
IXL offers math for kindergarten through twelfth grades and language arts is offered for second through eighth grades. The program works as a supplement to both subjects and allows children to practice skills in those subjects. It does not teach them, but hat is okay, because practice is what they need.
We spent most of our time in the math section, because there are so many skills to practice and I was often able to match their practice time with a skill they were currently covering in their school work. I really like that part, especially if the offline learning was frustrating for them in a certain area. Being able to practice a challenging concept using IXL gave a fun twist to something they may have found difficult.
You can scroll through the directory and a pop-up will appear for you to see an example of the type of skills covered in that topic. You don’t have to click through and read.
Some other features I like about IXL:
1) The ability to track the progress of my children: I am able to let them work at their own pace and on their own. IXL e-mails reports to you, so you can see how your child is progressing through the material. I too got excited when I received an e-mail telling me that Lily or Canyon had mastered a skill. They both even earned certificates for the work he completed. IXL even sends you an e-mail if your child needs more practice in a certain area.
2) The variety of questions and activities included by IXL keep the program interesting to use while your child is still learning. There are so many different skills to practice in both math and language artsmath section.
3) IXL gives students unlimited aces to all of the grade level material they offer. As a homeschooler, that is important, because we often have one (or more) child who is grade level in one subject and maybe under or above grade level on another. My children were able to work according to their comprehension. Having access to the higher level of material as their skills increase is also good, because they can choose to be challenged by higher grade material one their improve in skill. Also, if your child is below grade level in either math or language arts, he is still able to use IXL and learn by covering material that is understandable to him.
This is the third time we have been able to review IXL. As my children have grown older, the program continues to be more valuable to them for review and practicing currently covered skills.
A new feature this time around was using IXL on our iPads. Of course, my children found this enjoyable. They went back and forth between using the computer and iPad. It was nice to have that option and being able to send someone to a quiet space for completing their work.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
As far as the pricing, IXL is $9.95 a month for one subject (math or language arts) or $15.95 a month for both. The pricing is up there, but we found great value in the practice offered in the math section.