Rumor has it that practice makes perfect. So how do you practice Math and Language Arts with your kids? If you were like me, you could be using IXL and the IXL Math or IXL Language Arts online programs.
What Is It?
IXL is an online practice program for grades K-12. They cover Math and Language Arts topics for the different ages and offer fun “rewards” and certificates as you achieve new goals. This is not a full curriculum, and is not a teaching program (unless you get a problem wrong). This is strictly for the practice concept of each subject.
Math Skills start at the Pre-K level, and go all the way up to Precalculus Skills. Each level contains hundreds of skills needed to master that level, except Pre-K which just has 42 skills. You are able to do as many problems as needed in each skill until you feel that you have mastered that skill.
Language Arts Skills start at the 2nd grade level and go all the way up to the 8th grade level. Once again all levels contain 80+ skills per level. These skills build off the last level and are focused on what is needed for that grade.
Although these skills are broken up by grade level, you can also focus on just the topics that your child needs help with. Instead of looking at grades, you simply look at topics and see where you need to work. I like this option better for Moe Man, as he is at different levels for each skill and I don’t have to make him feel bad if he is lower in one skill than the next. (I really don’t like focusing on grade, rather I like to focus on skills.)
When it comes to deciding what “grade” your child should be using, we went for one grade lower than they are working in right now, so we could practice those skills they have already learned. While at the same time, using the topics tab and also practicing the new skills they have currently learned in their Math or Language Arts curriculums.
How We Used It
We loved to hop onto the IXL.com or IXL app for our daily review of the skills we were working on, or already knew. Ray Ray was the child who loved this the most, and got the most from it. He used this for his math practice every day and would work hard just to earn his virtual prizes. Although he has been mastering his 1st grade math, he is working hard to complete all the Kindergarten skills right now. He is having fun with the simple ones (numbers up to 3) and being challenged by the harder ones like skip counting.
As Little Miss was watching Ray Ray and his excitement over virtual prizes, she wanted to try. I haven’t focused much on Preschool for her yet, but was happy to see how much she really did know from our talking, reading and playing around the house. She has a smaller virtual rewards chart, but is just as excited every time she is able to earn that reward!
Moe Man has been using the Language Arts part of IXL to help him work on his parts of speech. I love being able to let him practice and know that if he reads the corrections, he is learning from his mistakes and I don’t have to be the one to correct him. At 14, mom is always wrong, so I like to find the things that show him as much as possible without me being that person to do it.
What We Thought of It
Ray Ray and Little Miss loved this program! They love anything with computers, but to earn rewards from this has also peaked their interest, as they compete to finish as many problems or skills as possible to earn just one more prize for the day.
Moe Man is a teenage boy and this is school. He doesn’t get as excited as the littles do, but I can say that the practice is helping him in his subjects. I see improvements and that makes me happy no matter how he acts about it 🙂
I loved getting emails with the reports for each child, and when they earned a certificate for every 100 problems they completed. Since this isn’t the full curriculum, I was more at ease of letting them pick what they wanted to work on, and they loved having that freedom to do that. Making it more fun for them instead of just school.
While IXL shows the state standards for both Math and Language Arts, I personally ignored that part of the site. If you needed to show that your child has mastered a standard, you have that option, if you don’t, then look away 🙂 It is that simple. It is not something that interferes with the program and really doesn’t take away from it at all in my opinion.
Membership for IXL is $9.95/month or $79/year for one child and subject. Each additional child costs $2/month or $20/year.
Do you like what you have heard? Why don’t you head on over with me and see what these other reviewers had to say about the program for their families!