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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Schoolhouse Review Crew: IXL

"Practice makes perfect and IXL makes math practice fun!"  IXL is an interactive online program that can supplement any math program your child already uses.  They currently have over 2,000 skill areas to work in from  pre-k through Algebra with plans for higher levels being added in the near future.  Students choose the areas that they need to practice and earn virtual rewards on a themed game board as they go along.  IXL is being used in over 150 countries world wide and they list state standards for all 50 US States.  Parents have access to detailed reports and can easily see which areas their child needs to work on and where they have improved.  As a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew, I had an opportunity to use and review IXL  with 3 of my children.  I chose my K, 2nd, and 4th graders to use this program.

screenshots of different questions

Membership Benefits Include:

  • Complete coverage of math curriculum from pre-K to algebra. Your kids won't miss a thing!
  • Unlimited questions in over 2,000 skills.
  • Fun and colorful practice formats.
  • Questions that adapt to your child's ability, increasing in difficulty as they improve.
  • Immediate feedback and question-specific explanations to solidify understanding of each concept.
  • Audio for all pre-K through first-grade skills.
  • Weekly e-mail updates on your child's progress.
  • Informative, detailed reports pointing out successes and trouble spots.
  • Awards and certificates for you and your children to print out as they reach important milestones. 

virtual game boards and prizes

IXL's reports are designed to tell you everything you need to know about your student's progress.  You can identify strengths and weaknesses, view improvement over time, measure progress based on practice time, view problems missed and the correct answers and more.  With a click of the mouse you have access to any of IXL's 37 reports.  Weekly reports on students progress are emailed to the parent or you can log in and view reports at any time.

The cost of IXL is  $9.95/month or $79/year.  Each additional child is $2 more per month or $20 more per year.  For more information or to sign up click here.

I was very impressed with IXL.  It is very rare to find a math website like this that covers such a wide range of ages (currently pre-K -algebra.)  Within each age range there are a large variety of topics to choose from.  If you go to this page  you will be able to see what areas are covered for each grade and a sample question for each one.  You will be impressed!  The children do not have to work in a certain order or sequence but instead can pick and choose the areas they want to work in (or you want them to work in ;)  The website has you answer questions in such a way that it is impossible to show mastery just by guessing.  For example when my 4th grader is working on equivalent fractions some of the questions are multiple choice, but the rest of them you have to type in the correct answer.  While you may be able to guess correctly at some of the multiple choice, you are not going to just be able to guess and input the correct answer.  If your child gets a question wrong, they can see what the correct answer is and an explanation of why.  I also really like that there are no ads, distractions, or other things children can click on within the site.  Children stay on the site and simply do their math problems.  They do unlock items on the reward board but that is like a fun treasure hunt to see what you "win" next and my boys were not at all distracted by that, in fact it is encouraging to see what will pop up next.

One of my biggest challenges with IXL was with my 2nd grader.  Alex is a struggling reader (he has mild dyslexia) but is very good at math.  IXL has audio for pre-k through 1st grade skills.  Some of the questions were easy to figure out because they were the same types of questions.  But there were times that Alex found it frustrating because he could not read the questions and did not want me sitting with him and reading it for him.

To see what other crew mates had to say click here.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary 6 month subscription to IXL for the purpose of writing a fair and honest review.  I received no other compensation.

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