Sometimes a student needs something different than pencil and paper, or flash cards. Every child learns differently and using IXL is one way math and language objectives can be reinforced.
IXL Math and Language Arts is an on-line system that is filled with practice. Memberships cost $9.95 per month or $79.00 for the year. This allows for both the math (PreK – 12) and language (2nd – 4th grade) sections of activities. When I looked at the main page where each grade is listed, I was AMAZED at all of the objectives that IXL covers. The program also has state standards and the Common Core standards listed if you need those for your homeschool.
- Comprehensive coverage of K–12 math curriculum. Your kids won’t miss a thing!
- Interactive language arts exercises for grades 2–4.
- 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 to first-grade math 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.
- iPad app for mobile math practice.
How We Used the Product:
Even though I had access to the Language Arts section of the program, I focused on the Math part. Both of my children excel in math, but I wanted to be sure I hadn’t skipped over something, or missed a weak objective with them. I set up the account and followed the directions to get each kid ready. While I did reading with one child, I put the other one on the computer to work on one of the math practice sessions.
At first things were a little rocky as we learned how the program works. I started with my kindergartener who is not reading on her own yet. Out of the many objectives for kindergarten, I chose one on counting. The practice began and I read the directions to her and off she went. It wasn’t until she began the next objective that I realized there was a symbol to click on and the computer would read the problem. That was quite helpful. After Sweet Cheeks practiced a while, she earned some awards. A board with many squares is shown on the screen and because of the skills she completed, or the amount of time she worked, she was allowed to click on certain squares and they flipped open to show an animal or “prize” of some sort. To the right of the awards, there is a chart that tells the student what needs to happen for the next award to “unlock.”
Then I got my first grader on the computer. RB sat down and chose which skill he wanted to practice. Because there were so many I chose 3-4 and then he picked from those. He could sit and do the whole thing on his own. He figured it out quickly.
Both of the kids LOVED clicking on the awards when given the opportunity. But after about 3 separate practice sessions both of the kids had no motivation to do any of the practice. I asked them why, and both of them told me that they did not have fun. So instead of working with another child while one was on the computer, I put both of them on a computer and watched.
I can see why they became bored. There are LOTS of practice questions for one objective. I didn’t sit and count, but the program keeps track of how many questions are answered and it looked like there were 50 to 100 per objective. Maybe there was a certain numerical point system for the number of correct answers, I’m not sure. But it seems to me that if a child is getting 10 or more correct in a row, then the practice should move on to something harder. It looks like each objective stands alone, instead of linking together. Even for a child who struggles, I can see how the questions could become monotonous.
If an incorrect answer is given, a simple step-by-step instruction is given for the child to read. I assume the computer could read it, but my kids never stayed on it long enough for me to see because they just clicked right through it to the next question. They wanted to get it done and click on the awards.
One of the things I appreciated about this program was the weekly email updates telling me the progress of the children. That was good.
I don’t think this math system is a good fit for my family. I can see how it would be useful for tutors looking for weaknesses, or for children who enjoy drill and practice. I do think this program would be good for those students in upper level math who enjoy learning on their own. All they would need to do is read through a few of the “incorrect” explanations and they would pick up on the objective being reviewed.
Even though this was not a good fit for my family, IXL.com does have its place in the education world. IXL.com earns 3 calculators out of 5 calculators for homeschool friendliness!