Excel With Math & Language Arts ~ IXL #Review
It’s no secret whatsoever that we love online learning with IXL around here. We’ve chatted about them before a time or two, but this year, I have even more new features to share about!
IXL began with IXL Math, and that’s what we used first. Last year, they’d started offering some IXL Language Arts. Now, language arts has expanded to cover grades 2-8, while math reaches from Pre-K all the way to Pre-Calculus. Impressive!
IXL is designed to be an interactive supplement to a student’s regular curriculum. Students may pick and choose what they wish to work on from among their currently accessible topics. One useful feature is that the parent may decide, if desired, to hide the “grade levels” from the student – which can be helpful if a student has issues with working behind grade level, or lacks motivation if they see they’re already accomplishing beyond grade level. (Though I must admit, this does just change them to letter levels… but that may be enough to reduce the focus on a touchy subject!)
IXL uses a slightly unusual setup, in that it has what my kids call the “gameboard”. Spaces with a question mark are available for them to work on. When they compete on area, they receive a virtual “prize” – the image that fills that space. Medals and other statistics are also tracked and accessible for the child to view so that they may see their progress.
What Do The Kids Think?
To mine, it’s a game. A fun one. My high-schoolers aren’t terribly thrilled that I’m expecting them to do the language arts… but then, I turned the grade levels off. Sneaky me. And the practice is DEFINITELY good for them.
Be prepared for the idea that some kids are going to want to start at the absolute lowest level and work their way up. I recommend that, as much as possible, you allow them to do this. If there are particular skills that you need them to practice for success in their regular curricula, then fine, assign a topic or two (they’re all in the format letter.number, or A.1) at a time, then let them free range. It helps solidify ALL the skills with a good, strong base… and that’s what the goal is, in the long run. They’ll catch up to themselves eventually.
What Information Does A Parent Receive?
Lots. This is one of my favorite things about IXL. It’s something I can assign the kids to do for X minutes a day, and it’s REALLY easy for me to to check and see – from any computer – whether or not they did. I have access to not only the amount of time they worked, but exactly what they worked on. There’s even information to correlate specific topics to state requirements, if that’s a feature that you need. (I don’t, since we’re in Washington and it’s a fairly low-reporting state… but it’s certainly interesting information to have!)
How Does IXL’s Pricing Work?
An IXL membership starts at $9.95/month or $79/year for one student for one subject. Significant discounts are available when choosing both subjects or for additional students in the family. Check out all the pricing details – click on the button for either monthly or yearly, then adjust the specifics numbers and subjects for your family. (You can also switch between monthly and yearly right there in the screen. Simple!)