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Friday, September 16, 2011

Big IQ Kids TOS CREW REVIEW

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     This has been a busy first full week back to school and we have been busy working on our studies, and also reviewing some great products from The TOS Crew. Today I am here to tell you about another wonderful online program for your children. Big IQ Kids has graciously offered some of the crew members a one year premium membership for Math and States for 2 of our kids. The boys have been busy the last few weeks scoping out the site and getting the hang of things. I too have been poking around to see what I like and maybe some other things that I may not care for. So that I could bring you a thorough review.

  Here is what Big IQ Kids has to say about their programming.

Big IQ Kids Programs







Spelling & Vocabulary: With a over 40,000 word dictionary, BigIQkids spelling & vocabulary program comes pre-loaded with 40 lessons for K-adult appropriate word lists. Or, as a parent or teacher, you can easily enter your own word lists and the program will automatically create a week’s worth of lessons, quizzes and tests around your own list with the goal of achieving 100% on the Friday spelling and vocabulary tests. The program includes tracking and progress reports. You can build your own curriculum or use our default settings. The program is completely customizable and goes around a student's progress.






Math: You can set up a child's lesson to mirror what they are doing in their current curriculum. For example, if the child is on double digit addition and single digit multiplication, the program can focus on just these two areas providing invaluable practice and reinforcement that is certain to provide them with the tools to ace their next test. Or, BigMathTime can automatically generate grade specific and subject specific lessons as per your requirements.






U.S. States: Every elementary student will be confronted with the need to know their US State facts to mastery. BigStatesTime is the ultimate tool in learning the state's location, capital, spelling, abbreviations and general state facts. The program allows parents/teachers to add additional facts which will be included in the child's lessons and the program culminates in a “State Mastery Exam” that, if passed with 100% mastery, awards the child a State Master Certificate.

  The boys have been primarily using this program for Math and Spelling the last couple of weeks and a little bit of the States program too. You can customize the lessons for each session by logging into each child's account. Your values need to add up to 100% so for instance 10% of the problems will be 2x2 digit multiplication, and then maybe 20% of the problems will be triple digit addition, or division problems with remainders and such. The one thing I did not like about the customizing part is that there is not a separate login for the parent.  You have to login to each child's account to set up the days work. You can set the amount of work they are required to do and/or change the difficulty level. I would have preferred a parent account and then you purchase each child's account through that parent login. This would have made it easier to keep track of the kids progress and had my kids clicked on anything I did not tell them to, they would have figured this out and probably tried to manipulate the program so they had easier or less work to do.




  They are required to do a lesson a day in order to earn a game coin, which this was a great motivator for Taylor as he loves to play games. Some of the games are ones he has played on the Internet so he was familiar with how to play which is great since you can only use the coins you have earned. So if your child doesn't "get" the game he will lose out on the coin he earned. There are pros and cons to having the coin operated game system verses the time limit of other online programs that reward the student with game time for doing their work. With the coin version such as with Big IQ Kids they get to complete the game they are playing without having to worry about time running out. On the flip side game play goes much quicker and therefor the reward is not as fruitful at least in my opinion.

The Math program shows the kids visually if they got the problems wrong or right by placing an X or a thumbs up by the problem. The child will earn mastery when they complete all problems without error. If they do not complete with Mastery they will need to redo the same type of problems on their next session unless you bypass this by changing the levels yourself, hence how I said if the kids figured this out they could manipulate the system.

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  The States program helped them to memorize the placement of the states in our nation. Repetition works well with my kids so this was a great refresher after not working on some of this stuff for a while. I really liked the fact that there were many things the boys could do with the Premium version of the States programming. Such as multi-player fun facts game, interactive map with quizzes and also movies that taught commonly known facts about each state.
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  My favorite program is the Spelling program, I was impressed that their spelling included adult spelling lessons as well as SAT prep. This is a beneficial aspect of any school program. Teachers in public school settings can even set up their whole classroom and use their word lists from their curriculum. This is all a free program. I was impressed by this. What a wonderful asset to any classroom homeschool or not.
 Every day the children are given a lesson with that week's spelling words, such as simply retyping the words for visual memorization to selected games like hangbot and crossword puzzles. This helped the children master their spelling tests in a fun and creative way.

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   Another aspect I love the idea of although we have not tried it out yet is their E Books that can be downloaded right to your IPAD or computer they are 3.99 each. They do not read the story to your child your child actually has to read it and apparently comes with a digital bookmark to keep their place. We are leaning towards trying this out with Taylor he seems to like to read on our E Reader, such as a Kindle or Nook and I PAD or his IPOD Touch more than a book so maybe this is they key to getting him to read more of his own will.

There is so much to do on Big IQ Kids whether it is part of their Free or Premium programming you are bound to find something that will fit with your students I could go on and on all day long to tell you about it all, but you should just go check it out and see for yourself. All in all I give Big IQ Kids 4.5 out of 5 stars in my book. So don't delay check them out today.



Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Crew I was given 2 Premium one year memberships from Big IQ Kids to try out and post a review. I was not compensated in anyway. I was simply given the memberships in exchange for my review. Although I did receive these memberships Free it did not influence the outcome of my review. All opinions are mine and should not be used solely to make your purchasing decisions. Please check out the other crew members' reviews too.

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