Thursday, November 7, 2013

IXL.COM Schoolhouse Review Crew Review 2013 #hsreviews #hsmommas

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   Do you have more than one child that you homeschool? Does a child in your homeschool struggle with Math or strive to work harder with small, fun, positive reinforcements? If you have answered yes to any of these questions then this may be the review for you. Schoolhouse Review Crew members were given a one year subscription for a parent and up to 3 children for IXL.COM. This is an online Math membership program that is a great subsidy to any core Math curriculum. IXL  is designed to offer state standards and common core aligned math practice skills for grades K-12  and comes packed full of practice drills and gives positive reinforcement to children with virtual rewards that you can print out and save for your child. They have also added an online Language Arts membership for grades 2-4th grades and additional grades coming soon. A subscription to IXL is $9.95 for math only, $9.95 for language arts only, or $15.95 a month for both. If you purchase a yearly subscription it is $79.00 for either math or language arts, and $129.00 a year for both subjects. Each additional child is only $2 per month, or $20 per year.

         Taylor has always struggled with Math, while Math comes somewhat easy to his older siblings. We are always changing things up for Taylor to keep him motivated and so he does not get bored. I think this is why he struggled more with Math in public school, everything was always the same. Changing things for him has helped tremendously. We have found his core Math curriculum that is working and I always say if it is not broke don't fix it. However we are always looking for add on programs to help with drills and memorization. Taylor has trouble conquering core concepts and we need to be constantly working on keeping the facts fresh in his mind but at the same time we try to keep it light and fun. IXL.COM does just that with fun graphics and virtual rewards that I can print out and put in Taylor's portfolio. He just beams with pride when given small rewards for his efforts and a program that can aid in making learning stress free and fun earns an A+ in my book.

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 I love that even during the Summer Taylor can take learning on the go with his laptop and keep refreshed in Math without boring book work. There are even iPad apps for IXL now. So you can definitely make learning as portable as possible. We school somewhat year round but from May to September we try to keep it light after all it is Summer vacation. Programs like IXL are just the kind of Math that helps build on concepts that the kids learn with their core curriculum. Most kids who do not practice their Math throughout the Summer lose much of what they learned throughout the previous school year. This is why most teachers have to spend the beginning of every school year refreshing and the kids relearning. The option is to take the time to set aside some learning during the Summer. This is also a great time to introduce something new like IXL and carry it on through the school year as your child is already familiar with it. This is what we plan to do as we continue through this school year and into next Summer.

  We started with 8th grade Math for Taylor and hope to bring him closer to grade level by the Middle of the school year. He is an 9th grader this Fall, but in Math he is still only an 8th grader in some areas and beginning 9th grade in others, such as Algebra I IXL.COM feels out where your child is and once the student masters that area it slowly increases the difficulty and moves on. Taylor found this way of learning helpful as he was not rushed through and did not feel as though he was behind. He enjoyed getting his virtual rewards and I was pleased with being able to log on and see at any point how his progress was improving and with weekly emails I felt I was always in the know with how he was doing.
   Alyx is blessed to have Math come pretty easy to him and as a 10th grader is working at or above grade level in his Math. I was pleased to see that IXL had stepped up their programming to reach into 12th grade, where they used to stop at Algebra they now include Geometry and Algebra II. This made it enjoyable for Alyx not to work below his capabilities but to push himself a little farther. He likes to be challenged opposite of Taylor who likes it as stressfree as possible. Alyx is not as hard to motivate so the things that Taylor likes about IXL do not really impress Alyx. He however does like how he can move through the system at his own pace and his work continual gets harder as he masters sections. This is motivation enough for him. IXL is working to being Pre Calculus to their Online Math Membership and Alyx was pretty impressed with that, as was I.

   So you see IXL is great for students on all skill levels whether they need to drill the skills their core curriculum has taught them or if they want to push themselves to learn more there is something for every skill level.

 IXL makes it easy to be in the know at all times for both the student and the parent by always keeping up with the progress of the student. I also thought that not having to pinpoint ahead of time the level that your child is on and being able to try out all levels to find the prefect fit for them. Most companies make you pick the level upon signing up and IXL does not do that all levels Pre-K through 12th are available to you at all times. You can chose 2 different subscription options at sign up. You can pay by the month, for instance if you just want to use it for the Summer as a refresher course or a whole year, like we received.  While we are using the higher Middle School areas and beginning High School and Algebra of IXL many of the crew members have kids at all different levels, be sure to check out their reviews to see what they thought and how they used IXL in their homeschool.
  Check out the Schoolhouse Review Crew's reviews of IXL by clicking on the banner below...
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