IXL is an online maths and language arts program that is great for practicing and reinforcing skills. It is more of a drill site that is a fantastic supplement which helps the students master math and language arts skills they have already learnt. They approach the topics from all angles, with no distractions and plenty of rewards for hard work.
The US version of IXL maths includes grades Pre-k through Precalculus, so technically Pre-k to Grade 12. The Language Arts includes grades 2 to 8.
How did we go?
When you first log in, you can choose how to view your assignments, either by grade or topic.
Our boys chose to look at their grades. Though they are in grades 2 and 4, they started with the grade below the one they are actually in just to start with as they have not used this program. This was the case for both maths and language arts.
After choosing their grade and then a topic, the boys started answering the questions. Each question is worth a few points (different amount of points per question) and when their SmartScore reached 90 or above, the ‘Challenge zone’ was activated. In the challenge zone, each question is worth 1 point until you reach 100 points. Then you receive your reward.
As you can see above, R was doing fourth grade Maths, reviewing odd and even numbers. So far, he had attempted 3 problems and had a SmartScore of 28. This program also times the students which we found to be a good thing. Our boys liked to see if they could answer the questions in a certain amount of time.
When you have completed all the questions and have a SmartScore of 100, the students receive a ‘gold medal.’
After completing certain challenges, the students unlock a prize. On the above game board, B has unlocked 8 prizes, which really encouraged him and made him want to practice more as he loved to see what he could unlock next. When you hover over a question mark, you are told what is needed to be completed to receive that particular prize like: Master 2 skills in the category Count to 5.
When the student has completed a gold medal for a topic, a gold medal and score appear next to the skill they have completed. This was a great way to see what they had completed and which topics they hadn’t done yet.
When the students chose their skill in a particular topic, they are just asked the questions as this is a practice site not an instructional site. If the student answers a question incorrectly, an explanation appears, explaining the concept behind the question and how to answer it correctly. If our boys couldn’t remember how to correctly answer a question, they would just guess the answer and then read the explanation on how to correctly work out the answer to the question.
The reports are thorough. It lists the problems that have been attempted, time spent practicing and medals earned. It also points out trouble spots in which help is needed for the child to master particular skills. The up-to-date, easy to read reports are such a great way to monitor each student’s progress.
We did notice, when B went back to grade 1 maths, there was a little audio button next to the questions and answers and when clicked on, these verbally spoke what was written. We went through and found that this is available for Maths for grades Pre-K to Grade 1. So after this, your child will need to be able to read to correctly answer the questions.
Though our boys used their laptops for a majority of the time, they also tried the IXL app on our iPad. We found the app great and very convenient, especially when travelling or attending appointments, the boys could continue off where they were up to. This iPad app works on iPads with iOS 7.0 or greater. You can also use the app on Kindle Fires and Androids. For more information on the apps, check out the apps page: IXL Apps.
Overall, we found by practicing the maths and language drills with IXL, our boys have more confidence when they complete their school work and their skills have dramatically improved. This program is visually appealing with the use of many bright colours and the fun rewards are really enjoyed. I especially loved how you have the ability to do the lessons as many times as you wish and the questions were different every time. This was very helpful when our boys were struggling with a certain skill and needed more practice.
With over 4,000 math and language arts skills to choose from, our boys have been able to choose the topics that they have trouble with and practice them as well as reinforce the topics that they are more confident in.
Details At a Glance!!
Product: IXL Maths and IXL Language Arts
Ages: Maths: K-12th Grade Language Arts: 2nd to 8th Grade
Price: $9.95/per month or $79/year per subject for the first child, with lower prices as you add more children.