I've tried a lot of different math programs over the years and it can be difficult to find the one that is just right for each child. No matter what program we are using I find it is very important to do review and drill often. I was so excited to have the opportunity to use IXL Math and IXL Language Arts from IXL with our children this year.
IXL is a review based program. It doesn't teach a concept with a demonstration and then give the student practice questions. Instead it is intended that your going to use this to review concepts that have already been taught in your main curriculum program. However if a student answers a question incorrectly they are shown a detailed explication of what they did wrong and how to find the correct answer.
IXL math covers grades Pre K through 12th grade and IXL Language Arts is a new addition to the IXL program and currently covers grade 2 to grade 8.
When you sign onto IXL a menu pops up that lets you choose what user you want to use. I love how simple it is, we have one login for the family that everyone can use. That makes it so much easier to remember just one set of login information and the kids can share computers if need be.
The parent account you can easily see the skills that your student has mastered and what skills they need more practice on. I also love that it keeps track of how much time they've spent on the IXL site. I also LOVE that each week I'm emailed a report for each one of my students. This shows me at a glance how much time each student has practiced on IXL that week and what topics they've worked on. You also receive emails with certificates you can print for your children when they have reached certain points. Our 5 year old loved getting one when he had practiced for an hours worth of math! I think IXL has one of the best parent admin areas that I have ever used. It's simple but powerful.
IXL organizes math skills by grade and by topic. You can pick any grade level for your student to work in and move them up or down as you see fit. You can also use the topic page that would list ALL of their unit lessons about that topic on one page, separated into grade groups. I think this is great if you have a problem area you want to work on or if you like to study math using a unit study approach.
IXL also aligns it's math programs to our Canadian provincial curriculum. This makes it really easy to find the right skills your student needs to practise if you want to use the same scope and sequence that your province does.
In the provincial curriculum there are unlimited practice problems for each learning objective and it tracks the students progress and produces a provincial curriculum report you can use to evaluate your students.
How We Used IXL
I received a 1 year subscription for 5 of my children for the Canadian IXL Math program. I also received a 1 year subscription for IXL Language Art, that is currently only part of the USA site.
I used IXL math for my children ages 5, 7, 9, 10 and 12. I also used IXL Language Arts with my 12 year old and 9 year old. My main reason for using IXL was to review concepts we've already taught our children. Because of this I started each one below grade level. I often find it's the skills taught further in the past, that if not practiced often they will forget. We used IXL math 3 to 4 times a week for each of the children. When they logged on I let them pick what topic they wanted to practice. Some of them wanted to start at the beginning of a grade others enjoyed picking something new each day.
As they worked through a set of questions IXL keeps track of their "smart score". This is a score in the side bar that goes up as they get answers correct. When they answer a question incorrectly their score goes down. As they progress in the question set they earn red, blue and green ribbons. Then when they've reached 100 out of 100 they earn a prize! This prize is a little picture on their awards card. The goal is to uncover the whole award card. It's amazing how motivating this simple idea is. When they've finished this unit and go back to the main lesson screen their completion is shown with a ribbon metal beside it. This makes is so easy for children to keep track of what they've already finished.
Another thing I love about IXL is that they have a audio option. The student can click a speaker symbol to have the math question read out loud to them. Often there are speakers beside the possible answers as well. My 5 year old love this because he's more then capable of working at the Pre K and K math level I have him on, but he can't yet read the questions. Since he can have them read to him, I don't have to sit with him the entire time he's working on his math review. I still appreciate this option for my older kids. Some times children get tired reading or have trouble with a larger word. Also having the questions read aloud is wonderful if you have a late reader or dyslexic child!
We haven't used the IXL Language Arts as much as we have used the math program but we are enjoying it as well. It starts at the 2nd grade level goes to grade 8. It is a newer addition to the IXL program. Unfortunately it doesn't have the audio option and that has slowed down the use of it with my younger children. I have to be with them, to read and explain the questions. I really hope the audio option is added to the LA section.
We have really enjoyed using IXL for our math and LA review and plan to keep using it. Although IXL is intended as a review program, I can easily see how for some students you could use it for a teaching course. We've done this with some topics our children wanted to practice, but didn't remember how or we had not yet covered. I had them answer the first question wrong, then went over the directions with them. Once they understood what it was asking of them we moved on to the rest of the question set with out issue.
- 1 year math subscription for 1 child is $79
- 1 year subscription for 1 child math and Language Arts is $129
- Additional children are an extra $2 a month or $20 a year.
- 1 year subscription for 2 children math is $99
- 1 year subscription for 2 children math and Language Arts is $149
The math program is available for a large number of countries. Currently the Language Arts program is only available on the American website. However people living in other countries are able to order and use the American Language Arts program if they want to. Other then some spelling differences I haven’t noticed a difference between IXL’s American LA program and Canadian programs that I have used.
Connect with IXL
I would recommend IXL for anyone looking for a great independent review program! To read more reviews of IXL Math and Language Art’s click the banner below.