At an event in December, a friend of mine who works in a traditional classroom ask me if I had ever used a subscription to IXL with my children, I told him that I had not heard of the program. It was a busy month and I honestly forgot to even go check it out until January rolled around and I saw IXL Learning show up as a vendor on our list of Crew reviews. If he had not mentioned it in December I’m not sure I would have given it a chance but I am so glad that I did.
I started out trying the full annual subscription to IXL with both my four year old son and my eleven year old daughter. The four year old tried several different objectives and did well with the ones that he worked on but honestly did not enjoy the program. I think that it was too repetitive and not interactive enough for his age group. He fought me on doing activities after the first few attempts and eventually we decided it was just not working for him and let him stop.
My daughter, however, had a completely different experience. When we first started I made the mistake of trying to have her do the diagnostic component all in one sitting. That test took hours and she still was not done. It narrows down the levels of each component and that takes quite a few questions. It is good information but looking back I would have had her break that up and do a few diagnostic questions each day until we had the data we needed. Once we moved from the diagnostic component to the practice component she absolutely loved the program. She was able to earn virtual prizes (nesting dolls for the fifth grade lessons) that really seemed to motivate her to keep going. She was actually doing more lessons that I required in order to earn more prizes.
My daughter asked if she could use it for her complete curriculum as she was really enjoying it. However, the program is set up as a practice component and not a complete curriculum. It has review in many different areas and is very comprehensive that way, but it does not include lessons to teach new material. There is some information and explanation for questions that are incorrect but not enough to be a primary curriculum. For fifth grade alone there are questions for over 700 skills spread across the areas of math, language arts, social studies, and science. I do intend to allow her to continue to use this annual subscription to IXL to practice and review her skills throughout the year. She is very motivated to do well and I am pleased with the growth. We primarily focused on grammar because those were areas that I knew she needed more practice and I could see growth in her performance as she went through the practice questions.
Overall, I think that the format of IXL does not lend itself well for Pre-K but that it is a great resource for older students. My fifth grader loved it and I could see it also being beneficial to my seventh grader. While we have not yet reached those levels the math even goes up to Calculus. I know that could come in handy with high schoolers who need more practice or review. I think it would be a great way to review skills before placement test, SATs, etc. To find out how the other Crew members utilized the program and what they thought don’t forget to click below and read more reviews.
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