IXL Math Language Arts Practice for your Homeschool
What We Received
I received an annual subscription to IXL‘s complete Math and Language Arts programs for up to 5 children. Though, I only have one child, I totally appreciate the generosity of the deal. An annual subscription for one child for Math is $79; for Math AND Language Arts, is $129. For two children for Math, it is $99 for the year; for Math and Language Arts, is $149. Here’s a chart with the pricing information, if you’d like to learn more.
What to Expect of IXL
IXL is a thorough online practice program for Math and Language Arts for children in grades K to 12. Language Arts is a newer section, and thus it has material for children in grades 2 to 8 only. Language Arts for grades 9 and 10 is coming soon.
The website is exceptionally well put together. Despite the extensive table of contents, it doesn’t feel overwhelming or confusing at all. On the contrary, everything is easily accessible with organized all-at-a-glance views. You can pick any topic, in any order you choose, and still know, at all times, where you’re standing. I find this graphic organization extremely valuable and conducive to good learning.
You are also free to choose any topic in any grade. This is gotta be IXL’s greatest strength. Your child is not limited to practice topics within just one grade level. As homeschoolers, we know that our learning cannot always be boxed in. We like the freedom to go up or down the “grade level”, or simply delve into what piques our interest. Of course, this is a practice website, not a curriculum per se. You’re already expected to have a fairly good grasp of the material you intend to practice. Indeed, the questions get gradually more difficult as you progress through each session. Thus, the better prepared you’re from the start, the more effective the practice.
Also, IXL offers good peace of mind, if you like to keep on par with your latest State Standards. If so, you can also pick the relevant topics right from the “State Standards” tab.
How We Used IXL
During the last few weeks, Super Hero has been using IXL for about 15 to 30 minutes 3 or 4 times a week. He decided to start “reviewing” the Kindergarten stuff. He savored the fact that he knew those topics well, earning him plenty of rewards. I let him indulge of course. Nothing like a good ol’prize to feel motivated and eager, right? IXL grants rewards and prizes after so many right answers, or so much time of practice. Super Hero loved getting those, even if they were simple dogs, or more impressive planets!
When he finally started fourth grade Math and Language Arts, Super Hero said “it isn’t as much fun anymore because it’s kind of difficult”. I have sat down with him many times to do the exercises together, and I can see the questions deliver a good challenge for him. As they progress in difficulty, more time and more concentration are required. Each session is divided into 3 stages:
- The first stage is the easiest, each question is worth 8 to 10 points.
- The second is harder, each question is worth less points.
- Finally, the third stage is the hardest, each question is worth 1 point
Depending on which stage Super Hero is on, mistakes cost 1 point to up to 5 or 6 points. The objective is to get to 100 points, which means mastery. It is then that Super Hero earns his reward or certificate or extra prize.
I have access to a parent-only section, where I can see extensive reports on Super Hero’s performance. It’s a pretty sophisticated portal with dynamic bar graphs and pie charts summarizing my son’s strengths and “becoming-strong” skills. (The “becoming-strong” skills is how I choose to call them 😉 ). I appreciate the information, and the programming that goes into developing such a component. It’s really quite meticulous. Personally, however, I tend not to focus too much on these reports. Nevertheless, it’s fantastic that they’re there!
IXL iPad App
Having IXL’s iPad app is another big plus in my book. We can practice anytime, anywhere, even it it’s just to kill time, as I say. Okay, killing time with the IXL app hasn’t happened yet, but I’d like to give it a try, why not?
Our Opinion About IXL
I must say that I wasn’t too keen of a practice website. I thought I’d much rather practice through games, hands-on activities, living books or reading trustworthy literature. To me, IXL felt just like taking a test, of which I’m not a fan. (But that’s fodder for another post altogether.) Having said that though, I appreciate the top-notch quality of the website. It is a robust online practice program. You can really tell no stone was left unturned by its developers, in terms of both, its content and its usability. Super Hero seems to enjoy its question, answer and rewards format, although he wants me to stick around for the “difficult stuff”. I do gladly of course, but I mention it so you’re aware that it may not be an activity your child’s willing to do completely independent. Not for portions of it, anyway.
So IXL’s format is what it is. Based upon it, IXL is indeed an excellent practice program as it claims to be. Super Hero’s enjoyed using IXL until now, and we plan to carry on. I do appreciate IXL will continue to help Super Hero hone his Math and Language Arts skills.
In a Nutshell
So, What's the Scoop?
The Nitty Gritty
Yes, I would recommend IXL. If you enjoy question-answer-reward format, then IXL is the perfect fit for you. If you don’t, and if you’re looking for a Math or Language Arts supplement, I think there are plenty strong features in IXL to make it worth trying it out at the very least.
We do intend to continue using IXL, especially its iPad app whenever we’re out and about!
What to Learn More?
If you’d like to read more reviews, please visit my fellow Crew members websites. Or visit IXL’s website or social media accounts: