I recently had the chance to review the website IXL.com, which is a website provides Online Math Membership for children in grades PreK-12. The website includes high school math like Algebra I, Geometry and Algebra II, and Pre-Calculus is coming soon. The website also has Online Language Arts Membership for children in grades 2-4, but since my youngest is in high school I didn’t try that part out.
Each grade level has many skills, and students work through topics systematically to achieve mastery, earning rewards and achievements along the way. Progress reports are emailed to parents with details about a child’s progress each week or reports can be accessed on the website at any time.
My son worked through topics in the Geometry section. I thought that this was a good way for him to get extra practice at skills he had already learned. The geometry section also includes an Algebra review, which I encourage him to do so he doesn’t forget all his Algebra skills.
We found the program was an easy way for him to get extra math practice in. I had him spend 10-15 minutes a day using the program for review, after completing his regular math lesson. Some topics have lots and lots of questions, and some have only a few. My son found that a little frustrating, because sometimes he would get 8 points for answering a question right and sometimes he would only get 1 point. He did like seeing the numbers go up and getting rewards and achievements. Last week he got a certificate for finishing 500 problems, and he enjoys that kind of recognition.
IXL’s slogan is “Practice that Feels Like Play”, and while that might be true at the younger levels at the high school level this is practice that feels like practice. My son didn’t mind doing the work, but it wasn’t something he loved either.
One thing I wish it had is the ability for me to create assignments for my son. He basically just skips around and does the topics he feels like doing. I give him suggestions, but it would be nice for me to have a way of specifying which topics he really needs more on. As you might expect he tends to choose the topics he thinks will be the easiest!
The convenience of having it online makes it perfect for using over the summer or during school breaks. Last summer we didn’t do any formal math, and I think using a program like this would help minimize some of the learning loss that occurs during breaks. The program is aligned with state standards, and I think it is an excellent tool for parents whose children need more math practice, whether they are in school or homeschooled. While I liked it as a supplement I don’t think you could use it as a complete math curriculum.
A subscription to IXL Math costs $9.95 per month, or $79 per year for one student, with additional costs if you add Language Arts or additional students.
Click to read more reviews from the Schoolhouse Review Crew and see what other parents thought about the Math and Language Arts practice that IXL offers.