When our family was offered the chance to review IXL Math and
IXL Language Arts by IXL, my curiosity was piqued.
IXL's slogan "practice that feels like play" speaks of something that is right up my family's alley. I am a strong believer in the old adage that "practice makes perfect." Yet, I am also a conscientious rejector of "drill and kill" I just do not see the point of drilling any skill or bit of knowledge to the point where a child's enthusiasm for learning flags.
In fact, at this point on our children's lives, maintaining creative, inquiring minds is far more important to my husband and me than forcing automaticity in their skills and learning. That said, we still appreciate tools that encourage such automaticity without deadening their desire. So, I was curious how IXL might work into our children's skill building and retention.
What is IXL?
IXL is an online learning site that currently offer PreK-grade 12 students practice in about 4000 skills!
IXL Math offers Prek-12th graders practice with over 3000 skills. The easiest of these cover counting to three and naming shapes. More challenging levels, which have recently been added to IXL, center on higher level Geometry, Algebra, Precalculus and more. So, there is something for every student in a household.
IXL Language Arts currently offers practice with nearly 800 practice skills at grade 2-8 levels. Basic skills include parts of speech and punctuation. More advanced ones include Greek and Latin roots, analogies and more. All provide easy, engaging online practice of key language arts skills.
Both IXL Math and IXL Language Arts also offer parents progress reports which detail which skill challenges children have completed, what their proficiency with these were and which Common Core or state curriculum standards the skills align with.
How We Used IXL and What We Thought
"I like that there is easy, breezy games that I can do all by myself that I can choose," said Luke.
- "I like that some of the problems are the same," commented Jack. He meant that they are similar and, thus, easy for him to understand and succeed at.
- "You get to geel confident," Nina said. "It's for all different ages and it's fun!"
As for me, I am impressed with the way IXL ties a bit of fun into what might otherwise become drill drudgery. IXL Math and IXL Language Arts offer repetition, motivation and ease through such features as:
- words of encouragement that pop up such as "Brilliant!" and "You got it!"
- opportunities to earn virtual rewards (which, at first, annoyed my children in that the rewards are simply pictures on screen but, later, enticed them)
- reports for Moms and Dads to keep tabs on their children's progress
- opportunities for children to practice and master skills on a continuum.
I can attest that IXL has been an effective review and learning tool in our home and can see it being just as effective a tool for those practicing a more structured, curriculum-based home or brick-and-mortar education choice for their children.
- IXL is available as an app for iPads with iOS 7.0 or greater, for Kindle Fires and for Androids that are 7" or larger.
- Family memberships to IXL start at just $9.95/month or $79/year for one subject. Each additional child costs $2/month or $20/year.