IXL is an online math program used around the world to help kids practice their math skills. The program for each grade level is aligned to state standards, and offers practice on various math concepts. As a parent, you have access to mulitple reports on your childs progress, including how they are progressing on those standards. IXL is used in schools, and homeschools, around the world.
I used this program as additional practice for my 5th and 8th grade sons, and they enjoyed it (well, my youngest “enjoyed” it, my oldest “didn’t hate it” but for him, when it comes to math, I consider that a success!). As the parent, you set up accounts for you and your children. You log in from the main page with the general account info, but then you are prompted to “choose” who you are (i.e. “mom”, “child 1”, “child 2” etc.) and enter your password. As the parent, I can look up my kids reports, or I can play on IXL myself, which I did!
I practiced a little from each of my boys grade levels, as well as some others. I will say this isn’t really a math “instruction” program, as much as it is a math “practice” program. If your child is not familiar with a particular math concept (like “create frequency tables”) they would need to learn how to do that concept first, then practice it on IXL. There are no videos showing you how to do the problems, however, if you get a problem wrong, you can click on “explanation” and it does tell you how to solve the problem.
You can choose which topics you want to practice, which is nice, because I chose to focus on those things my boys really needed to work on. For my younger son, this was multiplying and dividing fractions. His first lesson, didn’t go so well, but as time went on, he did get better. As your child works through problems, a timer keeps track of how long it is taking, and their score goes up and down, depending on if they got the problem correct or not. As their score goes up they earn award “ribbons” which they can use on the rewards board. Basically, they earn “pictures” of items (like a fruit stand) on a checkerboard as they master certain concepts. My youngest thought this was cool, my oldest kind of rolled his eyes, but 8th graders are like that!! My youngest did need to use scratch paper to solve some of the problems, as he couldn’t do them all in his head.
My oldest son needed practice in polynomials, so that’s what I had him do. Now, this boy does NOT like math, so getting him to do anything is a chore. IXL wasn’t as bad, because the lessons can be as long or short as you choose. Since this was additional practice, I asked both of my boys for 15 minutes each time they logged on. My older son did pretty well with this program, although he would get frustrated because he would sometimes hit a wrong button on the computer and his answer would be wrong, which caused his score to go down. I told him he needed to slow down and pay attention to what he was doing! It’s funny how someone can be a perfectionist, but still not want to pay attention to details!!
I liked the fact that I would get a weekly email report of my kids activities and progress, in addition to being able to log on and look at these reports anytime I wanted. There is a LOT of information included in the reports, like how long your child spent working, what they worked on, how they did, etc. etc. This makes if very easy for me to track what my kids are doing, without having to be over their shoulder every second. The IXL program also adapts to your child’s level, increasing the difficulty in the questions as your child improves.
IXL costs $9.99 per month or $79.00 for a one year membership. That is for one child, for addtional children you would need to add $2.00/month or $20.00 per year. That means this program would cost me $99.00 per year to use with both my kids. While I do like the program, that is quite costly, and I’m not sure I would find room for it in my budget, especially since it is just for extra practice. However, I would definitely consider a monthly membership for the summer, just so my kids could have an easy way to practice their math skills while we aren’t formally doing school.
To learn more about IXL visit the website here:
*Disclaimer: I was given free access to this program in exchange for writing this review. All opinions expressed are my own.