IXL is a Math practice site for K-12, and a Language Arts practice site for K-8. For the past several weeks, I have been using the IXL Math and IXL Language Arts with my Preschooler, 2nd grader and 4th grader. We did our practice on the computer or on the iPad using the IXL apps.
When I say that IXL is a Math and Language Arts practice site, I mean that it is designed to help your student practice concepts they have already learned. It is most useful, if you select a topic that you have already covered in your homeschool and let your child practice the concept on IXL.
While I did do this for the review, I also sat next to my students and explained new concepts, and then I worked the first few problems with them until they understood how to do them. Then I let them practice on their own.
The problems start out easy, and IXL helps them through the first set by underlining key words in the Language Arts. Then for the next set it removes the underlines so the child can find the key words on their own. In this way, it is progressive. It also adapts to your child as they answer problems correctly, and the problems get more challenging.
Because it is a practice site, it was challenging for us. Malachi, my 4th grader, says,
"It's challenging because it's hard to get the questions right. There's a lot of stuff I haven't learned. There are a couple things I know and those are easy."
I mostly sat next to Eliana, who is in the 2nd grade, while she worked.
Here is a sample practice problem:
While it does not teach, per se, if you miss a problem, it does give a short teaching (a reminder) or an explanation.
And the program gives plenty of positive feedback and encouragement.
After our first few rounds, I did figure out how to go in and change the settings to personalize our accounts.
To do this, I just clicked on Profiles and gave each child a name.
IXL emails me a certificate letting me know how many problems my children have answered. . .
Or how long they spent practicing each subject.
It also lets me know if my child did not practice this week.
Bo loves to do his IXL Math on the iPad, but he does need me sitting right there with him to "practice." On most of the Pre-K Math problems, it will speak the prompt if he clicks on it, but not all of the problems have this feature. There is supposed to be audio for all pre-K to fifth-grade math skills. I liked this feature originally because even Bo can do preschool math on his own with it, but it didn't work for us above the Pre-K level.
Audio is not available for the Language Arts, so your child does need to be a good reader to use IXL for Language Arts practice. Eliana is working at the 2nd grade level in Language Arts (where it begins), but needs my help to do so.
Malachi can work pretty independently but tries to do subjects we have not covered, so he doesn't like it as much, and finds it too challenging.
I really like that it can be used on the iPad and find myself assigning it as a transition subject or for a quick break for me while I tend to another child or get ready for the next lesson. It's nice to have something to grab that requires no preparation!
If you are considering IXL for Math or Language Arts practice, it is important to remember that this site is intended for practice only. It is intended to be used as a supplement to your Math or Language Arts curriculum and not as a replacement.
It does seem advanced, so if you are not following a rigorous academic plan, I would plan to work a grade level below to truly use IXL as a practice site.
- IXL Math covers PreK through Precalculus (PreK-grade 12).
- IXL Language Arts covers Grades 2-8.
- Monthly: $9.95/month for one student for one subject, or $15.95/month for both math and language arts. Additional students are only an extra $2 per month.
- Annually: $79 for one subject, or $129 for both Math and Language Arts. Each additional student is $20 a year.