Monday, March 26, 2012

IXL.com: Online Math Program My Kids Love!

  1. I don't love math. Since everything builds on something else, if you master something and then space out for a class, you are behind and getting Ds all of a sudden. That's my school career in a nutshell.
  2. Many math teachers are a snore. I had ONE decent math teacher from kindergarten through 2 years of college. She was a redhead who replaced a guy we couldn't even understand in 10th grade geometry. We still all flunked that year, which isn't really fair. The school hired a moron and we suffer!? Then this chick comes in and ROCKED IT! She didn't move forward until every single person understood. And she had a whole YEAR to teach in half a year.
  3. I can teach elementary math just okay. But I have to admit that Joel was doing fine until I started breeding again (Eva and Samuel) and my attentions were elsewhere. Michael is just "good at math" ... he just gets it. So he and Joel right now are basically at the same level, with holes to fill in by me.
  4. On my very own blog there was an ad for IXL.com and I clicked on it and signed up! For 3 kids it's only $14.95 per month. I didn't get the year membership because I wasn't sure it was for us. It's so  hard to find something perfect for your homeschooling family when there is so much out there to choose from.
  5. I love IXL.com because I'm a relaxed homeschooler. The kids can do as much or as little as they want each day (even weekends, holidays, summer), you can pick and choose the grade level and the skill you want to see if they know. If they are rocking it, they keep going. They can do it at 8 a.m. or 8 p.m.
  6. There are like over 200 skills for each grade level (not kindergarten or pre-K), and if your 8-year-old doesn't know odds/evens for 3rd grade, no worries! He can try out the 2nd grade stuff for odds/evens and even go back to 1st grade if needed.
  7. I feel like I'm doing SOMETHING instead of just avoiding math. Of course I'll have to teach some of the holes, but this seems to be a much more peaceful way of doing things. I sit at the table next to the kid who is working and am able to work on other things but be available. I can change a diaper or wash dishes if I need to, as well. The kids don't have to get 100% in every skill, but they WANT to ... and as they master skills, put time in and answer questions, they get "award" ... on a grid they flip over cards to find prizes on them like animals and farm stuff and other fun things.
  8. I highly recommend this program! As one kid is on the laptop doing math, I have the others doing a Story Starter or art or just independent play.
I'm looking for your online homeschool recommendations. I'm thinking of trying out abcmouse.com for Eva, for example. And I have a friend over at Virtually Yours who is making me want to check out virtual school options, except for I don't want to have 10 computers all over the house!

Updated 4/11/12 to add: We still love this program! And it looks like they'll be getting language arts stuff sometime, too. For only $14 per month 3 of my kids can do math, AND my 4-year-old can work on the PreK stuff (free) on one of the other kids' accounts. Sometimes I can leave them alone and sometimes I sit next to them and sometimes I have to help them through it. Comment if you have any questions.

Updated 5/18/12 to add: Still enjoy it. I love getting the emailed reports that say, "John has demonstrated 50% proficiency in 1st Grade." You know you and your child are really getting somewhere!
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