Friday, February 22, 2019

IXL Learning: An Adaptive Program Review

As every new teacher knows, the picture of educating those precious children in your head never seems to be the same in real life.  If every child had a perfect amount of patience, confidence and a desire to learn, then maybe, but real life brings all sorts of stumbling blocks when it comes to a successful school day. One of the many reasons I love about being a part of the Homeschool Review Crew is that we are regularly exposed to new educational programs.  Today, we are talking about IXL  from IXL Learning where they have made it their business to come up with new and effective ways to help kids learn and master educational skills.

What We Received:

IXL is an adaptive online practice program that continually evaluates your skill level through the practice of answering questions.  At all times there is a recommendation page where the program suggests what the student might be ready to work on.  However, you can also choose a skill through each grade/subject area to work on.  We received a full annual membership to IXL for two students that includes full access to all grades and subjects.
  • Math and Language Arts  (K-12th grade) 
  • Science and Social Studies  (2nd-8th grade) 
  • Spanish Introduction (7 units)
One of the big hits of this program is the awards each user can collect.  Stickers, toys, medals, certificates, you name it - a user can earn it for everything from just answering questions to spending so much time on the program.  Often the award has to be revealed on the award page, something my kids thoroughly enjoy every time!

The Analytics portion of the program includes a full report on each student's usage, trouble spots, scores, questions, and progress.  This tool alone provides fantastic feedback for the parent to effectively teach and guide the student.  There is also a page where you can look up your state's educational standards, which could be very useful in preparing for any type of testing or to simply understand where your student is in comparison.  To make the program even more versatile than it already is, they offer the entire site in Spanish

What We Thought:

J (8) and miss Z (5 1/2) really enjoyed their time on this program.  They were always excited to tell each other when they earned awards.  In the diagnostic area, whenever they would get a question they didn't know, there was always an option to skip it that said 'I don't know this yet' which was helpful especially for miss Z.  

I especially enjoy the feedback I get on where each child is in each subject and skill.  Our homeschooling isn't a test or grades based approach at all so anytime I get confirmation from outside sources, it helps my confidence in meeting their educational needs.

While IXL is extensive in the subjects and skills you can practice, it is not a teaching program.  It provides hints along the way, but it couldn't stand on its own when introducing new information.  I'm a big advocate for plenty of offline learning so that wasn't a problem for us.  For those in the market for a program like this, I do think it is important to note simply because you can't expect this program to teach a new concept the way some programs do.  Our experience is that everything they do, they seem to be doing it really well, but teaching new information isn't something they are trying to do.

Connect with IXL Learning on Social Media

Are your students older than mine?  Junior high and high school kids will likely have a different experience. Check out the 90 Homeschool Review Crew families that also tried out IXL!

Immersive, Adaptive Learning Online {IXL Learning Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

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