Saturday, September 10, 2011

Couldn't have found this site at a better time...

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Just a few weeks before we picked up our little one (now 4 weeks old!), I started asking around on the different homeschooling message boards about an online program that I could use with my kids. I knew I'd be swamped taking care of a little baby, but at the same time, I really wanted the kids to continue with their studies even while we took some time off from our regular schedule. I didn't want an actual online school or a complete program, just something that would continue to sharpen and keep their knowledge fresh while we were away from the school room for a while.

A few people mentioned this program called Big IQ Kids, which is a free website (with a premium section, more on that later) designed for K to 12, offering learning exercises in math (drill), spelling, vocabulary and the states. To my delight, I was actually offered a premium subscription to this site for both my kids, and it couldn't have come at a better time!

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Big IQ Kids is kind of a unique program because it is fairly customizable for your student. In the math section you can choose to have them timed or not timed, which operations you would like them to do and in how many digits (1 digit addition, etc), and how many problems they must complete to finish the lesson. In the free spelling section you can input your own word lists and choose how many and which games they will play to learn their words. Miss O was put on the premium spelling, and hers is oddly much less customizable than the free version. The section the states is not customizable, but it starts everyone at the beginning.

I'll be honest and just say we did not use the vocabulary section all that much, and I'll tell you why. This may just be me, but the characters on this program are computerized and they speak in a very monotone and unnatural fashion. In the vocab section especially, this is apparent, and I'll just say it, the voices irritated me. I didn't feel like my kids could understand them because of the strange tone and mode of speech. They actually never complained that they couldn't, but I couldn't bear to listen to it more than necessary!

Now here's the part of Big IQ that my kids liked: after every lesson, they earned a coin. The coins are saved and then can be used to play little games on the computer. The games are short and generally pretty simplistic, but it's enough of an incentive to get them to happily do some math drills or spelling games.

As I said before, Big IQ also offers a premium section of their site. The main difference between the two is that with the premium subscription the program will monitor and track your child's progress in the various subjects and move them forward only when mastery is achieved. But you do not have to have the premium membership to benefit from this site. There is alot there that is free for you. I wish I had known about it earlier! Here is more information on just what is free and what is included in the premium price. You can purchase the premium programs separately or all four for a bundle price of $19.99 a month, or $89.99 for a year. Find out more about pricing for individual purchases here.

We were given a 1 year subscription to this site, and I am sure we will get lots of use out of it--we already have! If you are interested in Big IQ Kids, hop over here and read more reviews for this product or go to their website FAQ page and find out more!

Please note: I was given this product free of charge in exchange for my honest review. I am not obligated to give a positive review and all opinions are mine.

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3 comments:

Jennifer said...

Hi, I'm a newbie on the TOS Crew and a new follower of your blog too. Great review!

Aspiring Earth Mama said...

This looks like a great product. So impressed that you get all these products for free for your reviews. You go girl! :)

Lynn @ TDHGP said...

We reviewed Big IQ Kids last year and it was a favorite. How perfect that it came when it did for your family--GOD's Perfect timing! Enjoy!

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