Friday, March 25, 2011

BigIQKids- a TOS Crew Review

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I had the opportunity to review the premium edition of BigIQkids. They have both paid and free versions of the program which provides grade level instruction and practice for spelling, math, vocabulary and spelling. The pricing varies depending on the length that you purchase the product for and which ones you purchase. You can find all that information on this chart here.

First overall, I find this program very adaptable. Andrew is a wide age range for his skills and I did not have to commit to one grade level for all subjects and could vary what we were doing in each subject. I did not need to contact them to do this and it was accomplished in the parent section of the program.

Before I go into each subject, I wanted to mention that basically the way this works is that you do the school item, you are awarded a 'coin' and then you can go and play games in the game section with the amount of coins that you have. You can change this to be able to only use the coins on the weekend or turn it off entirely. You can also save them up and play more games at one time.

There are also timers in each section that you can turn off when the student is doing the work. I find this helpful for those that try too hard to beat the clock.

I liked the spelling the best. You are presented with words at the beginning of a week/lesson. They then take you thru spelling bees, word scrambles and pop quizzes with a test at the end. FYI: For the hearing impaired, they typically present written sentences so if you are familiar with the words, you can gather what word they are asking for even with the sound turned off. The sound is a tad Stephen Hawking but Andrew could understand it most of the time. I also liked in the spelling that the parent can bypass any of the lessons, add words and assign what is to be done next.

We mostly used the timed practice for math. I believe there were tests in that section but we used it just for practice. If you have read this blog for any length of time you know we don't love tests. The timed practice is nice because you can turn off the clock for the child so they don't know they are being timed. I liked that this got Andrew to do 50 math problems at a time. (That number is flexible as well in the parent / teacher section of the page.) We seem to have issues with ANY online program with clicker speed...Andrew wants to see HOW fast he can click the answer without any regard to accuracy. So at the beginning, when this was new, it was great. Then he wanted to make a 'game' out of lesson versus working on the math, and all heck broke loose. If your kid doesn't have this issue, this is a great way to practice your math.

On the states section, we again had clicker happy problems. It starts out TELLING you where the state is, and then later on you have to find it. Andrew just wanted to click away. We have found that we (parent/teacher) needs to control the materials when working on learning items and it is just so very hard to do that with a computer program. I think I will be using this program for myself for a refresher! It truly is a good way to practice your states.

Andrew has a giant, colossal, enormous, whale of a vocabulary. Doing this section at grade level would be for pure show. But I did like the format, and how they went about presenting the material. Then I found that I could do a level for SAT vocabulary. I am not one to do academics just for the sake of it but when some areas of work are not up to grade level, it does both Andrew and I some good to do something completely above where he is 'suppose' to be at. It was great fun and he did quite well on this section. That is one thing I really love about BigIQKids. You can toggle between grade levels very easily.

As usual, you can click on the banner below to see what others thought of this product. I think this is at least worth a peek with the free options. Depending on how much you use it it could be worth the dollars as well.

I received a subscription to BigIQKids in return for my honest review.

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