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Friday, March 25, 2011

TOS Review Big IQ Kids

"Where's your sister?"  "She's doing her schoolwork."  "It's not time to start school yet."  "She didn't want to wait."

I have been hearing that around our school a lot lately.  At least since we started reviewing BigIQKids!  The youngest two have been reviewing this website and they have been asking to do it each day.  There has been no whining or arguing when it comes time to get them to do their schoolwork.  Since the two that were helping to review this website are younger, we just added it onto their regular schoolwork and it worked out nicely.

Big IQ Title Banner

But before I get too far into how we used it, let me tell you what it is.  BigIQKids is a website that has Math, Spelling, Geography, and Vocabulary lessons for grades 1-8.  BUT I used this with my Kindergartner and it has worked out very well.  I would also use this for my 7th grader to work on Geography without any problem. turns your computer into an online learning academy by providing daily academic lessons for young learners in an interactive, easy to follow format. For the best results, children should log into daily and complete their lessons and quizzes. This “daily” strategy builds invaluable study habits, leads to better grades and greater self confidence. 

The lessons are set by the program but are interactive and change according to what the child learns and knows.  It is an adaptive program that guides the student to more practice or less practice based on the questions they get right or wrong.  BigIQKids also sends out progress report emails that state what the student did and how they scored on it.  It is a great way to keep tabs on what they are doing and monitor their progress. 

Spelling: With a over 40,000 word dictionary, SpellingTime comes pre-loaded with 40 lessons for K-8th grade appropriate word lists. Or, as a parent or teacher, you can easily enter your own word lists and SpellingTime will automatically create a week’s worth of lessons, quizzes and tests around your own list with the goal of achieving 100% on the Friday spelling test. --My thoughts: I didn't input any of our own lists, I just let the girls use the pre-loaded ones and they had plenty of practice with their lists.  The Kindergartner was challenged but not beyond what she could handle.  The third grader had enough of a challenge with her words to keep her interested and asking for more!  Each time they would log on they could practice the words, take a test, or participate in a spelling bee.  This was so much fun for my girls and their spelling has improved to boot.  :-)

Math: You can set up a child's lesson to mirror what they are doing in their current curriculum. For example, if the child is on double digit addition and single digit multiplication, the program can focus on just these two areas providing invaluable practice and reinforcement that is certain to provide them with the tools to ace their next test. Or, BigMathTime can automatically generate grade specific and subject specific lessons as per your requirements. --My thoughts: The Math portion is just practice on the facts.  The program generates problems based on what they are learning.  You can choose to have all addition, or subtraction, multiplication or division, or a mix of any of them.  You can set up how many problems are

: With an extensive library of elementary through SAT prep words, BigVocabTime comes pre-loaded with word lists OR, as a parent or teacher, you can easily enter your own word lists and the program will automatically create a week’s worth of lessons, quizzes and tests around your own list with the goal of achieving 100% on the week’s vocabulary test.  --My thoughts: The vocabulary was a little too difficult for my Kindergartner as it puts the Kindergartners as a group of 1st and under.  It was too frustrating for her so we just skipped it unless she had help from an older sister.  My 3rd grader enjoyed the vocabulary section and learned a lot about words and definitions.  One thing that my Kindergartner did learn was what synonym and antonym were, so that's pretty cool!

U.S. States
: Every elementary student will be confronted with the need to know their US State facts to mastery. BigStatesTime is the ultimate tool in learning the state's location, capital, spelling, abbreviations and general state facts. The program allows parents/teachers to add additional facts which will be included in the child's lessons and the program culminates in a “State Mastery Exam” that, if passed with 100% mastery, awards the child a State Master Certificate. 
--My thoughts: The States program is a little confusing at first but after you get used to it it is pretty cool.  First you try to locate the state on the map and for my youngest one it would highlight the state to help her out.  The more she practiced the less it gave her hints.  There is another section that gives fun/interesting facts about the state and then asks questions based on the facts they just heard.  It's a great way to learn the states!

We have really enjoyed using BigIQKids and will continue with it for the next year.  Even through the summer!

The pricing of this program is a little confusing so I would recommend going to the website
and checking it out.  Basically this website is Free but there is also a Premium Membership as well.  The Free version does not include all of the bells and whistles that the Premium Membership offers so it might be worth it to check it out.  You can get a Premium Membership with all four programs for $19.99 a month.  Or you can get individual programs like Spelling, Vocabulary, or Math for $7.99 a month.  The States program is available for $39.99 for the year.  Check out this page for all the different options there are for pricing.

Want to know the difference in the Free Membership vs. the Premium Membership?  This page explains it really well as well as showing you everything you get in one snapshot.  There are some great benefits from the Premium Membership but the Free version would be a great option as well.

BigIQKids has been a lot of fun to use and the girls particularly like the way the characters talk to them.  The voices are computerized but that didn't bother us, we just like the things they say!  There are also games to play after the lessons are completed and coins have been earned.  These are just fun games like putting make up on a girl or dressing her up.  There is a bunch of others including one with a naked guy in it.  It didn't show anything but it was just the idea of him being naked creeped my girls out.  Other than that one game, they have enjoyed them all and I like the fact that they have to earn coins by doing schoolwork before they play.  :)

If you want to know what other Crew Members thought of BigIQKids, head on over to the Crew Blog and check them out!

**I received a subscription to BigIQKids through The TOS Crew in exchange for my honest review.

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