Thursday, September 15, 2011

Big IQ Kids Review

I think my kids are smart, but I'm not going to talk about that in this blog.  You see, I have had the opportunity to review an online, interactive product intended to enhance the learning of children in grades K through 6 in the homeschool setting...
My daughter begged me at the end of school last year to find an online math program for her this year because she hates to do worksheets.  When given the opportunity to review Big IQ Kids, I jumped at the chance.  I was eager to see if this would be just what she wanted.

The first time I went to the Big IQ kids website, it looked pretty busy.  They list all of their programs right there on the home page for you to see.  Across the top of the page, underneath the logo, were links to pages about their products, testimonials, frequently asked questions, a page about how to use Big IQ Kids, and a very large link for the Member's Log In page.  They make it very clear and obvious where to go to sign in.  That was helpful on a page filled with so much other information.

Once to the member log in page, you simply have to enter your username and password if you are a member.  If you are not a member, the "Create an Account" button is directly below the log in fields.  There are three membership options.  The user can have access to math, spelling, vocabulary, and U.S. Geography through the free program, but the premium membership provides more features to the user.  The premium membership  allows the parent to keep track of their child's progress because the program sends the parent an email to let you know how your child did on a particular task.

It allows the user to play interactive games using virtual coins they collect by completing their lessons.   The user can create a buddy to use in the games.  People who have free memberships can upgrade to a plan that allows the user to play games with the buddy but does not provide any of the other benefits that a premium membership comes with.  The premium membership is $9.99 for one month and $49.99 for a year.  Folks who are interested can sign up for a 7-day free trial.  The upgrade to games only is $9.98 for a year.

Two of my children tried the Premium program and enjoyed it immensely.  They were able to solve addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division problems geared toward their level of learning.  The program is able to be changed by the parent to suit the individual need of the child if it is too easy or too hard.  The child is given a number of math problems to solve.  The number of problems, also,  can be changed by the parent.


There are timed quizzes and mastery enables them to proceed to the next level, although a perfect score does not seem to be required as the site states.

While I like that they can master these skills, I would like it more if they could learn other math topics like graphing, fractions, exponents, etc., especially for 6th grade.

I like the vocabulary section of Big IQ Kids, especially for my fourth grader.  She read the word and the definition and was able to learn synonyms and antonyms.  They asked her to spell the word while it was still on the screen.  My son who is in sixth grade played the spelling bee game.  He was required to spell correctly all 30 words before moving on.  He was not able to do that without help, so he got very frustrated.  Sometimes the voice that was saying the words was a little bit difficult to understand because it was a computer speaking.


This page is for the geography portion of the program.  It gives them the option of working through a map by clicking on the state or area that answers the question the program asks.  They can learn where states are located, how to spell them, what the capitals are, and what their abbreviations are.

As with the other portions of the program, these lessons can be modified by the parent.

I do feel my kids have learned a great deal from this program.  The idea that they can earn coins to play games is definitely a way to keep them interested.  I like that I can keep track of their progress without having to be in the same room watching them.  I also especially like that the premium plan does not display any ads during lesson times and that the ads that are displayed otherwise are NOT offensive in any way that I have seen.

When first signing up for the Premium membership, it asks you to make a buddy that your child can use while playing the games, but you need to go to the FAQ page to figure out how to do that.  It is not clear that they do this once they begin playing the games.

There were very few things I didn't like about this program, and those things weren't very important.  I would still recommend it to others.

DISCLAIMER: I received this product at no charge so that I might provide an honest evaluation of it.

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