Friday, March 25, 2011
TOS Homeschool Crew Product Review ~ BIG IQ Kids
Big IQ Kids can best be described as an educational website aimed at helping students achieve excellence in spelling, math, vocabulary and United States geography. That's a very broad overview, of course ~ I will explore a few aspects of the program in-depth while leaving plenty of room for you to dig into Big IQ Kids for yourself!
The first thing I noticed about Big IQ Kids was how easy it was to set up user accounts. Not all websites have taken the time to ensure that the initial process is reasonably simple. As a busy mother of five, I appreciate that the website designers took care of that important detail. Ease of use = amount of use in our homeschool!
After setting up user accounts, my daughters chose characters to use in the games. It gave a personalized feel to each of their accounts, and added a "fun" aspect to the academic aspect of Big IQ Kids. Then they were ready to begin lessons in one of 4
categories: Spelling Math U.S. States Vocab
Each subject category has multiple lessons that the students progress through. For example, in the States category there are 50 levels (one level for each of our 50 states). Within each of the 50 levels, students can work on different topics (State Location, State Spelling, State Capital, State Abbreviations, or a State Fun Facts Game). As they learn, they earn coins that can be redeemed to play games on the Big IQ Kids website (www.BigIQKids.com) The games really are fun and engaging; while I don't believe in bribing my children to do their school work, I will admit that fun games are a nice incentive for completing the lessons. Everyone enjoys a reward for a job well done, and I feel Big IQ Kids gives fair rewards for the work done. Coins are earned, not handed out like candy. Their reward system gets a stamp of approval from this homeschool mom!!
Parents receive emails when students have completed an assignment. The emails are wonderful, and give specific details such as which spelling words were spelled correctly and which ones need more work. Grades for tests and math assignments are included in the emails (which makes grading simple for mom - a bonus for me since you all know that grading is my most dreaded homeschool chore!!). I like that I'm not required to log into each child's account in order to see their progress. However, I can log in and see at a glance how they are progressing in any of the categories. This at-a-glance feature is another plus for busy moms of many siblings.
I was drawn to the Spelling and Vocab categories right away. I found online chapter books (which can also be printed) for kids with the ability to double-click on a word if they need help pronouncing it, vocab lessons (you can do the prepared lessons or modify them and add your own words), participate in a spelling bee or do a spelling lesson (again with the option to add your own words to the word list) - and a whole lot more. They have a "Reading Should Be Fun" motto and their books can be read with a Kindle. And there are "Tutors" at each level of each subject to help the student through each lesson.
My girls had this to say about Big IQ Kids ~
Daughter 1 - "I like that it helps me learn how to spell instead of just expecting me to spell. I can review the words if I need to. And I earn coins to play the games, which are pretty fun. I really like the game 'Icicle'! My favorite part of Big IQ Kids is the spelling program."
Daughter 2 - "I use the spelling program the most on Big IQ Kids. I have to learn before I earn coins to play the games. Some websites let you play the games to learn, but I think Big IQ Kids has a better method of making the game the reward for doing well. It's challenging; I have to work hard on mastering my spelling words and some of them are really hard (like heterogeneous). I definitely feel more confident about my spelling after using Big IQ Kids."
Feel free to look visit their website at www.BigIQKids.com and explore their free options to get a feel for what they offer. You can also take advantage of their free one week trial. The cost for using Big IQ Kids beyond the free trial is $19.99/month OR $99.99/12 months. (They also have a classroom account available for the price of $299.99/12 months).
This product was received at no cost for review purposes.
Thanks for reading this product review & may your homeschool day be blessed!
Day 87 done :)
Jan L. Burt