Wednesday, September 14, 2011

TOS Review:Big IQ Kids

I another attempt to incorporate the computer into our homeschool, we accepted the opportunity to try out and review BigIQKids. Here is what we thought!

Product: Big IQ Kids

Method: Online Computer Studies

Age Range: K-5 and Up. I would expect any child under 2nd grade to have some trouble with all of the typing and mouse control skills required though.

Price: Prices vary depending on which program you are using. There are some basic options available for free and the prices then go from $7.99 for one month of Spelling Junior up to $149.99 for a year of Math Premium. Click here to check out the pricing.

Big IQ Kids signs in like most typical online programs. You create an account and a password and are then taken to the page to choose which lessons you want to do. You will then see the classroom options based on whether you are using the free programs only or if you also have a premium account . We were given a temporary premium account for math and the US States programs and we had access to all of the free areas as well.

The premium math offered practice questions seems more intended to drill math facts than to be a complete lesson. The lessons that we looked at were addition problems at the 1st grade level. I am not sure I really liked the way it was set up here. The biggest issue I had was it only allowed one type of problem at a time and while we could change the type of problems we were working on, we would have preferred to have a mix of problems. If your child works better with a spiral approach, this set up may get frustrating pretty quickly.

The US states premium was pretty cool, but was a little difficult for my younger children. We listened to the state information on the interactive map (which was very interesting!) and could do the intro question but the rest of it was a bit much for the girls. For children a bit older however, I think it could be a really great tool to learn the states and a bit about them.

While we did check out the US States and the Math programs, what actually drew my attention to Big IQ Kids was the spelling program. I have seriously been dropping the ball on introducing any spelling practice (though my children seem to be picking it up naturally, if just a bit slower than "normal"), so I was excited to incorporate some into our school routine. BigIQKids offers several neat options through their spelling program. The best thing about it was that we could actually use the lists in our spellers and BigIQKids created practice "games" based on those lists. It also did the definitions, but since my children are so young, we didn't use that portion. My oldest daughter did quite well with the program. My first grader however, found it to be a bit more difficult to think about typing and remembering how to spell the word. That would probably vary from child to child though.

This page offers a report card on how your child is doing.

There are some really great things about this program if used as a supplement. The spelling worked fairly well for one of my children and I really liked the price on it (FREE!) and the US states was very interesting to listen to. The kids also enjoyed earning coins that could be exchanged for games as well as creating their character. However, the voices used drove me crazy as they sound very computerized and mechanical and while I appreciate the fact that this is a great learning site, I am just not sure it competes with other sites you can find on the internet that do not charge and it is not something that fits well enough with our family for me to justify paying for premium accounts. The ads were also something I did not care for. I monitor things like that carefully with my children and felt like I had to be right there when they logged on to make sure the ads were not inappropriate. With that said, we will probably continue using the free spelling as practice.
BigIQkids offers a risk free 14 day money back guarantee and can be contacted here with questions.

I was given a trial of the premium accounts in exchange for an honest review. This post may contain affiliate links. Read here for my full disclosure policy.

1 comment:

Debra said...

Great job... and how nice that the spelling worked for your older child! My younger kids (k-2) have a hard time thinking about all that stuff (typing, spelling) at once too.