This last month we were given the opportunity to try out the website BigIQkids.com and review it for The Old Schoolhouse Magazine . The program has both free and premium programs as described from their website-
The primary differences between the BigIQkids FREE and PREMIUM programs are the ability of the PREMIUM program to monitor the progress of the student and advance that student only when mastery of the subject matter has been achieved. Additionally, PREMIUM members have their progress tracked, saved, problem areas identified and these findings are reported via email to parents and/or teachers. The PREMIUM program offers students customized buddies, full game page access and the ability to save game coins and gaming high scores. These functions help double the fun while mastering core academic subject matter. The PREMIUM program has very LIMITED advertisement an no ads are displayed during lesson interaction.
The cost on the premium programs run from $39.99-$49.99 per year for each child using the program. Each lesson takes between 10-15 minutes to complete but does not progress to the next level unless the child has achieved mastery in each individual section. I really like that part about the program.
In the spelling section you can add your own spelling words if you already have a spelling curriculum to reinforce the learning of the words. Or if you would rather there are premade lists for each grade level. I used the premade lists based on what level my two kids are at in that area. After introducing the spelling words there are games to play and a spelling bee.
For Math you can set it up to the level that they are doing on their current curriculum or just like spelling you can set it to your childs grade level. The math was drills which both of my children need practice with. It was a little frustrating for my son at first until I found a way to reduce the amount of problems he had to do each time. (at first it was too much for him to do)
For U.S. States it teaches the location, capital, spelling, abbreviations and general facts about each state. You can personalize this to add additional state facts to be included in the testing. You will receive emails telling about the progress your child is making in each subject. The website also makes reports available on the site to see your childs progress. For each activity completed a child earns a game token to use in the game section. They are also able to make a personalized Big IQ Buddy similiar to the one below-
My favorite part about the the program was Spelling. When it introduces the word to the child it also gives other information like the definition, synonym,antonym and the word used in a sentence. To practice the word it uses a game similiar to hangman,word searches, and word jumbles. So not only is the child learning how to spell the word but they are learning about vocabulary. Both of my children really liked the idea of earning a game token for each activity. Their favorite game was the crazy taxi game. In the weeks we have been using it I have really noticed an improvement in their spelling.
We liked the geography part ok but I was disappointed that the names of two cities from my home state were mispronounced. I'm not sure if that was due to the robotic voices or what. Also the woman's voice in the game area made both children crazy. The intonation made her sound as if she was either being sarcastic or talking to toddlers. Both kids would race to start a game so they didn't have to hear the voice. We also had issues in one of the spelling games because you have to go to full screen in order to see the complete list of words. It took us a long time to figure out how to see the upper words in the word search.
I highly encourage anyone insterested in Big IQ Kids to go to the TOS Homeschool Crews blog and check out others opinions on this learning program.
Disclosure~ We received two memberships to Big IQ Kids as a TOS Homeschool Review Crew member to help us do this review. As greatful as I am to receive this opportunity it did not influence my opinion of this program...and that's the truth. :)