Do your kids need extra help in spelling? How about in drilling math facts? Well, maybe they need a little more help in vocabulary? Do they know where all the states are located, and a little information about each state? No, well Big IQ Kids may be for you.
Big IQ Kids is an online program that focuses on four main subject areas: spelling, math, vocabulary and states practice. This is a very full, many faceted online program. I will describe how we used it and what we thought, but I am sure I will miss some aspects of the program. Visit the website http://www.bigiqkids.com to learn even more than what I can describe.
Big IQ Kids is both a free program and a premium (paid) program. Anyone can use the free aspects of the program. The premium program gives full access to every feature of the website. You can purchase all four subject areas for a fee of $19.99 a month or $99 a year. You can also purchase a subject at a time. Visit the pricing page by clicking here to read all options and pricing levels. As an online program, you can subscribe to Big IQ Kids by visiting their website www.bigiqkids.com
Note: This review will feature the aspects of the Premium program.
Big IQ Kids tagline is “Helping kids become and stay A+ students”. Their interactive online system is extremely intuitive. Only when mastery of a subject is achieved will the student go to the next level. There are many different activities to help the student achieve the goal of mastering material. It is recommended that the student spend a little time each day using the program for maximum benefit.
Rewards are a big part of Big IQ Kids. For every learning activity, the student earns a game coin which can then be used on the game pages. There are three pages of games to choose from and each game costs between one to two coins.
Two “helpers” Jake and Alexis appear on the screen to guide the student through each lesson. The voices are computer generated and occasionally pronounce things in a strange manner. Each child makes their own avatar that appears when they log on as well.
The program automatically e-mails the parent when each activity is finished. This lets the parent know quickly if their child is having any problems or when they have moved up a level. The parent can also access reports on their child’s progress using their child’s log-in.
As the parent/teacher you have the option to use the spelling words the program has for that grade level or you may enter the spelling words of your choosing. The spelling program has five steps to complete each lesson. Step one is word introduction. Step two is a choice of two different activities for practice. Step three is another choice of two activities for more practice. Step four is a pop quiz and step five is the final test. At times during the practice steps the student is directed to get pencil and paper and write the words out. If a 100% is achieved on the test they become a member of the 100% club and a special game is offered.
In the math practice area the student clicks on a button to either start the lesson or they can print out the lesson to work on paper. The interactive tools used are very easy to operate. You can perform all mathematical functions using the tools. You can carry or borrow when needed and it will show the work on the screen. A clock keeps running time of how long it takes to complete the page. If the time aspect bothers your child the clock can be taken off. As the parent/teacher you set the level that your child will start at and then the program takes over moving up levels as mastery is achieved. You can also change how many problems are done each day.
The states program teaches the state capitals, locations, spellings, abbreviations, and common facts about each state. There are four steps and an introduction to each lesson. Students start with the intro, then move to step one: state location. Step two is state spelling. Step three is state capitals and step four is state abbreviations. There is also a state fun game that can be played.
The vocabulary program includes five steps to each lesson. As with the spelling program the parent/teacher can either choose to use the words the program picks or enter their own vocabulary words. Step one introduces the vocabulary, then steps two through four practice with the words and step five is a test.
What the ClarkClan thought
We used this program with Ben (9) and Rebekah (7). Both of them absolutely loved the program. Having an older brother and sister who do classes online, they were excited to be able to do some online work as well. The program recommends that it be used a little each day and we followed this recommendation. Every afternoon they would each log in and work for 30-40 minutes. Their different personalities really showed up in how they used the program. With each lesson done, a game coin is earned. Ben liked to do all the lessons for the day and save his game coins to play at the end of his session. Rebekah preferred to play a game after each lesson. I liked that they had these options. On one spelling lesson, the helper, Jake, said he could not help Ben with the lesson. Then the picture of Jake showed the back of his head. Ben giggled and giggled about this. So the lessons were not just work, they were made to be fun as well.
When we first started using the program, I was a little annoyed at the multiple e-mails I received from Big IQ Kids. But, when I realized they were just letting me know how my child was doing on each subject, I quit being upset. It was nice to see at a glance how they did, and then delete the e-mails. Then when I had time I could log-on once a week and check the reports, already having a good idea of how they were doing.
We also had an opportunity to use the customer support from Big IQ Kids. Ben had received a 100% on his spelling test and was told he was in the 100% club and had received a special game. Well, Ben went straight to the game page and couldn’t find anything different or special. This happened about 3 times and then I sat down and went over what he was doing and was confused as well. We e-mailed customer support and received an e-mail back the next morning with a nice note and screen shots of exactly where to look. Sure enough, we had just missed it. I was very happy with the response time and concern shown that we be happy with the program.
I would recommend this program. We used it not as stand-alone curriculum, but as a supplement to what they were already doing. Because of the game reward factor, both kids eagerly looked forward to the work. I knew we had hit a winner when they would ask to play Big IQ Kids on Saturdays and Sundays as well as school days.
I am not the only one who reviewed this online program. Visit the Crew Blog to read what my crew mates have to say about the program.
As an Independent contractor for The Old Schoolhouse and member of TOS Homeschool Crew I received the two online premium memberships for free from Big IQ Kids, in exchange for my honest review of their product.