Big IQ Kids

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BigIQkids.com presents a unique learning method designed to help each child develop the skills needed to perform to his/her full potential. Our award winning programs are designed for students in grades K-12 and promote spelling efficiency, vocabulary building, math fact mastery and US geography knowledge via multimedia reinforcement and independent learning.

BigIQkids made it’s PREMIUM program available to The Old Schoolhouse Magazine’s Review Crew in August, and we have been using it for a little over a month now. 

Hunter (9yrs old, grade 4) was our primary user.  I did create an account for Jeremiah (4) to see what the Junior Spelling Program that they offered would be like. ( It was great for those younger learners!) Big IQ Kids states their website is for children in Kindergarten – 12th grade.  I would make sure your Kindergartener is familiar with the Keyboard, and it beginning to spell small words before you begin using Big IQ Kids.  Jeremiah being in Pre-School did not get much use out of the program at all, during our test period, we will see if that changes as the school year progresses.

Hunter, on the other hand, used it, and enjoyed it! Except for Vocabulary… but I will explain that in a bit.

First, lets talk about what BigIQkids actually is. 

BigIQkids is an educational website designed to foster independent learning.  It is available as a free spelling and vocabulary program, to anyone who would like to improve their child’s skill in those areas.  The Premium Program builds on this base and has enhanced features for Spelling and Vocabulary, and adds in Math and Geography, with its U.S. States program.

Take a look at what they describe the difference as in their Free and Premium options:

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.

You may purchase PREMIUM programs in a variety of ways.

Math only :

math

  States only:

states1

 

Or as a complete bundle:

bundle price

Visit http://www.bigiqkids.com/membership.html for more detailed information.

We used BigIQkids as a supplement to our existing curriculum in Math, States and Spelling.  We tried to use it everyday, but some days we weren’t around the computer. 

What we liked:

One of Hunter’s favorite programs was the U.S. State Program.  Each day you start with the interactive map and learn a few pieces of trivia about a particular state.  When the program asks you the questions there is a button the student can use to hear the answers.  For those that are not strong readers this function is WONDERFUL!  It made his time on BigIQkids a completely independent learning experience.  I was free to change over the laundry or load the dishwasher, or help his little brother with Pre-School, during Hunter’s time working in this program.

I like the fact that as the states program was asking you to spell something, it showed it to you.  It didn’t expect you to automatically be able to sound out the word.  Hunter struggles with spelling, and this was a great feature for us.  He was able to do what the program asked, and feel successful completing the lessons.

I enjoyed how the math program was customizable.  So did Hunter! The default setting is for 50 questions, and that is A LOT of math when you are already doing it away from the computer.  I was able to go in and change the program to only show 10 questions making math on the computer a nice quick review.  We were able to answer questions in simple addition and subtraction, multiplication and division, and double digit addition and subtraction, every day.  This was a great way to keep him experienced in all types of problem solving without having lots of worksheets to do.

With Hunter’s spelling struggles, I expected him to be resistant to the spelling part of the website.  However, the opposite was true.  He really liked it!  He was eager to spell the words and play the games.  He seemed to have a great time sounding out the words, something he struggles with on paper, but on the keyboard he didn’t seem to mind. Again, the showing of the spelling word for many days as you are spelling it within the lessons was a large help and confidence booster.  He had SEEN the word spelled so many times and places correctly that when he would spell it on the tests he would SEE that it wasn’t quite right, and be able to change it. The program will not let you pass a spelling list until you have passed at 100%, which is another feature that helps assure that you are really spelling the words correctly.

We will take longer than a week to do a list of spelling words, but by using this program in conjunction with the flash cards that I am already using, I believe we will being to make some serious progress in this area.

What we didn’t like:

Sometimes the computer generated voices are weird, at least for me, but Hunter didn’t seem to care one bit.  I did make sure that I was saying the spelling words out loud with him the first few times we worked on a new list so that he understood how the computer was pronouncing them versus how we really say them.

Sometimes the program seems a bit glitchy, but I think that was a browser issue (Chrome) and not the program itself.  We would have to toggle around awhile to get to certain programs because the option to choose them didn’t appear on each page.

If you went to the games page to use your coins after each lesson, you had to log in again to do more lessons.  Sometimes you had to log in 3 or 4 times a day.  Great for password memory skills, but it didn’t always make for smooth user interface in the first few weeks.  There were lots of “MOOOOOMMMMMM, it logged me out!….again!”

Vocabulary wasn’t much of a fit for OUR family, at this time.  Hunter didn’t need two different lists to study words on each week.  It was too much.  So we just chose to skip this option.  Now, if you chose to use the vocabulary words AS your spelling words in the combined spelling and vocabulary list, it might work better.  I did like very much the way it gave the definition, the antonym, and synonyms for each word. The lessons and games for the vocabulary portion are very thorough.  Your children will really know the word by the time they are through with the vocabulary program. I think that after we get a handle on the spelling, I will incorporate this using the spelling list he is currently working on.

Closing thoughts:

It is really important to remember that while almost all portions of BigIQkids is available for free.  It is customizable only within the Premium Program.  Having the Premium Program is where you can make it work for you.  Changing problems in math, adjusting passing percentages, adding word lists, unlocking games, adjusting grade level work…… are all part of the advantage when you purchase the premium program.

Overall we liked BigIQkids and plan to continue using it as the school year progresses.  This is not just a homeschooling curriculum.  Children attending more traditional schooling institutions would also benefit greatly from using BigIQkids. This would be a great way to “tutor” the struggling public or private school child without ever having to leave the house. Grandma?, Grandpa?, this is a great educational gift to invest in for Christmas and Birthdays. 

Never. Ever. … take just my word for product reviews.  Lots of families, with lots of different learning styles spent time using BigIQkids this last month.  You can read what they have to say HERE.

Take the time to visit BigIQkids.com and see ALL they have to offer.  There is SAT prep, Vowel games, interactive homework lessons, E-books, and much, much more.

See you soon, Happy Schooling!

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****Disclaimer****

we received free access to the BigIQkids Premium Program in exchange for an honest product review.

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