PRODUCT: Big IQ Kids
One thing my kids really love is to play on the computer. We don’t allow a lot of computer “play time” because we feel like it is usually twaddle which doesn’t fit in with out learning style.
Since we received Big IQ Kids from TOS to review this has changed. I received a one year premium membership and we plan on continuing this even though the review period is over. This is a really cute website that helps students learn math, States, Language Arts and Spelling. My kids don’t really need the math part but Bella enjoys doing it. The spelling and language arts is an excellent resource to help make these subjects more fun. Big IQ Kids is a free program but there is also a premium version. You can see the differences between the two here. The main thing I see is that you can’t change the look of your “Buddy”, test results are not saved and games are limited. This would be a problem if your kids really like the games. In the premium version there are so many to choose from.
Each day the student logs in and are given 1 lesson from each of the four subjects. After each subject is finished they are given a “coin” for their treasure box which they can use in the game section of the website. After Griffin played the first time, he said he didn’t want to do it again because of a game he played. He was afraid he would get in trouble because there was a “naked” guy in it. After looking at the game (it was the icicle game) I just told him not to play it. It was inappropriate and totally not needed although I get that they were trying to show you how cold he was. It didn’t show anything graphic, we just felt it was inappropriate. Again, I just told my kids not to play that game. I think the games are probably gotten from an online resource because Griffin said he has seen this game other places.
Jake, your virtual tutor and Alexis help you along your way during the program. Bella says sometimes Jake turns away so you can work on your own and Alexis says “We have to make sure you know the answers by yourself, so Jake is busy right now”. She thinks its funny because then Jake tells Alexis to be quite because kids are taking tests. They both had fun making their Avatar for the game. You can also use a coin to change your avatar at any time.
Spelling: The spelling portion has premade lists (40 total). Parents also have the ability to use their own list and the program then automatically puts them in that weeks quizzes, lessons and tests. I have to be honest. My kids are horrible spellers. When I asked Griffin what he liked most about this program, I was shocked when he said spelling. He says it is fun and has helped him learn to spell better. Although they haven’t done this every day, they have done it several times a week.
Math: The math section allows you to focus on whatever math you are currently on. Whether it is one digit addition or two digit multiplication, you can set this to your child’s specific needs. Bella liked the math, Griffin did not.
I noticed that both of the kids had some problem at first getting the numbers in the correct place when there were two numbers in the answer. They did get the hang of this, though.
Language Arts: This area impressed me. Each day the kids were learning antonyms, synonyms and more. These lists are also either predetermined or you can use your own word lists. This section caused some problems for my kids. I know this is because they like to rush and not really pay attention. Several times, they missed words that I know they knew the answer to just because they didn’t read the directions correctly or was just going too fast.
States: The States section teaches everything from the spelling of the states to their abbreviations. This section seemed a little “dumbed down” to me. All of these were asked with the obvious answer right in plain sight. Of course, this made it super popular with my kids. There is an information portion that tells about the state and then questions are asked. My kids are very good with comprehending when reading or being read to so this was easy for them. Again, they both loved the States section.
- Love that this has a completely free version
- Honestly, our favorite thing about this is the way Jake and Alexis sound. We laughed for an hour the first time they played because of the inflection of their voices. It’s kind of like when your cell phone reads your text messages to you. Very, very funny. (Some people might put this as a con, but not us).
- Great graphics and keeps kids interested. Very easy to use website.
- Like that kids are awarded with games only after lessons are completed (see Con about games though).
- Great for spelling practice.
- I personally didn’t like all the emails I got telling me what the kids missed and how they were doing. I guess this would be okay if I wasn’t sitting in the same room with them but I pretty much knew how they were doing already. This may be able to be turned off but I didn’t spend time checking this out.
- One inappropriate game that we saw. Also, a couple of the games do not work properly (putt putt golf for one) and this made the kids mad that they wasted their coins on it.
If you would like to see information and training videos for parents you can view them here.
Premium Membership pricing ranges from $19.99 per month to $99.99 for 12 months. I do like that you can also get single subjects for only $7.99 a month. You can see more about the pricing options here.
All in all, we (I) really like this program. I think my kids are learning more spelling and language arts than ever before. I highly recommend trying out the free version to see for yourself if this will work for your family.
Our family gives Big IQ kids
1 Smiley - Product not really for our family. Probably wouldn’t buy. This really should probably be a frown face but we hate to be negative.
2 Smileys - Would maybe buy this product if on sale. Not a great fit for our family.
3 Smileys - We really liked this product and would probably recommend this to friends and fellow homeschoolers.
4 – Smileys – Definitely would buy this if the budget would allow. We suggest you check this out to see if it is a fit for your family.
5 Smileys – Would sell the family pets to get this one (just kidding). A must have for our family and we think you should get it too.
To see what my fellow crew mates have to say about this this product, click here. For giveaways,and other great stuff, please check out the TOS Homeschool Crew blog by clicking below.