Friday, March 25, 2011

Big IQ Kids-TOS Review

The Product: is a web based program that focuses on math, spelling, vocabulary and state facts for grades K-8. This program is FREE but there is also a paid Premium Membership (that I am reviewing today) that is available. You can compare the two options here. uses customizable lessons and rewards for passing those lessons as a way to teach children good study habits and hard work ethics. When used each day for around 10-15 minutes per lesson, guarantees that improvement in the child's academic grades will appear.
This is where parents or teachers can modify a spelling lesson to reflect the words in your current curriculum. is unique in the fact that the student can use this program independently. Here's a quote from the website:  " provides true, self-learning applications without the need for parental oversight. All our material and instructions (each word and sentence) are delivered to the young learner by interactive characters with phonetically correct lips so even children with limited reading skills can utilize our e-learning applications."

Read more about here and learn about how it works here.

McMama's Opinions:

Can I say that I LOVE the Premium spelling portion of this website?!! Before this review came up I was really feeling bogged down with schooling two girls on different levels in math, spelling, reading and writing. I was earnestly seeking a way to "tweak" things so that some of my time could be freed up so that we could accomplish all that we needed to each day.

Enter My worries began to ease!! Because the program allows you to either use the preprogrammed lists or input your own I was easily able to add our words to their spelling lessons and they would then get their lessons in on the computer. I still met with them each day to review rules, words and sounds and do some dictation but the meat of their lessons were done on BigIQkids. They loved it and so did I!!! 

What made it even greater is that with the Premium membership I was sent automatic progress emails which told me the score on their tests and if any words were spelled incorrectly how the girls spelled them. Isn't that great?!!! I could see what we needed to practice one on one because the program kept "tabs" for me!! In the life of a busy homeschooler/wife/mother/cook and everything else having help in one little area makes a huge difference!

My girls loved their lessons on BigIQkids and I think that much of that had to do with the fact that each lesson is different. Sometimes they practiced with word scrambles or robot lesson. Other days they would have a spelling bee. There was also a review and pop quiz and finally a test. All I have to do each week is input the words into their word lists and viola! Done!! The girls still get good spelling practice and I am given a few more minutes each day to get some other lessons done. Love it! They also love that they earn a game coin for successfully completing a lesson. Most days they were allowed 1 or 2 games but we did keep a limit on that. My girls mostly enjoyed the games where they could dress up someone or change up their Big IQ Buddy. (That's their avatar...well, I guess that's the word for it. I'm not up to date with all that lingo).

I focused on the spelling portion for our review because that's what we enjoyed and used the most but there are other areas available. Here is some quick information on them:

Math: You can set up a child's lesson to mirror what they are doing in their current curriculum. For example, if the child is on double digit addition and single digit multiplication, the program can focus on just these two areas providing invaluable practice and reinforcement that is certain to provide them with the tools to ace their next test. Or, BigMathTime can automatically generate grade specific and subject specific lessons as per your requirements.

Start menu for math with a neat little scratch pad to the right. You can see Big Sis' "avatar" on the bottom right...she always goes through wardrobe changes! On the bottom left is the green modify lesson book that the parent clicks on to personalize the lesson to each child. The teacher at the top left talks the child through lessons with encouragement and direction.
I liked the math portion ok. It was a little confusing to set up at first. You use percentages to determine how much of what kind of problems you want your kids to focus on. I would also always get emails saying that the girls mastered this or that but it never showed up on their lessons.

Vocabulary: With an extensive library of elementary through SAT prep words, BigVocabTime comes pre-loaded with word lists OR, as a parent or teacher, you can easily enter your own word lists and the program will automatically create a week’s worth of lessons, quizzes and tests around your own list with the goal of achieving 100% on the week’s vocabulary test.

After reading the definition, synonym and antonym the child is then prompted to spell the word. This is lesson 1, step 1.
I had meant to input our own words from our science program but never did. I think that this is a great aspect of the program however it starts at the 3rd grade level (although you can customize). Even with that the words were difficult for my learners at that level.

U.S. States: Every elementary student will be confronted with the need to know their US State facts to mastery. BigStatesTime is the ultimate tool in learning the state's location, capital, spelling, abbreviations and general state facts. The program allows parents/teachers to add additional facts which will be included in the child's lessons and the program culminates in a “State Mastery Exam” that, if passed with 100% mastery, awards the child a State Master 

This is the Intro. lesson to States. Student clicks on any state to learn more about it.
My girls are funny. Honestly they never seemed to do well on the state parts but they LOVED the lessons anyway. I guess that means we need to work on comprehension a little more? The computerized teacher, Jake, tells them some information on a particular state and then they are to answer questions about what they learned. Yeah, need to work on that comprehension. I appreciated this portion of the program because the girls were able to be exposed to material that I just wouldn't have the time to cover right now.

The Breakdown:
  • I love this!
  • Premium Memberships can be purchased for each individual subject:
    • Spelling - $7.99/month or $39.99/year
    • Math - $9.99/month or $49.99/year 
    • US States - $39.99/month
    • Vocabulary - $9.99/month or $59.99/year
    • All four programs - $19.99/month or $99.99/year
  • Most of the sites can be accessed for free (however for us the premium membership for spelling would be worth it!) Check out the difference between the two.
  • Can be used with those in grades 1 on up. Everything is told to you by the computerized teachers so no extra reading is needed.
  • Can be used independently by the student.
Click on the banner below to read what other Crew Members experienced with

**Any opinions expressed in this review are mine alone. I was not compensated in anyway for doing this review other than receiving access to premium membership to complete the review. I want to express my gratitude to the makers of BigIQKids for allowing me to review their product!!**

Lovin' Learnin'

1 comment:

  1. Great review! I may have to check it out for my youngest; she could use some reinforcement in a few areas.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog the other day. I think I got those timers at The Christmas Tree Shoppe, but I can't remember. I'm sure you could find cute ones to match your kids' personalities somewhere.


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