Friday, September 16, 2011

BigIQKids! TOS Review

Are you looking for a way to get your child to do the drills necessary to get math facts, spelling words, or U.S. Geography to stick in their little brains?

BigIQKids is an online program that teaches math, vocabulary, spelling, and United States geography in a simple, 10-15 minute a day approach!

There are free programs available:
  • Spelling
  • Math Facts
  • U.S. States
  • Vocabulary
  • Spelling Game and Spelling Bee
  • Vocabulary Game
  • Ebooks
  • Short & Long Vowel Program
There are also Premium Programs for a subscription fee in these subjects:
  • Spelling Junior
  • Math
  • U.S. Geography
Acc to the BigIQKids 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. "

The premium program also offers detailed progress reports including problem areas that can be emailed to the teacher or parent and a game center rewards program that includes receiving coins (to be used as credit toward game time) for every lesson completed!

Also available to premium program users is a "Big IQ Buddy" - a personalized buddy that the student can give character to, including hair color and clothing according to their choices. My kids actually did not choose to personalize these because they didn't want to use a game coin in order to do so! That Emmy was more interested in playing the games than choosing to make her buddy wear pink clothes says a lot about the fun games!

Pricing on all of the premium programs can be found here.

The Spelling Junior Premium Program is $7.99/mo. or $39.99/12 mo. for individual students or $99.99/12 mo. for a classroom (up to 32 students).

The Interactive Math Facts Program is $9.99/mo. or $49.99/12 mo. for individual students or $149.99/12 mo. for a classroom.

The U.S. States Interactive Program is $39.99/12 mo. for individual students and is only available to the classroom when purchasing the bundle.

Joshua particularly enjoyed the U.S. Geography program and asked to use it several times. It seemed at first to repeat the same lesson several times and each time you go back to it, though later I realized it goes through several rounds of the first level before moving on to the next until you reach the mastery of each section. It also points the arrow at the Intro section every time you return, which does not need to be repeated every day. Once you understand a few quirks like these, the program becomes more useful and easy to navigate.

The math program started out very frustrating for all of us. The default setting is for 50 questions, far too many for my 5 year old to do without being bored to tears. The 50 questions were also more than my 7 year old to do in the 10-15 minute window. It wasn't until I discovered that I could adjust how many questions were done per lesson that the tears stopped! The goal is to get each lesson chopped into that 10-15 minute interval so that the drill becomes a quick review of facts already learned to make recall faster and easier!

It wasn't as easy to navigate as I hoped it would be; jumping between programs is not always a one-click process and while my second-grader can read instructions and figure out what to do next, it still required my help and presence more than I would have liked. My first grader needed near constant supervision to avoid clicking on something that would kick her out somewhere else entirely.

On the lesson pages there are no ads, but the ads on the rest of the pages, including the log-in page and the after-log-in page where the student chooses the lesson are distracting.

I think this would likely be a great program for a classroom where the teacher can use it to quickly switch several students through the same lesson in quick succession before moving on. However, for a homeschooling family with one child on each level it is not quite as ideal. We will continue to use it, especiall for the U.S. Geography program, for the rest of our one-year subscription.

I received my premium one-year subscription from BigIQKids in exchange for an honest review only.

Click here for more information or email BigIQKids at!

You can read more reviews on BigIQKids over on the TOS Crew Blog!

1 comment:

Pleasantly Peavey said...

Great review. Good job! :) Roberta from Pondering on the Prairie


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