Online, independent learning can be a fun way to change up your homeschooling program in the middle of the winter when everyone's feeling "blah," or is stuck inside due to poor weather outside.
As members of the TOS Crew, we received two independent memberships for my girls to give BigIQkids.com a try!
According to the BigIQkids.com website, BigIQkids is designed for students in grades K-8, to promote spelling efficiency, vocabulary building, math fact mastery, and U.S. geography knowledge via multimedia reinforcement and independent learning.
The girls decided to give BigIQkids a try. They logged in with the log-in names and passwords with which we were provided. They found it fairly easy to navigate around the website. It is very colorful, which is wonderful if color and artwork stimulate your children to work harder and spend more time on a subject. For students who are visually impaired or highly distractible, this might not be the best website for them, as BigIQkids.com is a very graphic-rich site.
BigIQkids.com contains characters throughout the program who provide directions and guidance using computer-generated voices. While they do sound a bit robotic, my girls didn't seem to mind that very much, unless a spelling word was difficult to discern. It's nice that the character who is speaking and providing directions can have their speech halted or repeated, depending on what action is needed.
Parents are able to change the skill levels for their children, from "Pre-K" through "4th grade and above". Parents also receive emails about their children's progress, which is nice.
Children are encouraged to do one small lesson in each of the four subjects every day. As new lessons are completed, a coin is earned. Children can use these coins for making changes to their BigIQ Buddy, or for playing games. Children can earn 1 game coin AFTER completing a lesson, or the coins can be saved for WEEKEND USE ONLY, or the game page can NEVER be shown, depending on what the parent prefers in regard to the online games.
There are four main subjects found on BigIQkids.com: Spelling, Math, Vocabulary, and U.S. States. Math and spelling can be set to as low as a 1st grade level; however, vocabulary cannot.
With an over 40,000 word dictionary, SpellingTime comes pre-loaded with 40 lessons for K-8th grade appropriate word lists. Or, as a parent or teacher, you can easily enter your own word lists, and SpellingTime will automatically create a week’s worth of lessons, quizzes and tests around your own list with the goal of achieving 100% on the Friday spelling test. Here's how:
Kelsi and Brittany are excellent spellers, so we were surprised to see that only at the adult level were the spelling words available as tests where the actual word was hidden from the screen. At the lower levels, the spelling word was clearly seen on the screen, so it was simple to copy it.
For their new "World Spelling Bowl" feature, we did notice that some of the words aren't pronounced correctly. For example, the word "beautious" was pronounced "hideous", but when hideous was typed in, it was incorrect. It's my understanding from talking with other TOS Crew members, however, that when errors have been found, BigIQkids has been quick to make corrections.
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.
Multiple-digit addition and subtraction, multiplication, and division levels provide an online digital pad to write out and show work. The student can choose various pen colors to use for this; you may have your child choose one of the colors that is most pleasing to him or her.
Hi! I'm Julieanne!