Friday, March 25, 2011

Big IQ Kids Online Program - A Review

Product:  Big IQ Kids

Price:  $19.99/Month for all 4 subjects
          $99.99/Year for all 4 subjects

Company:  Synergy1 Group, Inc.

To Purchase:  Big IQ Kids Premium Plans

Age Range:  K-8th grade

Other Subjects:  Premium (above) - Math, Spelling, Vocabulary, U.S. States
Online Spelling Game
Online Vocabulary Game
Online Vowel Game

Brief Intro: (from the website)

Spelling: With a 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.

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.

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.

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 Certificate.  

In-Depth Look:

As part of the TOS Crew, we received a subscription to the Big IQ Kids Premium program, including Spelling, Vocabulary, U.S. States, and Math.  My 9 and 12 year old daughters were my "guinea pigs", using the program several times a week.

With the program, your child can use the preset program based on their grade level or you can customize it to fit your needs.  Add in the words you have been studying for spelling.  Set the math problems to what your child needs to review.  Add a little bit of trivia about your state.  Whichever way works best for your family: the preset or the customized.  We used the preset, and it worked well for us.

Each lesson lasts about 10 minutes.  Short enough to become a part of your daily routine.  Most children will sit through a 10 minute lesson without complaining.  My children didn't want to sit down and do the lessons, but once they got started, it was over before they knew it.  The lessons are in very manageable chunks.

After you complete a lesson, you earn a token that you can use to play a game or change your character. Most games are worth one token.  But my daughters' favorite game was two tokens.  (Which I liked.  Because they had to do 2 lessons to earn the right to play that one.)  It is also one token to change your child's avatar.  My daughters rarely used that option since they felt like they would be wasting their token, when they would rather play a game.  Too funny.

My 9 year old's favorite subject was the SPELLING.  My 12 year old's favorite was the VOCABULARY.  They both made a great deal of progress in their spelling lists.  That right there is worth the effort to me.  Seeing them conquer words that they couldn't a few weeks ago is a VERY good feeling.  And it came easy with the Big IQ Kids system.

A nice bonus is the email updates that the company sends to the parent.  It is a nice detailed report of how your child did on that day's lesson.

My daughters' one complaint: They did not like the robotic voice of the "tutor" that guides you through the steps of the lesson.  It is a very helpful guide, but I agree that the robotic tone is a bit annoying.  :)  We would much rather a normal human voice.

The site also offers a free version which might be a good place to start before you spend the money on the Premium Site.  This list explains the differences between the two.

See more details on this award-winning program.

Read more reviews here.

Disclaimer: I received these program free of charge, as part of the TOS Homeschool Crew. The above is just my opinion. Please remember that opinions may, and do, vary.

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