Homeschoolbuzz had the opportunity to review IXL‘s online math membership program, where math practice is neither a bore nor a chore but productive fun. This has been such a wonderful experience for my 7th grader Will – he looks forward to his time on IXL and has developed definite math confidence since he started on the site. I think IXL is brilliant for creating a program that is easy to use, eye catching, rewarding, comprehensive, and enjoyable. IXL Math has been available since 2007, though this is our first time using it. They offer K–12 math education that covers 2,500+ math topics. Family Memberships cost $9.95 per month or $79.00 for the year. This price covers both the math (PreK – 12) and language (2nd – 4th grade), and allows access to **all** levels for **all** your children. IXL will give each child their own account and reports. In the seventh grade section there are 254 skills available to practice. Each grade has the same set up: a list of all the main math categories for that grade broken down into specific skills. For example, one of the seventh grade categories is decimals. Under decimals are the skills:

- Add and subtract decimals
- Multiply decimals and whole numbers
- Divide decimals
- Word problems
- Estimate sums, differences and products of decimals
- Add, subtract, multiply, and divide decimals
- Multi-step inequalities with word problems
- Multi-step inequalities with decimals
- Maps with decimal distances
- Simplify expressions involving decimals

Hover over a skill with the mouse and a sample question will pop up. Click on the link and you are brought to a question.

Divide. Give the exact answer, written as a decimal 891.8 ÷ 7 =

Hit submit and if correct you see a giant green check mark with a positive statement like ** Keep it up!** or

**Get the question wrong and you see:**

*Great job!*

Sorry, incorrect…The correct answer is:

- 127.4

**IXL** then step by step **reviews** with you how to solve the problem. **IXL** will keep generating a new, unique question for whatever skill your student is practicing, for as long as the student stays on that skill. They track the student’s score, and will automatically generate increasingly more difficult questions. Every week **IXL** emails a status report indicating the time your student spent practicing and what his score was. Log into the parent section of the site for a more detailed report: pie chart, bar graph, performance, skills mastered, progress, and identification of trouble spots. Also, **IXL** math conforms to the 2010 common core standards and indicates which practice sets are part of those standards. There was nothing Will or Gary and I didn’t like about **IXL**. I especially appreciated:

- no annoying sound effects
- optional games/incentives to unlock rewards
- cheers for right answers
- review for incorrect
- unlimited practice
- independence for student
- weekly email reports
- affordability

At first Will was reluctant to try another “math” program, and appeased us and just seemed to be guessing at answers. But as he saw his score going down, he started to take interest in getting the answers right.

Once he analyzed why he got an answer wrong and paid attention to the explanation **IXL** provided he began learning new concepts he never quite understood. He also was driven by the running tally of his score on the screen. This makes it very game-like and he was proud of his achievements. He used to get terribly frustrated and give up on math. Now he actually looks forward to the challenge. **IXL** is a fantastic find for us, and is a phenomenal tool to use for review or remedial learning.

Read more reviews of **IXL** here at the Schoolhouse Review Crew Blog

IXL blog: Twitter: @ixllearning