Is it possible to be a dedicated homeschooling mom while still making time for myself as an individual (a girlie girl who likes cute shoes)? I like to think so. Follow along, and I'll let you know for sure.

Trust me . . . it's not ALL about the shoes.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Teaching Tool Tuesday - IXL Math Practice Site

Don’t tell, but my wish lists at Lakeshore Learning and Amazon are much longer than the one I have at Honestly, I’m a complete sucker for books and educational games, software and toys. But this past year I’ve honed my ability to discern which tools will be fun once or twice and which ones we'll use over and over . . . and I’ll be sharing our favorites with you every Tuesday.

I'm sure I've blogged about them in the past, but we just renewed our annual membership to the IXL math practice site and it reminded me of what a great tool it is. Anything someone brings up the subject of math, I always mention IXL . . . and now that I've found it for 40% off through the Homeschool Buyer's Co-op, I thought it was worth mentioning again.

Here's an overview of what I like best about the site:
  • It is the ultimate in user-friendly; activities are grouped by grade level, then broken down by skill. Within each skill, it lists each activity in order and lets you mouse over each one for a preview of what a problem would look like.
  • It's completely self-guided. Follow the sequence, skip around . . . whatever you like. Practice for five minutes or an hour. I love the flexibility to fit a few minutes in on a busy day or practice for a longer period of time to reinforce something we've just learned.
  • The reward system is really simple, but for some reason, my kids really dig it. As you progress towards a score of 100 (completion) for each activity, you earn three little ribbons, which are displayed under your score. After completing each activity, it will notify you if you've earned any rewards, which are given for meeting certain criteria for time practiced, skills mastered, questions answered, etc. The "reward" is getting to turn over a piece on the game board to claim a virtual prize. Doesn't seem all that exciting to me, but like I said, the kids LOVE it.
  • With membership, they e-mail periodic parent updates detailing how long the kids have practiced and what skills they have been working on. At any time, you can view reports of all their work to date.
Because the kids learn so well from the computer, I've looked into quite a few online learning sites. With its excellent content, user-friendly format and kid-friendly reward system, this is the first paid site I've felt to be worthwhile.

As I mentioned, you can purchase IXL for a discounted price through the Homeschool Buyer's Co-op, so an annual subscription for one child is $47.40 instead of $79.00. If you're not yet a member of the HSBC, please consider using my referral link or referral code (65626) when you sign up for your free account.


  1. Thank you SOOO much! I was seriously considering doing the $79 but it was going to mess with my budget quite a bit. I had never heard of Homeschool Buyer's Co-op, this is fantastic! I know this was a few years ago. The price is now $49.99 with a $1.95 order fee but I'm not complaining about it because it's still much less then $79! I used your referral code and just wanted to say thank you for posting this =)

    1. I'm so glad you were able to get a deal there. We love the co-op and have gotten many great deals! :)