3/25/11

TOS Review: Big IQ Kids

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Big IQ Kids states that they have only have one mission: “to transform your young learner into an A+, 100 % student.”   

The Facts:

  • Not a a software product “Our learning applications are interactive tools that proactively work together with young learners to create individualized lessons around that particular student's own pace.”
  • Customizable—use predefined word lists for spelling and vocabulary or create your own.  Adjust the number and type of problems in math. Adjust the number of questions in the U.S. States program.
  • Online Subscription—access Big IQ Kids from any computer with internet access.
  • 4 Programs: Spelling, Math, Vocabulary and U.S. States
  • Programs for grades 1 through 8- The age range that benefits the most would be 2nd grade through 5th grade.  For math and spelling you can choose from “Grade 1 and below”  through “Grade 8”.   Vocabulary starts at 3rd grade, however there are guidelines for the number of words for each grade level.
  • Free and Premium programs available—Big IQ Kids offers several options for free and premium programs including money saving bundle options.  Click HERE for pricing options and click HERE for details on the free vs premium programs.
  • Can be used to supplement, enhance or work with a student’s current curriculum.  The U.S. States program is an excellent supplement when studying US History.  The spelling program can be customized to use the words from the child’s language arts programs.  
  • Rewards—students can earn coins to play games.  Parents can set some controls for the games such as “only on weekends”
  • Website located at www.bigiqkids.com

Here are some screen shots:

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The Log-in Screen

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The Math Program

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The Modification Page of the Spelling Program

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A Test Page from the Vocabulary Program

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The Main Page for the U.S. States Program

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 The Games Page

The Opinions:

  • Mom’s Thoughts (Likes):  I like that the program requires mastery.  A student cannot progress to the next level without achieving 100% on the quiz or test.  I like that Tailorbear (6th grade) can be completely independent with this program.  I like that Supergirl (1st grade level) is nearly independent with math and spelling.  I love that I can customize the spelling and vocabulary word lists. We use another program for spelling for Tailorbear but with the customization option I can have her master the words using the Big IQ Kids program.  I really liked the “state intro” section of the U.S. Program.  You click on a state to learn more about the state and then answer a question.
  • Mom’s Thoughts (dislikes): I didn’t care for the robotic sound of the voices but the girls didn’t seem to mind and never complained about the sound. However, the robotic voice did make discerning spelling words difficult and I often needed to use the context sentence to help Supergirl figure out which word to spell.  I disliked that I could not get a mix of math facts.  I could choose a mix of operations and I could choose a different fact for each operation but I could not set a percent for different facts within the same operation.  Customization options are limited for the U.S. States Program. There is no separate parent account.  I must sign in as the student in order to modify lessons.  This means that the student can easily make their own modifications.  This arrangement is ok for Supergirl but does present temptation for Tailorbear who will give herself more time for math quizzes.
  • Mom’s Thoughts (issues): The vocabulary program makes use of antonyms and synonyms but in the lower level this does not work well.  For example, BigIQKids Vocabulary states that nail is the opposite of board.   Board has no antonym. A nail is not a board and it is a word associated with board but is not a true antonym.  This confuses my daughter. For the younger children it can also be an issue that the synonyms and antonyms must be defined in addition to the new vocabulary word.  
  • Tailorbear’s Thoughts: “I liked that I could go play a game as a break if I was getting frustrated.  I liked the games.  I liked the U.S. States program because I didn’t know where all the states were.  Vocabulary was ok but I mostly knew the words already.”  (Mom notes that BigIQKids has helped improve Tailorbear’s spelling! And U.S. States did improve her knowledge of state locations on the map.)
  • Supergirl’s Thoughts: “Math is my favorite. Math is fun.  I get to play games and sandwich maker game is my favorite. U.S. States is my other favorite.  It’s my favorite because you learn about the states.  The vocabulary is too hard.  Spelling is my thirdest favorite.  I can spell cat and sad.” (Mom notes that Supergirl has enjoyed learning her +0, +1 and +2 facts.  Vocabulary and States require assistance and are quite difficult for her)

Click on the banner below to read what my crew mates have to say about Big IQ Kids.  Photobucket

Disclaimer: As a TOS Crew member, I received this product free of charge to review. This review is my honest opinion with, hopefully, enough detail as to why I liked or did not like a product so that my readers can make an informed decision. I received no compensation.

Big IQ Kids generously provided me with two premium bundle 12 month subscriptions for review purposes.

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