IXL

Website review by
Erin Brereton, Common Sense Media
IXL Website Poster Image
Hundreds of learning activities build skills and confidence.

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 305 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 516 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this website.

Educational Value

Kids can learn and practice pre-K through 12th-grade math and language arts skills. They'll also have a chance to learn and practice second- to eighth-grade science, social studies concepts. Kids can learn basic Spanish terms, usage with the site -- which, like its corresponding app, can help kids increase their academic skills while parents track their progress.

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Kids can access 10 free questions in the math, language arts, science, or social studies area per day, but parents need to pay for them to consistently use the site. "Core subjects" subscription (includes math, language arts, science, social studies for second- to eighth-graders, or math and language arts for pre-K through 12th grade) costs $19.95 a month or $159 a year. Or choose math and language arts package for pre-K to 12th-grade students for $15.95 a month or $129 a year, or just math, language arts, or Spanish for $9.95 a month or $79 annually. Spanish can be added to any package for $5 a month.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that IXL is a comprehensive tool that provides math and language arts practice. While the content does extend to younger ages/grades, it's at around the fifth-grade level that the site really begins applying lessons in an extensive manner, with more complicated content. Kids can try the skill exercises for free, but they'll be limited to a small number of problems per day. You must be a member to access IXL's unlimited exercises, tracking, awards, and certificates. Membership fees range from $9.95-$19.95 per month and $79-$159 per year based on the number of subjects your child wants to learn. The site's Continuous Diagnostic tool helps identify what students already know and what they need to learn. Pre-K and other young children may need support and verbal directions from a parent or teacher. An app is available for iPad, Android, Chromebook, and Kindle Fire devices. The Android and Chromebook versions cover the same four areas as the site, but the Apple-friendly version includes only the math and English curricula, while the Kindle version has just K-6 math.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bywatchingthis October 15, 2014

Not what it could be

The point system within the program the kids use in IXL is horrible. If they get a question right, then their points go up, but if they get a question wrong (a... Continue reading
Adult Written byzav417 October 27, 2014

bad

made me rage
Kid, 11 years old September 8, 2013

Do not try it! Will make your kid(s) cry!

Don't try it! If you make the teeniest mistake on IXL BOOM! You lose a LOT of points. It will make your kid(s) cry. I'm surprised you are giving it go... Continue reading
Kid, 10 years old January 1, 2014

Ixl is NOT worth it!

I think ixl is not worth it! First of all, when you make it to the 70's or 80's, you earn 1 point and lose like 10 points. It helped me get good grade... Continue reading

What's it about?

IXL offers more than 7,000 practice modules on Common Core pre-K through high school math and language skills. It also features language arts, science, and social studies for second- through eighth-graders. Kids repetitively practice one lesson at a time, earning certificates and virtual awards that reflect their favorite animals, foods, places, and hobbies for completing work, and they get step-by-step explanations for incorrect answers. After registering, parents can access progress reports to evaluate kids' strengths and weaknesses.

Is it any good?

This academic skill-building site/app gives kids a chance to partake in independent practice and focus on areas where they need or want to improve. For example, at the sixth-grade level, IXL presents 320 math skills practice activities. Parents can view kids' scores for various skill exercises, the questions they answered, and other specific information to differentiate instruction for their child. The "Trouble Spot" report can be very useful in quickly identifying where kids are having a hard time and where they need extra help.

IXL's practice-and-drill approach may not thrill some kids, and some could feel they need to focus on getting the answer right every time, instead of viewing each exercise as a learning experience. But the questions -- which range from basics such as counting to geometry's perpendicular bisector theorem, as well as a range of grammar and vocabulary items -- offer consistent progression; they increase in difficulty once kids reach the challenge mode. Kids also get detailed feedback if they answer incorrectly, along with the chance to continue with the same skill to try to apply what they've learned. This can greatly improve their comprehension of difficult concepts. Adding tools like a virtual sketchpad would be great, and the subscription cost, which kids will need for full access, may be a deterrent for some parents. But overall, IXL is a comprehensive learning resource.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how practicing skills leads to confidence and accuracy. What's a skill you struggled to learn that you possibly could have studied with the help of a site like IXL? How did you feel when you improved? What other skills would you like to improve?

  • How can you use the math skills you're practicing in the real world? When do we use addition in everyday life? How about algebra?

  • Kids can see an explanation if they enter an incorrect answer. Does your child feel stressed out if that happens? Talk about why it's OK to not get things right sometimes when you're learning something new.

Website details

  • Subjects: Language & Reading: reading, vocabulary, writing clearly
    Math: addition, algebra, arithmetic, counting, division, equations, fractions, functions, geometry, graphing, grouping, measurement, money, multiplication, numbers, patterns, probability, ratio, sequences, shapes, statistics, subtraction
    Science: astronomy, biology, chemistry, ecosystems, energy, plants, weather
    Social Studies: geography, government, historical figures, the economy, timelines
  • Skills: Self-Direction: work to achieve goals
  • Genre: Educational
  • Topics: Numbers and Letters
  • Pricing structure: Free to try, Paid (Kids can access 10 free questions in each overall subject area per day. A core subjects subscription is $19.95 a month or $159 a year; a pre-K to 12th-grade math and language arts subscription is $15.95 a month or $129 a year; an individual math, language arts, or Spanish subscription is $9.95 a month or $79 a year; and Spanish exercises can be added to any other package for $5 a month.)

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