Friday, March 25, 2011

Review of

For the past couple of months, my family has had the pleasure of using the premium version of the BigIQkids website in exchange for my unbiased review.  Suffice it to say, my unbiased review is -- Wow.  This website has so much to offer kids of all ages.  Using a very entertaining set of cartoonish kids as announcers of sorts, the website offers kids of many different ages practice in spelling, vocabulary, geography, and math.  Additionally, kids can study time and view age-appropriate ebooks.

My nine year-old daughter has been the most avid user of this program and, with its assistance, she has mastered the map of the United States, at least as far as the states and capitals are concerned! The math facts review section is very helpful, and fun enough that I enjoy seeing how adept I am with my math facts. There is a spelling practice program which any parent should welcome.  The program allows you to input your own spelling list or to choose from set, grade-specific lists.  After setting your list, you can choose either to learn, practice, or be tested on the words.  The animated and realistic cartoon speaker even guides you through your own personal spelling bee! Given that it is my daughter who has made the greatest use of the site, I thought her opinion would be particularly relevant:

                  After using BigIQkids for a couple of months, I can now recognize all of the states on a map, spell magnificently and do simple division at the speed of lightning.  My favorite part is vocabulary. I am learning what all sorts of words mean. If you miss a question on BigIQkids you get the answer instantly instead of after you have finished all of the other questions.  BigIQkids is the best learning website that I have ever encountered.

My favorite component of the site, though, is the SAT Vocabulary review section.  I am thoroughly in favor of children learning SAT-type words at a younger age.  It will improve their overall vocabulary, their writing, and their reading comprehension.  If you also happen to study Latin and/or Greek, your children will be able vividly to see the impact of these languages on our own.  BigIQkids allows you to set your grade level as low as 2nd-3rd, thereby easing you into more sophisticated words.  If, as you practice, you get a word wrong, the program stops and reviews the word with you.  The instant feedback is so much more effective than taking a test and then checking your answers.

There is so much to love on BigIQkids that it is impossible to relate all of it here. Suffice it to say that if you have a child from K-12, you will find something to love on this site.  Fortunately, BigIQkids gives you a great opportunity to sample its site for free, given that the programs all have incredibly comprehensive free versions.  With the paid site, your child will have his/her progress monitored and tracked, and you will receive progress emails.  Further, your child will gain access to a full gaming page, will have his/her progress and high scores saved, and will be able to customize a "buddy", a BigIQkids persona. There are also more functions available with the premium version.  A complete summary of the differences between free and premium can be found here.

A premium subscription to BigIQkids can be paid either monthly or yearly.  The full premium site is $99.99 a year.  Alternatively, if you are only interested in the premium version of one or two of the site's programs, you can purchase them a la carte.  As a final option (and this deal is really an amazing one), you can upgrade your free version of BigIQkids, enabling you to access the full features of the premium games, along with the customizable buddy.  What you won't get are premium features like the score tracking and notifications.  Upgrading your free account will only cost you $9.99/year.

I love BigIQkids, and I plan to keep my subscription when my free-for-unbiased-review period ends.  To find out what other Crew members thought about this cool website, see the Crew blog.

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