math & Tutoring for Web-Based Math Practice
777 Mariners Island Blvd., Suite 650
San Mateo, CA 94404

by Michael Leppert

Since math is one of the most important subjects in a student’s curriculum, and math is so much a skill based upon repetition and review, a program that allows virtually unlimited practice and self-correction is one of the most valuable learning tools a homeschooling family can have. is a comprehensive web-based math-supplemental program that offers both parent and child the opportunity to practice math material taught in a textbook or other format. IXL does not teach the concepts; rather, it provides an infinite number of computer-generated problems that cover the entire gamut of math skills taught from Pre-K to 5th grade, with grades 6-12 planned for the near future. “Web-based” means it can be accessed from any computer that has an Internet connection. This means that when taking a trip or even just driving around running errands for hours, your laptop with a PCI card can allow your child to practice math right in the car!

Some thumbnail examples of what IXL offers students:

Pre-K level – identify two- and three- dimensional shapes – squares, circles, triangles; boxes, cubes and pyramids; counting up to 20; counting money; spatial location; colors; classification of objects and comparisons.

Kindergarten level – skip counting by 2s, 5s and 10s; comparing more and less by groups of objects; sequences, counting by typing letters; subtraction up to 10 by various methods – sentences, pictures and numbers.

First Grade – comparing money amounts; ordinal numbers (1st, 2nd, 3rd); simple word problems; Roman numerals; halves, thirds, and fourths; symmetry; recognizing patterns.

Second Grade – place values; working with number lines up to 100 & 1,000; money problems up to $5 and making change; word problems up to 100; bar graphs; Venn diagrams – which illustrate a form of early deductive reasoning; computing elapsed time.

Third Grade – standard and expanded form; adding four-digit numbers; multiplication and division facts and problems; coordinate graphs; working with weights and various measurement scales – liquid, temperature, etc.

The complete inventory of topics offered is very large, with over 100 skills per grade level, so a visit to the IXL website is a must for interested parents. Besides pure math problems to solve, IXL also includes exercises in reasoning and logical thinking in its array of topics -- the Venn diagrams noted above, being one such element. Therefore, IXL helps your child learn critical thinking as well as math. keeps track of your child’s work and progress, sending daily or weekly e-mail reports, so you can see what areas might need more work and which need less. The program itself includes a Reports section, so you needn’t wait for the e-mail. You can see your child’s work from each lesson, immediately. For parents who are interested in state standards, IXL offers reports for all fifty states.

IXL’s color scheme is attractive and inviting and the problems vary from number to word  to pictorial, to maintain your child’s interest, as well as reviewing and practicing the same math concept in different modes.  Seeing the problem in its number form and later seeing the same or similar problem in a word-problem format and then again as a pictorial representation really makes the concept “sink in” and become integrated as part of your child’s knowledge base. This makes it much more valuable than worksheets, for instance. is an exceptional value, with a monthly subscription being only $9.95 for the first child and $2 per month for each additional child and a yearly subscription being $79 for the first child and $20 per year for each additional child. A family with three children would pay $13.95 per month for unlimited use of IXL!

With a solid math textbook and, you and your child can develop a regimen of powerful math learning and practice that will provide you with peace of mind and your child with a firm foundation of math knowledge, understanding and facts. Please visit their website for much more information. MjL


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