Big IQ Kids is an online learning website that is designed to be customized for your K-8th grade student. The free version focuses primarily on Spelling and Vocabulary. With Premium Member status, though, Math and US Geography are covered as well and student progress is saved and tracked. Initially, I thought the website was very colorful, cheerful and kid-friendly. For the first week, I had my sons (ages 9 and 11) start with the US Geography activities. They could choose from a variety of tasks related to the States, such as locating it on a map, spelling it, giving the abbreviation or identifying the capitals. I have actually looked online in the past for a program that does just this sort of thing with US Geography, so I was really pleased to have the opportunity to review Big IQ Kids, even if it was just for the states program. But there is much more to see on the webiste.
Math is also a part of Big IQ Kids Premium and has progressive activities (don't forget to set the grade level up or down, depending on the math abilities of your child). I like the way that the problem the child is working on is highlighted, but the rest of the problems are still visible. I have a child that likes to go quickly if he's confident in the material. This way, he can see the next problem and can get ready to type it while the computer transitions to that problem.
While I was impressed with the intention behind the program, I did find it rather hard to navigate through the Spelling/Vocabulary screens. There are arrows and buttons everywhere. I had to stop and really think about what I should do next to load word lists, select certain activities and then proceed. I found myself going round and round three or four times just to get started with a new word list. Also, when the activity is presented, it comes up in a new window, which doesn't have a side bar to move up and down. Sometimes the top portion of the activity seems cut off from view. I found myself test-driving some of the lessons to find out why my kids were so frustrated with the Spelling and Vocabulary lessons and I can see where some technical tweaking would help in these areas.
My sons did, however, have a ton of fun with the States activities. Jake and Alexis are the hosts of this portion and provide a lot of comedy for us around our house. At first, their voices were like fingernails down a chalkboard. Then we started talking like them, pausing in strange places in our sentence and emphasizing the wrong syllable. What started out as a "con" became a "pro", because my sons wanted to play Big IQ Kids every day for some portion of their school day, even if it was just to get a laugh from the robot-people. I like the games for the States program a great deal, but there are a few issues. When the student is working on "spell the state", one robot voice starts giving fun facts about that state, while an overlapping robot voice is saying the letters aloud that the student is typing. This needs to be fixed.
Premium Memberships are between $7.99 and $9.99 per month, depending on the subjects that you choose for your subscription.
Overall, I think Big IQ Kids is, without a doubt, on the right track. They get an A for effort. When some of the technicalities are worked out, I think they will get an A+ from me.
**Disclaimer: Big IQ Kids provided me with two Premium Memberships to use with my children. I received this in exchange for an honest review, which I have provided here.