Friday, March 25, 2011

Big IQ Kids

Big IQ Kids
Helping Kids Become Become and Stay A+ students

Content for grades K-8

Big IQ Kids has both a free and paid membership program. They both feature activities in the areas of spelling, vocabulary, math, and US States or geography. The premium program tracks the students progress and only allows them to move on when they have achieved mastery. It also reports that progress to the registered email address. Another difference between the free and premium programs is the learning activity is full screen in the premium program and there are few ads. The premium program also allows the student to save their game tokens and game scores.  The site also has a comparison between the free and premium programs.

In addition there are also free measurement and telling time games and a vowel sound game. A chapter book is also available to read for free.

The pricing structure is varied for each of the components, but the Big IQ Kids site has a nice price layout that is easy to understand.

Big IQ kids is an online supplementary tutor program.  They address learning in the areas of spelling, vocabulary, math and US geography.

In the spelling module users have 5 days worth of activities for a specific spelling list.  Three of the days there are specific activities which they must complete and the other two days they are given the choice of which activity they may complete.  Students may use the preselected spelling lists or parents/teachers may create their own lists.

Vocabulary introduces the student to new words and their meanings.  It also helps them to learn antonyms and synonyms of the words.  They must also match definitions to the vocabulary words by selecting from a list.

Math focuses on the 4 basic operations and presents the student/user with a multi question multi operation quiz.  There is also an option to customize the math quizzes. These are timed, but the length of time is

The US States section helps children learn about the United States state by state.  They are presented with a map of the US and given the opportunity to select a state to learn more about.  For each state they learn the capital, location, postal abbreviation and general facts.  Many of these facts correlate with the 5 themes of geography found in many curricula. They also learn to spell each of the states names.

Big IQ Kids also features a games section of arcade style computer games.  In order to play the games, the student must complete learning activities to earn tokens which are then exchanged for game play.

When the student first plays they get to design and dress their own unique avatar.  This involves choosing clothing styles and colors, and accessories.


Both my 10 and 6 year olds use BIG IQ kids and love it.  I give them each 30-45 minutes to play on it several days a week.  This also includes the time they are allowed to play games with their tokens.  I didn't tell them what learning activities they had to do each day, except for spelling as I put their spelling lists in for the week.  This gave them practice in addition to their written exercises and helps to reinforce practice of the tricky words. The spelling practice is complete enough that I could use this as a spelling curriculum for one of my children, but it does not have enough reinforcement for the other.

I like the variety of learning activities and subjects available.  The state activities have been great as we are studying each of the states this year.  It has taught the children some interesting tidbits which I would not have thought to research and share with them.  However, my son (who is 6) became frustrated with trying to spell the state names when he would have to erase the whole word just to correct an earlier misspelled letter.  We also found it strange that the second name in two name states was not capitalized. Despite this I think the States program was their favorite.

We have not addressed vocabulary as a separate subject, rather just looking up new words as we encounter them in our other studies. I love how Big IQ kids had filled this 'gap' for us.

I really like the feature which ties the ability to play games to earning tokens by completing learning activities.  My son would play computer games all day if I let him and this was a good "Mom is not the bad guy" way to curb that issue.  He could play games while he had tokens and then he was done.

I also like that each subject lesson is short, not only does that allow the student to finish a lesson without getting bored, but it also exposes them to the different subjects in a short length of time.

Even with all the things I like about Big IQ Kids, there were a couple I did not like. The robot in the spelling game is trying to be encouraging to the student, but several of his comments I thought could be taken in a derogatory manner.  One of the was about being smart... for a human.  I also don't care for the ease with which lesson can be customized or modified.  It is too simple to do and too obvious.  I would much prefer a separate log in or something similar in order to change content.

All of the lessons are accompanied by a computerized "tutor" who talks to the student and explains the activity or gives the spelling words, etc.  After a while I found this computer voice to be annoying. Additionally sometimes what is being said is not clear or grammatically correct.

I was not overly impressed by the current free book available.  It is not bad, I just didn't care for the way the characters treated each other.   My daughter even pointed that out to me, so since she was able to see what was not right I don't have a major problem with her reading it. 

Each time you visit the Big IQ kids site you will be reminded of their mission, helping children become A+ students. Big IQ kids has been an effortless way for my children to learn new things as well as sharpen their skills. It also provides them with an educational purpose for using the computer.

Read what other crew members had to say here.

Disclaimer: I received a free Premium Subscription to use for the purpose of writing this review. I have not been compensated in any other manner.  All views expressed here are solely my own.

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