Homeschooling with IXL – An Honest Review The Reasons Why We Love It

February 19, 2019 4 Comments
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I am always on the lookout for new homeschool programs and have recently come across IXL. Now I had heard of them previously but was always a little dubious as it was American. We are based in the UK and are following the UK National Curriculum, so I was interested to see how IXL learning worked.

Disclosure – I received an annual subscription to IXL for review, but all views are my own.

There is a UK edition to IXL which follows the UK curriculum and has UK spellings and UK money. I am pleased I have had the opportunity to review the American version for you though. As in my opinion although there are a few negatives for UK students (please see below) it has more subjects to study.

The Differences Between UK and USA version of IXL

  • The UK version of IXL is available for maths and English
  • The USA version of IXL has maths, English, science, Spanish and social science lessons.
  • The UK version follows the UK national curriculum. The school year suggestions follow the UK school system. There are localised spellings, the money is in £ and not $ and the weights are metric.
  • The American version follows the standards set in America. The school grades are American (see table below for comparisons). There are localised spellings, the money is in $ and the weights are imperial.

What is IXL?

IXL stands for “I excel” which I think is a very apt name.

IXL Learning is not just a maths and English tool. It also has science, social studies and Spanish, so is a complete online learning resource. It is for all ages from Year 1 to Year 13 (UK levels – see table above to see where your child sits within the American grades.) If you opt for the UK version of IXL it only includes maths and English.

Using IXL in our Homeschool

We have only been using it for a week now, and I honestly, already know this is something we will continue to use. (No I have not been paid to say that.)

What I instantly loved, which I have not come across before, is IXL did not ask for my son’s age! I know, this at first really surprised me.

IXL Review

As soon as my son logged onto IXL he had to take a diagnostic test, which is about 150 questions in both maths and language arts (English). Now we had no idea how long this “test” would take, but it took Freddie about 3 hours. Now Freddie is only 9 years old so he, of course, had plenty of breaks in between.

The results were amazing, and exactly what I would expect. Freddie was deregistered from school, as in my opinion he wasn’t being pushed hard enough, and he should be working at a higher level than year 4. We have been homeschooling since June 2018 and this diagnostic assessment confirmed everything we already knew. In maths, his overall level was 510 (which is year 6 in England) and his overall language arts level was 520 (which is also year 6 in England.) This level of personalised learning is something I have not seen before.

At first, I struggled to understand the different school grades as they are different from the UK. If you had the UK version of IXL this would not be a problem. But to make it easier for you if using the American version I have created the following table.

School Year Grade Comparison for UK and USA

Equivalent class age placement UK to USA

Continuous Diagnostic Report-IXL

The diagnostic report was so detailed. Not only did it tell me that his overall maths and language arts level, but it also broke it down into different sections. In maths there was:

  • Numbers and Operations
  • Algebra & Algebraic Thinking
  • Fractions
  • Geometry
  • Measurement
  • Data, Statistics & Probability

So I know that Freddie needs extra work on geometry in particular. So rather than having to stay working at year 4, he is working in year 4 (UK) for geometry, year 5 (UK) for data statistics & probability but year 6 (UK) for everything else.

Check out my popular post on over 80 educational resources that we use in our homeschool.

The English report is just as detailed and is broken down as follows:

  • Reading Strategies
  • Vocabulary
  • Writing Strategies
  • Grammar & Mechanics

Freddie is working in year 6 (UK) for all but grammar & mechanics where is at the beginning of year 5. It tells me what he struggles with as well: Capitalising titles, capitalising names and places, punctuating dialogue and commas with the names of places.

Every lesson Freddie does his diagnostic report also changes. This can be printed out or just viewed online.

IXL Recommendations Page

After the diagnostic test has been taken there are loads of recommendations for your child to do. They can scroll through and chose what lesson they do next, be it maths or language arts.

IXL recommendations

Once they have chosen which skill they would like to work on the child selects the lesson.

It shows them on the right of the screen how many questions they have answered, the time elapsed and the smart score out of 100.

There are absolutely loads of certificates to be achieved as well and virtual stickers. So if they are progressing well, or spending time on IXL they get rewarded.

ixl learning certificate

What’s also great is, I got an email telling me how hard Freddie had been working. Although he works on a desk behind mine, and he was so proud he told me as soon as he got it.

ixl learning certificate notification

Parent Information with IXL

The level of information that parents get with IXL is also much more than I have seen before. There is a certificate centre, where you can see how they are progressing.

IXL Certificates Centre

The progress and improvement page is also really handy. You can see exactly what lessons they have done and how they did in it. Clearly, Freddie needs more work with two-dimensional figures for example. But IXL will keep this in the recommendations page until he completely understands it.

The usage details are also brilliant. It shows how many questions they have answered, how long they have spent practising and what skills they have progressed in.

IXL Parent Portal

IXL Reviews

This is one of the best online home education programs we use. I love the fact that you are not stuck in one year group for all lessons. I love that you can choose which lesson or skill you want to master.

If you opt for the American version of IXL there are a few negatives for UK students though:

  • The spelling is American
  • When working in money it is in US Dollars not UK £
  • The measurements are imperial and not metric
  • It follows the US standard of education and not the UK national curriculum.

However, even with these negatives in the American version, I absolutely recommend IXL learning to any student. For me, these small negatives were not enough to put us off. As there are Spanish, science and social science lessons as well.

If the negatives would put you off though please do opt for the English version. It is just as good as the American version, but at this time it does not have science, Spanish or social science.

You can follow IXL on social media too Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube

IXL Reviews from a UK homeschool family #ixl #homeeduk #homeeducation #homeschool #homeschooling
IXL Personalised Learning Review
Immersive, Adaptive Learning Online {IXL Learning Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer
IXL Reviews

IXL is one of the best online home education programs we use. I love the fact that you are not stuck in one year group for all subjects. It provides detailed personalised reports and diagnostics. IXL follows the national curriculum and is updated regularly.

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I am Clare, a homeschooling mum in the UK to my gorgeous 9 year old son, Freddie. We also live with my bearded husband Stuart.

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  • Sheena January 15, 2020 at 11:41 am

    This is great review….I have been looking for similar portal for my home educated son and the website doesn’t clearly show all benefits as you have on the review so great help – thank you! Are there any other websites you recommend for homeschooling? My son would be in year 6 (UK)

  • Lara tamura January 30, 2020 at 9:22 am

    Hi Clare
    my name is Lara, i found your blog really informative about homeschooling, and I like it really much. thanks for making all these reviews, they really are helpful to a lot of people
    I’m starting homeschooling next term with one of my daughters and I really would appreciate your opinion
    i’m really bad at maths myself so I don’t feel confident teaching it to my daughter, also she is in year seven, so the maths are getting quite complicated to me, the question is, which online resource do you think would be better for my case, IXL usa or CTCmath? in the CTCmath promotion video I saw that it explains every topic quite good, in IXL i like the interface and the fact that is has many other subjects apart from math, in your opinion which one explains the best way?
    thankyou so much

  • Saya Lee April 24, 2020 at 9:36 pm

    Thank you for this detailed review! I have currently decided not to send my child back for the last term of Reception and have been looking and struggling to choose what online site to put him on. I am now going to try the monthly plan and see how it works out for my 5 year old. Many thanks!

  • Lori May 2, 2020 at 11:04 am

    What a great article about IXL, I think it definitely highlights a lot of the great aspects it can have. Sadly for us it didn’t work out so well so we have been using Beestar instead.

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