Curious if IXL Learning is worth using as a homeschool curriculum? Read through this review to see if it’s a good fit for your family!
If you’ve spent any time researching online homeschool curricula, then I’m sure you’ve heard of IXL Learning. The company has been around since 1998 offering online study materials since long before online education was a thing.
I hope you enjoy reading this blog post. If you want to do my course on how to homeschool, click here.
Since then, they’ve expanded their program to cover all the core subjects for Pre-K through 12th grade. They boast an offering of over 8,500 skills to practice and tools to help your child accelerate their progress.
And that all sounds well and good, but the question on most homeschoolers’ minds as they research any new curriculum is: will this actually work for my child?
Well, I hope with this IXL Learning review I can give you some insight into how the program works and whether or not it might be a good fit for your homeschool.
Let’s dive in!
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What is IXL Learning?
IXL Learning is an online platform that offers a comprehensive curriculum and resources for students in Pre-K through 12th grade. They offer curriculum and study materials for families, classrooms, and schools.
The family option is what most homeschoolers use.
You can either use IXL Learning as your main homeschool curriculum or you can use it to supplement another program you are using.
What’s Included With Your Purchase
With your membership, you get unlimited practice problems and lessons across various subjects. You also get access to IXL’s diagnostic tool, which can help you pinpoint your child’s strengths and weaknesses.
IXL Learning is constantly adding new content. So even if you have been using it for a while, there will always be new things for your child to explore to help further their learning.
IXL Learning also offers skill plans to help you plan out your homeschool year. These skill plans are based on your child’s grade level and can be customized to meet your family’s needs.
The skill plans lay out which topics your child should focus on each week and include suggested lesson plan ideas and resources.
You can also use the IXL Learning website to create your own custom lesson plans for your child. I go into more detail on which types of skill plans are offered in the Free Resources section of this review or you can look through their list of skill plans here.
IXL covers all the core subjects for Pre-K through 12th grade. For Pre-K through 1st grade, they offer Math and Language Arts lessons.
For 3rd grade through 12th grade, they offer Math, Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies. They also offer Spanish lessons for all ages.
IXL is a secular learning program, so you’ll have to supplement it with your own religious studies.
Before we chat about price, make sure you take advantage of their 7-day-free trial here to make sure this is for you.
IXL offers a couple of different prices with different membership options. A single subject, either Math or Language Arts, is $9.95 a month.
The Combo package which includes Math and Language Arts is $15.95 a month. The Core Subjects package includes Math, Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies for $19.95 a month.
Each additional child is only $4 more a month and you can add Spanish onto any package for an additional $5 a month.
If you choose to pay annually, you can save an additional 33% on the whole year.
Learn more about IXL Learning’s membership options here.
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How to Use IXL
IXL Learning is a very simple platform to use. It’s set up to allow your child to use the program to either study and brush up on certain skills, or as the core part of your curriculum.
Your child simply logs into the account, picks the skills they’ll work on for the day, and gets started.
Each skill has a series of problems or questions that the student will be asked. If your child needs a refresher on the concept being taught, they can simply click the “Learn with an example” link above the question.
The goal is for your child to reach a SmartScore of at least 80 before moving on to the next skill. The program will automatically adjust the difficulty of the next question based on how well your child is doing.
With IXL Learning you have the option to follow your own schedule or use one of their skill plans.
One of the features of IXL Learning that really stands out is its analytics. Not only does the real-time diagnostic tool adjust their practice problems based on what skills they need to work on, but you can stay up to date on their progress in the analytics section.
The analytics allows you to find trouble spots that your child might need a little more help with, which lessons they’re spending the most time on, and whether or not they actually logged on and did the work they claimed. 😉
IXL Learning Review
Overall, we like IXL Learning. It’s a good option if you’re looking for an all-in-one homeschool curriculum or just a way to supplement your child’s education. However, like most curricula, it won’t be a good fit for everyone.
What We Liked About IXL
After using IXL Learning for a few weeks, here is what we liked most about it:
Easy Learning On the Go
I really appreciated how you could use IXL Learning on multiple devices. It’s great for those days when you have to take your homeschool on the road or if you’re traveling.
You can use it on a computer, tablet, or even your phone. And, since it’s all web-based, there’s no need to download anything.
The affordability of IXL Learning is a huge point in their favor in my opinion. With multiple kids to homeschool, I have a hard time spending a lot of money on curriculum.
Especially if I’m not sure if they’ll still like it 3 months from now. At less than $20 a month for access to all subjects, it’s something most homeschooling families can afford. (Don’t forget to also look at these affordable homeschool curriculum programs here.)
Good for Visual Learners
IXL Learning is great for visual learners. The online platform and visual demonstrations for each lesson, go a long way toward keeping visual learners engaged.
Plus, they offer video tutorials for middle school math skills. Each concept has its own video lesson to help students see it in action.
Get Explanations As You Go Along
One of my favorite features of IXL Learning is that you can get explanations on how to do each lesson as you go along. If your student gets stuck and can’t remember how to solve a problem, they can click the “Learn with an example” link above every problem.
Plus, if they get the problem wrong, they can see a demonstration of how to solve the problem to help them understand why. I think this is a great feature, especially for subjects like math.
One of the complaints my daughter has had about other online math programs is that they tell her she got the problem wrong, but she doesn’t understand why. With IXL Learning, it’s all demonstrated for her so she can pinpoint where she was having trouble.
Another thing we really liked about IXL Learning is that all the core subjects are covered in one place. This makes it a lot easier to keep track of everything that your student is learning and it cuts down on curriculum costs.
All the Learning Skills Are Easily Explained
As a parent, I really liked how they easily explained what information each skill listed covers. As a new homeschooler, this is especially helpful because you don’t always know what needs to be taught for each skill or how in-depth.
With IXL Learning, all you have to do is go to the grade and subject your child is working on, hover over the listed skill, and they’ll show example problems that relate to that skill. You can easily check whether or not this is something your child already knows.
As a working homeschool mom, I am a HUGE fan of any homeschool curriculum that allows me to be hands-off. IXL Learning is designed so that your student can work completely on their own.
The problems and examples are completely self-explanatory. They also have an audio narration of each problem you can hear by clicking on the speaker.
So even children without strong reading skills (or any reading skills) can easily work through the practice problems. With a few brief explanations, even my 5-year-old was able to work through a good portion of the problems on his own.
No Planning Needed
Another great perk for working homeschool moms is that IXL Learning requires no planning on your part. You can easily use their skill plans to have everything planned out for your child.
Who Would IXL Learning Be a Good Fit For?
As much as IXL Learning has to offer, as I said, it won’t be a perfect fit for everyone. Here are the homeschoolers who I think would benefit from this curriculum the most:
- Busy homeschool moms – If you’re like me and you’ve got a lot on your plate, I think IXL Learning is a great option. Everything is covered in one place and your kids will be able to do the majority of the schoolwork independently.
- You need the convenience of learning anywhere – If your family is on the go a lot or you homeschool while traveling, then IXL Learning is a great choice. With all of the work being done online from any device, it’s easy to make sure your child can access their schoolwork from almost anywhere.
- You want a curriculum that adapts to your child – With IXL Learning’s real-time diagnostic feature, you won’t have to worry about your child wasting time on skills they’ve already mastered or being frustrated by problems they aren’t ready for. The program adapts to your child’s skill level as they work.
- Your child just needs extra practice – If your child struggles with a particular subject or just needs more practice to feel confident, then IXL Learning can help. They are a great complement to other curricula.
Free Resources From IXL
Although IXL Learning does have a membership option that is very affordable. They also have some really nice features that you can access for free.
IXL Learning offers skill plans to help you plan out your homeschool curriculum. They have skill plans for all the subjects they offer at every grade level.
They even offer skill plans based on your state’s standards, larger learning concepts, and test prep for older grades. Whether you choose to purchase an IXL Learning membership or not, I think this is a wonderful resource.
Especially if you live in a state with stricter homeschool requirements, it can help a lot with making sure you cover everything you need to.
You can look through their list of skill plans here.
IXL Learning offers a complete breakdown of all the skills a child needs to learn for each grade by subject. They include examples of each skill and sample problems so you can get a feel for whether or not that’s a concept your child has mastered.
I think this is a fabulous resource for homeschool parents when it comes to planning out their own curriculum and lessons. In fact, that’s how I used IXL Learning before we started using it as a curriculum.
If we ever got to a point where I wasn’t sure what concepts to teach next or whether my kids were ready to move on to the next grade, I would take a glance through the skills listed for each subject.
It helped me get a good grasp on where my kids were and what I needed to teach next.
Look through IXL Learning’s full skills list here.
IXL Learning also offers free printables to help make your homeschool day go more smoothly. They have goal posters, customizable certificates, and practice coupons to help keep your child motivated and inspired to do their schoolwork.
They come in different colors and themes so you can pick and choose which ones you think your child would like the best. I love finding little extras like this to help homeschooling feel more fun and exciting for my kids.
Browse through their free printables here.
10 Free Practice Problems a Day
The last free resource that IXL Learning offers is that you can use their program to complete 10 free practice problems a day. This is a nice way to get a feel for how their program works without having to spend money on it first.
10 problems aren’t enough to substitute a full curriculum by any means, but it might be enough for your child to get a little extra practice in a specific area they might be struggling. (If you need a free homeschool curriculum, why not check out these ones.)
FAQs About IXL Learning
Do you still have a few questions about IXL Learning? Here are some FAQs that often come up:
Is IXL a good homeschool program?
I think IXL Learning would be the foundation of a good homeschool program. The only complaint most people have is that it’s not very exciting or engaging, especially for younger children.
I think it would be a great choice for subjects like math or language arts that benefit from a lot of practice. For other subjects, you might want to supplement with other resources that are more engaging or hands-on.
Is IXL a full homeschool curriculum?
With the exception of the math skills that include instructional videos, I wouldn’t really consider IXL Learning a full homeschool curriculum. They offer a lot of great resources to help your children practice and reinforce learning skills, but they don’t really provide much instruction on how to learn new skills.
For example, they would be great for helping your child practice identifying a subject in a sentence, but they don’t go into a lot of detail teaching your child how to do it if they’ve never learned it before.
Is IXL free for homeschooling?
You can use some of IXL Learning’s features for free, but if you want full access to all their content, you will need to sign up for a paid membership.
Learn more about IXL Learning’s membership options here.
Is IXL secular?
IXL Learning is a secular homeschool curriculum. They don’t include any religious content in their materials or lessons. (If you want a Christian homeschool curriculum program, checkout these ones here.)
IXL VS Time4Learning
Now that we’ve gone over what IXL Learning has to offer, let’s take a look at how it compares to another popular homeschool curriculum, Time4Learning.
IXL Learning is less expensive than Time4Learning. To get access to all subjects, IXL Learning costs $19.95 a month and each additional student is only $4 more a month.
Time4Learning charges $24.95 a month for grades Pre-K through 8th grade and $34.95 a month for grades 9-12. Each additional student for Pre-K through 8th grade is $14.95 more a month.
This makes IXL Learning a much more affordable option for larger families.
Both IXL Learning and Time4Learning cover the main core subjects of Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies. However, Time4Learning offers more electives for high school. They offer:
- Environmental Science
- Intro to Communications and Speech
- Art History I
- Concepts in Probability and Statistics
- Intro to Art
- Contemporary Health
- Foundations of Personal Wellness
- Lifetime Fitness
- Strategies for Academic Success
- Healthy Living
- Personal Finance
When it comes to foreign languages, IXL Learning only offers Spanish for an extra $5 a month. Time4Learning offers several different languages including:
Although Time4Learning offers several different language courses, they cost an additional $59.95 for 6 months of access.
When it comes to subjects offered, Time4Learning definitely has more available, especially for older students.
Both IXL Learning and Time4Learning offer programs for Pre-K through 12th grade.
Ease of Use:
Both programs are fairly easy to use. I would say that Time4Learning is probably a little bit easier in terms of being able to just sign in and go without having to do a lot of planning or prep.
IXL Learning does offer skill plans and weekly plans that allow your child to easily work independently without a lot of planning. However, they do require a little more explanation for your student on how to follow them.
That being said, Time4Learning is limited in what devices you can use it on. You have to have access to a computer or iPad. IXL Learning can be accessed from a computer, tablet, or phone.
When it comes to engagement, Time4Learning is the clear winner. They offer a much more engaging learning experience and they provide a lot of direct instruction for new topics that IXL Learning doesn’t.
Especially for the younger grades, Time4Learning is a more engaging curriculum. They provide animated lessons, activities, quizzes, and assessments that create a more exciting and comprehensive learning experience.
Final Thoughts on IXL Learning Homeschool Curriculum
I hope this review of IXL Learning helped you decide if it’s the right homeschool curriculum for your family. IXL Learning has a lot to offer homeschooling families, especially when it comes to helping your child get the practice they need to truly master learning concepts.
If you’re new to homeschooling and want a little bit more help finding a curriculum that will work best for your family, check out the How to Homeschool Course!
It has short engaging videos to help you pick the right curriculum that matches your child’s needs. It also has tons of advice and resources from a veteran homeschool mom.
Get more details about the How to Homeschool Course here!
Have you tried IXL Learning? What did you think? Let us know in the comments below!