One of the virtues I admire most in my youngest daughter is perseverance. Determined, resolute, indefatigable — these are not the characteristics you might expect in a 9-year-old; yet Sarah seems to be well on her way in gaining these qualities.
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. — 2 Peter 1:5-7
In February, Kathy and I were a little discouraged with our abilities as Math teachers, and we adopted IXL as a supplementary math resource. I wrote about our adoption of IXL in IXL Blues toward the end of February. As of that writing, I was hopeful but was half-bracing myself for IXL to fizzle out. To help keep incentives high, I promised $100 to each of the children if they would finish a year’s worth of IXL ($200 if they applied it toward a Christian camp or conference).
It has really paid off. All four of the kids using IXL saw significant improvement in their annual test math scores, and Sarah (awesome math girl that she is) managed to finish an entire grade level in just over four months.
“Sure,” you might sneer, “an entire grade level — those online courses are notoriously easy.”
Not so. The grade level that Sarah just completed featured 215 distinct math skills, each with a full complement of problems. Sarah completed 8,282 problems in just under 97 hours, all done in addition to her normal work load as a student.
I am so very proud of Sarah, and I hope that her example is an encouragement to David, Daniel and Rachel, who are not far behind. As much as they may grumble about IXL, I am firmly convinced that the math disciplines they acquire will result in substantially higher confidence and scores on the PSAT and SAT.