And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children. Isaiah 54:13 KJV

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Fun Learning Online {Review} #literacy

Essential Skills Advantage graciously gave us a one year subscription to their Complete Home Learning Suite to review. This all online learning program is for students from K to 6th grades. Apple & Speedy have their own profiles under our account. With Essential Skills Advantage, Apple and Speedy received access to:
Science- Levels K-3
Geography- Levels 4-6
Math- Levels- K-6
Language and Grammar- Levels K-6
Reading- Levels K-6

Over the last few weeks, they have both been using ESA during our regular school days Monday through Thursday. I asked them both to focus on the Reading and Geography. Speedy picked up on the Reading with the third grade level since we started before the end of our school year. Apple was working solely in the 6th grade levels since that is the highest available. They dabbled in some of the other subjects but really only "worked" in Reading and Geography.
This website is very easy to navigate. We had one login for everyone. Once logged in, the Classroom page opens and the student can sign in to their account. This is also where I went to check reports to find their scores each day. I do wish there was an easier way to see the daily grades other than searching through the topics and looking for the date to find a score. However, for the kids the simplistic layout was a plus. The only drawback for them was that they sometimes found themselves in their sibling's account without realizing it. Often they figured it out right AFTER they completed an assignment. 

Speaking of assignments, there really isn't a way to assign them tasks through the program. Since this was for review, I just asked them to work in the two subjects each day. Some areas have only 4 or 5 activities while others had up to 120! It was difficult for them to know where they needed to stop because they weren't going to sit and do 120 activities or questions at one time. I usually had them stop based on time. These activities are fairly simple so they were able to accomplish a lot in a short time. They jumped all around within the subjects under their grade level. 
For some of the activities for grades 3 and 4, Speedy would read a paragraph or two and answer some questions, or he'd work on vocabulary through crossword puzzles or arranging words in alphabetical order. Apple had similar activities in her level, but they were a little harder. Geography is broken down into different categories. The activities often include looking at a map or picture and reading information about it. Then the student answers multiple choice questions to reinforce the information they've learned. 

All in all, the activities the kids have tried in Essential Skills Advantage have been fun and fairly easy for both of them. This feels like a great supplemental program to give students some relaxed learning time to go along with what they are studying. The only drawback to this is that there isn't a list of lessons to use. There's no way to coordinate lessons, but the students get plenty of practice within the areas they use in ESA. Apple was able to complete the 6th grade reading comprehension activities during our review period.
While it isn't easy to track down daily grades, ESA does offer a variety of reports. Their "marks" are accessible from the Classroom page. First you go into a page for the student with a graph of all the areas they have tried. The graph gives a percentage of the course they have completed as well as an overall grade for that area. Under any of those categories, you can click the "marks" symbol to access the page with more detailed marks. Completed activites offer a certificate you can print for your student. There is also an option for making a "report card" for the various subjects. 

While using the program, we came across an error on an activity. The customer service was fantastic! They got right on the problem and got it corrected which made my student very happy. While there are a few things I would tweak about this program, it does offer a wide range of subjects and grades for one price. Students can freely move between the grades and various subjects so they won't run out of activities to try! This program works best for us exactly how we've used it- to fill in days after the regular curriculum is finished. ESA is a great way to incorportate some "fun" learning through the summer.

See what the other Crew members though of Essential Skills Advantage
Essential Skills Advantage Review
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1 comment:

  1. it's a great fill in.. or an attention getter. "MOM! I've never learned this!!" "really? well I guess we should do that sometime eh?" :)


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