Thursday, June 2, 2016

Essential Skills Advantage (A REVIEW)

Essential Skills Advantage Review
 
 
 
We had the opportunity to review another option for online home education  from Essential Skills Advantage with their Complete Home Learning Suite. It's an online supplement curriculum for K-6 that is full of fun games that cover important concepts for each grade to help them master some essential skills. I had my Pre-K child, who is 5 use this, and he worked on the Kindergarden level of all the subjects.

Essential Skills Advantage Review

What is the Complete Home Learning Suite? It is a yearly online subscription program that includes the 5 basic subject groups Reading, Language and Grammar, Math, Science, and Geography. Within each subject there are several activities and the child can work on them in any order at their own pace. The activities within each subject are also broken up into topics or concepts. Some of the topics in the Kindergarden Life Science section include Living and Non-Living, Humans, Plants, and Animals to name a few.

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How did we use this program? We used it mainly with my almost Kinder child. To set it up we have to log in with our email, and let me just say that I love having the option of not needing a password (it's an option). I think that would make it super easy for any of my children to get going on their own, but not necessarily my Kindergardener. But, I could also see having a separate password for each child beneficial too (another option).  He would see the page above with all the subject choices to pick from. I would let him pick the subject he was most interested in which was usually math or science. I think he did a few Language and Reading activities, and since the Geography is only grades 4-6 we didn't really look at that subject.

After he picked a subject I would click through to the concept he wanted such as subtraction, money, or calculator practice. When he chose the science I often had to sit with him for this subject as there was a lot of reading involved. There is also a lot of prior knowledge needed for most of these subjects since these are mostly questions and activities. There are no lessons explaining new concepts, but it is more a review of what the child knows or should be starting to learn. For example, in the science section for Kindergarden, my 5 year old doesn't really know much about energy, but he chose that topic to work on. With me reading the questions for him he was able to use some logic and reasoning to figure out the answers (with my guidance), and in the end he learned a little about energy even though we've never really covered it. It showed me though that he can really grasp these concepts, and this is a great program to help me see what kinds of things we can work on and learn about.

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I also let my 2nd grader give it a try (at his request). He wanted to see what his little brother has been up to with this program. I could see this being a great fit for any age. There are a lot of great games and activities even for his grade level too. He played it for quite a bit for his one turn.

What did I think? Overall, I think this is a fun supplement to our homeschool. I think it would be a great way to practice over the summer, or to use as a "helper" during the school year. Something fun for the kids to do in between subjects, maybe as a warm-up, or on busier days. I could see us using this when we are out and about with access to the internet. It could be a great way to have some learning while on the go. There are over 14,000 activities that I could see this definitely lasting for a while, and the kids not getting bored with it. There were several topics that we haven't even touched yet.

Want to see what others had to say about this program? More reviews can be found by clicking on the banner below!

 
Essential Skills Advantage Review
 
 
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