Thursday, August 28, 2014

Essential Skills Advantage {TOS Review}

Essential Skills Advantage ReviewTrying to teach your child to read is one of the most rewarding experiences as a homeschool parent, yet it can also be the most intimidating!   Besides the initial fear of teaching your child to read, you have to decide how you will teach him/her.  Thankfully there are many great curriculums out there.  Essential Skills Advantage is one of those with the bonus that it is entirely online!

We were given a full year's subscription (the Premium Plan) to Essential Skills Advantage that included all levels.  Membership is $9.99 a month per child.  It is ideal for children in Kindergarten through grade 6.   

Essential Skills Advantage Review

Here is some helpful information regarding Essential Skills Advantage.  The program was designed by a team of experienced teachers and educators to help children in grades K-6 to become strong readers.  There are over 20,000 reading and language activities.  They provide your child with the competitive edge over other students.  Their curriculum is inline with curriculum requirements.  It has been identified as beneficial to students with learning challenges from ADHD to Autism. 

I used Essential Skills Advantage for my six year old son.  He is currently is grade 1 and is not quite reading.  My son enjoyed the activities, and it wasn't a chore for him to do school.  I would think the curriculum makes a great supplement, as I would still prefer he do some written work such as writing the letters and words.

One of the things it helped us focus on was sight words.  This is something we have been working on, and he really excelled in this area because of the program.  We supplemented with hand-written flash cards.

The program tracked everything my son did, and I could check his progress at any time.  It kept track of his grades, the length of time it took him to complete an activity, how many times he got a problem incorrect, the date and time, etc.  I really loved this aspect.  I sat with him while he did most of the activities, but if I stepped away I could tell if he was just clicking the button to get through it quick or if he was applying himself and trying.

My eleven  year old daughter did a few of the activities as well.  She doesn't always enjoy using the computer for school, but she did enjoy the activities that she chose. Probably because it wasn't forced on her made it more enjoyable.  :)

So overall, I think it's a great price for $9.99 per month (see below for a code to make it even cheaper!) or try the free version (more info below).   There are many activities to choose from and I don't see your child getting bored any time soon!

Also, as a bonus, if you are interested in the premium plan (the one I reviewed), you can get 50% off the monthly membership fee when you use the code TOS50.  This code is good until October 1, 2014 and the discount will apply as long as you remain a member.  So that means you pay $4.99 a month for each student.

And even better - Essential Skills Advantage has recently offered a sponsored version of their program that is FREE, yes completely free.  You can access the courses that Essential Skills Advantage has to offer, the only string attached is that there is sponsored advertising and not every available feature is accessible.  It's still worth a try.

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