We received a one-year online subscription to Essential Skills Advantage Complete Home Learning Suite for two of our kids. Complete Home Learning Suite is an online learning program geared for kids in grades K-6 and offers over 14,000 lessons in the following subjects: Math, Science, Spelling, Reading, Grammar, Creative Writing, and Geography.
My kids who used this program just finished grades 3 and 5. I had them each focus on certain parts of the program. My daughter worked through multiple sections of language arts and some of the US geography, whereas my son worked on some spelling, geography and a few sections of math and science. The set up was easy and each of my children has their own log-in and page to work on.
After using it with my two kids here is what I found that stuck out at us.
- Easy spoken directions for each section
- Short Units – 10 questions per section, before the student moves on to the next section
- Fun and Interactive Lessons
- Lots of repetition for easier memorization
- Full panel of information for the teacher
What My Kids Liked:
- My son and daughter both loved the Geography section
- My son said he really like the matching game for spelling
- The US Geography section features a states memorization unit, capitals, landmarks and other famous cities and other sections of the countries
- The quick lessons allow the student to choose to continue “playing” or finish after the lesson is done
- My daughter liked the creative writing units the best – it was good reinforcement to some things she had been learning
This program is fun and pretty easy. My son who used this is going into 6th grade but struggles with reading and writing because of dyslexia. We worked on several of the spelling stumpers and the other spelling section.
What I found is that the spelling is broken down into long vowel pairing for his grade range. So for instance, there is a section on the “ai” helper and another on the “oa” and others including the “ee”. By the clicking on a section, you open up a unit of practice which focuses on about 10 words. These words are practiced in each section a slightly different way. They may ask the student to do a memory matching game, a different matching which is based on the shape of the words, organizing the words by alphabetical order, matching the scrambled letter words to the correctly spelled word, a word search, or identifying the correctly spelled word among two other misspelled words. I also liked the flashcard section where a word is shown for a few seconds and then disappears. The student is then asked to spell the word correctly.
I was impressed with the amount of different games and exercises that were featured per unit. With each section of words, my son had ample opportunity to practice those words and the spelling rule for that section. Spelling is his biggest pitfall, I love this extra amount of practice he received from using Essential Skills Advantage. I also appreciated that the directions are spoken aloud to the students, which is very helpful because of his struggles to read.
My daughter had a lot of fun using this program. She loved the language portion of Essential Skills Advantage. She did multiple sections of the creative writing story building unit of the program which includes information on setting, plot, crisis, mood, characters among a few other things. She also worked through the grammar section including common nouns, proper nouns, abstract nouns, rules for plural words (and lots of practice for all of this). The math page features a lot of review and practice as well!
The science units are aimed at grades K-3 and although I tried some of it with my son, it was very easy and way too simplistic for him (which I should have expected because he is just finishing 5th grade and loves science). However, he really enjoyed the geography section which is intended for grades 4-6 and he was excited to learning the state capitals as part of the unit on US Geography.
The teacher section is awesome, as well. It allows me to see what my kids have been working on, how much they have done, what their scores are as well as how many minutes total they have been using the program and how many minutes per unit. This is really good if you want to see how well your kids are grasping concepts or to just double check that they are doing what is assigned.
Essential Skills Advantage Complete Home Learning Suite would be perfect to use this Summer as a fun review to help your kids keep their skills fresh until the Fall. Although at first glance I was thinking this program is better for the younger grades (possibly K-3), I now think there are enough activities included that your kids will be able to find some new things to keep them busy learning some different concepts, as well! While this is sold in monthly, semi-yearly and yearly subscriptions I think it is worth the cost especially if you have more than one kid using the yearly subscription. It is only $129.99 for up to 10 students for a year! I think that is a great deal if you have a large family and are teaching more than one kid in these grade ranges.