Have you heard of Essential Skills Advantage? If you have, you’ll know how fantastic their program is. If not, let us tell you about our experience using this on-line reading skills program over the past six weeks.
Essential Skills Advantage is for children from kindergarten to grade 6. However, like most programs, you know your child best and they may be able to start earlier or later, depending on their current abilities.
Both of my children (4 and 6 years old) have been using Essential Skills advantage. It isn’t always the case that the same program is appropriate or holds the interest of both of them, but this one certainly did.
We’ve used this program over the summer to keep the kids going with home education so that they could keep the routine of ‘learning’ going. While most of their summer education was done through life experiences and just having fun, this kept their brains in gear. They used it 3 to 5 times a week, depending on the weather. We went out on sunny days that just couldn’t be missed. Even when Phil had his 2 weeks of summer vacation time, the children still asked to do “the butterflies”, as they call it. They refer to ESA as this as there are butterflies fluttering across the opening screen.
Essential Skills Advantage is easy to set up and maneuver through for both parents and children. There are loads of games and activities to both learn and reinforce reading skills. Some examples are concentration, word searches, which items are the same, etc. There are also spoken instructions so that younger children can listen to the instructions. There is also some listening work involved with some of the activities.
The Complete Reading for Kindergarten has four main topics:
- Readiness skills
- Sight Words
The Complete Reading Grade 1 has the following main topics:
- Readiness skills
- Sight Words
Fun With Spelling 1 has:
- Short vowel word families (a, e, i, o, u, and other word families)
- Crayon words
- Number words
After each activity is completed, the child will see the number of answers they had correct, the percentage of correct answers, and the time it took them to complete the activity. They will also get 1-3 stars for their efforts. Activities can be repeated if needed. All of this immediate visual feedback helps to keep children motivated and on-task. Each activity only takes about 1-4 minutes (at least at the kindergarten and grade 1 levels that my children have completed), so they won’t grow bored with any particular one.
When an entire topic has been successfully completed, you can go into the parent portal and print off a certificate for your child that has their name on it, as well as the topic completed. My children love this! They were so proud to have a certificate and now they are hanging in the kitchen on their wall of fame (the certificates are hanging, not the children…).
From the parent portal, you’ll be able to see the activities the children have completed, as well as their high score, most recent score, average score, the time it’s taken to complete each activity, as well as the number of times they’ve done it and how many times it took to master it. You’ll also be able to see the date and time of their last attempt.
Kallista has been flying through the Complete Reading For Kindergarten and has already completed 30% of the year’s work! As you’ll get full access to all areas, it’ll only be a click of the mouse to start her on the next level when she’s done. Tristan has completed about 25% of Complete Readiness for Grade 1, but there are more activities included in Grade 1.
Both of my children will definitely be continuing to use this reading skills program on a weekly basis. This has been the first reading skills program my son has been excited about. The only problem we’ve encountered is that the children argue over who will get their turn first! I love to see their enthusiasm to learn. I definitely recommend this program to others.
Essential Skills Advantage has just started a sponsored program. With this program you’ll have access to all grade levels for FREE. I think this is fantastic! With the free version, you will see advertisements (in the parent portal only) and you won’t be able to keep the grades as you can in the premium program that we’ve been using. If you’d like to try out the sponsored reading skills program, you can sign up at www.ESAlearning.com
If you would like to purchase Essential Skills Advantage, the price is $9.99/student/month USD, which is a reasonable price in my opinion for what you will get. In addition to this, Essential Skills Advantage is offering our readers a generous 50% discount on their premium plan until October 1st. Simply enter “TOS50”to get your subscription for only $4.99/month/student as long as you remain a member.
To read more reviews about Essential Skills Advantage by the Schoolhouse Crew, click on the graphic below and follow the instructions, you will find 50 honest reviews by the Crew. If you’d like to know more or would like to follow Essential Skills Advantage, you can connect with them through their website, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+.