Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Essential Skills Advantage {TOS REVIEW)

Essential Skills Advantage Review
In 2014 we reviewed a program called Essential Skills Advantage Captain and Boo used it and so when I heard it had be revamped I thought it would be fun to try it again. However this time Boo has aged up and so this time it was just Captain using it. Captain has really enjoyed working on his English, Math and Science skills using the Complete Home Learning Suite.

Essential Skills Advantage Review

We received a year's access to the program. When I told Captain I wanted him to try the program he was a little dubious. He can remember as a five year old the old program wasn't the easiest to find his way around. When we signed into the program this time we were both very surprised. It's very easy to use and he was off! It's a great program if you are busy and want to supplement your teaching time with some great online education.

When you first sign it you see the following screen;

I got Captain to work through each section, so it was super easy. He would click on the reading tab and then choose his grade (we worked through 2nd grade choices);

Reading, Language and Math have lessons for all grades K-6. Science has lessons for grades K-3 and Geography has lessons for grades 4-6. All grades and lessons are open to all students so it can be easily customized to each child. You are not locked into a specific grade for all subjects.

The first section Captain worked on is spelling. Each group of lessons focuses on a different set of spelling words with a variety of typing and spelling exercises to reinforce them. The words are always in the corner so they don't forget them, but they have to be able to recognize and read them to use them in the exercise. The exercise below is called 'Hear and Spell', the computer program reads a word to the child and they type the word in the box provided. I love this exercise as it not only helps with spelling but also keyboarding skills and listening comprehension.

I didn't realize I cut off the bottom of the screen and wanted to mention it - so here's what it looks like,

If you see the little button with the ear on it. The child can press this to hear the word again if they missed it. The stars across shows their progress, so it's really motivating.

This is just one example of a spelling exercise their are a lot to choose from.

The next topic is language and grammar. There are three sections or sets of activities under this topic 'Fun with Spelling 2', 'Grade 2 Phonics', and 'Spelling Stumpers 1 to 5'.

Fun with spelling works through different spelling rules eg; short a, short e, short i, and consonant digraphs etc... So lots to learn. Captain completed quite a few sections in this unit. The phonics section covers topics like long and short vowels, consonant blends, vowel digraphs, and vowel dipthongs, plus grammar topics like contractions, compound sentences, prefixes, and suffixes. Spelling Stumpers seems to be a mix of exercises similar to those found in the spelling section.

Math is the next on the list. When Captain chose Math 2 it was really easy as there is just one heading.

Each topic is listed separately with the number of activities in each unit.

 The stars across the bottom show that the unit has been completed. If you click on the unit description button underneath it gives you a quick overview of the subjects covered in the unit. The picture below is the unit description from the first math unit in grade 2.

As I said earlier science only has units for grades K-3. This was by far Captains favorite unit. He gravitates towards science every time he can pick a subject.

Science is split into three sections. Physical Science, Earth and Space Science, and Life Science.

Captain chose to start with Earth and Space Science. I didn't mind as I know he will cover all the units in this easily. He has one unit left in Earth and Space Science and has already decided he is going back to Physical Science before starting Life Science.

Earth and Space Science covers 'What's on Earth', 'Water', 'Air', 'Rocks', 'Soil', 'Weather', 'The Planet Earth', and 'Space'.

To learn the material the student can click on button with a picture of a gravel on it. When the child does this a screen pops up with the information the child needs to answer the questions in the unit. When they have read the information and are ready to complete the quiz they click OK and then answer the unit questions.

As I said earlier geography is only for grades 4-6 but that didn't stop us from checking it out!

All three grades covered the following subjects in varying degrees of difficulty.

We really loved this program. The new layout is amazing and very easy to maneuver. I know that I can leave Captain to work through it and he won't get lost. Now he may spend all the time in Science but that's not that bad is it? This program definitely aids parents and helps ensure success in reading, math, spelling and science.

Check them out on social media;

Twitter @SkillsAdvantage
Google +

Check out what others thought - especially different grade levels by clicking on the link below!

Essential Skills Advantage Review

Crew Disclaimer

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” ©2011-2016 Chickensbunniesandhomeschool. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author

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