I was given the chance to review Essential Skills Advantage to review for an honest blog review as a member of the SchoolHouse Review Crew.
Essential Skills Advantage is a program that is designed to be a supplemental item that teachers and parents can use to help students who may be struggling with reading and language arts. Considering I have a student/child who is struggling with reading I jumped at the chance to review this program.
Essential Skills Advantage is equipped with over 20,000 activities that are designed to keep your child engaged in an online learning environment. I must say for some of the activities they offer that is true, but for others my kids found them a bit boring because it just felt like they were answering questions with no “fun factor” to it. You can see that by taking a look at the below picture as an example.
At the end of each level they have the chance to earn stars and certificates for their hard work. For my kids, that’s a huge deal. They love to accumulate certificates of completion with high scores! They can’t wait to show them off to their grandparents or anyone else who wants to see them for that matter. What’s nice for me, is I can print them out and save them in a binder for my kids a reminder to them that I KNOW they have accomplished these tasks.
(My kids like to act lazy at times and say they don’t know how to do certain things when I know good and well they are little champs it—they just want the extra attention. Am I the only homeschool parent that deals with this issue??) Sorry, I just had to get that out there and ask it. It’s been bugging the tar out of me since school has started back how my kids are doing this a lot this year since we started on the 18th.
Any who, getting back to the topic of the wonderful Essential Skills Advantage program. For each grade level from K-6th there is a wide range of activities for your child to do from simple questions to word searches. I have noticed that each level has a lot of emphasis on spelling and spelling patterns. Considering Jimmy is our spelling king in our household, he eats these things up because he gets to use his spelling skills in a fun manner. Even though the Spelling Stumpers section does tend to give him a few stumps along the way.
We have used this program to help ease some of the summer boredom. However, now that school is back in session completely, they will be using this program a lot more! I know that this will help me with issues that my kids are struggling. Delbert will be using it to help him overcome his hurdle of understanding sentencing structure and reading up to par. Jimmy will be using it to gain a better understanding of working with homonyms and also as a strong review of capitalization, which still seems to be a topic he gets tripped up on.
Essential Skills Advantage mission is “to make a difference in education by providing affordable, technology-based solutions that motivate students, build their confidence, and allow them to achieve success.” As a parent who has watched their kids use this program, I have to say that I think they are doing a really good job of meeting their mission. My kids are walking away from using this program with more confidence than what they had when they started using it. I can tell they actually learn something from their time spent on it.
You can get this program for your child for $9.99 per month per student. As a reader of this blog though, you can take advantage of this 50% off discount code TOS50 which will make your premium membership $4.99 per month per student for as long as you remain an active member. They have now also rolled out a system where you can see how their system works with SOME of the activities and with advertisement (which in my experience is never a good thing to have around with kids trying to do an online program) by visiting ESALearning.com. To be truthful though, I’d much rather see you spend your $4.99 a month on the full premium plan.
Do you know of any child in your life who could benefit from this very detailed online program?
Don’t forget to check out my remaining SchoolHouse Review Crew’s blog reviews by clicking on the banner.