Monday, March 5, 2012

Learning Online from K to 5 - A New TOS Review!!

There are many reasons why someone might choose to use an online program to help with their homeschooling needs.  Well, if you are in need of a program like this and your children are between Kindergarten and 5th grade then this might be just for you.
The Program:
K5 Learning is an online learning program for Reading and Math enrichment that can be personalized to fit your child specifically.Within K5 Learning are 4 reading and math programs that can be individualized for your child's specific needs after completing the online assessment, which focuses on 8 key skills.  Your child will receive full instruction even on topics they have never come across as of yet and the instruction is available 24/7 and is 100% web-based.

The skills of your child, not their age or grade level, is what places your child in a specific area of the program.  And your child will learn by interacting with characters within the program, not just sitting idly. Your children will be able to work independently allowing busy parents to still be able to know learning is going on.  Your child will be taught and quizzed and all of the results will be sent to you in an emailed report.

Your child will not feel rushed or hurried but allowed to progress at their own pace, which will allow them to not feel stressed while working.  Another great feature is that it is 100% online - now downloading of a program and there are no ads, chat, or external links that you have to worry about.

The biggest feature I found was the value of 4 programs for 1 price.  You will have access to K5 Reading, Math, Spelling and Math Facts all for a monthly subscription of $25 for one child and $15 each additional child.  They also have an annual subscription that you can choose instead.  But before you commit to either of those choices you can 'test' out the fit of the program by signing up for their FREE 14 day trial which includes a FREE reading and math assessment as well as no need for a credit card or an obligation to continue on after your trial period is over.

You can find a brief overview of each of the 4 areas of K5 Learning when you check out each of these links for K5 Reading, K5 Math, K5 Spelling, and K5 Math Facts.  K5 Math Facts is just what it seems - a program that helps you go over your math facts for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.  In K5 Spelling, is an adaptive program where your child will be asked to spell a minimum of words which are automatically chosen by your child's grade and skill level.  K5 Math teaches specific topics again based on the skills and level of your child. With K5 Reading your child is introduced to the lesson for the day and then they go in and teach the child using a series of activities.  You can check out some sample lessons too.

Our Experience:
I was interested to see how this program was different then the many others out there so I quickly got Arianna set up and ready to go.  She did her assessments one day and within a few hours there was an email letting me know exactly where she had placed in each of the areas.  Then she was ready to go!

I was sure to encourage that she do at least 1 lesson of each subject area.  The first day she did just the reading and math section.  Then on the next day she tackled the math facts and spelling so that she was able to have a "lesser load" at the very beginning.  From then on we did at least 1 lesson in each of the 4 areas.  Here is what Arianna says about the program:

"First I do Spelling. I am given 15 words to spell.  If I don't spell them correctly, I get another chance but they leave the letters that were correct in the word so that I know which ones I was wrong on.  If I don't hear the word I can click on explain or see the picture and it helps me know what they had said.  When I get them all right I get a bunch of checks at the end.  Then I have to do a check over where I am able to do the words I got wrong the first time again. I am not able to fix them a 3rd time, they just tell me how many I got right and wrong.  After I get you 50 words I get a movie to watch - I'm almost there ... I just have 5 more words!

Next I do Math Facts, so I can get them over with ... I don't like reviewing my facts even though I know I have to.  They have a pre-test before a set of lessons, say for your 2's.  Then you go through each of the facts by answering a series of drills.  You have to answer them correctly and quickly to get a check+, otherwise you just get a check or an X if you get them wrong.  Then after the entire set is done you have a post-test to see what you have remembered and learned.  My mom says I have to have a 90% or above, so sometimes I have to do a lesson again.  You can't on the pre-test because that's seeing what I already know.

Then I go on to the Math.  Right now I am doing vertical multiplication and partial products learning multiplying of 3 digit numbers. It first tells me how to do it and goes through showing me step-by-step.  I like that they help me in the beginning to know what I will be doing for that lesson.  The rest is like regular math you would do in a book.

So the last I usually do is the Reading section.  I save that because I LOVE to read!  Right now we are doing cause and effect so I have to read a story and then I have questions I need to answer based on what the story told me. I have somewhere between 5 and 10 questions for each story and there are usually 2 stories each lesson.  When I get to the end of the lesson, there is a thermometer which tells me how I scored. I usually get above a 90%.  This is my favorite part, but I don't like the characters.  They seem a little on the young side, but that's okay - I can deal with that."

As you can see she has lots to say about the program and is progressing quite well.

My Thoughts:
I think that for some families this would be a perfect fit.  For others this would be a great supplement even if you are only using it for one or two of the 4 programs.  You can also as the teacher/parent log in at any time to get detailed explanations of how your child has been progressing.  They also have a newly designed Help Center which answers a lot of questions and "how-to" videos.
I hope you read and see how other Crew member families used K5 Learning in their own homes.  If you need  to contact them for any questions regarding technical issues or general queries you can reach them by phone at 888-281-2145.  They even have a blog you might want to consider checking out. You can also find them on Facebook and Twitter.

*** I am a member of The Old Schoolhouse 2011-2012 Crew and receive free products and services in exchange for a thorough and honest review. Though I am compensated with free products, I am not compensated in the form of money for any of my reviews. My reviews will always reflect my honest opinions, findings, beliefs and experiences with the products and services that I receive.***

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