Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Essential Skills Advantage: A Learning Platform Review

Essential Skills Advantage Review
One of the biggest concerns as a parent is whether or not our child is learning what they need to know.  It is often that we second guess ourselves and/or their teachers about missing something in their education or worry about what they are losing over the summer.  For the past several weeks we were given the opportunity to review the Complete Home Learning Suite from Essential Skills Advantage.  The best way to calm the concern of holes in their learning that I have found is to line the walls with varying resources.  That way, whatever you didn't think of, surely someone else did, right?ESA provides a huge resource that can fill in gaps and keep skills fresh all summer.

Essential Skills Advantage Review

ESA's Complete Home Learning Suite includes Reading, Spelling, Language & Grammar, Math, Science, & Geography for grades K-6.  For every subject and grade level there are multiple skills to practice and multiple activities to do so.  In the math section alone (for 1st grade) we didn't even get to all the categories of activities, like Probability and Data Management, because there were so many options! We really appreciated this because it falls in line with our diversified approach to learning - multiple ways to learn and reinforce concepts.  ESA has done a good job considering the needs of every type of learner.  

The program has several purchase options that include monthly and yearly for single or multiple students.  For our review we generously received the year subscription for one student.  Since each student has access to all grade levels, they can advance to the next level on anything whenever they choose.  I love that! J, my 5 year old who is hovering around 1st grade for most skills, enjoyed being able to switch to Kindergarten level on any subject at any time, if only to build confidence. 

In addition to various learning activities, you are able to track progress on every activity including highest score, average score, number of attempts and time spent.  This is even more valuable with more than one student to keep up with! As parent/teacher, you are allowed to determine their grade and print a certificate of completion for each unit and detailed report cards!

Essential Skills Advantage Review
Essential Skills Advantage Review

It is really important to our family that the majority of curriculum and education happens away from a screen and make a point not to rely very heavily on online education.  Our experience with this program definitely put ESA on the short list of preferred options, despite it being online, because it was so versatile and appealing on many levels.  Something to keep in mind when considering this for your students is that, at least in Kindergarten and 1st grade where we spent most of our time, there wasn't any instruction for new concepts, only activities to practice and progress.  For our purposes, that wasn't a problem at all because we used it as a supplement and gap filler.  If you are looking for a complete curriculum to take the place of instruction, this would not be it by itself.

Especially as most schools are breaking for summer around here, Essential Skills Advantage could be a great option to try for a few months to keep everyone on track!  Keep up with Essential Skills Advantage on social media and read what other crew members had to say below!

Essential Skills Advantage Review
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