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Monday, March 5, 2012

K5 Learning: A Review

We had the opportunity to review another online program over the past few weeks.


K5 Learning is an online after-school study program for kids in kindergarten to grade 5. It's aim is to  build reading, math and study skills to last a lifetime.  It includes 4 components:

  1. K5 Reading helps kids become strong readers and develop a love of reading. This award-winning program covers phonemic awareness, phonics, sight words, vocabulary and reading comprehension.
  2. K5 Spelling is an advanced vocabulary program which improves language skills one word at a time. We feature adaptive instruction, automatic word generation, an optimized visual interface, and a 150,000+ word database.
  3.  K5 Math Facts uses adaptive technology to help kids develop instant recall of basic addition, subtraction, multiplication and division facts. Progress on each and every math fact is monitored until mastery is obtained. 
  4. K5 Math is an award-winning program which builds self confidence and a deep understanding of math concepts. K5 Math covers numbers and operations, geometry, measurement (including time and money), algebraic thinking and data analysis.

What did we think?

I was able to use K5 with Micaiah, Eli and Eden.  Each child did an assessment to begin with and was place in the program at their appropriate level.  The assessment was a great tool to have and was helpful to me to see that all three kids were on track and even ahead of grade level in some areas.

A sample assessment report

Once logged in the kids could choose the area they wanted to work on. 

Micaiah concentrated more on reading comprehension and vocabulary and covered topics such as cause and effect, drawing conclusions and making inferences, facts and opinions, poetry, sequencing and summarizing.

Eli and Eden focused more on math.  The program guides the student through each assignment and exercise using audible and visual instructions so the child is able to work independently and at his or her own pace.

One feature that I like is the Parent Dashboard where I can track their progress and assign lessons and spelling words if necessary. 

All in all this is a good program.  I didn't like some of the tactics they use for teaching addition as they seemed to confuse Eli but I really did like the reading comprehension lessons that Micaiah worked on.  If you are looking for a program to supplement your homeschool learning enviroment  or as an afterschool program to use at home take a look at K5.  Their website has sample lessons and more detailed information about the program.  You can also sign up for a 2 week trial to see if it is right for you and your child.

The pricing of this product is as follows:

Monthly Subscription
First Child.......................$25
Additional Children..........$15
Annual Subscription
First Child.......................$199
Additional Children..........$129

See what other families thought of K5.  Click Here!

 Disclaimer:  As a member of TOS Crew review team, I was given short term access to the program in return for my honest (positive or otherwise) opinion of this product.


Saturday, March 3, 2012

100 Days and a Whole Lot of Glass

We recently reached our 100th day of school and in order to celebrate this I wanted to make something special with the kids, something unique. I was having trouble thinking of the perfect craft and then I stumbled upon this sea glass map from Layered Soul.  As soon as I saw it I knew what we should do {Hey, I shamelessly admit that my best ideas are not my own!}

 So here's how we celebrated our 100th day of school...

Collecting the sea glass

sorted and counted

Eli wanted to know how much it all weighed
laying it out
the end result

Our sea glass map of Bermuda

  I think it turned out great!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Reading Eggs: A Review

Photobucket When I first considered homeschooling I didn't imagine the vast amount of resources available for home learners. This year we have been exposed to a number of online resources which have been an added bonus to our regular curriculum. One of these programs is called Reading Eggs. Reading Eggs is a unique online world where children learn to read. It supports each child’s learning by offering individual, one-on-one lessons that allow children to progress at their own rate. The program is designed for 4-8 year olds who want to learn to read. It begins at an absolute beginner level, so children need no prior knowledge to start. The Reading Eggs program has been developed by a highly experienced team of teachers, educational writers, animators and web developers.

 How does Reading Eggs work?
Photobucket The program begins with a reading assessment (if your child has no prior reading experience you can opt for them not to take the assessment and just start with the first lesson.)   The result of the assessment determines where your child will begin and they are give a map to view and track their own progress.  Each map consists of 10 lessons and the lessons are made up of several activities that the child needs to complete each day.  The student progresses in order, they are not allowed by the program to skip ahead.  (The parent can change the level if necessary).   

Once the assessment is complete, the child  works through animated online lessons where they learn essential reading skills. The variety of fun activities within each lesson provides the repetition needed for these skills to become part of the child’s long term memory.  There are 120 lessons for the child to work through, taking them from beginners to early readers who are building confidence.  Children gain confidence by reading books online that only contain words they have already learned in the program.  Along the way the child will earn golden eggs as rewards for work completed and they use these eggs to buy reward games.   After 10 lessons, children complete a Mastery Quiz and these results are made available through a personalized email to the parent so you can track your child's progress.

In addition, Reading Eggs has spelling component and there is also a program for older children called  ABC Reading Eggspress which is designed to build reading and comprehension skills, for students in grades 2-7 (7-13 year olds).

 What did we think?

When we were given a free trial I decided to use it with Eli.  Eden would have benefited from the program but she was already doing an online reading program.  Eli is a fairly confident reader and whizzed through the assessment.  He was place on map 8 to start with, skipping the first 70 lessons.  Even so, the lessons were not very challenging for him.  I was tempted to adjust the level but he was happy to complete the lessons and I figured the reinforcement of the phonics skills he learned last year was not a bad thing.  He has enjoyed working through his maps and asks most days if he can go on Reading Eggs.  The program is easy to use and navigate and although it is online it is safe and advertisment free. 

All in all I found it to be a good solid reading program. I may consider using it for Eden once she finishes her current reading program.  It is a fun program to get kids excited about reading and would be a good for any child (home-schooled or not) who is ready to learn to read.

Pricing is as follows:

There is a 14-day free trial available, so there is no risk with Reading Eggs.  Subscriptions are available in the following options:
  • 12 months for $75 (add a second or third child at 50% off)
  • 6 months for $49.95 (add a second or third child at 50% off)
  • Monthly for $9.95
To learn more about Reading Eggs, be sure to visit their website.  Take a look HERE to see what other families thought of Reading Eggs!
 Disclaimer:  As a member of TOS Crew review team, I was given short term access to the program in return for my honest (positive or otherwise) opinion of this product.