I can't tell you how happy our 8 year old was to be able to work on the Online Program from K5 Learning! He likes to be able to use the computer, so "having" to use it for school is a BONUS! This really is a great program to practice Math, Reading, and Spelling skills.
This Online Program from K5 Learning is meant to be a supplemental program for your Math, Reading, and Spelling curriculum that you are already using. It's meant for extra practice, not for your primary curriculum to teach your child everything that they need to learn. I think that's great because you can use it with your homeschool children, as well as any of your children that attend public school. This program can also be used for practice during those hot summer months when it's too hot to go play outside, but no one feels like doing "full school".
I like that it's an online program because it keeps track of grading and I feel as though I could just let our 2nd grader just work on his own through the different assignments. This was a great way to get him started on independent work! He could even look up his own progress to see what lessons that he had completed as well as what "grade" he received (in percentage form). I am also able to sign in as the parent and track his progress by checking to see what lessons that he has completed, in what areas, and how he did on each lesson. There is also a way that I can assign lessons for him if there was a specific skill that I felt he needed more practice in.
After signing him up for the program, he went through the assessments in Reading and Math. This stressed him out a bit as he always feels as though he needs to get everything correct all of the time. I kept reassuring him that he shouldn't know everything on the assessment since it goes all the way through 5th grade. I had to keep telling him that they put really hard things on there just to see where he is ability-wise so they know what assignments to give him. To be honest, I was surprised that he scored low on these assessments, but I had to remind myself that he has never taken any sort of assessment like this before so the process was new to him. That's something that I learned from teaching in the public school. Kids need to learn how to take a test in order to be able to show what they know on the test. Taking a test is a skill all on its own. I also learned that some children just don't take tests well. They tense up and stress out about the test so they forgot what they know.
After seeing that he scored low on the tests, I was going to change his level myself so that he would be at the level that I felt that he is truly at. He wanted to get started right away, so I figured I would just do it later. Then he got started on the work. He was loving it! He was feeling so good that he knew the information that I didn't want that to stop.
At first, I thought that it was crazy that the lessons were having him count by ones, but that was just a warm-up. Quickly he was reviewing how to count by 10s and 5s. Then it moved him on to adding and subtracting and then on to fractions. I liked that it starts them at an easier skill to get their confidence going and then they link that to new or harder information.
That's what I call the "hook" ~ connecting the old (or already learned) information to something new so they have something to hang on to. If you just throw new information at anyone, they are likely to forget it unless they are given a hook. Think about it. When someone tells you something new that you may not understand, you try to reword it or connect it to something that you already know. That's what this was doing.
Well, I've already talked about the Math portion, but there are Reading and Spelling sections as well. The Reading section has an assessment, like the Math does. This section works on reading comprehension, sight words, and vocabulary. The "lessons" differ so that the child doesn't get bored with the monotony of the same thing over and over. They'll read a section and then answer questions. Then they may have a game with sight words followed by filling the sentence with the correct vocabulary word. It really is great!
Let's not forget about the Spelling section. We haven't started really working on "formal" Spelling as a school subject yet as I like to wait until they are confident with their reading before I throw Spelling into the mix. As part of the Spelling section, there is a choice between working with Vocabulary or Spelling. With the Spelling section, they will say a word and want your child to spell it by typing it out on the keyboard. The great thing is that they will repeat the word, if necessary. They also offer a definition and use it in a sentence. Your child could even have it said in a different language. I thought that was a really cool and unique option! If they get it wrong, they can't move on until they get it right. They give them clues and help to guide them through the process.
In the Vocabulary section, there is a word that the child has to figure out given the definition and a sentence clue. If they can't figure it out they can ask for a letter clue. I thought that this section is best for older students who already have some spelling under their belt.
Overall, I really liked the Online Program by K5 Learning! Our son really liked it, as well! He always asks to be able to do his K5 first out of all of his studies. That's a win in my book! Thanks K5 Learning for making learning fun for my child!
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