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Aug 27, 2014

ESA ~ An Essential Skills Advantage Review

This is the site that never ends, it just goes on and on my friends...  Are you singing with me?  You're welcome!  Essential Skills Advantage is an educational website for kids.  We were able to use it and review the Premium Plan to share the site and some super good news with you.  (You'll see what near the end of this post.)  The focus here is on reading and spelling.  We love having the option to use online learning in our homeschool.  While I teach most of the school day, having a place to send one boy if the other is struggling, say on math, is a great relief.  We keep the momentum going and everyone is able to be doing what they need to be doing.  I wouldn't say anyone was excited to "do more school," but no one complains when it's their turn to work on ESA.
Essential Skills Advantage Review

This is why I call it the site that never ends.  This graphic shows the main directory page that you will see at the parent log in.  I chose Fun With Spelling 1. From there, I selected Short A Word Families.  As you can see, I then had four pages of activities to choose from!  I went with the Short A Word Match so you could see an example of the activity.

I did the same thing so you can see the higher level activities as well.  Here, I started at the main menu, and chose Spell Master Grade 6.  Spelling Stumpers 5-9 was an option and there I found spelling rules.  Stomp the Stumpers and this suffix activity are both found there.  This suffix activity amounted to making the more unusual plural words singular.

I couldn't really take any screen shots while the boys were working or, horror of horrors, I might mess up their time or score.  So for these, I logged in as Merricky.  Yes, even he has an account.  He knows his letters and basic sounds, so he is ready for a few of the K activities.  My baby is growing up!

Using both phonics and sight words and over 20,000 activities, ESA makes learning fun!  The activities aren't games, per se, but they are way more fun and colorful than tedious "sounding out" or flash cards.  You'll occasionally hear a soft outdoorsy sound like a bird chirp, but there are no annoying singing, dancing characters or cheesy songs to get stuck in your head.  (Except for This is the Site That...  Oops.  Sorry.)

The Parent Portal has a complete list of all of those thousands of units and activities and what is covered in each grade level.  It looks like this.

You can manage your students' accounts here as well, like changing passwords and viewing grades.  This shot shows Xav's completed activities in one unit.  The score, time spent, attempts, dates, and percentage completed are all available here.

Unless you go through them in order during your session, the student has to log in a lot.  That was bothersome because the main page reloads every time.  The butterflies are pretty and everything, but every single time someone decided to do something different, we got to see them again.

I wish you could give assignments.  My boys, especially Malachi, jumped all over the place.  He never came close to completing a unit.  Of course, some units were jampacked full of activities and could potentially take a tremendous length of time to complete.  I didn't really mind though, as long as he was working.  Once they do finish a unit, you can print a certificate of completion for their portfolios, if you do that sort of thing.

There were plenty of types of activities to choose from, helping to make learning to spell or reading comprehension more enjoyable.

Don't forget to keep reading to the end.

Covers Reading and Language
K-6th (ages 4-12)
$9.99/month or try the free version.

Essential Skills Advantage on Social Media:

So, here's the Big News.  Essential Skills Advantage is offering the Premium Plan at 50% off the monthly membership.  That means it's just $5/month as long as you keep the membership.  Use the code TOS50 on the premium plan to start enjoying the savings.  The code expires October 1.

If you're undecided or funds are tight, you can access the same courses for free at the new sponsored site.  There will be advertisements and some features will be missing.  You can compare the two plans on the ESA Learning site.  Remember, this site is FREE to you, supported by sponsors.

If your children like elearning like mine do, either of these plans will probably be right up their alley.

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