Sunday, May 13, 2012

K5 Summer/Home Academic Support

Parents usually want to supplement their child's learning at home, but don't know where to start. It is confusing to decide for example what phonological skills are weak, or what math skills need to be built. Then there is the summer slump. Children tend to lose about 6 weeks of academic growth over the summer! That is tremendous.  K5 Learning is a program designed specifically to address these issues. I took up on their offer to try their product for 6 weeks in exchange for a fair and unbiased review on this blog.

Getting Started
I was able to choose four students, so I chose the four I work with regularly after school. The first task was for each child to complete a placement assessment. The assessment results were posted in the report section for me, or a parent, to review. The results were surprisingly accurate in reflecting each students strengths and weaknesses. Once that was done, the program automatically assigned lessons designed to target the areas each child needed to work on (you can manually choose assignments also). There is also a very important section for children to practice their math facts and spelling.

The Lessons and Reports
I discovered the lessons were animated and interactive enough to keep their attention. The interface is easy enough for a 5 year old to navigate. Each of the engaging lessons has a tutorial, practice, and a quiz. The program keeps track of student progress and provides very specific reports detailing what students have mastered or need continued instruction on. Again, the program automatically assigns the lessons based on student needs. As a teacher, I particularly liked the report section because it was so detailed!

Response of the Students
The students all told me that they loved the program. They worked on it after school and from home. Then they wanted to use it during the school day too! Keep in mind, I have a very interactive and fun classroom. My students love to say, "You never know what Mrs. Dahl will do next!" So for them to want to use it during the school day says something.

The Cost
The K5 learning program costs $25 a month.  A tutor typically costs around $25 a hour, so the savings are significant. (Additionally, the program is you don't have to download any software. The lessons are accessible anywhere there is a computer!) There is a 14 day free trial available that is definitely worth giving a shot!

Don't let your child experience the summer learning slump! Whatever method you choose, make sure to keep up their skills and love of learning so that they will be prepared when school starts. K5learning is a engaging and interactive way to achieve that goal.

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