Review of K5Learning.com11:37 PM
We really do appreciate having some online resources at our fingertips for homeschooling our kids, especially when we work more during the holidays. I would never just plunk the kids down into a fully automated program, but having a couple of courses led by online instructors is just what we need to have them learning while we are dealing with other things in the home.
We recently gave K5Learning.com a try with our 2nd and 3rd grade boys. It's an online course with emphasis in math and reading categories, and overall, it kept them engaged and it was very thorough with its teaching. To start out, you have to tell the program which grade your child is in before ever having seen the lessons, OR, you can choose to do a placement test/assessment and have it tell you what grade they should be in.
We started one son in the 2nd grade, as he is pretty much on grade level. The son with a bit of difficulty reading, however, we had start in 3rd grade AND take the assessment test. As we had guessed, he was behind in reading a bit, and needed to be placed back a level in reading until he was more confident. The assessment did a good job of figuring out where he needed to be, but it was a bit discouraging. My son, for example, should have been able to stop the assessment at the point that it was obvious he hadn't gotten to a certain point; the test required him to answer all the questions, however, even after it was well beyond his level and he couldn't even understand the questions anymore. I just stood beside him and told him to answer "C" for everything. He couldn't skip questions, and all the questions had to be answered for the assessment to count.
After we took it, the test told us what level he should be in, and it allowed for us to contact customer service to let them know we wanted to change just the reading portion of his classes to a grade below. After doing this, I got an email back the next day with the rep questioning that my 3rd grader was, indeed, to be placed in the 2nd grade. They were polite about it, but I'm used to parent-directed online courses where I pick the grade and change it myself. After I verified for the 2nd time that , yes, my 3rd grader needed to be in 2nd grade reading, they changed it right away.
Overall, my kids enjoyed the classes, provided they were at the appropriate level. As a mom who really likes to have control over the course materials, it was hard for me to trust that my child was staying at level. I would get reports, but I missed being able to go in lesson by lesson and see what he was learning and which problems he got wrong so I could coach him. It was more "public" school in its hands off approach than I am comfortable with, but I would probably use it for summer school or extra practice, and my younger son really did enjoy his school time and asked for it often.
You can currently sign up for a free trial of the program to see for yourself if it fits your family's style of learning!
*I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.