Review of Complete Home Learning Suite from Essential Skills Advantage

Two of my boys have been assessing and brushing up on their math and reading skills with the Complete Home Learning Suite from Essential Skills Advantage. The boys are in grades 3 and 4, but my 3rd grader reads at a 6th-grade level, and my 4th grader reads at a 2nd grade level. Because it sometimes causes hurt feelings to have my younger son passing my older son in subjects, we were eager to see if having them do a similar program, but at customized levels, would help them to learn at their own pace. We did this program for over a month with great success!

First, I should point out that my older son does not generally like online learning. He gets frustrated because he doesn't always hear things the first time, and if he can't have the program repeat instructions, he will just give up. I was pleased with how well he did with this program, however. I had him do math and reading, and he never once complained about the math. He only slightly grumbled about the reading, but only because he struggles with reading. The format and the way the program was presented didn't give him any issues.

Logging into this program was simple. Once I logged in as the teacher, the boys could select their own profiles. They could also switch between without my help, which I appreciated.

Inside the profile, they could choose from their choice of grade level or subject.

Note that some of the subjects (science, for example) are not available for all K-6 grades.

What I like about the interface is that you can either choose a subject, and it will tell you what grades are available for that subject, or you can choose a grade, and it will tell you what subjects are for that grade. It's easy-peasy!

Once inside the subject and grade you want, you may find more than one option. (3rd grade math, for example, offers "Complete Math Grade 3" and "Problem Solving 3 and 4", each having a slightly different focus.)

I love that the Math, specifically, have different groupings of lessons that you can concentrate on. If you knew that your child was weak in one area (patterns, for example), you could start there. Within patterns, there are 6 units, and you can work through each unit before going on to the next.) We had our boys do a few units at one time for variety. We had them work on money, patterning, and time at once. They would do a lesson or two of each every day as review. For a new subject (geometry, for example), we would focus just on that set of units. As you can see, there really is no limit to how flexible this program is!

One thing I will point out about the Essential Skills Advantage program is that it felt more like review and reinforcement than actual "teaching" of new materials. I would use this as a supplement to diagnose, refine, and build confidence in kids. It's the perfect summer review tool! I don't know that my sons would want to use it to see and practice brand new concepts, as they really do like one-on-one personal instruction for that.

What does a lesson look like?  Here's a screenshot of the first lesson in the patterns unit. As you can see, if your child wasn't familiar with patterns, this would not necessarily be the place to go over them the first time. As a 3rd grade math program, they assume that your child already knows something about patterns. So, if you found your child struggling, you could go back down to a lower level, search for the pattern topic, and try again.

Here is the 1st lesson in patterns for K-1. It starts more basic, but it does jump right in and assess your child from the beginning, without much, if any instruction.

Some of the grades are combined (such as math for K and 1). If you use this with your child for more than one year, there could be some repeat, or you could choose to stretch it out over 2 years. There really is enough material in all the grades, however, to keep your child busy for a long time!

We reviewed the Complete Home Learning Suite with 2 students. You can choose to use it with as many kids as you wish, however, and the pricing is listed on the website. Also find them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and their blog