We were given the opportunity to try out the K5 Learning program for 6 weeks. In case you aren't familiar with this program, K5 Learning is an online reading and math program for kids in Kindergarten through 5th grade. Its purpose is to help kids learn math and reading skills as well as build independence in their work. Their program is personalized through assessments, so that your child will be working on their personal level, not just their grade level. Parents can also assign lessons to their child if they feel their child needs extra practice on a certain subject.
Once you've signed up it is easy to set up your account- and I signed up all 4 of my boys, so I could get a good feel for the program at all levels. Assessments are the first step- so that they can tailor the program to the individual child. I requested reading assessments for all the boys and math assessments for Cale and Cohen (Lakin was starting at the beginning and Rylan currently works in a 7th grade curriculum). I found the assessments a good length and all of the boys completed them independently with no help from me. And once they were done I could immediately go in and see the results. As a homeschooler who rarely (or ever) gives tests in subjects is was kind of nice to see where they landed when compared to national standards. The assessment report was broken up into different categories such as phonics, comprehension, sight words and vocabulary and the student was rated exempt or high/low/mid grade level.
The older boys worked for 30 min each day on their K5 Reading lessons. They enjoyed them, they learned a lot and didn't mind doing them (aka no fights about that part of school)- all good signs. The lessons are short- with many stop or go on points throughout so that you aren't forced to do an really long lesson in one sitting. They are visually appealing but not too distracting and game-like. We used the K5 Math a little less often since I preferred to spend most of their math time with their current curricula, but my youngest learned a lot- ordering and numbers id- the math fact portion was a great help for both my 8 yr old (multiplication) and my 6 yr old ( add and subtract).
Some Good Things:
- The lessons are taught and not just quizzes. This is very helpful when the topic is something unfamiliar.
- Immediate feedback. They know if they got the question right or wrong immediately.
- The reading assignments are informational and educational too. (This one came from my 10 year old- he liked that he learned other things from the comprehension paragraphs he was reading, not just fluff fiction)
- Reports for me. I can see exactly where they were having trouble, so that I know where we might need to add a little extra practice in our school day.
- The ability to assign. I assigned lessons a couple times- especially with my youngest who needed to start at the very beginning and repeat some lessons.
- Independence. I hardly ever needed to help my older boys. And only occasionally with my 4 yr old. So this freed me up to work with other children.
- Repeating lessons. This happened multiple times with 2 different kids- they had to repeat they lesson they had done last the previous day before they could move on. I am not sure though if this was a glitch in system or something my kids did wrong
- Slow paced. This is one of those personal taste things, I (my oldest too) found the program a little slow when answering questions- as in it was annoying to us to have to wait and listen to "yes the correct answer is ......." over over. Maybe we need to be more patient....but I found myself looking for a "skip to the next question" button. This didn't bother my younger kids in the least.
- Some of the vocabulary and spelling words were hard to understand. This frustrated my 8 yr old- who was the one testing out this part of the program. Sometimes it was because he was unfamiliar with the word itself, but sometimes I couldn't even figure out what word they said until I had a few letters as a hint.
K5 also offers a free 14 day trial, if you want to try it out for yourself and see if it is a good fit for your child. And if you are a blogger, you can sign up to write a review of the program and get a 6 wk free trial!