Friday, July 27, 2012

Review and Free Trial: K-5 Learning

Even though first grade ended, I knew learning would need to continue throughout the summer months for Bubs.  Nervous about keeping him at grade level, I should have known God would supply.  This time it came in the form of a website -  Each morning, Sweet Pea and Bubs logged in to work on reading and math. 

K5 Learning is an online math and reading program for kids in Kindergarten to 5th grade.  Activities cover reading comprehension, phonics, vocabulary, measurement, math facts, and other academic concepts. 

What I Like:
- Assessment
Before beginning, the child takes an assessment  to personalize the child’s learning program according to his/her skill level.   This is very insightful for the parent.  In Bubs' situation, the assessment matched what we have seen in his schooling.

- Wide Huge Variety of Activities
The activities are selected by the program so that the child does a wide variety for activities and also can not choose certain ones.  I rarely saw the kids doing the same activity over. 

- Gender Friendly
Sweet Pea had activities more geared toward girls and Bubs had activities more geared toward boys.  They really liked this aspect.

- Focus of Several Academic Areas
I loved the vast array of academic areas the program focused on.  Instead of just working on one concept which is what most computer games do, this one covered much of what the kids cover in school.

- Math Facts
As a strong advocate for math facts, I really appreciate this portion of the program.  I did have to go into the settings to change the amount of time allowed for the kids to answer each math fact.  Even though they knew the answer, it took time to find the key on the keyboard.  Once I increased the time allotment, they did much better. 

- Spelling Words
The program includes a way to add your own spelling words as well as use those pre-entered.

- Assign Specific Lessons
If you child is struggling in an area, you can assign specific lessons for him to complete.

- Reports
It was very simple to view scores the children were earning on various activities.  Some of the reports, I would have liked to view in other forms or on deeper levels.

- Customer Service
I personally spoke with the owners concerning questions that I had.  They almost immediately responded by email as well as by phone.  

What I Wish was Different:
- Assessment
The assessment was supposed to be the guide to set up the learning program.  Bubs was extremely low in one category.  The activities that the program chose for him did not hone in on that problem issue.  This was discouraging.  In some ways, I believe this defeated the reason for the assessment.

- Directions
The directions got very long for the kids.  Once they had done an activity, they knew what do to and got very frustrated waiting for the directions to repeat each time.  I got frustrated as well. 

- Difficulty
If the child had trouble on the activity, the program did not recalculate.  It proceeded at the same difficulty level even though the child was missing all of the questions.  This especially happened with Sweet Pea as she will be entering Kindergarten next month and some of the concepts were too difficult for her.  I would like to see the program recognize the errors and lower the difficulty instead of plugging through.

- Repetition
I often heard "RRRR, I already did this" being shouted from the computer area.  The kids got frustrated when they had to do the same concept several times in a row.  This was especially true of the math facts.  The computer program makes you believe that you are finished when in fact it starts another segment of questions.

- Best Done with a Parent
Many education programs try to make parents believe that they can be in other rooms of the house or not even home and the child will simply learn by doing.  Unfortunately this is not the case with most children.  Even on this program, my children were able to zone out and play the "clicking game."  To make the program truly effective, a parent needs to be very close by to help with questions, fix mistakes and misunderstands, and help the child stay focused on the task at hand. 

Free Trial:

The K5Learning program is available for $25 a month or $199 per year for the first child.  And to help you make the decision, they offer a free 14-day trial.  Now that's pretty cool!

So, take a moment and try it.  Let me know what you think!

What computer programs have you found that are beneficial for your child?

Thank you K5 Learning for offering me this opportunity to use your website in return for an honest review.


  1. We, too, were pleased with K5 and have continued it after our review period (though we slacked off this summer). I think you'll find that it's easier to let the kids be more independent when they're a little older. We started this when my girls were 9 and 10, and they stayed focused even when I was out of view.

    1. Tina - That's a great point. The older the kids get the more independent learning they should be able to do.



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