March 19

K-5 Learning

Some of you  may or may not know that I am the mother of a reluctant reader.
Emma is funny, she is perfectly capable of reading, but when faced with the task of actually doing it, she hems and haws, looks around and then claims “But I CAN’T read!”.  Even with an American Girl Doll carrot in front of her face, she has shown little more than a passing interest in refining her skills, while poor Elizabeth collects dust in the laundry room.
I went hunting for something that would excite her desire to practice her reading skills with a minimal amount of money and effort on my part (not because I’m lazy, but because I have a house to pack… maybe I’m a little lazy.)
I was more than willing when I was able to review K5 Learning!  We were able to use it for five full weeks for each of my kids.
A little background:

What is K5?

K5 Learning is an online reading and math enrichment program for kids in kindergarten to grade 5. Watch your children master reading and math as they work at their own level and their own pace through a personalized program of over 3,000 interactive multimedia tutorials and activities.
Designed principally for after school study and summer study, K5 is also used by homeschoolers, special needs and gifted kids. K5 helps your children build good study habits and excel in school. 

 K5 Learning is intended as a supplement for reading, math and spelling curriculum, not a replacement for it.  You can see several sample lessons on their website where you can also sign up for a 14 day free trial (no credit card required).
What did my kids think?
Spencer (4):  He just clicked every which way and all over.  Above his level.  I wouldn’t suggest it for pre-readers since it seems to focus more on sight words than phonics for the pre-reader level.
Emma (7): She loved it!  She thought it was a lot better than the previous program we had tried.  I felt it was a little heavy on the game aspect but mostly my biggest problem with it was that Emma worked on her math (which she is a pro at) much more than her reading (which is what I wanted her to focus on) which, obviously, is not K5 Learning’s fault at all.
Lucy (9): Lucy seemed to do well and like it a lot.  She really liked the math as well.  Lucy didn’t seem to like the games though, she tolerated them to get through to the lessons.
What did I think?  I liked it.  The kiddos seemed to learn while enjoying it at the same time.  I especially liked the assessments.  The girls each took a 30 minute “tests”.  One on reading skills and one on their math skills.  Sometimes it was frustrating for them because it was intentionally pushing their limits, but they managed to get through it ok.  A few hours later I was emailed their report which looked something like this:
Lucy has done very well, scoring at or above grade level in the majority of the skill areas.  You may want to review the numbers and operations.  The slightly lower score may have been one you expected or a lapse in concentration during the assessment.  If she’s finding these lessons too easy, we can change the level of her numbers and operations.
For Lucy, her reading scores are:
Phonemic Awareness – exempt
Phonics – mid-grade 3
Sight Words – high grade 3
Vocabulary – low grade 4
Reading Comprehension – low grade 4

Sometimes I was a little frustrated when one of them wouldn’t read something carefully enough or try and speed through and they would make silly mistakes, but overall, I liked the program a lot and thought it was well done and kept the kids engaged.
K5 Learning is $25 a month for the first child or $199 a year.  Each additional child is $15 a month or $129 a year.  This includes unrestricted access to all grade levels in K5 Reading, K5 Math, K5 Math Facts and K5 Spelling.

About the author 

Courtney Ahroon

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