Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Essential Skills Advantage {TOS Review}

Silas has a blast the past few weeks playing games {and learning!} on Essential Skills Advantage! We received a one-year subscription to the Complete Home Learning Suite to use and review with Silas, my 5 {almost 6} year old son.
Essential Skills Advantage is a supplemental online curriculum for Kindergarten through 6th grade. ESA offers the following subjects:
  • Reading {K-6}
  • Spelling {1-6}
  • Language and Grammar {3-6}
  • Math {K-6}
  • Geography {3-6}
  • Science {K-3}
ESA teaches the "essential skills" your child will need to excel in learning, whether homeschooling or public schooling. ESA uses fun games and engaging learning activities that your child enjoy! ESA also offers progress and performance tracking and measurement - you can see your child's highest scores, average scores, number of attempts and time spent on the program. You can also use this with multiple children, and it tracks each child's progress. Completion certificates and detailed report cards are also available to print.

The Complete Home Learning Suite is very affordable, at only $7.99 a month. Adding additional children is only 99 cents extra a month! {There is a coupon code at the bottom of this post for 75% off!} This is very affordable for large families. The Complete Home Learning Suite includes every program that ESA offers and the Marks and Report Cards Manager.

Silas just "completed" Kindergarten and will be doing a mix of Kindergarten and 1st grade homeschool materials next year. He is not reading {yet}, but is learning to blend sounds to make short words. He still struggles with phonics, remembering what letters make what sounds. I was hoping that ESA would help him with this, and it is!

Silas enjoys getting on ESA and "playing games". His favorite games are the Memory Games - there is a fun picture under the 'cards'!

The activities are easy enough for Silas to do by himself, although he does need to work with his mouse control! He is left-handed, so he had some difficulty {as did I} learning how to move the mouse and click with the correct finger.

The instructions are given in a man's voice, which is clear and easy to hear. There is an "ear" icon your child can click on if he needs to hear the instructions again. When your child completes the activity, he receives a star! Silas loved seeing the big yellow star at the end of the games!

Each subject has multiple sub-subjects. For example, the Kindergarten Phonics portion has 3 options: Learn the Letters, Phonemic Awareness and Consonants. The Complete Reading Kindergarten portion has these topics to choose from: Readiness Skills, Sight Words, and Stories. Below each topic, the number of lessons is shown, as well as a small bar showing the progress in each.

Silas mainly worked under the Kindergarten Phonics category. He enjoyed matching uppercase and lowercase letters, playing Memory, and building words. He also worked in the Kindergarten Math category, learning and working with numbers 1-20.

I really love Essential Skills Advantage and plan to add my daughter, Mercie, who is going into 3rd grade, onto the account. This is saying a lot for me, because we don't use online curriculum or games in our house! This program is fantastic, though, and Silas has learned and cemented many skills he will need to begin 1st grade. We did not encounter any issues or problems with ESA the entire time we used this program. ESA is a fun supplement to any child's education.

Essential Skills Advantage Review


  1. Hey! This looks great for my soon to be kindergartner. I was wondering though, is it considered a true phonics program? I did not like HOD's choices for phonics and don't want to start either of those again, so I'm on the hunt for a fun good phonics program.

    1. Hi, Karen. This is definitely a supplemental Phonics program. However, you should read my review on the Foundations program from the Logic of English. It's an excellent Phonics program, very hands on and fun, and my son loves it. Here is the link:

  2. It's a nice supplemental program isn't it?