Monday, March 3, 2014

Essential Skills Advantage’s online Reading & Language Program ~ Review

This post may contain affiliate links.

For the past decade, Essential Skills Advantage has been changing the face of education across North America. Up until now, ESA has primarily been used in 20,000 schools, where it helped countless students. Due to its profound success for boosting students’ learning potential, many of our members began to ask about using ESA at home, as a supplement for homeschooling and tutoring. The demand for a home-ready learning supplement continued to grow, and we are proud to announce the next incarnation of our innovative learning system, fully optimized for use at home!

To successfully use Essential Skills Advantage, you’ll need:

  • Internet Access
  • Java Script enabled
  • Flash Player 10 or higher
  • Volume - make sure that your speakers are turned ON and UP

In your Parent Portal you can:

  • Manage login for students: you can change each student’s username and password at anytime.
  • Learning Measurement: you’ll have complete access to your child’s progress with the ability to access marks, number of attempts, mastery, date, and time stamps.
  • Download certificates: on completion of all units, your student can be awarded a certificate.  You simply download and print. 
  • Access freebies and giveaways to help motivate and reward your student(s).
For your convenience, each parent is assigned a unique URL so that their student(s) can access any grade at any time, independently. Student can select the grade level icon of their choice, enter their unique username and password, and begin.


As a member of Educents Blogger Program, I was asked if I would be interested in reviewing Essential Skills Advantage. After taking a look at the program I decided to give it a try. We stopped using T4L a few months ago when we got off track. Yang hasn't said anything about it so I was sort of looking for a new program anyways. 

ESA is bright, colorful, fun and inviting. When you get an answer correct you get a little "triumph" victory sound. If you get the answer wrong you get a different sound. At the end you get little dancing puppy with your score and time (I love that there is no timer during the actual lesson as those tend to make Yang panic). Yang laughed the first time and said, "Look at the fat puppy!" 

Yang has always had a little trouble of reading comprehension. I think it is mostly because the story passages are dry and boring, so she tunes out and then is never able to answer all of the questions. I know she has a great memory because she can tell you almost everything there is to know about My Little Pony. We began by working in the Complete Reading for Third Grade - Reading Comprehension. The stories were fun, upbeat and help her interest so that she was able to answer all of the questions correctly, the first time.
I love that I am able to select grade level based on the different parts of the program based on my child's abilities vs so standard grade level.
While the background sounds of birds and crickets chirping can be soothing to some, with Yang's sensory issues it became overwhelming after awhile. 

All in all we have enjoyed ESA and are eager to work our way through more of lessons.

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