Mar 042012

K5 Learning is an on-line program for students from kindergarten through grade 5. Designed to be used by students for after-school practice, it is also works well in a homeschool setting. K5 provides lessons in reading, spelling, math, and math fact drill.

I selected my almost 10 year old son to test K5 Learning. Officially, I say he is in 3rd grade. However, most of his skills are a bit behind 3rd grade. We received the program right as it was time for him to memorize the multiplication tables in math, so he spent most of his time working in the math fact drill section of the program.

Before studying a group of math facts, there is a pre-test. If the student passes the pre-test, then those lessons will be skipped. (Or that’s what I’m assuming. My son did not pass any of the pre-tests so that I could see.) In a lesson, a new fact (or 2) is taught. I like that the fact is shown and read to the student. The student quickly gets to practice the new facts. Previously learned facts are added,  providing continuous review and reinforcement. After a lesson, the student is allowed a fun game as a reward. This time is limited though, and the student must work through lessons to earn arcade time.

The goal of the fact drill section is quick recall. Therefore, the default settings for mastery of the fact requires the student to answer very quickly. I found this setting to be unrealistic for my son, but I was able to lengthen the amount of time in the parent account. The program provided detailed instructions for changing this. After every lesson the child can see how he is progressing through his math facts.

K5 Learning

I also had my son take the reading assessment so he could test the reading program. The assessment was very long. It was difficult for him, since he has struggled with reading. I had to guide him through the assessment to make sure he completed the questions. I tried not to assist him except in explaining what he was supposed to do and helping him to stay focused on the task. However, I think that the program placed him too high in reading comprehension. It might have been because I made him read the stories with me. When he was trying to use the program, he had a tendency to just guess the answers. I could sit with him and make him do the reading and guide him through the questions. But if I’m using an on-line program, I want my child to be able to use it virtually independently. To me the biggest value in an on-line program is that it provides instruction or practice for my child that I don’t have to give. On-line programs need to free me up to work with other children. Maybe if I had not watched him during the assessment, the program would have placed him at a level that he would be able to read without my encouragement.

Overall, I think K5 Learning is a fun way to provide additional instruction and practice for students in core subjects. I think most students would be able to use the program independently.

To learn more about K5 Learning, visit their website. The site offers free assessments and a 14 day free trialSubscriptions are available for $25/month for one child. An additional child can be added for only $15. Yearly subscriptions are also available for $199 with an additional child for $129.
 Disclosure: I received a free trial of K5 Learning in order to write this review. I was not compensated for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.