K5 Learning – A Homeschool Crew Review

online reading and math

My kids love to play on computer. They love to have access to games and anything they think is fun. So, I love when I can find an online program like K5 Learning to allow them to have fun while they are still learning!

online reading and math

K5 learning is an online learning program for K-5 with the focus on Math and Reading, and a little Spelling also. There is no need for extra textbooks, no extra space to take up. All you need is your computer and an internet connection.

While the kids had a lot of fun using K5 Learning, this is not the typical game style learning site. K5 Learning focuses on teaching children great study skills and how to work on their own. These are two very important skills I want my kids to know when it comes to school.

online math and reading program

The use of K5 Learning is very simple. You set up your account, add an account for each student, with their own login information and send them on their way. The first thing they will do is take an assessment test for both reading and math. These are separate and do take a little bit of time, but they are needed to place your child in the right level.

online program

Once the assessment is over, your child is free to go. Each lesson plan is personalized for each child. There is no one size fits all here. The site is safe for the children to use, there are no ads and no links to anything outside of K5 Learning. This made me happy knowing that the kids could be on the site while I was busy helping someone else, and that they would only be working on quality lessons and not surfing the web getting into trouble!

online math and reading program

There was not too much for me to do when it came to this program. After I set the kids up, I would log in once or twice a week and see their progress, but that was about it. I did take the chance to print a few worksheets that are available to go with the lessons they are learning, but that was it!

Both Ray Ray and Little Miss love to do their K5 Learning Lessons. They had the choice to work on their math or reading or both each day. I loved how each subject covered many topics and didn't get boring for the kids. They would work on things like sight words or reading comprehension for reading, and math was not only numbers and adding or subtracting, but also geometry and time and money. Ray Ray has also tried out the spelling features. He enjoyed that there were many learning styles when it came to this. It wasn't just a listen and type, but rather have fun and learn.

online math and reading program

Both of my kids love the way this is set up. All I hear all day is "Can I do my K5 school yet?" "Is it time for K5 school yet?" I love that they love it and I love that I notice an improvement in both of them, specifically Little Miss and her reading skills. One week she is struggling to sound out words and the next she is sounding them out just fine. The only difference? K5 Learning!

online math and reading program

If you have a busy workload, like 4 kids and a husband recovering from surgery, K5 Learning will help you make sure your kids still learn what they need learn, as independently as possible. Yes, I still give them regular math and reading lessons, but knowing that on days when I may be lacking they won't be, that is what is important to me!

K5 Learning {Reviews}

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IEW Phonetic Zoo Spelling ~ A Schoolhouse Crew Review

IEW Phonetic Zoo Review

When you reach high school, are you done with spelling lessons? And how would you take a spelling class if you had too? Moe Man loves spelling and he loves the independence of using the Institute for Excellence Writing and the Phonetic Zoo Spelling Level C (Starter Set).

IEW Phonetic Zoo Review

What It Is

This is a full spelling program for grades 6-12, depending on skills. It is best to take the placement test to ensure your child is at the right level when it comes to this. Included in the starter pack is 6 audio CDs with the option to also download the MP3 version, lesson cards, personal spelling cards, Zoo cards, a downloadable teacher’s guide in PDF format and a Spelling and the Brain video seminar that is streaming with your purchase.

This is a phonetics based spelling program that uses Mrs. Anna Ingham’s Blended Sound-Sight Program of Learning. This is a wonderful multi-sensory approach to learning that really has helped Moe Man.

There is no lesson plan that goes along with this. Your child listens to the new rule while you talk about it together. You learn the new jingle together and your child while be able to use that while working on their words. While there are no lesson plans, no weekly have to do this, you do have lessons. And you work on this lesson until your child knows those words.

How We Used This

I started out by reading through the teacher’s guide and watching the Spelling and the Brain video. This video was a great insight into using the program itself. While I got what I needed from the teacher’s guide, I loved the video and the extra little hints on how this works and WHY.

We started our first lesson on a Monday. You don’t have to do a Monday, but we did. We went over the flashcard and the rule for that lesson. I gave Moe Man his Zoo Card…which he laughed at the first time, but kind of fell in love with, and told him to number his page for his first test. He was shocked, he didn’t have the list of words to study, there were no word finds, or fun games to play. And then I told him to get his head phones out. This confused him.

The Phonetic Zoo has your child using headphones while they listen to the words. The headphones bring the sound of the words closer to the brain…and blocks out the extra noise of the little brother and sisters. When Moe Man was numbering his page, he skipped a line between each number, this worked for when it came to correcting the words after.

IEW Review

Moe Man loves IEW and their use of pens over pencils. This helps with making them slow down because they can’t erase with a pen. This also makes him feel more responsible for what he is doing.

After listening to the word list and attempting to spell them correctly, Moe Man would listen to the corrections. This took a little getting used to for him to follow along. He had to learn how to pause the disk instead of asking me to stop, or me knowing when he needed me to stop. I noticed this changing the more he has used it. He is becoming more confident in himself and is paying better attention when it comes to this point.

Now, Moe Man will continue with each lesson until he gets 100% twice in a row! This is also different from the “normal” spelling tests. But this way, I know that he knows the rule and has had time to work on the words. And this is why your 47 lessons will last a different amount for each child.

What We Thought Of This

I personally loved this program. It was a great way for Moe Man to work on his spelling, and work in a way that stuck with him. There is no frills about it, you are working on learning the rules of spelling, not a game.

Moe Man loved the words. He has always loved spelling, and he loved this new approach to spelling. He would get frustrated when he had one wrong, but knew that he was close and was happy to share that.

There was nothing to complain about. Moe Man didn’t argue when he was told to do this and truly enjoyed it. I didn’t have hours of prep to make it work and yet seen results that made a mom proud!

While Level C is the highest level, there are lower ones that you need to check out. Head on over and see these other reviews!!

IEW Review
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Super Teacher Worksheets ~ A Schoolhouse Crew Review

What do you do when your child does not understand something? What if you need something fun to practice what you are learning? Where do you go for that? I have fallen in love with the Individual Membership over at Super Teacher Worksheets for just these types of problems!

Super Teacher Worksheets

What It Is

This is a wonderful website that has worksheets and games for preschoolers and beyond. Most of the “grades” are up to the 5th grade, but I loved the practice that these were able to give to Moe Man in the 9th grade when it comes to some subjects!

This is not a full curriculum in any way, but can be used to supplement any curriculum that you may have. All major subjects are covered and within those subjects, all major categories are there. You are even able to make your own extra practice sheets when needed.

How We Used This

I love supplementing when I want my kids to practice something a little more. I don’t like looking all over and wasting my time trying to find just the right thing. That is where Super Teacher Worksheets came into play. I would look at our lesson plan, and look on the menu, find the matching worksheets, pick the one, or two, that I wanted and away we went.

Ray Ray has been asking me for some time to have a color by number like Little Miss had, when I found the scarecrow addition color by number, I was thrilled! Not only did he get what he wanted, mommy got what she wanted by having him practice his addition skills.

Super Teacher Worksheets

When Moe Man forgot about algebraic expressions (really who remembers that stuff anyway!), I was able to find some simple worksheets that refreshed his memory in a fun, non-threatening way. When his double digit multiplication was missing a step, I was able to find fun, colorful worksheets to help him practice. (These simple things are a MUST for him and his learning).

Super Teacher Worksheets

And when Little Miss wanted to be like her brothers, I was able to add some letter worksheets into her daily work! There is truly something for everyone here!

With all the supplementing, I was able to find something for everyone to do in different subjects, so we are using this website daily. Each worksheet is at least two pages, with the answers included. When printing, I would only print the student pages to help save on paper and ink. I could always go back and check the answers on the computer. The only time this did not work was when it was a build your own worksheet. That is where the File Cabinet comes in, just remember to save your worksheet to the file cabinet before you generate it…I forgot this step the first time!

What Did We Think

I love this website! While I was given an individual membership for this review, I have my own account that I set up and purchased before this review. I plan to continue my membership after this review as well. This is a site that I have found very useful in our homeschooling. It is a site that I do use on a daily basis. I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.

If you need more opinions, check out these other reviews from The Crew! If you do, or have had this membership, what is your favorite feature of it?

Super Teacher Worksheets Review

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Essential Skills Advantage ~ A Schoolhouse Crew Review


What kind of fun way do you teach your kids some reading, or sight words? Do you have a favorite website that helps you with what your child is learning? We love Essential Skills Advantage and all the fun they have to offer!

What is Essential Skills Advantage?

Essential Skills Advantage is a fun way to help with Reading and Language for kids in Kindergarten up to 6th grade. This is an online learning program that is focused on teaching your child to read with phonics and sight words. There are no downloads and as long as you have access to the internet, you have access to Essential Skills Advantage.

There are over 20,000 activities starting in Kindergarten to help your child excel with their reading. Kindergarten up to 3rd grade offers complete reading programs for your children to work through. Each of these offer you, the teacher/parent, an activity guide to show you what your children will be focusing on and learning. Each program is broken down into the different skills your child needs to learn the “year”. I say year like that, because Ray Ray has so much fun, he keeps moving through the year a little faster than I thought he would.

In 1st grade, your children have the option to start the Fun with Spelling program also. These programs focus on one particular skill at a time. 1st grade works on the vowel families and moves up to the “toughies”. By 3rd grade, they are working on different spelling rules. Each of these skills are taught by playing games instead of drilling the students.

After 3rd grade, your children get to move up to other programs like Reading Comprehension, Vocabulary Builder and Spell Master. Although these are supposed to be “harder”, they are just as much fun!

Essential Skills Advantage also offers a Grammar program for grades 3-5 and fun Spelling Stumpers.


How was Essential Skills Advantage Used by Us?

Ray Ray was the lucky one who got to use Essential Skills Advantage. I say lucky one because this is a fun program to use. We have been using this to go along with our reading program. This is mommy’s go to program when Ray Ray doesn’t want to do any school, but wants to play on the computer. See, if you notice, this child of mine loves to play on the computer, and I allow it. But what he doesn’t know, is the games he “plays” are learning games.

I wanted Ray Ray to do 1-2 skills each day 3-4 days during the week. I had one unforeseen problem…he didn’t stop at the 1-2 skills. He would continue on until 3-5 skills had been completed and he was that much closer to a certificate…which you can and should print for your child to hang up proudly on their bedroom door!

I would log Ray Ray onto the program and move on to helping Little Miss or Moe Man. I didn’t have to worry about him not understanding something because they would verbally tell him the directions for each activity he was working on. I wouldn’t just ignore him while he was working on this, in fact there were and will be a lot of times I will sit down beside him and have him tell me what he was doing. He loves the word searches and the learning to actually type the words out.

Essential Skills Advantage works in order, so I didn’t have to worry about planning out each skill and making sure Ray Ray did them in the right order. You work through the complete program in order and earn your stars as you go.

Our Final Opinion

Ray Ray loves this program. We had previously paid for this, but had to stop when planning out the new budget. When I opened this up for our review…Ray Ray was so excited that he was ready to go right away.

When I asked him what he liked about Essential Skills Advantage, he told me everything. Nothing needs to change mommy, he said.

I feel the same way about this. I don’t have any complaints at all. I love the program and how it is set up. I love that he is actually learning something and not just jumping around to get time to “play” like other programs we have used.

The Premium Plan, which is what we used, is $9.99 a month per child. This gives us access to everything Essential Skills Advantage has to offer with no ads at all. This is not a bad price, but I have something fun to share…go and sign up for the Premium Plan before October 1st and use code TOS50 and you get 50% off for the duration of your membership!! That is $4.99 a month per student until YOU decide to cancel!! This is a wonderful deal and I would be one of the first to run over and sign up! (I actually want to sign Little Miss up, even though she isn’t ready, just so I can get this deal!) Now, if you still can’t justify that…Essential Skills Advantage is also offering a new sponsored version of their program. You wouldn’t have access to everything, although it is still quite a bit of the program. And since it is sponsored with ads, you don’t have to pay a monthly fee.

So, I recommend this program. Ray Ray recommends this program. You can get an awesome deal on the Premium Membership, or join in on the Sponsored Version. What in the world are you waiting for??? Need other opinions? Just head over here and see what these other moms are saying!


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Don't forget to show Essential Skills Advantage some love on social media! Tell them I sent you!

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Spelling You See ~ A Schoolhouse Crew Review

Spelling you see


When we started our homeschooling journey, Moe Man had his spelling under control. However, I was a tad worried about our homeschool spelling study with Ray Ray. Spelling You See has been my life saver!


We we received a copy of the Spelling You See: Jack and Jill (Level B) for Ray Ray to try and the Instructor Guide for me to use.



Spelling You See Review


With the student books, you get two workbooks, A Guide to Handwriting sheet and erasable colored pencils for $30. The workbooks are broken down into 36 weekly lessons. Each one of these weekly lessons are than broken down into sections A through E (5, one for each day of the week). Spelling You See: Jack and Jill (Level B) is nursery rhyme based. Each week we get to work on a new nursery rhyme. Book 1 has the kids copy the a selected passage of the nursery rhyme and than we get to work on filling in letter boxes. Book 2 has the kids looking for vowel and consonant patterns within the nursery rhymes.



Spelling You See Review


The Instructor's Guide ($16), provides you the parent/teacher with a beautiful "getting started" guide. This guide gives you an overview of the 36 lessons, information on those lessons, skills and concepts learned plus much, much more! I could not (and would not recommend) using this program without the instructors' guide!



Spelling You See Review


There are no "ages" or "grades" to pick from this program. They have different levels that will match your child's stage in the 5 developmental stages of spelling. We did use the Spelling You See: Jack and Jill (Level B) with Ray Ray while he was 5, and it seemed to click with him very well. It is best to read more about the different levels and stages, as well as reading some of the FAQs that are listed on the site before you just pick a level for your child. Even though you may have a 5 year old at home, they may be at a different level, higher or lower, than where Ray Ray is at right now. And this is normal!


We used this program as part of our daily school lessons. Ray Ray was a little disappointed to start this, but soon started asking if it was time for spelling yet. I would start by reading the nursery rhyme of the day and than Ray Ray would read it after me. He would than work on copying a part of that nursery rhyme down. It would only be a line or two, but it was enough for him. After the nursery rhyme, we would move over to the next page. This page would have us working on the sounds of letters and writing them down. After the letters and their sounds, we would work on simple three letter words with short vowel sounds. Not only did this help Ray Ray with his spelling, I noticed he enjoyed reading more! Each day had us doing something different in the beginning phrase, from underlining rhyming words to finding capitals and punctuation. There are no spelling lists, as this program using the idea of seeing the words written correctly and copying that.


Ray Ray's thoughts on the program were very to the point. He loved reading the nursery rhymes, and saying and writing the words on his own. When I asked him if he would change anything "No, nothing really". And I had to have that 'no' in there as he watches me right this now 🙂

My thoughts on the program, very easy to use! That was a fear of mine. There is really no way to screw this up! It is an open the book and go program. Once you read your instructor's guide you will be set for the lesson that day! A simple 10 minute (depending on your child's mood that day) lesson and spelling is in their head for the day! I loved that they used the nursery rhymes at this stage and how much fun Ray Ray had with this every day! Would I change anything? Not at this point. I really couldn't think of anything to change at all.


Make sure you check out Spelling You See on Facebook and Twitter!


Since there are 5 different levels, and I couldn't review them all, make sure you hop on over and check out what these other reviewers had to say!


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