Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.
We recently were given the opportunity to review LightSail for Homeschoolers. This is a complete and interactive language arts program focusing on four major areas: reading, writing, vocabulary, and fluency. The young readers program is for PK- 3rd grade. The Literary Solutions program is for 3rd- 12th grade. LIghtSail’s staff is a powerhouse for sure. The majority of them have a worked in schools for a cumalitive total of 208 years.
The platform offers both faith based and secular resources. There seems to be an option to hide the faith based materials, but I didn’t see that option for hiding the secular content (and when I’m saying secular, I mean LGBT, Occult, and Horror Stories, Sex and Dating, and some others). If you choose to allow the faith based option, you can click on the faith from which you want to see materials including Catholic, Christian, Judiasm, Islam, Evangelical, Orthodox, and more.
The platform does contain parent controls. The controls allow you to block content or entire subcategories of content. You can require a child to have to request parent permission to open a subcategory.
As with most online education platforms, you can have your student complete an assessment so they can work on an appropriate level. The kids had to complete the assessment before they could explore the rest of the program. The assessment is rather lengthy, but once it is complete the parent can see the score. Parents can then assign books at the right level.
LightSail for Homeschoolers Reading has a HUGE library. The topics are very diverse. The reading program does not just contain a library of books. The program is very interactive and provides the following:
- Unit Studies, Booklist and Memory Work
- Augment Reality
- Interactive Books
- Parental Control
I think the Unit Study feature is my favorite. My youngest and I went through one on gardening. The books and videos were already curated so we didn’t have to go searching.
LightSail for Homeschoolers Writing is another great component of the platform. The writing portion of the platform does a great job teaching writing in a variety of ways. My kids are always wanting to write their own books. Maybe this will be the thing that kicks them into gear! One thing I have not been great at teaching my kids brainstorming. Maybe because I have some kind of trauma (little “t” trauma) from all the teacher trainings I did back in the day where we taught writing to four years old… four… don’t get be started. But I digress. LightSail for Homeschoolers Writing provides a seven step process for your student to grow with graphic organizers:
- I Know
- I Wonder
- I Learned
- In Review
LightSail for Homeschoolers Vocabulary works on both spelling and vocabulary building. Students work on definitions and usage. The vocabulary portion is very interactive.
LightSail for Homeschoolers Fluency is the fourth component of this online learning platform. Fluency is important and is definitely not something I feel very competent in assessing. Fluency helps determine if students are skipping words- maybe because they don’t know them or are unfamiliar. LightSail really brings me back to my teaching days using such tools as running records. Running Records help you determine how many words per minute your child is reading.
So… we really liked the audio books. All of my kids are auditory learners and LOVE audio books. The audio book selection is fantastic. There is a lot… I mean a lot that comes with the LightSail for Homeschoolers platform. We barely scratched the surface for the purposes of this review. I am excited to look more into the program and utilize it more.. especially for my teens who need goals in their reading.
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