Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Time 4 Learning

Time 4 Learning
$19.95 a month, $14.95 per month for each additional child

This week, the boys and I have been trying out Time 4 Learning, a online curriculum program. The website boasts complete language arts and math programs for grades preschool-8. They also offer history and science instruction.

Time 4 Learning offers programs tailored to homeschool families, after school learning and summer learning. They are focused on meeting your family's educational needs. The program may be customized to allow a student to work at different language arts and math levels.

The sign-up process was easy. I completed a brief survey for each child to help place them within the program. By the next day the registration was complete and we could get started.

Gregory loves the program. Working at 3rd grade level, he whizzed through the lessons. It seems that at the lower levels the lessons are timed (15 mins. per subject). I thought that was nice, so they didn't get bogged down, but Greg would have been more than happy to continue working.

Leland didn't enjoy it so much. He needs a lot more repetition than this program seems to have. He also learns best through a "hands on" approach and that isn't very applicable to a computer based curriculum. He did enjoy the science lessons and I had to remind him to get off-line several times when doing the language arts lesson.

I don't feel that I would want to use this program for a full curriculum in any subject. However, I do see its benefit as a supplement, especially in math and language arts. Both boys seemed to enjoy the fact that they were learning through games. I like to have complete control over the learning process so I felt like I was at loose ends while they were online. Also, this wouldn't work well for our one-computer family. It took all morning for them to each do 2 subjects (and that was with Greg being timed).

For parents who aren't as "control freak" as me, the program has detailed reports that can be printed out weekly so that you can keep track of your child's progress. As the parent, you do have the ability to preview the lessons so that you are aware of what your child is currently learning.

Of course, you will have to add in handwriting, and probably a writing program of some kind. Also, Time 4 Learning recommends daily read-aloud time for your family and independent reading for all reading children. That will round out the education, especially if you were diligent to choose reading based on what your children were learning.

Although I don't see this program working for my family, I believe that it would be a cost-efficient approach to learning if this is something that your family is looking for.

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