My family was blessed yet again to review an amazing online resource called Time4Learning. I wanted to use this last school year but I wasn’t sure if it would be worth the price. After using it for a month, I know now that it is worth much more and we will continue to use it for the rest of the school year.
Time4Learning is a web-based program that offers curriculum for Pre-K to High School in Language Arts (English), Math, Science and Social Studies. The monthly subscription will also provide you with parent administration controls that allow you to set time limits and access for each child, automated report and lesson plan generation, including 24/7 support and access to the parent forum. The monthly subscription is offered at US$19.95 for the first child, US$ 14.95 for the next child in Pre-K to 8th grade and US$ 30.00 for high school students (which includes 4 courses).
My children used Time4Learning (through a 6-month subscription) along with our other homeschool curriculum. The intent was for my 2nd Grader (DD) to use it but my younger boys were so curious about it they started looking at the other lessons as well. In the end, I bought a subscription for my youngest child who is in Kindergarten. Overall, they spent about 1 to 2 hours daily accessing the lessons.
We focused on Language Arts but also used the Science and Math subjects in the levels available to us. For the 2nd Grade the available subjects also included Language Arts Extensions and Social Studies but we didn’t use these as much because I needed help teaching the kids on the other subjects rather than these.
I asked my children what they thought about Time4Learning. Here are their answers:
Kindergartener – “I like it. I learned about the ant (from Science). I want to do it again.” (Kindergarten learners have access to the 1st Grade Science lessons).
1st Grader – “I like it. My favorite part is going to the ‘playground’ to play games.” (After “lesson time” the learner can spend time in the “playground” with the educational games).
2nd Grader – “I liked the activities, games and story-telling but I don’t like listening to the ‘lectures’ because I already know most of it.” (She got bored with the lessons on her grade level but was happy again when we bumped her up to the next grade level. The program will give your child access to one grade level above and a grade level below her “current” grade level.)
Here are my observations:
For the Parents
I found the parent administration functions very helpful and user-friendly. I didn’t use the Activity Scheduler much as I decided to let the children’s interest set the pace for the lessons.
I did find that I had to spend a lot of time learning how to use the program at the beginning, and then reading through the curriculum after that initial learning curve was hurdled. Despite being automated, as the parent/teacher, you would still need to preview the lesson plans and the lessons themselves, which can take up valuable time.
The main benefit I saw was that I was able to work with another child while one or two children worked on his or her Time4Learning lessons for the day. The reports were useful, too, as these allowed me to monitor the child’s progress with her learning.
About the Subjects
Scope and Variety – The scope of the curriculum for each level and each subject is extensive and can be overwhelming. The math and language arts subjects are correlated to US core standards. I did not preview each lesson for each subject, but looking at the curriculum overview, the language arts lessons meet our school’s home education program requirements while the other subjects would need to be supplemented.
Caters to different learning styles – I found the multimedia environment and various learning activities to be effective in teaching to my children’s individual learning styles. This was a big plus for me because my own “teaching style” is different from my older son’s learning style and I’ve been struggling to find ways to reach him. Time4Learning helped me a lot in this area.
Animation – The animation used in the lessons are not as fine as I expected but were interesting enough to hold my children’s attention. My youngest loved “Ed Mouse”.
Language – The language used was appropriate for the grade levels my children were on. However, I was surprised when the word “stupid” appeared in one of the bus driver games. I hope this word can be removed soon.
Suggested Reading – I count as a plus that booklists are suggested for further reading. This meant that learning was not limited to what was in the program.
Pricing and Customer Support
At US$ 19.95 (for elementary-level children), the monthly subscription per child is affordable, compared to US $8.00 to 10.00 per hour if hiring a tutor. I thought this was a good deal which was why I enrolled my son. (I received a 6-month free subscription for one child only – my daughter – for the purpose of reviewing the program).
I found their customer service was prompt, responsive and proactive when I encountered problems during my son’s enrollment.
Time4Learning can be a big help for homeschool families with multi-level learners or for those learners needing extra help with schooling. There is so much more I can write about Time4Learning but I believe the 14-day free demo (with a money-back guarantee) will do a better job of showing this to you.
I highly recommend Time4Learning as a core curriculum or after-school resource.
Other families had the opportunity to review Time4Learning. Please click here to read about their experience with the program.
All prices and product description correct at time of posting. Please visit the Time4Learning website for updated information.
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