Time4Learning – Homeschooling Curriculum Review

Disclaimer:  As a member of Time4Learning, I have been asked to review their online education program and share my experiences. While I was compensated, this review was not written or edited by Time4Learning and my opinion is entirely my own. Write your own curriculum review or learn how to use their curriculum for homeschoolafter school study or summer learning.

As most of you know, we homeschool my 9-year-old son and my 7-year-old daughter.  This year we are also adding in some Pre-K learning for my four-year old son.  On one of my homeschool mailing lists I was given a link to Time4Learning – an online homeschool curriculum.  There are a lot of them out there – from K-12 to OakMeadow – and they’re typically pretty expensive ( especially if you have more than one child in the program!)  This program is significantly cheaper, which I love — anything that makes homeschooling more accessible to everyone is great in my eyes!

According to their website:

Time4Learning is a convenient, online homeschool curriculumthat combines education with interactive fun. Animated lessons, interactive activities, printable worksheets and detailed reporting make the learning system a top selection of the Homeschool.com “Top 100 Educational Websites” list, year after year.

The Time4Learning program has been refined through years of feedback from educators, parents, and students. Lessons are presented at the student’s pace by an automated system. The language arts and math lessons correlate to state standards. Science, social studies and art are also available as a bonus in most grades.

Kids love the computer, so let them learn on one! The Time4Learning curriculum gives preschool to eighth graders who are homeschooled the independence they crave, as they progress at their own pace. The program also helps kids who are homeschooled advance, by teaching with individualized learning paths that assure skill mastery.

Parents like the automated grading, lesson plans and detailed reporting that track progress and make record keeping simple.

Other key features of the homeschool curriculum:

  • Students get individual logins and work at their own pace
  • Parents can set the grade levels independently for each subject
  • The grade above and below are available for review and additional study
  • Detailed lesson plans available for parents who wish to review lesson contents
  • Access to an online playground that rewards and motivates
  • Time-stamping feature on the activities (for attendance)
  • An automated system grades lessons and keeps reports for homeschool portfolio usage (shown below)
  • Sign up and get started on the same day!
Signing up was very, very simple — it truly is a free 30 day trial ( they didn’t even ask me for credit card information) and the account was active within hours.  I spent some time on it last night checking out the parent resources and lesson plans, setting timers and looking at how they had reporting set up.  Honestly?  I was impressed.  It’s easy to find each child and monitor exactly which lessons they’ve completed, which are still to be finished, and their scores on each lesson.  You can even print out the test they took if you need or want it.  One of my biggest concerns was that the lessons taught to the Virginia SOL‘s ( standards of learning ) since our school district can be a little … tough … to please.  I was very happy to see that they did, as well as other states.
This morning I dropped the kids on Time4Learning to see what they thought of it.  It’s important to me that they be able to be as independent as possible when doing lessons on the computer as I’m often working with one of the other two children on something.  My oldest had no issues at all with the lesson on Mayan culture once I showed him the basics, and did very well on the test at the end.  He loved the fact that certain words that he may not know how to pronounce were highlighted and spoken for him if he clicked on them, and some had definitions.  My daughter didn’t want to stop after her one lesson on sorting and counting ( it was set up as a game!)  It’s a big hit here… in fact, I had a hard time getting them OFF the computer so that I could write my review!
The only drawback I noticed was adding a new child — I really wanted to test it for my four-year old after I found out that they had a  preschool mode, and didn’t sign him up when I initially did the free trial — it’s not much to add him now, but I was disappointed to find that I couldn’t just add one more child.
We’re definitely going to continue using Time4Learning for the rest of our free trial, and if it works out as well as it has so far, it may become a larger part of our curriculum.  I do want to point out that even though we use the curriculum for schooling at home, it is as valuable for supplementing public school work ( maybe your child needs extra work in math or science?) as a summer program, or even for pre-K fun!
Would you like to try Time4Learningl for yourself?  Leave me a comment with your name and email, and I’ll send you a link to use!
*Update 9/15/2011*
     I was contacted by a Time4Learning representative after they read my blog post and they were nice enough to add my 4 year old to the free trial as well!  Great customer service … I’ll let you know what the final verdict is after we’ve used it a month

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