Thursday, April 11, 2013

Time4Learning Review

So, I had a chance this past month to review Time4Learning This is our first year of officially homeschooling. We first started with Connections Academy which didn't work out too well because of my first grader's reluctance to do her lessons and thus, falling behind. I withdrew her back in January and I've been trying to find things that motivate her ever since. I'm still trying to learn her learning styles, what excites her to learn, and things like that. She enjoys video games, plays her My Little Pony video games all the time and does enjoy the Brain Pop Jr. videos quite a bit. So, seeing this program, I wondered if it would be something that she would be interested in as well. The problem is is that being a single income family, finances are really tight currently and spending ANY extra money right now can be a bit of a hardship so I wanted something I knew would work before I put the money into it each month, even if it was low cost for each month. Therefore, I was very happy to get a chance to try this program out because I was really looking into using it but was still kind of unsure if it would be something that would excite and motivate my first grader.

Looking at it, I thought the math was very thorough and had pretty much everything that my daughter would be doing this year if she had remained with Connections. There wasn't much in the way of worksheets as it was mostly online. I really liked the fact that you could look a grade ahead or a grade back in order to go over things that your child might not be as well versed in even though she might be ahead in other areas of the same subject. So on that level, there really is a lot that can be done. The program also is fairly easy to get around for the student. You're mostly using the mouse and there's a back button and a home button to get to where you need to go. Students are shown where they are at in the section they are working on so they can just keep moving along without having to remember what they had already worked on. Parents can look at what their children worked on and be able to see how they did. Lessons can also be done and redone until the student understand the concept.

That said, my daughter wasn't quite as interested in it as I had hoped. I think part of that was because I was still trying to figure out where she was at in as far as the subjects we were working on (this was mainly the case with language arts) and part of it, again, the difficulty we're having with finding things to motivate her school work wise in general. The lessons were easy to get through time-wise but in our case, that was kind of an issue because she would want a break to follow and it wasn't always easy to get her back to work. Again, I feel this is more of a personal thing with our daughter than anything to do with the program. My two and a half year old was definitely interested only she can't use a mouse that well yet. The music though attracted her attention and if she was just a little older, I would most definitely look into it as something for her to use.

I like the program and it's something I would love to look into for my youngest and for my older daughter after spending more time figuring out where her grade level is for the various subjects. I think it would be a GREAT program to start with for a child who is not yet in school because you can start at the beginning and work your way up at your child's pace. I'm not saying that it can't be used for older grades, I just think it may be a little trickier to figure out what level to start with for an older child and may take more time in the beginning to do so.

So that's my review based on our current family and financial situation. It's kind of the first review I have written about something I've used for homeschool so please take that as well as the unique personality of our child into consideration.

1 comment:

  1. We started out using Time4Learning when my two were kindergarten and first grade. Sort of like you are describing, at that time they were just not ready to sit down at the computer. They wanted to be up doing more active "stuff". We took a year or so off from the online curriculum and then tried it again when they were a year older. They have been doing it ever since! So it might be worth it to try again at some point in time.

    I think there might be a way to do worksheets on T4L but it may just be for older grades. I know the 2nd grade language arts extensions sometimes has one. On a side note, has some really good printable worksheets!

    I love using it as my two can get their "school work" done in the morning which leaves the rest of the day to pursue things in a more "unschool" type of way! :D


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