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Friday, September 16, 2011

Review of Time 4 Learning

"Really?  This counts as school?"  "It looks like fun!"  "I really like it!"  These are the quotes I heard from my children as they discovered all that the Time4Learning.com teaching site has to offer.

I had the recent privilege of reviewing the teaching website, Time4Learning.com.  I should say, my children had the enjoyment of the review.  I have seen the site advertised, and it looked interesting to me.  However, I did not know how well my children would receive it.  See, we have a history of mom (me) getting extremely excited about curriculum, until I present it to my kids.  Suddenly, my enthusiasm is drained like a flat balloon.  Fully anticipating this could be the case with Time4Learning, as it has been with other curriculum packages we have tried, I presented it to my children.  Here's what happened: 

My 11 year old son is a computer fanatic.  He is very bright (I don't just say this as his mother), his SAT test scores were falling into the post-high school level, in 5th grade.  However, this child absolutely hates using text books to learn.  I knew he would like the idea of the lessons being on the computer, but I was not prepared for his response.  The first day of school, which he dreaded with a passion, I told him to turn on his computer and go to the Time4Learning.com website.  Then, I told him that I wanted him to complete at least one lesson in each subject, set up his home page, and spend some time getting to know the site.  All I wanted in return was his honest opinion.  His reaction? 

"You're kidding!  This counts as school?"

The rest of the school day was a breeze.  He thoroughly enjoyed learning, using Time4Learning as a teaching tool.  He discovered games, interactive teaching, and some reading/instructional segments.

I was curious to see what he thought of the level of teaching.  At first, he described it as mostly review lessons.  However, after a few days of use, he began to say that they are right on par - not too hard, not too easy.

I am definitely considering using Time4Learning as his core curriculum base, for the rest of the year.

My 9 year old daughter -  My oldest daughter loves using workbooks, so I was not surprised when she examined Time4Learning and gave me her response.  She told me that it was really fun, and she enjoyed it a lot.   However, she would prefer to stick with the workbooks for daily learning - using Time4Learning as a supplement, for fun!  She found the first lessons to be review of information she already knew.  As she dove deeper into the lessons, she found them to be challenging.

My Kindergartner - My 4 year old, turns 5 in September.  According to her birthday cutoff, she would not be in Kindergarten until next school year (if she went to public school).  However, she is begging me to teach her how to read, and can already count above 100.  So, I decided to start her in Kindergarten this year.  She loved the games on Time4Learning.  She said, "I think it's going to be really fun!"  As I watched her work through the site, I noticed that it seemed to present the lessons in a preschool manner.  Being a Dora The Explorer fanatic, it reminded us all of how Dora talks - slow, and precise.  It was asking her questions about stripes, etc. which she was working through with ease.

All in all, I found Time4Learning to be a helpful site, which I am considering using for my son.  I think it is definitely a good supplemental learning site, possibly fills in the blanks to form a complete year-long curriculum as well.

I was given one month to check out the site, and then describe what my family thought of it, giving our honest opinion - whether good or bad!  I did not receive payment for this review, other than the 30-day free review trial.  Everything in the above review is 100% my opinion.

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