Using engaging technology that kids will love, Time4Learning is an online educational program that allows kids to study school subjects in a fun and safe environment. Time4Learning takes advantage of the latest web-based designs and provides a convenient, affordable online option for teaching one or all of your core homeschooling subjects. By fostering independent learning and meeting detailed educational standards, Time4Learning can be useful for homeschool studies, supplementary help or after school computer time.
Utilizing the online curriculum Compass Learning Odyssey, Time4Learning is clever and substantial. Core subjects such as math and language arts are covered as well as social studies and science for most grades. After a one month membership, your child can also access Time4Art which is a 6 month program covering art history, theory and techniques. I received a complimentary 30-day trial in exchange for an honest review, so we were not yet able to access the Time4Art components within our trial period. Time4Art does sound like it would be an exciting and educational addition to any Time4Learning experience though.
Time4Learning has literally thousands of pages and lessons covering kindergarten through 8th grade. That same fun and educational technology that kids will enjoy also helps parents as the website keeps records and organizes completed schoolwork. Time4Learning costs $19.95 for the first child and $14.95 for each additional child and parents would definitely want to have a separate account for each child. For my family, we utilized the “upper level” on the website, focusing primarily on Grades 6 and 8. Parents also have the option of choosing the “lower level” for more appropriate lessons for younger students. Parents can easily switch between the grades if a child is ahead or behind in a particular subject.
Within the 6th grade studies, we headed to the math section first. The fractions lessons were entertaining cartoons that were definitely attention grabbing. The fractions math lessons provided an excellent way to reinforce this difficult concept my child has been struggling to learn. Within the fractions lessons we did find one small shortfall. The fractions math section didn’t have control buttons such as pause, fast forward or rewind. If a child needs to repeat a fractions math concept or leave the lesson early, that particular portion must completely start over again. Then again, repeating some math lessons can help a child retain more information. After the math lessons, we checked out more lessons in the history section, language arts, science and grammar sections. Unlike the fractions math cartoons, these lessons were more like online workbooks with little or no audio content however the content was very solid. The kids did have more control over the pace of these lessons with a handy “next” button for moving to the next screen.
For 8th grade, the website shows that Time4Learning has 357 activities for pre-algebra alone. The language arts component consists of 64 core LA activities such as vocabulary and reading comprehension, but is also complimented by 85 LA extension activities with topics such as grammar and poetry. In the Honors Algebra section we did find forward and repeat buttons, so the lessons were much easier to complete at a controlled pace. Under history section, lessons mostly consisted of reading as you would in a regular textbook and the lessons were reinforced by cartoon snippets which were actually quite helpful for retaining knowledge.
Not surprisingly, my kids absolutely loved The Playground which contained dozens of silly fun games with a quite a few educational ones added into the mix. A few of the games were 2-player games, so the kids had fun playing together. As a mom, I appreciated the timer in the upper right hand corner of The Playground area. Conveniently, parents can adjust the amount of time allowed in The Playground using the parental controls. I chose to allow the timer to countdown 15 minutes. When the 15 minutes were completed, the games came to an immediate stop and a message popped up that said “See you tomorrow.” Of course I was thrilled and the kids were disappointed that recess was over. However, we were able to go right back into The Playground area immediately, so parents should beware of that tiny loophole.
Parent section of Time4Learning is very helpful. FAQs provided responses for important questions such as how many lessons a child should complete in one day. Parents can track grades, record each child’s progress and change a student’s grade level if lessons prove too easy or too challenging. By relying on the reports found in the Parent section, Time4Learning would be an excellent option to consider if you are not comfortable teaching a particular subject or two.
Time4Learning does require passwords for children and adults. As always with internet usage and children, parents should be extremely vigilant. The vast majority of Time4Learning is contained within their website, however within The Playground we did find links to child-friendly websites such PBSKids and Nasa for Kids.
One of the great things about homeschooling is the flexibility to teach your child in ways they learn best. You can find educational info free on the internet, but Time4Learning provides an ease of use and guided internet usage, as well as grading of assignments and organized lesson plans. Kids love computers and Time4Learning can give parents the peace of mind knowing they are learning in a safe and educational environment filled with clever and substantial lessons.
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Pamela Swearingen has been happily homeschooling in the beautiful Pacific Northwest for several years now. Pamela’s kids are transitioning into middle school now and the lessons in their homeschool (and in life) are getting very exciting! Books, unit studies, notebooks, and nature journals are all part of their homeschooling week. She truly feels that God has blessed her family with the opportunity to homeschool and her goal is to inspire other families to homeschool greatness by pointing them in the direction of some really great books, resources and field trip ideas. Her homeschool reviews and suggestions can be found at http://www.mustardseedhomeschool.blogspot.com/ and all of her non-homeschooling reviews are located at http://www.mustardseedbookreviews.blogspot.com/.