Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Time4Learning - A quick review

Our homeschool was presented with the opportunity to try out Time4Learning free for a month. In return, I promised to write a review.

(Ahem)

Sometimes short and sweet is more efficient than wordy and polished looking. I'm going with short and sweet today.

I have heard many good things about Time4Learning (T4L for short during this review). A homeschooling friend of mine uses it for her three children, and they love it. I was eager to try it out in our little homeschool! I have two children, one in 1st grade and one in 7th grade. Each child is "split level" with his or her learning (my 1st grader does 2nd grade math, my 7th grader does 8th grade literature and math). T4L's ability to move up or down a grade level sounded GREAT! It sounded like something I could easily customize for my children.

So, here are my Pros and Cons of T4L:

Pros:
  1. The kids love playing games to learn. Much of the content on T4L is presented in a fun way. The kids enjoyed that.
  2. Once the kids understood a concept, working through their modules on T4L seemed less tedious than practicing the concepts on paper (a great tool for my kinesthetic learner!)
  3. It was nice to take a break from teaching the kids!

Cons:
  1. I found setting up everything was not very user friendly. I searched FAQ's everywhere on that site trying to find ways to customize learning plans, and I really couldn't find much other than setting up their initial grade levels. I ended up just having the kids click on areas of their pages that would teach them a new concept (leaving other areas incomplete).
  2. Looking at reports was also difficult. Since I couldn't figure out how to delete certain lessons, I couldn't get the site to recognize the lessons the kids had completed.
  3. Some of the new concepts weren't "taught". I felt that the kids were thrown into the concept. For example, my first grader ran into subtraction with borrowing. The site didn't teach him how to do it. I walked him through the steps and concepts, and then he ran through the exercises.
All that being said, I would only use Time4Learning as a supplement to our homeschool. I think it would actually  make a great supplement to our curriculum. Unfortunately the price tag for the site is higher than I would ever pay for a supplement.

I might have had a better experience with the program if I could have navigated my area in a more efficient manner. I think a more thorough FAQ or help section would be GREATLY beneficial.

Legal stuff:

**I've been invited to try Time4Learning in exchange for a candid review. My opinion will be entirely my own, so come back and read about my experiences. For more information, check out their online curriculum or learn how to write your own curriculum review.**
 

1 comment:

Dee said...

Hi Shan,
Great review! You made some good points about how they can improve. I encourage you to let them know by e-mailing them. http://www.time4learning.com/curriculum/contact_us.php

Or you could even call them! (888) 771-0914

Having used this curriculum for a while now, I know that they are always looking to improve.

Also, you could try going to the forums at www.time4learning.net. You can ask all kinds of questions about how to use the site on there.