Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Time for Learning- TOS Review

We recently had the opportunity to review Time4Learning.This is an on-line program that can be used in a variety of ways; as a complete homeschool curriculum, or in addition to a core homeschooling curriculum, instead of private tutoring, as an after school or summer school addendum. You can choose from grades pre-K -12th grade.
Scope and Sequence photo time4learning1_zps32c9d4c1.jpg
This is an easy to learn program with extensive record keeping tools. Most importantly, it teaches information in a way that is logical and sequential: the lesson sequence is a straightforward screen, with arrows telling the student in what order each chapter will be learned, the lesson is taught, the program grades the lesson, the program tracks and reports the lesson. It's that simple.

Automated System

Your student could easily use this program with complete independence, but if you want to stay abreast of what's going on, there are plenty of tools to do so:
Tools for Parents
Another great feature about this program is that it is completely web-based. This means that YOU have nothing to download, no CD's to keep track of, nothing else to buy, borrow or think about. You sign up, log- in and are good to go. You and your kids have access to the program 24/7, meaning on those nights when you are lying there wide awake you can go lesson plan, print off free worksheets, chat on the community forum, or find more cool activities. Love that.

program structure
Flower  reviewed 5th grade for language arts, science, social studies, and 6th grade for math. Basically I assigned her a time per day to work on Time for Learning. Her very favorite areas were Science and Language Arts. The Science really grabbed her imagination as they go through the scientific method and ask kids to hypothesize what might happen during an experiment. This really fired up her imagination.
5th grade language arts
She also loved the Language Arts section and goes there first on a daily basis. Time for Learning is just part of her homeschooling routine at this point. When we've finished the basics, are in a lull, waiting for everyone to gather for reading, or whatever, Time for Learning is Flower's go-to activity.
Some sections she deemed, "too easy" and felt frustrated by the lack of challenge. The areas follow core standards, however, so check where your student is at. In retrospect, I probably should have bumped her up in areas other than math.

Screen shot photo time4learning2_zps231ad6e5.jpg
What I loved about this program? Flower can work entirely independently on a variety of core subjects. The screens are engaging while not being overly busy or cheesy (Flower actually mentioned that she appreciated the decent graphics of this program!). For a motivated student there is always more good stuff to come.
The record keeping is extensive, allowing a parent to keep track of what the student is doing when; perfect for a homeschooling parent who works part or full time, has multiple kids, or is just plain homeschooling busy.
In addition there is a "play-ground" where the kids can do fun activities, games and puzzles. Parents can set the controls and time limits for this as well.
It would be easy to have a student do their entire course-work on-line with a program like this. Personally, I don't think a screen is the best teacher- kids need 1:1 interaction with engaged adults, warm bodies and oral feedback from human-beings.
That being said, this is one fantastic resource for the homeschooling, after schooling, private and public schooling communities! We will definitely continue to use this great resource as a supplement to the core curriculum we are already using!
Free Lesson Demos 
Time 4 Learning offers a 14 day free trial of their program.
Time 4 Learning is available for 19.95 a month for the first student.  Each additional student is $14.95 per month. High School is now offered at a cost of $30.00 per month. Time 4 Learning also offers Time for Art for students who have completed a month of Time for Learning studies.
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1 comment:

Aandwsmom said...

We are just starting our 6th year of T4L!
It has been a lifesaver for our homeschool!
High school level this year and so far, so good!
I even use it for my daycare kids as part of our preschool program!