In our search to find the right fit for Wesley to be home-schooled we finally came across a website called Time 4 Learning. The had a program that seemed to answer all of our needs. They had reasonable pricing, they didn’t require attendance at a physical location, you could sign up monthly, and cancel at any time. Sign us up!
We decided to try it for a month and see if it was better than what we had been doing. In retrospect, that was a silly thing to do… anything would have been better than what we were doing.
But we completed the first week of lessons and Wesley, Damon and I agreed, it was working out great for all of us.
The best part was it gave us a SCHEDULE. We filled out a “Activity Schedule” for how much Wesley needed to do to finish third grade, and it gave us a weekly schedule. We could change it as we needed (like when we had to skip two weeks in April), and it would make the necessary changes based on when you wanted to finish school and start summer.
The pros about using the Time 4 Learning system are:
Complete Mobility! – We get to have school in the hotel, the pool area, anywhere we’re at, at any time. Adaptable schedule and mobility are a huge bonus.
Parent Login Area – I can see what lessons are coming up for Wesley and make sure we have the correct materials, books, etc. Of course, we can’t always do this while we’re traveling, but at least this tells me what we should be doing.
Clear-cut Chapters – Each section of math, language arts, social studies, etc., is set up just like a textbook with chapters and sections inside the chapter. It’s very easy for young students to “follow the arrow” and move from section to section, take a quiz, and then move along till they finish the chapter and take the test.
Enrollment Letter & Student Records – If you think you may be interested in registering your child back in traditional school at some point, then having good records may be a benefit. Many states don’t check for your home-schooling “lesson plan” but if they do, you have proof of a curriculum.
Parents Forum – An open forum for parents to discuss everything from state requirements, extracurricular activities and homeschooling basics, to special needs and the best menus to serve young learners.
Grade Level – You can set your child’s grade level to wherever you think they are, not just where the state or their school would place them. If you feel they need to review a subject at an earlier grade level you can do so easily.
After School & Summer School – Although I haven’t investigated these options I know you can use T4L as an after-school resource (perhaps for a single subject that your child is struggling with), or for summer school.
Timer & Playground – As the parent you set timer limits of how long a child “works” on school before they can go to the “playground” for games. They have a LARGE variety of games in the playground that your child can choose from… and you get to set the timer for how long “recess” lasts in the playground.
Activity Scheduler – As a new home-schooling mom, being able to generate a schedule was amazing. It got us started and told me how many “activities” we needed to complete each day.
Cons about using Time 4 Learning:
Activity Scheduler – I know I said this was a pro… and I was right. It’s great for a new home-schooling family. But after you’ve used it for awhile, you find that it doesn’t allow you to edit the schedule at all. For example, I wanted to skip several chapters in math and get to the chapter on the Metric System. Once finished, I couldn’t go into the activity scheduler and take that chapter out of the math he needed to complete. It only works in a linear manner… start at Chapter 1 and go to Chapter 20. You can’t pick and choose.
No Parent Search Option – Several times Wesley has complained that the quiz asks him questions that they didn’t go over in the preceding segment. I have to go in manually with him and re-read segments to find what he missed. And occasionally I’ve had to tell him he’s right. They asked a question that they didn’t cover… or at least I couldn’t find where they did. It would be nice to have a search option rather than the provided “answer key” that doesn’t teach why the answer is correct.
No Recommended Resources – Wesley did NOT understand some of the math concepts the way that their “edutainment” movie explained it. That means I have to search for other ways to teach the concept… not just review the material. Believe me, you can find tons of free quizzes and worksheets to review, but not free teaching. (Nor should you).
As a whole, we’re thrilled with the Time4Learning program. It’s been great for the computer to be the bad guy, not me or Damon : ) It has it’s pros and cons, but we’ll be using it as our main curriculum to finish third grade as well as for Wesley’s entire fourth grade year.
If you’re interested in signing up, check out their site at Time4Learning. If you’d like to give me the referral (Thanks!), fill out the contact form and I’ll send you the email.
* As a member of Time4Learning, I have been given the opportunity to review their program and share my experiences. While I was compensated, this review was not written or edited by Time4Learning and my opinion is entirely my own. For more information, check out their standards-based curriculum or learn how to write your own curriculum