This past Monday marked our end of our preview of Time4Learning and I have several thoughts I want to share with you.
Time4Learning broke through several pre-conceived ideas that I had about online curriculum. For starters, I just didn't think it could be as thorough as curriculum that you touch and handle. I didn't think it would cover a topic the way a textbook or living book would.. and I was wrong.
They do an excellent job of covering the presented topics for every age group. I was pleasantly surprised at the depth in which they presented, explained and reviewed a topic.
I also didn't think an online curriculum would allow for a child who may just not "get it". You know, a concept is presented, a couple of practice problems are thrown at them and then they are cut loose to complete the quiz or text on their own. No amount of investigating of whether a skill has been understood and acquired occurs with this type of presentation, yet, Time4Learning did not do that. In fact, my oldest was working through a Language Art skill ( I was watching to see how it all played out) and he was just not getting it OR was just skimming the information. Guess what?? Time4Learning called him out on it! Yep, a pre-made online curriculum called him out on the fact that he had just gone over the lesson, did several practice problems, and then completely bombed the test. We both got a kick out of the fact that they caught him and then had him go back and do the lesson again to have a better knowledge of it. It was GREAT! I chuckled at him for thinking he could skirt around this computer program and again found myself pleasantly surprised that this curriculum CAUGHT his inconsistent display of knowledge. I have run across very few curriculums, online or tangible, that molds and flexes with the student as they attempt the material.
Further, I was convinced my kids would grow tired of the computer based lessons once a couple of weeks had passed. Again, Time4Learning proved me wrong. Both my 13 and 10 year old actually ASKED to do lessons each day. They were thrilled to attempt math, language art skills and science on Time4Learning's website. I do not receive such happy responses when they are asked to bring out their math book, let me tell you!
Time4Learning has some wonderful features that, honestly, I'm still exploring. It allows you to create lesson plans, easily track your child's progress, see where they need extra help, as well as assign them further work in areas of weakness in their database.
While I will not replace my tangible curriculum with Time4Learning, I have chosen to keep Time4Learning and use it to not only reinforce skills they have already learned but need review in but also to supplement what we are currently working on. I have loved introducing a concept from our current curriculum and then sending them to Time4Learning to reinforce and give extra practice to this new skill.
To be perfectly honest, I wasn't convinced that I would walk away enjoying Time4Learning as part of our curriculum plan (for reasons listed above), however, I have been impressed with Time4Learning's organization, presentation and the enjoyment my kids have expressed in using this site! I would recommend you check out Time4Learning. It's not just for homeschooling families either! This is an excellent resource for any school kid needing support and extra in one or multiple subject areas! Go try it for yourself at Time4Learning!
***Disclaimer:*** I received a 30 day trial from Time4Learning.com in exchange for an unbiased, honest review of my experience with their program.
UPDATE 8/11/12: We no longer are using Time4Learning. Since using it as a supplemental resource and in an effort to simplify our school routine/resources, I opted to no longer continue with this supplement.