In my attempt to do justice to what I believe to be an excellent educational resource for homeschoolers, let me preface this TOS Crew product review with these words: My review may not fully convey how terrific I believe Time 4 Learning is, so I encourage you to check it out for yourself!
So what is this great resource known as Time 4 Learning? According to the description provided on the FAQ page, "Time4Learning is a technology-based online educational program that teaches preschool to eighth grade curriculum using a combination of animated lessons, interactive activities and reinforcing worksheets." That is the description in a nutshell, but I hope to show you that it's a whole lot more than you might think!
The first place to start as you learn about Time 4 Learning is at their website's FAQ page ~ click HERE to access that page directly. You will find answers to questions such as "Can I use it as a homeschool program?", "What does the math curriculum cover?", and "Can Time 4 Learning run on an IPad?". You will also find a curriculum level overview for each grade level (Pre-K through 8th grade) in the sidebar. Subject included with a Time 4 Learning membership include Language Arts, Math, Science and Social Studies. This encompasses the following:
•Online curriculum for grades Pre-K through 8th
•More than 1,000 interactive animated lessons
•Self paced lessons that kids will enjoy working on
•Math & algebra tutorials & printable worksheets
•Language arts, phonics & grammar lessons
•Interactive, project-based reading activities
•Science (grades 1st - 6th) & social studies (grades 2nd - 7th)
•Detailed reporting for easy record keeping
•Extensive lesson plans & teaching tools for parents
•and much more...
When I received my membership information from Time 4 Learning (free of charge for review purposes) I was able to set up 2 separate accounts for each of my middle-school daughters, and I have access to my own Parent's Account. My 6th grader and my 8th grader both did assignments from each subject category, and they both found that what they were learning was very thorough and aligned itself well with their other homeschool curriculum. For example, when my 8th grade daughter wanted to see how specific the Social Studies lessons were in relation to what she had learned about the Roaring Twenties, she was pleasantly surprised to find that it was as complete as her textbook had been, yet was done in a fun and interactive way. The same proved true of my 6th grader when she explored Time 4 Learning's method of teaching about improper fractions. She felt the visual aspect of the online program would have helped her when she initially studied this topic.
Some online educational websites can be, well, less fun than others. And plenty sites provide ample fun, with little educational depth. I was pleasantly surprised by the balance provided by Time 4 Learning. As implied in the previous paragraph, our family has not been using Time 4 Learning as a stand-alone curriculum; instead, we have incorporated it into our daily lesson plans. This works well for us, as I typically use about triple the resources many of my fellow homeschool moms use (that's according to them, not me - I don't like to think of myself as an overachiever!) However, if you are the more laid back homeschool mom, you might be comfortable using it as your sole curriculum for certain subjects. It's thorough, to a extent not always found among online learning resources. It also compliments other curriculum nicely. You can choose how best to use Time 4 Learning with your students - it's flexible enough for either option.
But it's not boring, and that's important to note. Remember the movie "What About Bob?" - if so, you might recall the scene in which Dr. Leo Marvin is talking with his daughter Anna about his bizarre patient Bob Wiley. Dr. Marvin is trying to persuade his daughter that hanging out with Bob is not a good idea. Anna says, "But he's FUN!!" To which Dr. Marvin replies, "Well, I'm sort of fun..." Some homeschool products can be categorized as "sort of fun...". Time 4 Learning, however, falls squarely under the heading "FUN!!" (I know it's an odd analogy, but I think you get my point.)
Here's what my 6th grade daughter had to say: "I really like their Science and Math a lot. It helps me to learn, but in a fun way. I love that I'm not bored when I do my assignments!"
And my 8th grade daughter shared these thoughts: "I like that it has a lot of variety. The Language Arts writing uses a format similar to Word and I really love using it. I have great tools to use when I write at Time 4 Learning. Having separate levels for older kids and younger kids is a good idea, because at other sites the activities can seem a little babyish when all ages are lumped together. Also, it's neat that students can submit their artwork and have it displayed on the website. They also have a good selection of games to play, and they're fun games, too. If I had to say there was something I don't like about Time 4 Learning, it would be that I can only earn 15 minutes of game time no matter how many assignments I complete. I'd like to be able to earn more game time. Other than that, it's great!"
Here is a screen shot of math topics:
The Parent Admin area has a terrific Student Records option that allows me to view my girl's work by day, month, or year. It provides "scores" (a percentage grade when available) for each assignment, so I can see at a glance how they're doing. From here I am able to give specific assignments, generate attendance charts, print out score sheets by subject or by student (available as a PDF), see the Language Arts Reading Lists (which provide extra reading ideas - the required reading is all provided online), see the Science lesson supply lists, and more. They also have a Refer a Friend deal that you can check out at their website, and the Hints and Helps section has some great information.
You can check it out here ~ www.Time4Learning.com
As an aside about the middle-school Science programs available at Time 4 Learning, I'd like to remind you that science labs completed during 6th through 8th grade can be rolled over to your child's high school transcript. Check your state's graduation requirements, but many require at least one lab in order to complete high school. If you were to use Time 4 Learning and actually do all the science experiments, it would count as one lab credit for each level of Science your child completes. Trust me, fulfilling those lab requirements can be time consuming and tricky at times, so having it all laid out for you in easy to follow step-by-step instructions is pretty valuable.
The cost of Time 4 Learning is $19.95 for the first student and $14.95 for each additional student, billed every 30 days. A 100% money back guarantee is offered for the first 14 days of use, so you can try it out and see if it's a good fit for your family's homeschool.
To see what other TOS Crew members have to say about Time 4 Learning, click THIS LINK.
Thanks for taking the time to read this review - have a terrific homeschool day!
Day 112 done :)
Jan L. Burt