Friday, May 11, 2012

Review of Time 4 Learning

Ok...this is a little overdue, but I need to get it out there.  We received 30 days of Time 4 Learning free in exchange for a candid review of the curriculum.  

Time 4 Learning is an online educational curriculum that includes language arts, math, social studies, science, and preschool.  The monthly membership is $19.95 for the first child and $14.95 for each additional child, with nothing else to buy.  It is for preschool through 8th grade. 

 Here is our take on it: In the month that we had the program, BoyD (6yrs old in the middle of a 1st grade curriculum) only got on once.  After a full home-school day, (8:30-12pm) we just didn't have time.  In the afternoons I use the computer so he didn't really have much of a chance.  We also have an old LeapPad (like with books and cartridges...not the ipad type thing they have now) plus he has a Leapster, and a Tag reader, so a child can only have so much electronic time.  We only give him limited "screen" time, so he always chose other activities.  After looking over the curriculum, it did seem that it had a lot of great stuff, but I want face to face time with him.  I purposely chose the curriculum that we use because it requires me to teach him.  Not a DVD or internet program. On the website there is a cute photo of a mom and daughter working together on the computer, you assume mom helping daughter with whatever the daughter is learning.  I know that wouldn't be me.  It would be hard for me to just sit and watch the kids work w/o feeling like I needed to get up and do something around the house.  We might do things differently when he's older.  

GirlM (4yrs) used the preschool part while I would do some specific teaching with her older brother.  She like it a lot and had an easy time (for the most part) switching between activities, etc.  I did have to help her occasionally, but as I'm not looking for a babysitter for her, that wasn't a problem. 

Ultimately, I wish BoyD would have had some more time to use the product so I could give a better review for his age level. He is very far ahead of most kids his age, so that would have made a good review.  I really liked it for GIrlM.  It was all very fun games that fit her level well.  It was a lot of community education and basic phonics...right where she is at.  It seemed more fun than educational for her age, but that suits me fine.   I do like that it gives parental reports so you can see how your child is doing and in what areas they need help.

The cost is a bed negative for me.  Although if that were the only curriculum that you used, it would be CHEAP, I have already purchased our curriculum.  For me it is an unnecessary extra expense and we are on a very tight budget.  If I had that money laying around my house with no other predetermined use, I would pay the membership fee and let my kids use it for fun.  If you have they money to spare, I would highly recommend doing their free trial to see if you like it as it may suit your needs fine.  I have nothing negative to say except that we just don't need it at this time, and so I can't justify the expense.  

If you use it, or decide to try it, let me know what you think!  I would love to hear another perspective!  

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