Monday, January 20, 2014

Year 2: Week 18 - My Time4Learning Review

Halfway through our homeschool year and today I am so thankful we are homeschooling in the technological age of today. Thank God for internet homeschool sites!

Today, I just want to say how grateful I am for the Time4Learning homeschool website. We have been using this for the current school year since September as a supplement to our current curriculum, especially on days when I am sick or having a "down" day from my chronic illness. It has been wonderful to have a fallback when I am not able to sit and teach daily lessons!

We started back to school this year after the Christmas holidays two weeks ago and it has been excruciating, to say the least. Last week, I actually had a serious talk with both my husband and my oldest son about possibly returning to public school, because he was becoming so difficult to deal with and is having problems beyond my scope in both writing and math. We made the decision to do our best this year and if things improve, to have our 6th grader finish middle school at home and go back to public school in 9th grade for high school. 

Fast forward to this week and I decided to make this a Time4Learning week to take the pressure off us all, both teachers and students. Aside from daily reading with them and outside subjects, I assigned both boys daily lessons in Language Arts, Language Arts extension, Science, and Social Studies. Since our older son is struggling so much with his current curriculum in math, I had him do his Math lessons on Time4Learning as well this week while keeping our younger son doing his regular math lessons. I let them know that they were responsible for 5 lessons in each to do as they wanted, with at least one per subject per day. If they wanted to finish their full weeks' work in one day, they were more than welcome to do that and they'd have my blessing!

Although with T4L I have the option to pick each days' individual lessons from the grade level lesson plans, this week I opted to simply let them go into their grade level and do the next designated lesson. T4L gives each student a screen which has icons into each subject and an arrow that points them to the next unfinished lesson in their grade curriculum. It is easy to follow and the boys are always able to find all their lessons without any help from me. The math and language lessons are accompanied by cute verbal instruction and walk the boys' through each step. If they don't understand, the program always gives them an opportunity to hear another explanation. The social studies and science programs are mostly read-only lessons with plenty of illustrations and pictures. My oldest son does well with these read-only lessons, but my younger son does find it to be too demanding, so he uses a free downloadable program on his laptop called Free NaturalReader to translate the pages and play them verbally. With this adaption, he does very well with them as well and the material is understandable but complete.

The Time4Learning student home page

One feature in particular that I love is the ability to change grade levels at any time in any subject for each student individually. A few times over the course of the year I have needed to do that for science and social studies for each boy as I realized they were either behind or ahead of their grade level and the change was completed in less than a school day. Also, any questions I have submitted to their support team was answered and resolved in less than 24 hours as well. I was very impressed with this response time!

Long story short, it works well for least in the short term for now. (In fact, my younger son completed a large part of his weekly work in one day so he could get a jump ahead on his work. I've always know he is very motivated to do advanced work and this is a wonderful way for him to play with that option himself!) We don't plan to use this every day for every subject, but I am always relieved to know that if I have a long term relapse in my illness that my boys can keep moving along on their schoolwork with a full-service, full and robust program until I recover. Thank you, Time4Learning!

I've been invited to review Time4Learning in exchange for one month of use. My opinion is entirely my own. Time4Learning can be used as a homeschool curriculum, for afterschool enrichment and for summer skill sharpening. Find out how to write your own curriculum review for Time4Learning.

1 comment:

  1. I am glad to hear that Time4Learning worked out for you all! We have been homeschooling for 7 years now using T4L as our core and my daughter really loves the ability to move ahead in a subject if she wants to. My favorite part of the whole program is that I do not have to plan lessons or keep the records. The program does that for me! Have a great week and thanks for the great review:)