For the last month, we’ve been using Time 4 Learning, an online, subscription-based curriculum. Cover math, language arts, science, and social studies for preschool to 8th grade, Time 4 Learning includes over 1000 animated lessons.
Time 4 Learning claims to be usable as either a full curriculum or a supplement, and much to my surprise, I’d have to agree. Those wishing to supplement their regular curriculum could simply allow their child to have free-range of the subjects and topics available for their grade level. Parents who prefer to take advantage of the full curriculum would find it easier to follow the provided state standards-correlated lesson plans and included worksheets.
I’d especially encourage those with students who are easily distracted or prefer hands-on, interactive materials to give Time 4 Learning a try – both of my distractible kids were sufficiently engaged by Time 4 Learning that they stayed on task much longer than would normally the case.
Instructional methods vary from grade to grade and subject to subject. Some items were to be read, with questions interspersed among the text, while others were animated cartoons, followed by a short activity to reinforce learning. Other sections were followed by a quiz or a test.
Though they are assigned to one grade level, students actually have access to three at one time. This broadens the spectrum of learning, and enables them to catch or or review items that they may have missed learning in the past. Tasks are arranged in a topical format.
Surprisingly, Time 4 Learning appealed to a broader age spectrum than I had imagined; all four of mine, grades 4th, 6th, 8th, and 10th found Time 4 Learning appealing and intriguing. (Michael, the 10th grader was signed up for the 9th grade level.) Math lessons only go as high as algebra, so he spent more of his time examining the social studies topics… not too surprising, as he’s turning in to quite the history buff.
Whether you have one student or several, record-keeping is simple; all child accounts are connected to one parent account, easy to remember and access. Though I found some options a bit clunky to manage, overall, the parent account is easy to use and relatively foolproof. All scoring is automated, so if you’d like a barebones curriculum with a low time commitment, that you can then supplement with student-directed activities, Time 4 Learning would be a perfect choice for you.
One detail I’d like to see a bit easier to use: printing worksheets. Software programs that expect kids to print out pages as they go along are *not* living in my world. I need to conserve ink and paper, and print in greyscale as often as possible; my kids are not good at it. I’d greatly appreciate simple PDFs for each grade & subject. This would reduce worries about printer malfunctions in the middle of the lesson, remove delays caused by printing issues, and make lesson time go more smoothly in the long run.
Time 4 Learning is $19.95/month for the first child in a family, and $14.95 for each additional child. While Time 4 Learning is a bit too pricy for our budget right now, the kids have really enjoyed trying it out and would very much like to continue using it.
To see what other crew members had to say about this product, check out the TOS Homeschool Crew blog post, Time 4 Learning.
**I received this product for free as a member of the 2011-12 The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew so that I could provide you with an honest review of it by our family.**