Friday, September 3, 2010

TOS Crew Time4Learning Review

$19.95/month per child
$14.95/month per additional child

Time 4 Learning

From their website:
Time4Learning is a new approach that takes advantage of today's technology. It's a convenient, online home education program that combines learning with fun educational teaching games.

The online language arts and math comprise a comprehensive program for preschool, elementary school, and middle school. Science and social studies programs are provided as a free bonus for most grades.

Kids like using the computer to learn and to develop their skills. The Time4Learning educational teaching program gives students independence to progress at their own pace.

Parents like that Time4Learning tracks progress and helps students advance along individualized learning paths. Students master the skills and concepts needed for academic success.

Have a child with math and reading skills at different grade levels? No problem, just tell us in the online registration process.

Time4Learning is proven effective, has a low monthly price, and provides a money-back guarantee so you can be sure that it works for your family, Satisfaction Guaranteed!

We had the opportunity to use the program with a 2nd, 4th and 7th grader.

To get started after registering, use their handy Lesson Previewing and Planning sheet to figure out how many activities to do per day for each grade level.  (This is tailored to how many weeks of school you will be doing.)

Next, check out the Forums for technical and homeschooling support and get acquainted with the ins and outs of this program.

Jumping right into a sampling of our trial subscription...

For my advanced 7th grader:

We found that the majority of the 7th grade curriculum was too easy.  So, we moved him up a level.

Since we started our school year in June, he's already a good bit into his Pre-Algebra book.  From the Time4Learning 8th grade level math, the visuals were good, but, the explanation was so-so.  Had he not already known how to do many of these problems (i.e Pythagorean Theory and Graphing),  he would have been lost.

For Language Arts he did various exercises revolving around Fiction (Nancy Drew) and Non-fiction (Dogs).  I like that he had to type out his answers in some of the sections, so it wasn't all multiple choice.  The poetry section challenged him as this is an area of struggle.  I also liked the Latin and Greek root words.

Science was way too easy.  So, we skipped it.

For my kinestetic 2nd grader....

We started at the very beginning of 2nd grade phonics with long vowel sounds.  She loved, loved, loved the phonics activities and games.  It went smoothly until getting to the "Fluency" activity.  The student is given a passage to read as fast as possible and they are supposed to click on the words they don't know how to pronounce.   My daughter was then shown a paragraph with multi syllabic words and phonetic sounds she had not learned yet.  I thought perhaps she had missed them out of her own schooling and went back to T4L's first grade overview to see if they had taught them already.  They had not.  We then proceeded through the activity, clicking on the words she couldn't pronounce and then got to a screen where a graphic showed the 90 wpm 'goal' and her actual wpm which was 7%.  She dissolved into tears.  I don't blame her, this was awful.  The instruction for the current lesson was over long vowel sounds.  Compound words had not been covered and she was supposed to be able to read worlds like 'fire fighter' and the like.  Then after this, the program asked you to do it two more times.  In between readings, the program went through the words she had missed.  It was a train wreck between phonics and sight words.  Absolutely horrible!  Eventually, I was able to get my daughter to continue with the comprehension story that came next.  Ironically, the computer reads it to the user and THIS story was one my daughter could have read aloud without problems!  The only thing that saved the day was the creative writing exercise at the end complete with fun graphics.

For the Language Arts Extension you can pick different topics (spiders, etc).  For her first try, she choose  Hygiene.  It had common sense info followed by activities (it's the same set up for all topics).  After that, a fun story about hygiene.  You can have it read to you or read it on your own and answer comprehension questions.

Math for her was fun.  The graphics and explanation for the money section were good.  The same was true for the two-digit addition section.

Science was the 'normal' text book content that you would see in a school setting for 2nd grade.

For my social/kinestetic 4th grader....

In the math section, he started with expanded notation.  The first part had a good explanation and graphics.  It was helpful in showing where to put numbers and self correcting.  The second part was definitely harder and made him really think.  We did skip the sections on inequalities/rounding to take the test.

For Language Arts the mystery reading selection was Cam Jensen, followed by activities and comprehension questions.  (He would have preferred an actual book)  This selection was too easy for him.

For the poetry section, while  "Willy the Burper" was loading, my son was asked the question, "What do you think of people who burp all the time?"  I understand kids burp, but, do we need to encourage this behavior?  We skipped this non-sense.

Science was also the 'normal' text and context that you'd see in a school setting for a 4th grader.  My son chose invertebrates/vertebrates.  The first part was a silly animated interactive bit.  The second part was textbook like with pictures.  I was pleased to see some hands-on projects pop up.  BUT, without parental oversight, it would be VERY easy to skip over these.

Finishing up was Ancient History for Social Studies.  Again, it was like reading a colorful text.

Though it was fun, my two kinestetic learners did not retain much of the new material they learned. 

While it was not a good fit for our family, I'm glad we had the opportunity to see first hand what this very talked about program was like.  As evident from the forums, this web-based curriculum is a blessing to many families.

Check it out and see for yourself!  Time4Learning offers a free two week trial.

Here's what other crew members had to say.

I received a 30 day subscription free of charge in return for an honest review.


  1. Nice review, Lisa! We have used Time4Learning as part of our home schooling for a few years, and we do pick and choose what works for us and leave out or supplement what doesn't. One thing folks might want to know is that you can pay quarterly or annually and that does save quite a bit. I pay $44.85 per quarter for my one and only child ($14.95 per month, which works out to $179.40 for the year) and it is closer to $14.00 a month if you pay the annual cost of $169.95. Using the quarterly method saves me $60 a year over the monthly payment, while still giving me the flexibility to cancel part way through a year if needed. Also, if you want to take a sabbatical but not cancel the account altogether, you can make the account dormant for just $4.00 a month. This saves your records until you decide to go active again. Thanks for sharing your experiences of a trial run! Blessings, Jan P.

  2. Thanks Jan for that additional info!!!