Sunday, September 6, 2015

Time 4 Learning: Curriculum Review

When I had a chance to try out Time 4 Learning and write a review, I jumped at the chance!  As a homeschool mom to a third grader who is very tech savvy and whose learning is definitely enhanced with digital content, I was curious as to how thorough the program was and if it would hold my son's interest.  I want to make a disclaimer here at the beginning of my review that you don't have to be a homeschooler to use Time 4 Learning! This online program is also well suited for after school tutoring, for enrichment, and for summer school.  As I was exploring around the site and working alongside my son, I was also viewing the site through my "teacher lens".

We had a 30 day free trial of Time 4 Learning.  The first week we were on vacation and did not have wifi.  Plus,who wants to sit at a computer when you are at the beach?!  Then when we returned we were immersed in our unit study of the ocean and North Carolina. It was poor planning on my part because had I tried the trial earlier in the summer, we would have had a chance to explore and poke around the site more. My son is a math and science guy {plus we were reviewing math concepts from 2nd grade} so we chose to start with the math section for third grade .
I had a very positive experience with Time 4 Learning from the very beginning.  Customer service was very pleasant and helpful in setting up my account, and they were very prompt to answer emails.  
They definitely left an excellent first impression!  

Here are a few things that I especially liked:

  • I noticed immediately that the math chapters/modules were well organized.  Objectives and goals are made clear.
  • The videos at the beginning of each chapter were fun and engaging for my son, and I liked that they used an authentic, real-world experience (e.g., cashing in tickets at an arcade).
  • The digital manipulatives (base 10 blocks) added extra guided practice.
  • For some activities you could work on paper and then type your answers; for others, a digital workspace was provided.  Immediate feedback is given as well as a brief explanation.
  • There were plenty of items to use for guided practice if the student needed it.  If not, the learner could move right along at his own pace.
  • The quiz at the end of each chapter is not timed.  Immediate feedback is given and the score is recorded.
  • There are items that can be completed as independent practice with the student able to self-check.
  • Each chapter had a variety of activities to make it interesting, yet each chapter had a similar format making it easier for students to learn the routines quickly and work independently.

Overall, we had a very positive experience, and I found the site well organized and easy to navigate, as did my eight year old son. There is so much more to Time 4 Learning than I was able to experience. There are curriculum options for Language Arts (reading and writing), social studies, and science as well as math for grades PreK through 12th grades.  Lessons are aligned to state standards, and I found them to be interesting and interactive.  In addition, there are printable lessons, automated reporting, and adjustable grade levels (my son had access to materials one grade level above and below his current level).

In the words of my son (who wanted more time to check out the science lessons!):

There were so many lessons. Some of the math lessons are fun for kids, like the games. When I started each chapter, you had the games and it got me started with the math I had to learn. It was interesting and  there were lots of lessons in science- earth and space. I liked that the quizzes only had 10 questions. They were easy for me because I already knew some of it and I still learned from the lessons. Even though I knew some of it, it is always good to practice.
  ~ Christopher, age 8

I invite you to visit the Time 4 Learning website to learn even more about the program and to view their reasonable pricing, as well as to try a demo.


Disclosure: The author's opinion is entirely her own. The content was not written by Time4Learning, but the writer was compensated.

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