I had checked out the Time4Learning website many times, after hearing a variety of things about the online program. The web-based program is designed for those who are homeschooling or for those who want to give their children extra educational enrichment after school or during the summer.
I was pleased then to be provided with the chance to try out the program for a month in order to review it here, since I had been unsure of signing up for it without being able to really try it out.
Things I Like about Time4Learning:
- Web-based – This way, you don’t have to buy or download software. You can also login from anywhere with Internet access — your house, the library, or Grandma’s when you’ve gone there on vacation. This also meant that unlike some of our other educational software, two kids were able to be on at the same time (on different computers).
- Serves a wide variety of ages — Time4Learning serves preschool through 8th grade.
- Kids can work on their own. I was able to get the kids started (although older kids who are doing this long term can easily learn to log themselves in), and then could walk away.
- The program uses the Ed Mouse character to talk younger kids through their work.
- My Pre-K daughter was able to work completely on her own, and really enjoyed the program. She would sometimes say, “It’s time for learning!”
- There is a monthly fee for the program, so you don’t have to sign a contract or pay for a whole year at once. (They also offer a two week money back offer.)
- Each child has their own unique login, and parents have their own unique login too.
Things that Didn’t Work For Our Family:
- Because of the way that we do schooling, I personally wouldn’t feel comfortable about this being our only form of schooling. While I could see it as a supplement, I don’t think of it as a stand alone for our family. However, I could definitely see how some families could maybe use it as their main schooling and then do some supplementing to it.
- I was really excited when the program talked to my Pre-K daughter, so I was excited for my 4th grade son with Asperger’s Syndrome to try it out. I was disappointed then that the program does not read aloud to that age student. While I know this would not be a concern to many families, I didn’t feel like I could assume that my son would be able to read long passages of text on his own. So, I often found myself sitting with him to do a lesson. While that is not a big issue, I was looking for something he was able to use on his own more.
- Some of the lessons were long for my son. Again, this may not be an issue for some students, but it was for mine.
- I like to have more control over what my kids are doing in a program. I could set the time limits of how long they had to work on lessons and how long they could do the “playground,” I could specifically choose for them what they would do.
- Although this is not an issue for my family, the science program is secular. Those families that use a Young Earth approach to science might find issue with some items in the science program.
While I don’t feel that Time4Learning fits into our school model for my older kids, I really loved using Time4Learning for my Pre-K daughter. She loved using it, and had a great time each time I logged her in to the program. And, even better — she was able to be busy learning independently while I worked on math lessons with my older kids. I could definitely see recommending this program to families doing multi-level teaching as a way to engage younger children while allowing for more one-on-one time with older students.
Angie can be found writing about faith, family, and household management at Many Little Blessings.
Disclosure: I received a month of service, of both upper and lower elementary, in order to review the Time4Learning Program.