Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Homeschool Product Review: Time4Learning

Sometime ago I was privileged to review Time 4 Learning, an online homeschool curriculum.  My chief sorrow at that time was that T4L did not have a high school curriculum, but ended with 8th Grade.  I was excited this fall to find out that T4L had added high school classes, and that they offered me another chance to review the program for 30 days!

One thing I have learned in 10 years of homeschooling is that there is great benefit to specializing your lesson plans to each child's learning style.  My four children are a microcosm of homeschooling-at-large, each learning in very different ways.  Thus, T4L is a good match for some of them and not for others.  I will try to tell you what worked and what didn't work for us, so hopefully you can determine whether or not it will be a good fit for you.

Time 4 Learning is video-based curriculum.  Students watch a video for each lesson and then complete an online quiz.  After an entire section, there is a test.  For the elementary grades, there is also a game section for separate practice.  Truthfully, I didn't look too much at the "playground" section, but my girls said there were both educational games and "just for fun" games.  For children who enjoy and/or learn well from videos, this is a good program.  It includes audio and visual learning, and I think the videos are well done.  The parent can log in to see the children's progress and scores, and to print grade reports.  All the planning is done, and the parent saves a great deal of time on planning, teaching, and grading.  The T4L program is well-planned and is a good program for those who want a video-based program.  My younger two children (grades 3 and 6) enjoyed T4L.  They learned well and enjoyed the videos and the games. 

Some students find watching videos all day tedious.  My older children (grades 8 and 10) still prefer good old books and workbooks to videos or computer-based programs.  My 10th-grade son tried the high school lessons, but he felt that too much was packed into each lesson.  He learns better with a self-paced lesson where he can read the material and look over the diagrams at his own speed, skipping over some things that are review for him, but able to slow down or look back if he is having a hard time understanding something.  I do not feel this was a shortfall with the T4L program at all.  It is just his learning style.  I have tried several video and computer-based programs, and none have worked well for him.  He keeps asking to go back to the old-fashioned textbooks and workbooks.

Time 4 Learning works with either Mac or Windows.  Payments are made monthly, and you may stop and start anytime you like.  This may be easier for some people than paying for all the curriculum at one  time at the beginning of the year, and there is no contract or long-term commitment.  Discounts are given for additional students within the family.  Even if you do not homeschool, T4L is a great after-school supplement to help your students excel.

Find out more about T4L, and try some online demos to see if it will work for your family, at Time 4 Learning.

See my past T4L review here.

Thanks for looking, and happy homeschooling in 2014!  :-)

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