Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Time4Learning (Website review)

Members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew received a 6 month subscription to Time4Learning. We had reviewed it a number of years ago (In 2009, and 2010), and this year I had the opportunity to use it with my now 6 year old. I was curious to see what the upper end of the lower level looked like 3 years later.

Time4Learning utilizes a variety of animations to present concepts throughout their lessons. The voices of the narrators are varied, and generally pleasant to listen to, and when there is background music it tends to be interesting and entertaining.

The Lessons really are the highlight of this program.

Many things that I mention in my previous reviews have not changed~
The Good:

  • The lessons are interesting and entertaining  
  • No Software to install
  • Reports on progress
  • "Commercial Free" environment
  • Scope and Sequence (see below)

Lesson Plans

The still Not-so-good:
  • No ability to use the "assignment feature" that we can "see" but can't access (It's still for schools only).
  • For my partially reading 1st/2nd grader~ some quizzes have total audio, and others have none~ it's not uniform across the level, which is a little confusing. When the audio is on my guy can work independently, but if it isn't, I need to be there to read the instructions to him~ we just never know which it will be, which is frustrating from a planning point of view. 
  • When in the "playground" (which still contains mostly activities that can be found elsewhere on the web), when the timer goes off the activity is immediately terminated, rather than allowing the child to complete what they were working on. I still find this to be frustrating, for me, as well as for my child. 
Here are some screen shots from a science unit Littlest was working on that was talking about different kinds of animals. This unit focused on Ants. 

And here is something he learned from one of the math units~ (We chose to do the work on the whiteboard on my ipad rather than printing out the pdf activity sheet from the computer. *Note: Time4Learning does not work on the iPad, although it might if you have a program that works with Flash).

He learned how to represent numbers into the thousands using 
  • large squares for the Thousands place
  • small squares for the Hundreds place
  • lines for the Tens place 
  • dots for the Ones place. 
Although he didn't place them in "traditional order" I did rather enjoy his symmetry! 

Not So Nutty Nitty Gritty 
I believe my opinion remains somewhat the same~ the learning activities are good, the quizzes are not uniform (audio or non-audio~ makes a difference at these younger ages), and the playground is... ok, but somewhat frustrating. 

If you are looking for a computer oriented program with age/grade appropriate material that is interesting (This would be great for an audio/visual learner), this might be a good choice. My Littlest *did* learn concepts in each of the areas of the program, so if you overlook some of the aspects that I found frustrating when evaluating the program (relatively easy things to disregard), and just use the actual learning portion of the program, things could go along swimmingly. 
  • Company: Time4Learning
  • Ages: Pre-K - High School
  • Price: $19.95 / student per month, $14.95 / month for each additional Pre-K- 8th grade student. $30 / month for High School
Please click the banner below to visit the TOS Review Crew and see what others had to say, as there were other levels reviewed, and there may be those who had very different experiences. As always, I hope that this review was useful to you as you choose where best to spend your homeschool budget.


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