I’ve seen Time 4 Learning advertised everywhere. Seriously. Everywhere! And every time I’ve seen the little ad, I get the itch. But I’m a recovering curriculum junkie so I tried really hard to resist the urge. And then I was given the opportunity to review this product as part of my role with TOS! This is where I disclaim to you that all three of my children were granted 30 day memberships of this product at no cost in return for an honest and timely review on this blog. All opinions expressed here belong to me.
Okay…let’s start with…
- Time 4 Learning is a web-based educational program with a motto of “Homeschool, Afterschool, Summer Study”.
- Time 4 Learning targets children from preschool through 8th grade.
- Time 4 Learning is a monthly membership fee of $19.95 for the first child and $14.95 for each additional child. You do have a 14 day money back guarantee window.
- Because Time 4 Learning is web-based, you can access your profile(s) from any compatible computer. That means at Grandma’s House too!
- I like that if you’re not sure where to place your child, T4L offers a questionnaire to help guide that choice.
- Because I’m an iPad junkie, I feel compelled to mention that as of this post there is not an “app for that” and the iPad does not support flash so it’s nothin’ doin’ there.
The Test Drive
Toby’s (the 5th Grader) take…
He thought the graphics and music were very cool. The humor was right on target for tween-agers. Honestly, even I enjoyed sitting with him. Of the three levels we trialed…5th Grade was my personal favorite. Everything just seemed really cool and fun. And the academics were challenging but not too much to induce complaining. Would I use this for a core curriculum? I don’t know. For Toby it might work. And really $240 for a whole 12 months of curriculum isn’t that much money. Based on this trial, it will definitely be in the back of my mind for next year. But only for Toby.
Bristel pretty much hated everything but the playground when it came to her level. But remember, she did recently declare “education is her enemy”. Soooooo…
She loved the movie making thing-a-ma-bob on the playground and that served well as a motivator to keep plugging away at the things she wasn’t so interested in.
I loved how in Language Arts there was a virtual book for her to independently read. If she got stuck, she could simply click on the word and the voice-over would give her the answer. I thought the graphics were well done and captivating. The content seemed good.
Honestly, I really liked it. But would I use it for her? Probably not. Bristel likes things in 3D. Things she can touch, taste, snuggle up on the couch next to mommy with. And while I thought T4L was great…it was easy to see that it wouldn’t be the right fit for her. At least not for right now.
Trevy (the preschooler) on the other hand, got totally giggle giddy as soon as he saw his lesson screen. He’s a budding techie.
He LOVED the preschool songs and would choose “buh” (see the little yellow bus peeking out there at the bottom of the screen?) immediately. Some of the academic concepts were over his head, but I don’t mind that. I like things that stretch him (and me).
The Yes No smile faces are brilliant for children with special needs who need to learn the concept of answering Yes and No questions! You don’t realize how important this is until you have a child that doesn’t develop that skill. Trevy only recently learned how to respond Yes appropriately (80% of the time). I loved that T4L has the Yes-No skill integrated into the program to reinforce his development in that area.
The only real bummer is he could not use this program independently. Because to me the beauty of virtual academics are the mommy free time they should bring with them! Trevy has not yet learned how to function the mouse which is why I was sad that T4L isn’t compatible with the iPad yet. He’s a Pad Pro. I’m certain if he could have used this program with a touch based interface, it would have been an even bigger success! But because his use was limited to my availability, he didn’t get to spend as much time as he’d have liked with it.
So I’d have to say, until we either get a flash compatible tablet or an iPad app for Time4Learning becomes available…I probably wouldn’t buy a membership for him.
Overall, I really liked Time4Learning. I do love the web-based aspect. At least one day a week my kiddos will hang with Grams while I run errands or Trevy to therapy. Schlepping school stuff back and forth can be a hassle. Time4Learning eliminates the schlepping. And that’s a good thing! Also, I’m a big fan of any curriculum that provides grading and reports without extra mommy-sweat. It is a little pricey for our budget to be used as a supplement. But I’m happy we were given the chance to test drive the program. T4L will certainly be in the mix for next year’s
sleepless nights wondering what in the world to choose for core curriculum selections.