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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Product Review: Time 4 Learning

For the past month we have had a chance to review the Time 4 Learning site. Time 4 Learning is an online Pre-K to 8th grade curriculum which can be used either as a complete curriculum or to supplement your existing curriculum.

What did we try out?

FOR EDEN (age 3)
The preschool curriculum offers two different levels of difficulty and covers 40 different topics including: shapes, numbers, feelings, human body, colours, weather and a lot more.

FOR ELI (age 5)
The Kindergarten level offers Math, Language and Science

For MICAIAH (age 7)
The grade 2 program offers
Math, Language,  Social Studies and Science.

The program gives each child access to their grade level and then a level above and a level below.

So what did we think...
I have mixed reviews... I think the format and ease of use of the program from the kids perspective is great. I would not use it exclusively as a curriculum but I do see the benefits of having it as a supplemental program. I did find it difficult to navigate from a planning perspective. Because I would like to have control over how the T4L curriculum matches up to what they are learning in their main curriculum, I would have liked to have a feature that would allow me to review and assign their work for each day. There is a lesson planning area which outlines scope and sequence that I did find slightly helpful.

I used T4L with Micaiah for one or 2 days. Firstly, his daily academic schedule is already quite full and diverse and thus I found it difficult to fit it in. I did try to find some modules that lined up with what we were studying currently but when he worked through a couple of them I did not feel that they were adding significantly to his learning experience. I was also surprised by several references to pop culture found throughout the couple of exercises that we did. As a result of this he couldn't complete some of the activities on his own since his exposure to pop culture is very limited. We don't allow much television/ movie access, nor think it is necessary at this age.

For Eden and Eli however I was more satisfied. I like that it is very interactive and student paced so the kids don't even realize that they are learning. After a few days of logging on with them and walking them through it, Eli was able to log on by himself and even Eden was able to complete most of the exercises on her own. I ended up using the math daily with Eli and have built it in to his schedule. He has been working through the kindergarten level at his own pace. It seems to be a level below his Horizons Kindergarten math but I have left the level as is since it is a good review for him.

He also liked the science and would do a few of these lessons as time allowed.

Eden felt like a big girl as she could now have her own computer time. She enjoyed working through the different modules.

A great feature is that there is a playground area which gives them access to tons of internet, age appropriate games (ad free) that they could access once they had completed amount of time on their "work". As the parent you can determine how much work time they need to do and then how much play time they could have.

Final thoughts:

Every day Eden and Eli ask to go on Time 4 Learning so that is testimony to the fun factor!!

I would like to continue to use the program for Eli and possibly for Eden. There is a monthly fee of about $20 per child which I can at this point justify spending for Eli, but as a supplemental preschool curriculum for Eden, that price is a little steep for us. {There is currently a special for first time users for the month of December so this would be a good month to try it out if you are interested.}

The customer service is great. I had to contact them a few times during the month and each time the response was courteous and timely and my problem was resolved.

This product was given to me for review purposes. I was compensated with one month free access. All opinions expressed in this post are mine.

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