Sunday, March 27, 2011

A review for "Time 4 Learning"...Thumbs UP!

Hello everyone...

With a little less serious topic today, I am pleased to be reviewing an online program for home-school kids as well as kids who may enjoy a little extra tutoring in one subject or another.  At, I have discovered a home-schooling mom's best helper ever!  As many of you know, I'm someone who does NOT enjoy math.  In any form.  I'm adept in most other subjects, but, math is my nemesis.  However, my kids do not share my wanton disability in the area of numbers.  They even LIKE them.  Thus, in home-school, I am a bit challenged to not pass on my dislike for a subject that I genuinely want them to like, be able to do...and enjoy.  I have found that no matter how much I may not like numbers, they are one of the major hoops life requires one to jump through...and I don't want my kiddos to suffer as I have.

So, I started looking.  And looking.  We've bought workbooks, paid tutors, and had my husband who is a full time plus therapist, an artist, an author and a musician, teach them the skill he is more adept at.  All of that was helpful, and with the love of numbers in the forefront, they have been thriving....

And then, my youngest decided reading wasn't fun.  Oh yes, we read, but...not with enthusiasm.  This was new to me.  We are readers.  But, this little guy seemed to think in some part of his mind that reading was something "everyone else" could do better.  This is because he sees his teen brothers reading Shakespere, The Most Dangerous Game and Whitman.  He sees his other brothers reading Harry Potter, Redwall and a miriad of other fun books...and he has to wait if he wants anyone to read something more complicated to him. And, I think part of him believed that maybe, he would never really be as good as his brothers everything.

With love and concern in my heart, wishing to find something more engaging for my little Bear, I stumbled across an amazing site called "Time4Learning".  I was a bit dubious at first.  My experience with on line tutorials has not been anything noteworthy.  But, Time4Learning was different.  Fun graphics, cool games, and ALL of them really informative, helpful and educational in a way that isn't "cheatable".  You parents know what I'm talking about when I say "cheatable".  You go to the store, you buy a computer "game" that is supposed to teach your kids something...and then, you discover that it is more fun for your kids to outwit the computer than to actually learn, and the game lets them do this, because it really isn't a learning's a game.  In reality, the only thing being outwitted is the parent who spent his or her money on the stupid "tutorial".    With Time4Learning, I found my children working out it was the only way to really solve them!  I found my little Bear really sounding things out, instead of just memorizing.  He was engaged and happy.  He was LEARNING...and he was having a great time doing it.

That is the most impressive part for me...because my children have a Wii, a Playstation, an I-pod touch and...a life!  They have very engaging media enticing them every which I have to deny them as often as a good parent should.  But, instead of asking if they could play the Wii, Playstation or I-pod touch...they were asking if they could do MORE homework on the computer with Time4Learning!!!

This mama is pleased.

However, all the glowing aside, there are a few minor things to consider as well.  I wouldn't call them down sides, but rather, just considerations any parent will have to look at.  There is the cost.  
The monthly membership is $19.95 for the first child and $14.95 for each additional child, with nothing else to buy.  

The monthly membership is really affordable all in all, but, for a large family like mine, it is a dent in our income that I wouldn't be willing to do unless I felt it was REALLY worth it ( is for us!!)  Each child has his own account and grade level which he is working with.  With an abundance of math, algebra, reading, spelling, science, social studies and MORE, including over 1000 interactive games and a self paced flow, it's a great buy for any parent of a pre-K to 8th grader.  

The only thing my children complained about was that they can not seem to save work in the middle of a lesson, so if I (as a freelance writer) NEED the computer right away, they will lose what they are working on...and if it's a harder subject, that is a problem for them to have to start over again.  With workbooks, you can stop on any problem or page, and you don't loose your work.  We've started having them enter answers on a piece of paper in order to allow them to just enter them at the end, thus avoiding some frustration.  And, if I'm thinking straight *not always possible*  I will just "switch users" and they can get back to it a little later in the day.  

All in all, I highly recommend Time4Learning to any parent wishing for a little help with their kids educational enthusiasm and ability.  I can look back on what my kiddos are doing in the handy chart area for parents which gives scores for lessons and tells me which areas they need help in, as well as which ones they are thriving in.  I have seen math fluency go up in just one month, spelling has improved, reading has blossomed into something that is enjoyed, and other subjects, such as social studies, language and science are just cake!  My kids are still using their workbooks, but I've noticed more enthusiasm for getting them done so they will have MORE time at Time 4 Learning .  Silly boys...they sure do love learning...especially when it's FUN!!!!  

1 comment:

  1. We are lovers of T4L too! We have used it for 3 yrs now and it makes a HUGE difference for my boys! The Math is great, as I suck at Math and so does my older son. Luckily with T4L and the way they do it, we have been able to both learn a lot and work thru stuff! I feel the price is more than fair as well, compared to some other programs I have seen. I like that I can print their reports when I have time. Usually at the end of the year, I sit down and print the whole year out and put them in a folder so I have proof of their homeschooling.
    Glad you liked it as well!!!
    Happy Homeschooling!


Thanks for reading! Please take a moment to add your own reflections.