Sunday, December 14, 2008

Review: Time 4 Learning.com




Ok, I have to admit that our family is a previous Time4Learning.com subscriber. My younger two children absolutely loved it back when we used their program exclusively about a year ago.

So when I was asked to review their service per a free 3 month membership as part of the TOS Crew, I felt like a kid in a candy store (or bookstore...whichever kid of mine you happen to be talking to). My kids let out a "whoop" of joy and were off 'n running to their computers! :o)

Time4Learning.com is a fun, well structured, online curriculum for Preschool through 8th grade. Subjects include Language Arts, Math, Science and Social Studies. When your child finishes their lessons for the day, they have access to the Playground, which is filled with all sorts of fun games to play (like Pac-Man! Hello!). Their helpful Parent Forum provides a sense of community and fellowship among other users.

Time4Learning.com can be used as a sole homeschool curriculum or as a supplement to your current method. The lessons are completely self-paced, and you always have the option of doing a lesson one grade higher or lower, depending upon your student's needs.

I thought this was one of the best features about the program, as both Ethan and Abby thrive and struggle in different areas, like most children. For example, Ethan can't handle 3rd grade Language Arts, even though he's technically a 3rd grader in all other subjects. Ditto for Abby in regard to 2nd grade and all things Math related.

Another great "parental" feature are the daily reports. Parents can log in using their own unique ID and view every single assignment their child has done by date, including tests. This was so helpful in creating my end of the year portfolios. Everything was literally at my fingertips! All I had to do was click "Print" and place the reports into their file folders. Nothing to it! :o)

However, the absolute best part about Time4Learning is the fact that my kids were actively learning--not simply playing a mindless "game". They all improved their math skills, and my younger two (whilst watching "Are you Smarter than a 5th Grader?") knew the answer to one of the Science questions after learning about it through Time4Learning. (Can't remember what that question was off the top of my head, but it was neat to see them remembering what they'd learned.)

From my children's perspective, Time4Learning.com has all the colorful, engaging graphics (similar to the "Jumpstart" or "Reader Rabbit" programs) that they readily enjoy, while the quizzes and tests provide immediate feedback and motivating ego boosts. They love seeing how many assignments they've completed, and often ask to do "more school" as a result. (Everything's a competition, I tell ya!)

Time4Learning.com costs $19.95 per month for the first child, and $14.95 for each additional child. You can also try the program out free for 14 days. There's no long term contract to bind yourself to, so you can cancel anytime. The program's low monthly price makes it a highly economical option in comparison to other virtual curriculums out there.

Time4Learning also offers a refer-a-friend program where you'll earn a free month each time one of your friends signs up/pays for a new account, as well as a "Review" program where you can earn a free month for simply writing about your experience with their incredible service.

The program's staff is commitment to excellent customer service, which is made clear by their helpful and courteous manner, both over the phone and via email. Time4Learning.com is also a member of the Better Business Bureau, and was previously voted as the #1 website by Homeschool.com.

I would (and have!) highly recommend Time4Learning to anyone and everyone, and give it 2 thumbs up! :o)

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