This past month, I had the opportunity to review a great online homeschool resource – Time4Learning. Although it was difficult with our jam-packed schedule to make time to use it as much as I would have liked, we did enjoy it.
Four-year-old Nim, was Time4Learning’s biggest fan, always looking forward to her time online. Her favorite part was being able to do so much of it by herself. From having directions read aloud to offering big, flashing arrows indicating where she needed to click to move on, Nim found it easy to maneuver through the pages by herself.
Josh, not surprisingly, enjoyed the math sections the best and Megan liked language arts. Because I signed each of them up for the 2nd grade level, they were able to access all of the 1st and 3rd grade level sections, in addition to their assigned levels. That is a wonderful benefit when you have asynchronous learners. However, had I signed any of the kids up for a level that proved either too easy or too difficult, it would have taken only a simple email and, within 24 hours, they would have been reassigned to a more appropriate level.
Having access to all levels provided tons of activity choices for both Josh and Megan. I loved that the language arts section offered lots of practice in both building reading skill and in reading comprehension. One of my favorite aspects was that, if the child gets stuck, he can either move the cursor over a difficult word to have it read aloud or click on the sentence to have the entire sentence read aloud. That proved to be a wonderful tool for self-checking.
The real-life situations available in the online math activities offered practical applications for the skills being learned. One of Josh’s favorite games involved adding money to make purchases. I liked that the activities involving “carrying” had the child physically click the number to be carried and move it to a little box above the place value column where it was supposed to go. That seemed to be great reinforcement for Megan, who sometimes forgets to carry that number.
A wonderful surprise resource came in the form of quizzes at the end of each section. The varying methods of quizzing gave the kids a chance to practice test-taking skills. One of the best practice methods, for us, proved to be multiple choice. This wasn’t something that my kids have had much experience with in the curriculum that we use and it surprised me how confusing it was for them at first — a nice thing to know before it’s time for state-required testing!
Due to the difficulty I seemed to have scheduling sufficient computer time for each of the kids, Time4Learning wasn’t the best fit for us. However, for the family seeking more computer-based learning, it would make a fantastic supplement to homeschool curriculum or after school enrichment time. With fun-filled, educational play for the kids and an information hub for parents (including a forum offering discussion with other parents), Time4Learning beats supplemental worksheets, hands-down.
Visit Time4Learning to learn more and see if this resource might be just what you’ve been looking for to round out your child’s educational resources.
Kris Bales is a newly-retired homeschool mom and the quirky, Christ-following, painfully honest founder (and former owner) of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers. She has a pretty serious addiction to sweet tea and Words with Friends. Kris and her husband of over 30 years are parents to three amazing homeschool grads. They share their home with three dogs, two cats, a ball python, a bearded dragon, and seven birds.