In May, we were given a free one-month subscription to Time4Learning, an online educational program, in exchange for an honest review.
What exactly is Time4Learning? Here is a description, taken from their website:
Time4Learning is a technology-based online educational program that teaches preschool to eighth grade curriculum using a combination of animated lessons, interactive activities and reinforcing worksheets.
A top selection of the Homeschool.com "Top 100 Educational Websites" list year after year, the Time4Learning program has been refined through years of feedback from educators, parents, and students. The lessons are presented at the student's pace by an automated system in a sequence designed to build strong subject literacy.
Time4Learning is a great curriculum for families who homeschool. It is also a great after school skill sharpener and is often used for remediation and test preparation. Whether mainstream, gifted, or special needs, Time4Learning provides a flexible, student-paced approach.
I was confident that Robbie would love this. After all, he loves to play on our computers. He is an avid gamer (he beats really difficult levels on Wii and DS games by himself). He loves to learn. What could be a better fit?
Due to his age (not-quite-four, at the time), Robbie was placed in the preschool level. He played around with the preschool lessons, but was extremely bored after a short time. He then tried the Kindergarten level, but they didn't hold his interest, either.
I logged into the parental controls and changed his grade level to "Kindergarten". Since students can work on their assigned level as well as one grade level above and below, I thought that this would be perfect. He could choose from Preschool, Kindergarten and 1st Grade lessons. None of this made him more interested.
Robbie hated (I know, it's a strong word, but it's true) the lesson intros. I wish those had a "skip" button. He's the type of kid who wants his instructions and takes off from there. He did, however, really enjoy answering the questions... when he was able to make it to them. He literally ran away during some of them.
He very quickly began to fight me about using the program, so I decided to poke around on the site and get more of a feel for it. After all, I had a review to write. I have to admit, my feelings are mixed.
This review is really not what I hoped it would be. I truly think that the concept is great. I love the way the program is laid out. I think the lesson plans and paths are wonderful. I honestly believe that, for the right family, this would be a perfect fit. For us, it simply wasn't.