Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Time4Learning - Homeschool review

After we made the decision to homeschool Mairead for Kindergarten, next came the decision on whether or not to use a curriculum for her. After much debate, Kevin and I decided not to use any specific curriculums that would require a lot of work, after all, one of the main reasons we had decided to homeschool Mairead was to let her be a kid, enjoy life and not have to worry about having so much school work to do. We wanted to teach her that just because we weren't sitting in front of a book or a computer that we could learn, and learn a lot. And even though we were happy with that decision, we felt as though we wanted some outlets to fall back on that were proven and had positive reviews.

We researched different types of curriculums for a few weeks before deciding on Time4Learning. We liked the idea of having everything on the computer, and having some control over what she was going to learn, and how much or how little she could do in a day to day basis. I liked that we could use it as a sole curriculum or as a supplement to something we already was using.

We introduced it to Mairead and she thought it was great she could log on and navigate by herself. It took her a few times (1-2) until she could get to her unit independently. In the beginning she really enjoyed the different modules. She'd sing along to the catchy tunes in the various language arts modules for Kindergarten. Even my preschooler (3.5yrs) would sing along with her.

Fast forward about 5 or so months and we are still using Time4Learning on a regular basis, about 3-4 times per week. Mairead still enjoys it but gets frustrated with the directions at times. Mairead doesn't need a lot of "baby'ing" and can get frustrated when the directions on what to do get longwinded. When this happens, she loses concentration, doesn't follow the directions correctly and can get some of the information wrong. Once I review it with her, it is obvious she knows the material, but she just didn't follow the directions. My husband gets frustrated because he says it is too slow, but, even if she were in school, some children will need the detailed directions, and she needs to work on her listening skills. Either way it can be annoying.

Mairead has really enjoyed the science (we had to set her at first grade to get the science modules for Kindergarten, and not super clear that you need to do that) modules. I think the math was really easy for her in the beginning and I found myself letting her to right to the quizzes or the tests at the end of the modules. She hasn't really experimented with the "playground" at all, merely because she really enjoys Starfall, and generally wants to explore there after her work is done.

At this point, she is about 3 modules away from finishing the Kindergarten language arts curriculum and about 2 modules away from finishing the math curriculum for Kindergarten as well. I like that we will be able to continue at our pace, and advance her as necessary.

For the price of $20/month I think this is a great program. I really couldn't see this being used as a complete curriculum, but as a supplement or for the unschoolers this could be a great addition. You cannot use it on an iPad because it does utilize flash, but I have used it on my Kindle Fire with success.


  1. So what else are you using? If I read this right it is a supplement? I am considering all my options for Nina for next year...sigh. Wish schooling here wasn't such a crazy process...

  2. We use and do pay the additional $35/year for the extras, that are completely worth it. We love that website and a lot of public schools use it, too.

    We use a lot of supplemental books, just reading, and has a ton of free worksheets for all grade levels. Kindergarten for us is just about exploration, no need for a bulky curriculum. They're still little, and as long as we spend about 1-2 hours 3-4 times per week, I am happy. She is progressing nicely and does a great job with her reading, writing and math skills.

    It's been a great experience.


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