I mentioned a little over a month ago that we had received a free one-month trial to Time4Learning so that we could review it for you here. Well, the month flew by, so here we are with our review.
I want to begin by saying that I made some mistakes going into this free trial. I’m telling you this not as a confession but so that you don’t make the same mistakes I made! There are some things I definitely wish I had known going into this, and they are:
- This is not the kind of website the kids can load and go from the start. There is a good bit of time needed on the front end for mom to set it up so that they are at their proper grade levels and you know what you and they are doing. This is not a weakness in the program; it’s just something you need to know! I made the mistake of thinking of this more like a Nick Jr. learning game instead of thinking of it as a real curriculum. Like all good curricula, mom (or dad or teacher) needs to sit down for a good bit of time and figure out the scope and sequence, how the lesson plans are laid out, where the child/ren fit and how the curriculum will fit into what you’re already doing. I did not plan for that – (I was thinking this would be a nice and quick add-on during our extremely busy holiday season) – and we paid the price for my mistake!
- This is not a curriculum for multiple ages to use at once. Because we’ve only ever used the computer to supplement our learning and for entertainment in our homeschool before, I hadn’t really thought about the fact that all three of my girls (ages 9, 6, and 3) expect to be on the computer together when anyone is on the computer, especially if what they are doing is interesting or fun. Since Time4Learning is super fun, visually stimulating, and entertaining, we didn’t get anything else done while anyone else was using it. I found that really frustrating! I think that, for this curriculum to work for us, we would need to either have multiple computers or tablets or have the one being used be in a different room than our homeschool room so that everyone else could focus.
These two mistakes I made really affected our ability to use Time4Learning to its fullest during the month trial we had. It does however, look like a wonderful option if you are looking for an online curriculum that is complete and affordable and you have enough computers for each of your children to do their work.
I also believe it could be successfully used as a supplement, but it would take some time learning the site and how the lesson plans are set up and I just did not get that done during our trial so I can’t speak from experience.
If you are at all interested in trying out Time4Learning, I highly recommend that you give it a shot during a time period when you can give it some time to really get to know it and see if it will work for you. You pay for the program on a monthly basis and are given a 14 day money back guarantee. So you can try it for two weeks and bail out if, for some reason, it isn’t a good fit for your family – and there are no return shipping fees because it’s all online. You really can’t lose!
Here are two reviews that I found really helpful, and I wanted to share them with you since I feel like mine may not give you as much information as you’d like. One is a rave review and the other is very informative despite it not being a good fit for their family. The second of those mentions that Time4Learning has excellent support so I’m sure that if you have questions, they will be very helpful!