Time4Learning is a company who has made its presence well-known both within the homeschool world. Simply search for online homeschool resources and Time4Learning pops up very quickly! All of the core areas are covered including language arts, math, social studies, and science for $19.95 each month for k-8th grades. Discounts are given for each additional student signed up. Courses for high school students are also available. The learning environment definitely has more of the feel of a game and Beth, a six-year-old 1st grader, definitely saw using this as playtime. This is a great benefit when you have reluctant learners. Sparking interest is vital with any program whether a traditional approach or computer-based.
Beth was the primary user for reviewing the program and used the 1st grade level, but her sisters were right there along with her and thoroughly engrossed! She tried out all of the subject areas and was able to quickly complete all of the language arts and math material. Her official grade-level is 1st, but her ability level is second grade or higher. One of the nice things about Time4Learning is if you find the material is too easy (or too difficult!) you can request a grade-level change. This takes about 24 hours, but I’m glad it requires confirmation so parents have plenty of time to consider.
One area which we were concerned about was how science information would be presented. Our family’s world-view is that all of Scripture is true, including a literal 6-day account of Creation. I appreciate that although Time4Learning is not a Christian-based curriculum, they have taken time to address these concerns and even have a specific board within their forum to address this. Click here to see what they have to say.
And now there is almost four-year-old Grace. The sweet little thing is so incredibly distraught she doesn’t know how to read yet, but repeatedly tells me she doesn’t want me to teach her. I’m not a fan of teaching reading to very young children, but when children show an interest in any kind of learning I do not want to hold them back. She is incredibly advanced and her hesitancy has surprised me. I had decided to hold-off on her reading instruction for a while until I had this chance to review Reading Kingdom. This is a computer based reading program to be used with pre-readers through a 3rd grade reading level. I hesitate to list an age because kids learn at such different paces, but the website says it is intended for ages 4-10. It allows children to move at their own pace, requires mastery of a skill before moving forward, and as excited my little reader. The price is $19.99 per month or $199.99 for an entire year with discounts for multiple children. A 30-day risk-free trial is also available to try out first.
My daughter has been begging to learn how to type for months. She has already been typing each week, but you can see her method was one finger, hunt and peck. It was a good start, but she kept at me to learn how to type like I do, so the search began for an affordable typing program which she found enjoyable and was effective.
I was very excited to try out Typing Tournament v2 from EdAlive Educational Software. I loaded it on the computer after the girls went to bed so I could try it out as I usually do before giving the girls a chance to play new games. The thing was, I was having fun! Then my husband saw what I was doing and wanted to try it out. He was determined to beat my score, but couldn’t! Believe me, if there is a typing program that intrigues my husband enough that he wants to use it, there is something special about it.
The 16 levels progress the student forward at their own pace starting with beginning typing skills. The practice isn’t anything that different from other programs I’ve seen, except that it places the student in the frame of being a knight in a tournament. The graphics are cute and engaging.
After finishing the lesson students can play a variety of games which are really fun! My husband and I really enjoyed these. Rose prefers the lesson! At whatever point the student feels ready they are able to take a test to see if they are ready to move on to the next level.
Rose is progressing slowly…a pace I expect from a 7-year-old! The fact that she is improving and learning typing at all impresses me at this age. She enjoys the practice and is starting with real typing skills. In the technological world she is growing up in, typing will be a necessity. The fact that she can learn to type in a fun way is exciting. My typing courses were never fun. They were dry, dull, and simply a means to an end. I’m thrilled that we have found something more enjoyable for the girls to use as they begin to learn to type the proper way. The one area she really needs to improve in is not looking at her hands. This is tricky for her, but since I require the same for her piano lessons I know she’ll get there eventually!
The program costs $49.95 which seems very reasonable considering the wide scope of typing skills which are covered. In addition they quite frequently offer discounts and deals through their Facebook page.
EdAlive Educational Software has lots of great things to offer in addition to Typing Tournament v2! Click here and sign up for their mailing list. You’ll gain access to a free math program!
At the end of every unit is a test which looks very much like the daily worksheets. I wasn’t certain how Beth would do for several reasons. Because she is only in kindergarten she had not yet taken a formal test. In addition it was 9 pages long and contained 40 problems…many more than she had ever had to do at once. To my pleasant surprise she took this in stride and just handed me page after page as she finished. She was getting over a cold as well, but this didn’t stop her! Out of all the problems she only missed 3, which I was very pleased with.
My daughters really enjoy using the computer, but we limit the time and limit what games they play. My girls are allowed to use a small handful of websites and a few games we have loaded on to a laptop given to us by a friend. However I’m rather skeptical of some kid-friendly sites because of the amount and type of advertising. Wouldn’t it be great for our boys and girls to have a safe, educational, advertisement-free website? I have some great news! I found one!
This particular website has been a great incentive for my girl. She knows she’ll have a chance to use Always Ice Cream when she completes her other schoolwork for the day…although, she also begs to play on the weekends as well. We still limit their time because I recognize that too much screen time is not healthy for them, but it is so nice to have such a good option for learning and reward.
Since I had surgery over Christmas all of my great ideas for things to do with my girls went out the window. I found myself happily allowing my girls more screen-time than usual because I knew they were learning and I could trust what they were doing was safe without my having to look over their shoulder the entire time.
Ideally each of your children should have their own account.The benefit to doing this is you get weekly reports unique to each specific child and you can customize each student’s account. For now we only have one, but it would be great to have an account for each of my girls. There are several purchasing options so you can choose what is the best fit for your family.
I know you are really interested now! When you purchase your order (because I KNOW you will want this for your kids!) be sure to put my name, Melissa Williamson, into the “how did you hear about us” field during registration!