Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Our Experiences with Time4Learning

Well, our 30 day trial is up and now I need to sit down and take a moment to write about our experiences.  Please know that this was OUR family's experience and in no way suggests that this would be the same for all families.  I am homeschooling 4 children, 2 of them with diagnosed special needs.  I specifically wanted to try this program to see if it would be a fit for my son who is diagnosed with ADHD-combined type.  He is the one who used the program the most, although it was limited, so I will speak to those experiences specifically.    The first thing that appealed to me to try Time4Learning was the fact that it was computer based.  My son is very intuned to the computer.  He fights tooth and nail to do anything even remotely perceived as being school work.   I figured with his computer affinity that I'd finally be able to have something that would engage him.  Here is what I found based on our use:

It was very easy to set up the students and I was able to choose the grade level to work on.  If we found that the grade level set was too easy or too difficult, we had the ability to have it changed so the material and questions were better suited to his needs.   He did ask to go on Time4Learning on several occassions (so that is better than we've been getting) although he tended to only work in the Math section.  He states that he steered away from the other sections because of the reading material; he can read, he prefers not to!  We are researching possible reasons for this thinking that it may be a tracking issue and he may need the use of filters to read.   I never did get a chance to check out the teacher section to view reports and student activity, so I realy am not able to speak on that.  If the ease of use in the rest of the site though is any indication, I'm sure that even the most novice user could navigate this section without any problem.

I am not going to "not" recommend this site, only because of our limited use and the issues that we are dealing with specifically for our son.  I think that Time4Learning would be great for the self-motivated student who is able to work through all the subjects. I just don't happen to have that type of student at the moment.  The only other thing that would prohibit our use of the program with all of our students would be the cost.  The cost is not prohibitive in of itself, but when you have 4 children you are teaching, it just didn't fit in OUR budget.  My recommendation to you?  Try it for one month or maybe even 2 to see if it fits your family dynamic and your child's needs.  I'm sure that you won't be disappointed.

2 comments:

  1. Your review is very interesting. My DD is similar to your son. She has ADHD, dysgraphia, auditory processing issues... She HATES anything related to school. She currently uses T4L and has for the last two years. I had to make her try it though because she thought it was too kiddie for her. She is very glad I did now. She really loves it. She wanted to be more independent and it gives her that opportunity. I do use the parent reports to track her progress and love that feature. I also like that she can go up or down a grade level within each subject just by clicking the grade level circle at the top of the page. Language is her favorite and many times I hear her laughing because the interactive lessons are funny.

    As for the reading issues, you can have the lessons read to you by using a free speech reader.

    Not sure how old your son is, but my DD is 13. Some of the lower grade lessons should be supervised though. There are also worksheets available and online tools for math if that helps. They have a playground area for use once lessons are completed (the parent sets the parameters). My DD is a bit too old to want to go there. I know most of the younger kids love it. Very educational games and a few just fun ones.

    Best wishes to your continued success.

    Jackie
    www.quaintscribbles.wordpress.com

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  2. Oh, I forgot, if you pay quarterly, it is cheaper!

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