Sunday, December 22, 2013

For the past 30 days I was given a trial membership to Time4Learning - online curriculum. I have to say I don't have much experience with a homeschool online curriculum but I was very impressed. I have a 4th grader and a 6th grader and I have to admit I was a little skeptical about how comprehensive an online curriculum could be without boring my kids to death. I was pleasantly surprised. All the lessons, especially the science lessons, were informative and really fun for my kids to do. They also really liked that they could set up experiments in science or write in hieroglyphs in social studies. I really liked that in the Odyssey writer my kids had to write an actual report instead of just answering questions, and in math particularly, you can print out worksheets that reinforce the lessons.  I finally didn't have to nag them to get their things together and get started with school each morning. My kids were very enthusiastic and even went ahead on their lesson plans once in a while. They really enjoyed it!

Speaking of the lesson plans, I felt like there could be a little more improvement in this area. While the lessons themselves were understandable and clear, the lesson plans from my kids point of view were somewhat confusing. They weren't sure where to start or pick up when they were in a particular unit. I think one way this could be improved is accessibility to the particular lesson on the schedule through a link on the schedule itself. That way one could just click on their schedule and easily get to the lesson they need to do without doing unnecessary or repetitive lessons. I also think an improvement in the odyssey writer would be that you could use the rubric to actually grade their work and record the grade.

As far as the content itself, I felt that it was just the right difficulty for my kids. At Time4Learning you can go to either a grade level above or below your child's current grade level. I found this to be very helpful for both of my children. Neither one was bored with easy work or frustrated with a more difficult lesson than they need. I would say over all I really liked Time4Learning and I plan to continue our membership. My kids really enjoy their school work and even my preschooler is looking to start the kindergarten curriculum after Christmas break.

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