Since I talk about juggling my different roles in life, I figure I should at least divide it up in some way. So Mommy Mondays will be the days I talk about homemaking, homeschooling, and stuff along those lines. Today, I’ll be reviewing Time4Learning.
I want to say up front that I don’t feel as if my review is very complete. My daughter is only 4, and their preschool section is very different from their other grades.
The first difference, is that there are no reports for the parent. I would guess that they assume that the parent is going to be very involved in the child’s computer time at that age and that’s why.
The second difference is the way things are set up. I did have them bump her up to Kindergarten for the last few days just so I could look at it. The Kindergarten and older grades are divided up into subjects. For preschool, it’s divided up into themes. It’s set up so that you can use each theme, along with outside activities, to create a week of schooling.
For me, this doesn’t actually help me out much. If I’m going to the trouble of hunting down printables and books to go along with their theme, it’s just as easy to keep going with Raising Rock Stars Preschool, which I paid $10 for and love. I just have consistency issues that I deal with. That’s why I tried Time4Learning in the first place. To try to get both my daughter and myself used to doing schoolwork more consistently. Now that I’m going back to RRSP, I just hope that my printer decides to also be more consistent.
If I had the money for it, Time4Learning would definitely make things really easy on me in older grades. But with a homeschooling budget of less than $100 per year, I’d be over budget in only 5 months. Less if I was buying it for both kids.
And for preschool, I don’t know that it actually saves effort on the part of the parent. Since the expectation is that you’ll do a lot of outside activities, it mostly only gives direction to your efforts.
One thing I did appreciate about my trial, is that it gave me an opportunity to assess my daughter’s strengths and weaknesses based on a put-together curriculum. I discovered that she does pretty good with letters and numbers these days, but she has no idea how to spell her own name. So for that, I definitely appreciated the free time I had with it. And it is definitely well done, so if you’re a parent that doesn’t already have something in place for your preschooler, it would be very nice. It’s outside my price range, and doesn’t quite mesh with the way I prefer to do things. But every homeschooling family is different, so none of that is a bad thing. It just means it won’t work for us.
One other thing I really enjoyed was their little mascot, Ed Mouse. He’s a computer mouse that comes to life and he’s usually the one that asks if a certain section was enjoyed by the kid. He’s very cute to me, though my daughter didn’t seem to care very much. That’s kids for you, though, right?
If you’re interested in doing your own review of Time4Learning, go here.