Time4Learning–A Review

Time4Learning – A Review

September 6, 2011

  • I’ve been invited to try Time4Learning’s online education program for one month in exchange for a candid review. My opinion will be entirely my own, so be sure to come back and read about my experience! Find out how to write your own curriculum review.
  • I’ve been invited to try Time4Learning for a month in exchange for a candid review. Their online program can be used for homeschool, as an after school tutorial and for summer learning. My opinion will be my own, so come back and read about my experience. You can write your own curriculum review, too!

t4l

Well this is day one of trying to navigate the website and it seems complicated… if I had not been given a free month to review it I honestly would have given up by now. I can’t seem to find the area where I can go and look at what is being taught to my kids unless I log on with their account. I do not care for something so complicated that I have to watch an instructional video to learn how to navigate it. I don’t have that kind of time.

Come to find out the videos are “helps” for the kids to get started… parents apparently have to read the manual. Now after reading the “basics” I get the general idea how to navigate the page. I personally hate reading instructions but I suppose that is just part of it.

Now on to working the kids through their first day on the program…

Language Arts

So after one lesson I have to say I will not continue using this Language Arts program. I do not approve of what they consider “humor” on the lessons. We are a very conservative Christian family and after viewing the “upper level” idea of humor I will not recommend this program to my friends who are also conservative Christians. My daughter turns to me and says, “Mom, this dog just threw up after the guy patted his head.” And my son (15) says, “You think that is bad?? On mine … well I don’t even want to say it but lets just say “zit”…oh and the guy licked all on his dog on here.” I said, “WHAT!?”

I have the kids take me back to what they were talking about and show me.

On my daughter’s (10 year old) lesson, an animated guy pats a dog on the head after loading up the points they received and the dog then threw up vomit containing a jack and ball. (I have no idea why unless it was supposed to be funny.) Another example of disgusting humor was referring to crayon colors as “skin scab red and booger green” in another “skit.”

On my oldest son’s (15 years old) lesson the characters were talking something about the dog didn’t feel loved enough because he wasn’t licked enough as a pup so the owner apparently (from the sounds it makes) licks the dog (like the mother would) and sets the dripping dog back down. But the one that totally disgusted us and was ultimately “the three strikes your out” moment was two girl characters were talking about having “blackheads” and they were going to pop it with “ just a little squeeze” and then white goo spurts out and all over the other girls feet (since you really only see the feet of the characters).

This is disgusting. Think about it, teens are already dealing with acne and to talk about it and go that graphic is probably just embarrassing to them and NOT funny. My suggestion to you would be clean up the humor. It is promoting bad manners and basically saying it is ok and funny to be gross! This all was on the “upper levels.”

My youngest son (8 years old) worked on the lower levels. He seemed to enjoy his lessons and stayed focused (which is a challenge for him) and there was no “gross things” that we saw during the time we used it. He did mention that the characters voices were annoying and he didn’t like being talked to like a baby but he is in that stage that he is trying to prove he is just as big as his brother and sister so it may just be his personal opinion.

I did like the way the kids could navigate from lesson to lesson and how the subjects were grouped nicely with an arrow showing the next lesson to go to. It was easy for them to navigate. I really think I would have liked using the program had it not been for the crude humor.

Math

I set down with my youngest who is not a fluent reader and begin the math. The instructions and problems are not read to the student. My son is good in math but has a problem with reading due to a hearing problem. He caught on to the idea of what they were asking and so did fine after I read the first few.

I moved on to do my 10 year olds math. It seems pretty basic, pretty much what we get out of our book with a few animations.  What I didn’t understand was that her lesson had the option to have it read to her but the “lower” levels did not. She said she liked it because it is better than having to write the problems you can just click and type.

My 15 year old said he like the Math and was glad that it did not talk “baby-ish” to him like the Language Arts lessons did. The lesson had good instructions and seemed to keep his interest through the “teaching” part.

I would recommend the Math portion of the site to my friends.

Grading

I do like the easy way you can keep up with grades and print them if necessary. Anything that can grade the lessons and keep up with the scores so I do not have to is usually right “up my alley.” They allow you to print reward certificates for jobs well done.

Pricing

I would not have been able to afford this site at the per month price they quoted for three kids. I also would not have used their Science or History because we have a system we love and will continue using. I did not find anything saying that they had an option to only use certain subjects at a “price per subject” rate but that would be a nice choice to have. I have looked around a bit and can find the same basic programs (without rude behavior) for free online even though they do not offer the record system.

Overall

I was very disappointed in the crude humor in the Language Arts section and I found it a bit pricey for my budget, for three children. The Language lessons were okay and seemed to educate the points clearly enough. Math was good and kept their attention but the fact there is no audio for the younger kids is a big problem. If it had not been for the crude humor I would have been fairly pleased with the program. This is just my opinion of Time4Learning, a more liberal household may not have taken issue with the humor and liked the program, but the rudeness is something I can not overlook.

UPDATE 2014:

Three years later I found myself still trying to find the perfect curriculum that would help free up some of my time. I gave Time4Learning another try. Since I have older kids at this point, I tried to over look the crude humor. The math was great at explaining and kept it moving along at a good pace. Language, however, was irritating. The attempt to make everything “funny” with lame jokes and drawn out “funny story” moments drove my kids nuts! They were just ready to get on to the next question and actually would mute the computer during the lessons and “funny anecdote” parts. It literally was a waste of time! Science & History for the lower grades is just words on a screen that was not that interesting, middle grades was a little better with an occasional video. I tried it for a couple weeks and just can’t keep the kids interested. I had to cancel it again. The cost is not worth the one subject I do like and they don’t offer purchase per subject. Still disappointed…

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About beckyhusband

Becky is a Christian homeschool mom blogger that lives on a small farm in Deep East Texas. When she isn't homeschooling her kids, she is busy documenting their life on her blog through photography, video, and slideshows. She has always been talented using the computer and working with digital imagery in an artistic and inspiring way. Her experience includes recording and editing videos for church, capturing and editing digital photos, scanning and digitally "cleaning" paper photos, and creating photo slideshows.

Posted on September 6, 2011, in Homeschool. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I’ve been using Time4Learning off and on for years. Right now it is the main thing I use with my son (with a few things added on the side)…it is such a good fit for him! My daughter(10) also uses it as a supplement to her regular curriculum. I’ll be curious to read what you think of it!

  2. My DD (14) uses T4L and really likes it. I do know you get a bigger discount if you pay quarterly (that’s what I do) or yearly, but really, it’s not a bad price for a total curriculum, in my opinion. I can see where some of the humor might be offensive. Sorry it didn’t work for you. Hope you find something that is good fit.

    Joyfully,
    Jackie

    • I am pretty conservative and so the main issue was the crude humor but the price was still above my budget for the two subjects I would use. Glad to know it worked for you, maybe you can post a review and get a discount as well!! It is a pretty good deal if you review stuff that you already use and get a discount, that is what I did for Spelling CIty (which I love) and they gave me a free year’s use 🙂
      Blessings,
      Becky

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