Showing posts with label curriculum. Show all posts
Showing posts with label curriculum. Show all posts

Time 4 Learning Review

I signed up with Time 4 Learning in the beginning of the year.  I was not sure how much I would use it so I had books for all our subjects as well.  I had a hard time at first figuring out in what order we were supposed to go in and how to navigate the site.

The first thing we did on T4L was the Language Arts.  A lights up when it is time to do this.  They have familiar characters that come back for every lesson and it feels more like a video game than learning. However, I assure you learning does take place.  It is not too easy by any means (my daughter scored really high in language arts when she was evaluated and this still challenges her) and it covers all the common core standards.  My daughter loves the little cartoons.

There is also a second Language Arts section with spelling words, grammar, and comprehension.  These do not have the interactive cartoons.  This section is more just reading along and clicking answers.  So, it is not as exciting as some of the other sections, but it is still more "fun" than a book and workbook.  We also do things on our own like book reports and if I see she needs practice in something like run on sentences or commas I seek out lessons for this.

The thing she loves the most is Time 4 Art.  I expected it to be an art program like "Paint" for them to draw on, but it is not at all.  It's a program with cartoon characters again that teach really in depth lessons about technique and art history.  It's interactive so the kids can showcase what they learn.  I think I have learned as much doing this with A as I did taking Art History in college!  After each lesson they give the kids some projects to do on their own so they can apply what they just learned about.  A loves it and does it outside of school time, too.  The only problem is she is going to finish the course soon and I know she is going to miss it!

We were doing our own thing with science for a while.  I had an astronomy lapbok I wanted to do with her and I built lessons around that.  When we finished astronomy I decided to give T4L a shot in science.  It's good.  They give you experiments to do which she has really enjoyed.  It's basic stuff for 4th grade like the scientific method and such.  I am also supplementing with some other things.  I like the Waldorf approach to science so I am also teaching about animals and the natural world around us.  Science (at least for fourth grade) is pretty much just reading along and answering questions, too.  No videos or cartoons.

I have not touched social studies on T4L yet.  For 4th grade they have a lot of ancient history.  I decided  that I wanted to teach about our state, NJ, instead.  So, we did a course on NJ history and then learned the counties.  Now we are going to move on to learning the 50 states and capitals.  We also receive the scholastic news in the mail and do that.  After geography, we'll try out the social studies on T4L.  Again, it does not look cartoony- it's pretty much reading and answering questions on the computer so I will probably supplement it with videos and games that relate with the lessons.

That brings me to math.  I did not touch Math on T4L for a while.  We use Life of Fred and we have been working on addition facts since school started.  I knew A could not do fourth grade math yet.  However, at one point she told me she wanted to learn to tell time.  Fred does a lot with this but she wanted more.  So, we skipped to the Time section on T4L and she did well with it.  Then, two weeks ago we began adding T4L to the other math we were doing and she did the addition and subtraction units successfully. So, she is caught up to 4th grade work!  Now we will probably take a break and work on memorizing the times tables like we did with the addition facts and then we will use T4L for math again.  We also use Khan academy, Big Brainz, and Xtra Math.  We have a lot of resources.  I don't want it to get dull and I think the more times things are explained in different ways the better.  One of them will click!

The math section has games.  They are not as high tech as the games in Language Arts.  I suspect they were created earlier.  They are still pretty fun though- for math anyway.  I would not use it as my sole math curriculum though, but maybe for others it is different.  I just don't think it really explains as much as it should how to do things.

T4L keeps records of your child's work so if you are in a state where you need to show the work or you just want to be able to track it, this saves you a lot of time.  Also, it gives you the ability to move up or down one grade level if you need to to accommodate your child.Customer service is very good as well.

Overall, T4L is great!  You really can use it as your sole curriculum and it is only $20 per month.  They even give you a free month for any friend you refer.

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