I was given a “free” month of Time4Learning to try in exchange for a review. I thought that this would be a great way to test this product out. I was not unhappy with what I am currently using, but just wanted to see if this was a possibility for us. I also considered using it as a supplement to what we are currently using. As a long-time homeschooler, I am always on the lookout for something different, and sometimes during the winter months will take a break and try something else.
I am a firm believer in the theory that if a child is engaged and interested, they will learn more and want to continue to learn. I also believe that learning takes place all the time. I have five children and three have graduated from our homeschool. I have tried to tailor their learning to each child’s style. Learning also is something that is life long, and I smile when I see my adult children trying new things, attempting a new skill, or expanding their horizons in some way.
My fourth child, who I call Dash, is in 6th grade. I really thought he would be the one to embrace it because he periodically talks about doing school on the computer. On the day Dash tried it out, he did one lesson in science and one in math. After that he really showed no interest and anytime I asked him if he wanted to do another lesson he politely declined. When asked what he thought about it, his response was “I didn’t really like it.” I believe part of the problem is that while he may not love what he is currently doing, he does like most of it. He is using Life of Fred for math and loves the story line. We also use Xtra Math for practice on facts. For most of the other subjects we are using Winterpromise Adventures in the Sea and Sky. While he complains about it on some days, other days he is intrigued. He loves “real” books and is an avid reader.
My youngest son, Jack-Jack, is 10 and autistic. I need to sit with him for all lessons to keep him focused. I found that with the lesson he completed, it was far too easy for him to just start clicking without really trying to figure out the answer. Eventually he would select the right answer and move on. For Jack-Jack, I am currently writing a curriculum tailored for him using Disney movies. This is his passion, and he seems to be able to keep his focus when I am working with him. He is also very hands on and loves to paint, play with playdoh, putty, clay, etc. His favorite thing on the internet is YouTube videos of songs and rides from Disney World. I have tried online programs with him in the past, but I have to sit with him the entire time for anything online or he immediately starts watching videos.
While I had no complaints with Time4Learning, I feel that it just wasn’t a fit for my family at this time. I feel that maybe this would work best for us during the summer months when I just want to keep their skills up to speed, but we are already happy with what we are using. I guess the moral of this story would be, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”