You might be looking for something a little extra, or you might be needing a full curriculum that doesn’t need you to do a lot of preparation and supervision. Time4Learning.com might be your answer. It covers K-8th curriculum for math, English, Reading, science, and Social Studies. It is automated and student-paced. All of the lessons are animated and colorful. They are flash and shockwave based, so you do have to make sure that you have the latest versions of those free programs. Students find the lessons to be fun and engaging. Many of the younger ones don’t seem to realize they are “doing school.” They seem to think it is play time which is a good thing. The lessons are individualized to a degree with the student being placed at the beginning where the parent feels they are most comfortable learning. Students then complete lessons in a sequence decided by the Time4Learning. Parent can make some adjustments if needed. Students can also go back and do completed lessons as often as they wish.

The program is subscription-based meaning you do have to pay a monthly fee per child  to access it. The fee is $19.95 per month for the first child and $14.95 for the second child. You can get a free trial to try before you buy, and even a 14 day money back guarantee if it just doesn’t click with your child. The fee isn’t too bad when you consider all of the lessons you can provide to your student in an interactive format.

Many special needs students can easily learn and progress on this program if they are dyslexic, autitistic, ADD/ADHD, etc. The format is a good fit for many of those disabilities. However, I can’t access the site because I am DeafBlind. I had to get a hearing/sighted person to use the review access and tell me how it went. It is hard writing a review like that, but I am doing my best. Therefore, my blind and DeafBlind students would not be able to use the program either because their assistive technology can not access the flash and shockwave lessons. My Deaf only students can probably do most of the site, although they would have to learn that they missed a question if it didn’t change the screen or if the problem was reset because those clues are only auditory. However, the vast majority of students do not have these severe problems, so I can’t expect them to try and accommodate my students.

Most students will find the program easy and fun to understand. That alone will assure success in many cases because the frustration level is lowered tremendously. The program doesn’t have harsh failure responses. You merely try again which takes the pressure off a child who has been too used to failing and gives up easily with other parent-led programs or harsh response systems. The student doesn’t feel the humiliation as badly with the computer.

There are also games to play that are fun to play during break time such as Tetris and Pac Man. Those games are good for eye and hand coordination practice to some degree, but mostly they are just plain fun. These games can give them hours of entertainment.

Parents have the ability to print out practice sheets to use off-line and progress reports to help track improvement. There is also a forums area where parents can share tips and discuss homeschooling issues. Customer service is provided by phone or email, so if problems do arise, you do have help to save the day’s lesson.

Overall, Time4Learning is a well-done online program that can be useful in many ways. Regardless of how you use it such as a supplement, a summer program, or a full curriculum, your child should benefit from it and enjoy doing their lessons.

If you want more information, go to www.time4learning.com.

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