Monday, April 16, 2012

Koinania Family Vacation Giveaway!

Are you feeling worn out as the school year comes to an end? Could you and your family use a vacation? What if it were free? Well, I don't know about you, but this family could certainly use a free vacation!  If you're interested, you should head over to Homeschool Giveaways and Freebies.  Register for your chance to win a family vacation to Koinania Valley Ranch Family Resort and stay for up to seven nights!  The prize value is up to $1,500 so head on over to Homeschool Giveaways and Freebies today!  

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Time 4 Learning Review


About a month ago I told you guys I would be reviewing an online educational website called Time 4 Learning.  I had heard so many wonderful things about this site and was always curious as to whether or not it would work for our family.  I visited the site, but was reluctant to sign up for anything with monthly fees for all four of my children.  I still wondered about the curriculum and was overjoyed when given the opportunity to try it out for a month for free!

For those of you who don't know us well, let me tell you that my children love a great interactive learning site.  Over the years, we have run into three problems when searching for online curriculum that worked for us.  First, most sites only specialize in one subject at a time.  This is a problem when you have monthly fees to pay for multiple children at multiple sites.  Second, those that do cover every subject can come with hefty pricing.  Lastly, many of those that claimed to be complete, engaging, and parent friendly, did not lived up to our expectations.  And believe me, I invested more than $1,000 a few years ago on interactive curriculum.  It was the most painful experience for the children and I to get through and I have been skeptical about complete curriculum ever since.

Now enters Time 4 Learning.  Our experience with Time 4 Learning has been refreshing to say the least.    But, as with all things, there are pros and cons to utilizing this site.  I will try my best to let you know what we found for our family.



Pros:
  • The curriculum is engaging and maintained the interest of my children.
  • The subject content had depth and the girls learned a lot as well as got a great review on material we had previously covered.
  • My children actually requested to complete their Time 4 Learning assignments.  This was great considering we were in the middle of moving and I did not require them to do so.
  • They had access to not only their grade level, but also the grades directly above and below their assigned grade.  This was very valuable, since my children have varying degrees of competency in various subjects.
  • Not only does it give immediate feedback, it reviews the concept briefly and allows the child to try answering the question again.
  • It is a secular curriculum. We prefer to use secular curriculum and include discussions of various religious viewpoints when applicable.
  • They have Algebra!  Can't tell you how great this was to find, being he mother of a middle school child who hates math textbooks.
  • The parent portal was unbelievable easy to utilize.  I had no trouble accessing progress reports and printing worksheets.  
  • The record keeping is complete and easy to print.  This allows for accurate and easy documentation of your child's progress that can be printed for their portfolios (if your state requires it like mine).  
  • Pricing for this resource is definitely reasonable.  Not only do they offer multiple child discounts, but they also offer a two week money back guarantee.  That way you can try it out at no risk and see if it works for you.  
Cons:
  • The program stops with eighth grade so you have to find something else that fits after that.
  • My son is in seventh grade, so it was discouraging to find that science ended with the sixth grade and social studies ended with seventh grade.

    After having the opportunity to review this curriculum, I would definitely recommend to others.  Especially for the elementary grade levels.  I would not recommend it as a stand alone curriculum for upper middle school grade levels for the reasons listed above.  However, it would be easy to fill in the missing subjects for these grade levels.  I can honestly say that as we gather our options for the next coming school year, Time 4 Learning with definitely be among our options.

    Disclosures:  Although I was provided with one month's free membership in exchange for my review, the opinions expressed are entirely my own. 

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