My opinion is entirely my own. I have not received any compensation for this review. Time4Learning offers standards-based language arts and math curriculum. Science, social studies and art lessons are provided as a bonus for most grades.
A few months ago our kids’ school changed leadership and instituted policies which led to an environment that was no longer in line with our values. We left. We fled, actually.
We returned to our homeschooling roots but the kids were progressed into 8th grade, a place I was not comfortable teaching like I had done in the early years when the subjects were “easier.” We signed up at Forest Charter School, a homeschooling/independent study program that better fit our needs at this time.
With technology and so much available online, we set out to find a curriculum that would work for our busy lives. We needed quality instruction which my kids could follow, mostly independently.
A friend suggested Time4Learning. A few months later, I can happily say, “Yes! It’s working for us!”
Time4Learning fits nicely with our homeschooling adventure! We are using the four core subjects in 8th grade (Language Arts, Math/Algebra 1/Social Studies/Physical Science) and supplementing with whatever this homeschooling mom is inspired by. The kids go to the school site one day a week for extracurricular classes with 6th-8th graders. they get plenty of socialization otherwise, so it looks like we’ve found a balance that will work for the rest of the year.
Time4Learning is relatively easy to use as far as lesson planning and reports are concerned. The kids enjoy the presentations which range from videos of a person to a “character” presenting the information. The in-lesson activities, quizzes, and chapter tests are included with scoring and time spent on each activity in the reports.
For a part-time working parent, Time4Learning has solved many of my core subject teaching dilemmas!
One downside I’ve found is the Odyssey and Compass Writer lessons are “clunky.” The program itself doesn’t seem to “save” the writing the child completes and my kids have had a difficult time understanding what the lessons are asking of them. We’ve adjusted to the “not saved” issue by using Google docs. This works fine for us as they were already familiar with it and it’s easily accessible in the future, even after we are finished with T4L. As far as the content of the Odyssey and Compass Writer lessons, I evaluate each one, coach the kids, and decide if they need to actually do the lesson or write something else.
Another downside is that when you need to change the overall lesson plan, depending on what you are trying to accomplish, you may have to start over rather than “modifying” an existing plan. It would be helpful if the program could be adjusted to make it easier.
In regards to 8th-grade social studies, the course is labeled “7th grade” but, it appears to fit with the California Core Standards for 8th-grade social studies.
In regards to math, if your student is ready for Algebra, you can enroll in the high school algebra course. It’s very flexible as far as grade level placement goes.
Overall, I’d give Time4Learning an A for quality, cost, ease of use, and customer support.