Thursday, September 2, 2010

Review: Time 4 Learning - Level 3 - Part One

You might remember that we had received One Month's Free Trial to Time 4 Learning  in return for our honest feedback on the curriculum. Well we have had access for one week now and I thought I'd update you on the progress.

I think I'll start by showing a little of what B covered this week. Bear in mind that all of the Time 4 Learning work is in addition to our regular work. Although I believe that T4L is a stand alone curriculum.

This week in Language Arts the focus was Synonyms and Antonyms. I was very impressed with how thorough this work was. There was plenty of opportunity for review without the feeling of it being too repititous.

Many examples were given of synonyms for the particular word (the same lay out applies for the antonym work).

The definition for each word is supplied. All of this is done via voice over by entertaining animated characters.

Then the word is used in a sentence.

After which the child is required to put what they have learned into action, by choosing the appropriate answer. B really enjoyed this and although we have touched on synonyms and antonyms in his Language Arts program he now has a very thorough understanding of them.

Each lesson also includes reading comprehension tied into the learning objective, which in this instance is synonyms. Initially the child only sees the green comprehension piece across the top of the page. This image is the second screen shot, with the question and possible answers to choose from.

And the big tick of approval.

In the math area most of the lessons focused on Place Value Beyond A Thousand, Recognising and Writing those numbers.

A voice over gave a number (it was not shown on the screen) the child then has to use the 'combination lock' to enter the correct number to open the Safe Deposit. This was a little tricky at first (especially if the number contains zeros) but once you get the hang of place values for larger numbers it was quite an enjoyable task.

Being on the 3rd Level B also has access to other subjects like Science and Social Studies. We did look at the science area one afternoon but found it was just far too much reading so we skipped it for now. I will try to spend some time in those subject areas this week.

My initial thoughts -

Negatives -  Too much clicking for us. You seem to be forever opening windows. I think the site navigation could do with some improvement. The 'time to move on' or 'click the go forward button' needs improving, even I struggled in a couple of places to see clearly where we needed to click to go on.

In many areas there is also too much reading for an online program. What I mean by that is in many places the option to have a voice over read the information to you is simply not there. What happens with the kids that aren't reading at that level? I think a voice over option should always be included, especially in the non Language Arts activities.

I also need to bear in mind that we are not using T4L to its full potential, only as a supplement.

Positives - The majority of this week's work was 'right on the money' for B this week. It was challenging enough without being too difficult, it introduced him to work that he hasn't done in depth and he got alot out of the program this week. The program so far seems engaging, colourful, interactive and thorough. At this level, overall I have been quite impressed.

B's verdict - I really like it. It is better than doing bookwork for school.

Check out Time 4 Learning for yourself.

Vote for us. One click is all you need!


Tracy said...

Sounds good Kylie! You did a very good review post on T4L. I haven't tried the program out yet for my own children mostly because I'm trying to cram in my core subjects already as it is. I don't know if I would have time to fit this in too, but I'll see. I look forward to hearing more pros/cons on T4L!

Have a blessed day!

Kylie said...

Thanks Tracy. I know I get alot out of informative reviews so I didn't want to gloss over it. :-)

Katie said...

That was a great, in-depth review! We have been using Time4Learning for several years now and have really been enjoying it. We do use it as our core, supplementing when necessary.

Again, I really enjoyed your review! Thanks! :)

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