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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Time4Learning Preschool Review



You may remember that last year a a member of the TOS Crew, I had the chance to review Time4Learning.com. You can read that review HERE, but let me summarize by saying my kids loved it, but I found it to be a little too worldly to be comfortable with my kids spending much time on the site. So I was honestly surprised to be asked to take a look at it again. But this time, our focus was on their new Preschool level, and it was really a pleasant surprise.

Time4Learning.com is a subscription web site that offers educational activities for children from Pre-K through 8th grade. According to their website, "Time4Learning is a new approach that takes advantage of today's technology. It's a convenient, online home education program that combines learning with fun educational teaching games. The online language arts and math comprise a comprehensive program for preschool, elementary school, and middle school. Science and social studies programs are provided as a free bonus for most grades." The Preschool component has two levels, each with 20 topics such as number, letters, colors, shapes, on the farm, rhyme time, space, and fruits, just to name a few. Each topic has several activities to teach and then reinforce the learning. According to their parent pages:


The Time4Learning Preschool is comprised of two learning levels, based on difficulty:
•Level one includes fewer and easier commands and options.
•Level two is primarily intended for learners who can understand and follow multiple commands with a greater number of options.
This curriculum is designed so that it can be used as a one-year program, beginning with the easier activities and progressively becoming more difficult as the year continues. There are approximately twenty themes for each half of the school year, approximately one theme per week of school, for a total of about forty weeks, if a parent decides to use the program in this fashion.
Full lesson plans an descriptions of the activities are available to the parents, and parents can also check at any time to see the activities their child has tried, and which ones they have successfully completed. In case you were wondering, "The only skills required by the child are that he or she is able to use a computer mouse" and "to understand and to follow simple auditory directions, such as 'Choose . . .,' 'Which one . . . ' and 'Match . . .'"



The pros: My daughter could not get enough of this. Once I logged her in, she was able to navigate the site on her own, and explored quite a bit. I loved that as a parent I could easily see what she had tried, what she had actually completed, and also view the activities myself to see what they involved. And unlike many Pre-K computer related activities, these really did focus on academics but also were fun .
The cons: The monthly fee!
The Bottom Line: While infinitely cheaper than preschool, $19.95 a month is a lot to pay (in my opinion) each month to have a computer teach your child things you could easily teach them yourself. BUT, if you are looking for a good way to reinforce learning and you child is technology inclined, Time4Learning may be just right for you. My daughter begs to play it everyday, but honestly, it isn't in the budget to continue it once our free subscription is up. If you are a little less financially strapped, you just might want to check it out!

To check out Time4Learning for Preschoolers or even for older elementary school kids, go HERE. To see what other members of the TOS Crew have to say, go HERE.

Legal Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Crew, I was given a one month free subscription to the preschool site. That one month membership was the only payment I received for my review.
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