Very Disappointing
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  1. #1
    RushTX is offline Junior Member
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    Default Very Disappointing

    We just got started today. We used T4L a couple of years ago, and now my daughter is in 4th grade.

    We opened our Social Studies/History, and there's just paragraphs to read and questions to answer. What happened to all of the interaction? Just reading and answering questions isn't going to work for us. I hated history when I was in school, and I can't figure out how to make it exciting if we are just reading words next to a few thumbnail sized pictures. We can just get a library book and do that. One reason I signed up again for Time 4 Learning was because it was interactive and engaging.

    Or am I missing something here?

    Thanks,

    Rushell

  2. #2
    hearthstone_academy's Avatar
    hearthstone_academy is offline Administrator
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    Default Re: Very Disappointing

    Hi, Rushell. Time4Learning provides a complete math and language arts curriculum, with science and social studies available at most grade levels as a free bonus. The social studies provided has never changed, but the social studies and science lessons are older. Since history is history, the social studies lessons are still relevent, but, from third grade and up, they are not as animated as the other subjects.

    I had my fourth graders do the 1st/2nd grade social studies lessons in fourth grade (there aren't a whole lot, but they are super animated) and then we went on to the third grade social studies lessons and split the third grade lessons between their fourth and fifth grade year! There's not so much reading at that level, but there is a LOT to learn for people at pretty much any grade level. Did you know Viking hats didn't really look like what you usually see pictured?

    With science and social studies, there are no standards, so every school and every curriculum will teach different things at different grade levels. So, instead of going by "fourth grade social studies", look at the curriculum and see if it covers things she hasn't yet studied. I'll bet the third grade social studies curriculum covers things YOU have never studied! It IS text-based, but much more enjoyable than the fourth grade level.

    You don't HAVE to use all of the T4L subjects. If you otherwise enjoy Time4Learning, you could just skip the social studies and use something else.

    With social studies, at this grade level, as long as she is learning "something", she will be fine. Social studies is such a huge and broad area that no one graduates from high school having studied everything possible in world history, American history, civics, economics, and all of the other possible social studies topics.

    There are some great free social studies activities at Learning Games for Kids. You could have your child do one per day in either the U.S. States, Geography, or Social Studies sections.

    Another thing you can do is add Brainpop's free Movie-of-the-Week to your schedule. T4L isn't associated with Brainpop, but a lot of members use them as a supplement. Often, the Movie-of-the-Week is social studies related, especially around holidays. There are quizzes to go along with each movie.

    A third free option many members choose is the Liberty's Kids videos on YouTube. They are cartoons, and they cover all of the Revolutionary period in American history . . . a very appropriate study for a fourth grader, and so fun! There are forty videos, so you could watch one or two per week if you use a traditional nine-month school year and that would be PLENTY of social studies for a fourth grader. You can go to the Liberty's Kids website for free activity sheets to go along with each video.

    Since science is less animated, too, I'll address that in this post. T4L did add access to Science4Us, which is VERY animated. It is intended for grades K-3 but it covers some sophisticated topics and, again, I used it for my older kids. It would be reasonable to have your fourth grader do most of the available K-3 Science4Us lessons. You can also log in to your parent dashboard to access a list of JUST the animated science lessons. Here is an article about how to use those: Love Those Animated Science Lessons!

    Other fourth graders use Time4Learning's middle school science lessons (which have animations and videotaped instructors), especially The Nature of Science, which only requires one or two science lessons per week to finish.

    I hope this helps you come up with a plan that fits your child!

    Mom of six . . . current students and homeschool graduates. Enjoying using Time4Learning since 2006!

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