I would like HONEST opinions.
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 12
Like Tree2Likes

Thread: I would like HONEST opinions.

  1. #1
    gmfamily is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    IN
    Posts
    4

    Default I would like HONEST opinions.

    I have been researching and researching. I really like the idea of time4 learning and probably am going to use it for my 5 kids. In all my years of homeschooling, no matter how great the curriculum, there are always some negatives. I can find NO cons on this forum to this curriculum. I am afraid that this forum is so heavily moderated that no one is free to be honest unless it is a positive comment.

    Along with the pros does anyone have any cons? Thanks!
    Momschooler likes this.

  2. #2
    hearthstone_academy's Avatar
    hearthstone_academy is offline Administrator
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    OR
    Posts
    6,881
    Blog Entries
    18

    Default

    There are pros and cons with any curriculum, and these will vary according to a family's needs.

    Nothing is ever deleted from this forum just because it might say something negative about Time4Learning. We delete spam on a daily basis, though . . . mostly pharmaceutical ads!

    The most common complaints we hear are about difficulty figuring out how to start or use the planning tools and disappointment that all the lessons are not cartoon-y.

    A search of this forum will find the typical assortment of happy and unhappy customers. The forum is intended to be a genuine support for parents who need help using the curriculum or with homeschooling in general, and is only moderated to delete spam . . . not to present Time4Learning in an artificially positive light.

    As a moderator, I wanted to share this information . . . but I hope some other members will chime in here, too.

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

  3. #3
    lac.ddclc's Avatar
    lac.ddclc is offline Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    DE
    Posts
    60

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by gmfamily View Post
    "I am afraid that this forum is so heavily moderated that no one is free to be honest unless it is a positive comment.

    Along with the pros does anyone have any cons? Thanks!"

    Oh, trust me, I have vented my fair share of frustration with T4L all over this forum, and I don't think any of my threads or comments have been deleted ... yet.

    Any cons I've seen since we started T4L in September are most definitely outweighed by the pros.

    Cons:

    Odyssey Writer - Don't even get me started! My son "hands in" his assignments through the Odyssey Writer word processing tool to mark them as complete in T4L, but he really types them out on Word and gives them to me directly. Some parents have come to like OW; I'm not one of them.

    Parents can't preview the lessons without signing in as their children. I firmly believe that the LA#'s in the Scope and Sequence should link to the lessons as the students see them - only with the capability to rewind, fast-forward, or skip anything we want.

    Parents cannot edit or add grades to the reports, so I've had to create my own version, but at least I was able to use their report as a template.

    One reason for the need to edit is that some of the answers in the answer keys are wrong. I've stopped sending screenshots and requests for confirmation of the correct answers because I've never received any confirmations. It's great that they say they'll forward the information to the developers, but it doesn't help me if I don't receive any info back.

    Once my son has finished a lesson, if he wants to review one part, he can't fast-forward to the spot he needs to repeat.


    Pros:

    It's NOT an online school but a curriculum. This is so important for several reasons. For one, it's more affordable. For another, I get to decide how assignments are done. If I feel there are too many Odyssey Writer assignments in a week, I can ask him to answer some of the prompts orally instead of in writing. If I want him to review a lesson and retake a quiz or test before he moves on, I have that prerogative. If I know he's already learned something, I can let him skip the activities for that lesson altogether.

    The activity planner is a HUGE asset! We use it more as a guideline, but it certainly helps to see what he needs to do at a bare minimum if he wants to finish his course by a certain date. I'll admit there are some things I think can be better (like being able to schedule breaks one day at a time rather than just weekly breaks), but overall, I'm glad we have it available. I don't know what parents did before T4L added this invaluable tool.

    My son is on high school level, and some of his lessons can get a bit corny. For some students, this might be a con, but for my son, it's definitely a pro. We can joke about some of the "sheer ridiculousness" (his words), and that helps the lesson stick. After 2 months, he still sometimes brings up a particular lesson on velocity in Physics that he thinks was the weirdest one yet.

    My son gets to learn independently at his own pace! This is the biggest pro. I was so nervous about the idea of homeschooling high school. I am thrilled with how much this program has helped both of us with his education.

  4. #4
    gmfamily is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    IN
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by lac.ddclc View Post
    Oh, trust me, I have vented my fair share of frustration with T4L all over this forum, and I don't think any of my threads or comments have been deleted ... yet.

    Any cons I've seen since we started T4L in September are most definitely outweighed by the pros.

    Cons:

    Odyssey Writer - Don't even get me started! My son "hands in" his assignments through the Odyssey Writer word processing tool to mark them as complete in T4L, but he really types them out on Word and gives them to me directly. Some parents have come to like OW; I'm not one of them.

    Parents can't preview the lessons without signing in as their children. I firmly believe that the LA#'s in the Scope and Sequence should link to the lessons as the students see them - only with the capability to rewind, fast-forward, or skip anything we want.

    Parents cannot edit or add grades to the reports, so I've had to create my own version, but at least I was able to use their report as a template.

    One reason for the need to edit is that some of the answers in the answer keys are wrong. I've stopped sending screenshots and requests for confirmation of the correct answers because I've never received any confirmations. It's great that they say they'll forward the information to the developers, but it doesn't help me if I don't receive any info back.

    Once my son has finished a lesson, if he wants to review one part, he can't fast-forward to the spot he needs to repeat.


    Pros:

    It's NOT an online school but a curriculum. This is so important for several reasons. For one, it's more affordable. For another, I get to decide how assignments are done. If I feel there are too many Odyssey Writer assignments in a week, I can ask him to answer some of the prompts orally instead of in writing. If I want him to review a lesson and retake a quiz or test before he moves on, I have that prerogative. If I know he's already learned something, I can let him skip the activities for that lesson altogether.

    The activity planner is a HUGE asset! We use it more as a guideline, but it certainly helps to see what he needs to do at a bare minimum if he wants to finish his course by a certain date. I'll admit there are some things I think can be better (like being able to schedule breaks one day at a time rather than just weekly breaks), but overall, I'm glad we have it available. I don't know what parents did before T4L added this invaluable tool.

    My son is on high school level, and some of his lessons can get a bit corny. For some students, this might be a con, but for my son, it's definitely a pro. We can joke about some of the "sheer ridiculousness" (his words), and that helps the lesson stick. After 2 months, he still sometimes brings up a particular lesson on velocity in Physics that he thinks was the weirdest one yet.

    My son gets to learn independently at his own pace! This is the biggest pro. I was so nervous about the idea of homeschooling high school. I am thrilled with how much this program has helped both of us with his education.
    A I going to understand what Odysey Writer is once we start??

    Thanks for your review!

  5. #5
    lac.ddclc's Avatar
    lac.ddclc is offline Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    DE
    Posts
    60

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by gmfamily View Post
    "A I going to understand what Odysey Writer is once we start??

    Thanks for your review!"
    You're welcome.

    Odyssey Writer is a word processing tool that comes with the curriculum T4L provides. I don't know what grade starts using it, so I don't know whether or not you'll see it when you start. It's definitely used a LOT on the high school level though. Once the student is done with the writing assignment provided in the Odyssey Writer activity instructions, there is a button to "hand in" the work. This doesn't really hand the work in to a teacher; it just marks the activity as complete in T4L records with a grade of N/A (not applicable). It's up to the parent to determine how to grade or comment on the activity.

    The best thing to remember about T4L is that it's a tool to help you educate your child. As the administrator and teacher of your homeschool, you have the flexibility to use the program as it best fits your school. If there is something in the curriculum you don't like, you can have your children skip it or use it as an opportunity to teach your children that there are different ways of viewing things. I've found that history, in particular, is ripe for these kinds of discussions.

    All the best to you.

  6. #6
    hearthstone_academy's Avatar
    hearthstone_academy is offline Administrator
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    OR
    Posts
    6,881
    Blog Entries
    18

    Default

    Odyssey Writer assignments start showing up halfway through third grade. In the lower grades, a cute little program called Story Creator is used. It allows the younger students to "write a story" by pasting pictures, paste pictures and label with one or two words, and eventually paste pictures and write a sentence or two "story" about them.

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

  7. #7
    rlw611 is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    IN
    Posts
    3

    Default

    I'm a bit late to post, but I wasn't impressed with T4L and won't be using it next school year. There was quite a few things that I wasn't happy with, but the main reason is math. Math isn't really taught. There's a brief introduction to the lesson and right to the question part. They didn't teach him his multiplication tables, but on the quiz asked him what was 8 x 8. It was wonky. I used Times Tales, Khan, and switched to workbooks because T4L was really awful.

    I think it would be okay for a supplemental curriculum, but not as the main curriculum.

    I feel like I wasted a year. He didn't retain much, and he's going to struggle in math next year.

  8. #8
    marianes's Avatar
    marianes is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Posts
    11

    Default

    I'm not a homeschooler, but do A LOT of teaching and supplementing at home and especially do so during breaks. I initially signed up for T4L as a summer thing, but the more we look into it, the more I see it's most likely not for us after all. The lessons are corny - even for my little guy's taste. I do like the flexibility of putting my 11 y/o into high school level courses that are more up to par with her, but even those are corny! Maybe these lessons are more designed for kids who need to be motivated somehow. My kids don't, so a lesson that's going out of its way to be silly is more of a put-off to my kiddos than a draw. If this is the reason I have to keep on them to finish the lesson, then no thanks.

    I'm always open to new and different approaches and tools to how I teach my kids, but this isn't going to be part of my toolbox. I also really don't like T4L's "forward only" approach that discourages going back and reviewing specific parts of lessons without having to redo the whole thing. This really takes away from individualizing learning. I'll stick with Khan and experiential learning instead.
    Momschooler likes this.

  9. #9
    schumacherkristin is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Posts
    23

    Default

    My 8th grade daughter currently only uses T4L for her LA portion of her curriculum. She does like navigating T4L and so do I but because she is a more serious kind of kid she needs straight forward lessons. She repeatedly complains about the "babyish" cartoon lessons, she doesn't enjoy them.

  10. #10
    Momschooler is offline Junior Member Newbie
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    MI
    Posts
    6

    Default

    This post and the subsequent responses list out all of my observations on the platform as I consider it myself.
    The kitschy nature of the instruction, which is really not good explaining (it's all "what" and no "why") and the fact that it's more about trying to be cute than effective is irritating even to my 12 year old in demo. What's sad is that I showed him a high school level demo. My high school aged daughter flat out walked away, calling it "utterly stupid". Worse, the demo froze, lagged, and glitched as described elsewhere on the forums.
    No, it's not my browser.
    No, it's not my operating system.
    It's the site.
    Specifically, only this particular site.
    I've checked out dozens of them.

    Knowing that it's a forward only program is not promising. The extremely tight moderation on this board is a little suspicious, and I don't blame the poster for addressing it. If I have a question for the forum I probably need it answered quickly. How soon are posts moderated? Who knows. None of my posts have shown, even yet.

    I too have homeschooled a long time and I use IXL and my own curriculum. I teach/lecture and the children practice the concepts in IXL. I should point out that I am currently beginning grad school to teach Science and English at college level and I work with a local college in digital pedigogy. At first glance this system seems like a good fit to fill in the blanks when my own courses are loading me down, so that the children don't lose momentum. Unfortunately, there are so many negatives so far, compounded by obtuse responses and tight moderation, that lead me to think I'll just keep looking. The cost of a program that doesn't trust me to grade or modify the process (except for what appear to be token adjustments) is not reasonable. I'm with the original poster: I like the idea but T4L seems to miss that we pulled our kids out of public school for a reason. Why are they replicating those reasons here?
    Bah. I think I'll just be moving on.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •