New homescoolers thinking of using T4L
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  1. #1
    ElainaMo is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    Default New homescoolers thinking of using T4L

    I am homeschooling my son who is 9 and in the 4th grade. We have been only homeschooling, using a charter school, since January. For next school year though, I want to do things independently. This is why I'm considering using T4L for our curriculum. My son loves using the computer, however, I don't want him tied to it either. Does T4L require a lot of time at the computer or is it pretty well balanced between computer time and "book work"? Is it easy to move ahead? For instance if I feel my son has mastered 5th grade work is he free to move on to the next grade level curriculum? How easy is it to skip lessons you either choose not to do or not use T4L for?

    I haven't had a chance to use the risk free trial yet, simply because I have no funds in the bank until pay day. But I will as soon as funds are available. Thanks for helping me with these questions.
    Elaina
    visit my blog: http://elainalynn.blogspot.com
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    homeschooling: DS age 9
    Two sweet girls in B&M: ages 11 and 7

  2. #2
    aandwsmom's Avatar
    aandwsmom is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: New homescoolers thinking of using T4L

    It is basically ALL computer time, LA and Math are animated while LA EX, Science and Social Studies are more reading on the computer.
    We use T4L as our main curriculum, but do add some stuff like free reading, art, etc.
    My boys do the whole days work in about 2.5 hrs and that includes 10 min. break between each subject. This is basically their ONLY time on the computer all day, so if they want to email friends, play at Lego.com, etc. it needs to be done during the 10 min. breaks.
    We use T4L because its computer based, all the important stuff is done and my boys are more willing to do their work this way vs. using a book and chalkboard.
    And yes, if he has mastered or behind in a subject in one grade he can be moved up or down as needed. And if he is 5th in Math but behind on Lang. Arts he can do that in 4th, etc. You can change that part in the Parent section, I believe. My boys stayed in the grade they were in @ PS because I knew there were gaps.

    You will not be disappointed when you try T4L. We were going to do an online charter school, but I didnt like the regimented part of it. I wanted to be able to do it as needed, adjust as needed, etc. not have the same issues with a charter school that we did in PS. T4L allows us to work how we want to, be flexible as needed, etc. which is part of the reason FOR homeschooling. Not to mention that my boys LOVE it!

    Oldest DS went from 42% average in Math @ PS in October to 90% average in Math using T4L!!! This is his hardest subject and he basically didnt know Multiplication tables, lots of the basics, etc. T4L has taught him that and made him more confident when he is doing Math!

  3. #3
    hearthstone_academy's Avatar
    hearthstone_academy is offline Administrator
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    Default Re: New homescoolers thinking of using T4L

    It's very easy to move up or down a level, even for just a few assignments. For example, if your student has been doing fine in fifth grade math, but begins to struggle when he reaches the fractions problems, you can move him down to fourth grade math to work on fractions. You then have the choice of keeping him at the fourth grade level in math, moving him back to complete the fifth grade fractions, or moving him back to fifth grade math but skipping the fifth grade fractions lessons until next year.

    Students do not have to work at the same grade level in every subject.

    Here is some information on the printable worksheets. There are additional paper-and-pencil activities within the science, social studies, and language arts extensions subjects. Social studies and science require that the child keep a notebook. (I just give my kids a spiral notebook for this.)
    Many parents choose to focus on the online lessons but the printables can provide extra practice that is necessary for many students, especially in math.

    I'm glad you're considering using the trial period now, instead of waiting until the fall. You're giving yourself time to make some decisions regarding scheduling and levels, especially since you've reached the point where you want to homeschool independently. You'll find Time4Learning provides the flexibility you are looking for.

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

  4. #4
    MomToBallerina is offline Member Newbie
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    Default Re: New homescoolers thinking of using T4L

    We've been using T4L for almost a month (with a summer vacation thrown into the middle). I have yet to see a reference to a science and social studies notebook. Could you please elaborate on when (ie grade) and where (an example activity) where this is required/mentioned?

    Also, what types of things might be recorded in the notebook? Would room for drawing be a plus, especially for younger children?

    Much thanks!
    Nancy

    Food for thought:

    Every home is a school
    What do you teach there?

  5. #5
    hearthstone_academy's Avatar
    hearthstone_academy is offline Administrator
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    Default Re: New homescoolers thinking of using T4L

    In third grade, the science and social studies change to text-based lessons and often mention keeping a notebook. You won't find this in the parents' information, but the student's lessons refer to it.

    If your student is still in grade two or below, he won't have encountered this yet.

    Third grade science definitely asks the student to do a lot of sketching at first, but we just used lined notebook paper for the sketches. We use a plain old spiral notebook for our science notebooks. Social studies lessons require a notebook less frequently.

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

  6. #6
    SahmIam is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: New homescoolers thinking of using T4L

    I would say it's mostly computer time, but like Kelly said, there are a lot of worksheets and activities that they do off the computer, like science experiments, making models, drawing, or what have you. And I'd like to make a point of saying that T4L is extremely fast, so the computer portion is actually a very short period of time, depending how many activities you choose for your child to do each day. ThFor our kids, they each take anywhere from 5-30 minutes, mostly on the lower end of that range. So their total T4L time is maybe 2 hours per day.
    Melissa.

  7. #7
    MomToBallerina is offline Member Newbie
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    Default Re: New homescoolers thinking of using T4L

    Thank you, Kelly, for explaining this to me.

    It seems like science in general really changes at the 3rd grade level. I can't decide if I'm okay with that or would like to keep inserting some science into our mix. For me, it is science (and not the more typical math) that feels overwhelming because it has so many topic areas and you can go so deep within each one. Plus, I tend not to care for the experiments and such (too messy -- any wonder that I liked Physics most of all).

    I'll have to get to the point where I can check out the forum for other references to see if I can find some good leads there.

    thanks,

    Nancy
    Nancy

    Food for thought:

    Every home is a school
    What do you teach there?

  8. #8
    irishizmom is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: New homescoolers thinking of using T4L

    I am just starting to homeschool this year. My son will be an 8th grader. We are cutting it pretty close to get the forms in for our state, and I want to pin down the curriculums we will use. I am using a major curriculum series for each of the "must have" classes for this our first year, so that I don't have to do a summary and to keep things close to a class type environment while we get used to schooling at home.

    I noticed there is no science information listed for 8th graders... I did find the social studies curriculum listed. Are both of these subjects available for 8th graders? I am in NE and am mostly concerned with my son having the right classes to continue and then get into college, etc. The schools in my small town just aren't up to par and hold him back in areas he excels in and not helpful in areas that aren't strong points. He is really into using computers so I want to use T4L for a few of the classes (Language, Science, Social Studies) if they are available and up to standards for 8th graders.

    Can anyone help me with this? Anyone used it for these classes for 8th graders? Thank you so much.
    Irishizmom
    Kim

  9. #9
    hearthstone_academy's Avatar
    hearthstone_academy is offline Administrator
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    Default Re: New homescoolers thinking of using T4L

    Time4Learning offers a complete math and language arts curriculum for preschool through eighth grades. Some science and social studies lessons are included as a free bonus. Supplementary science and social studies lessons are offered in grades 1 and 2. A complete science curriculum is available for grades 3-6 and a complete social studies curriculum is available for grades 3-7.

    From fourth or fifth grade, the difference in the science and social studies levels pertains to content, not "difficulty". Most students who have not used Time4Learning previously have not mastered the fifth or sixth grade science and social studies lessons. For this reason, older students who are new to the program usually begin in a lower level of science and social studies. I used the seventh grade social studies (which is an excellent overview of American history and government) for my high school freshman.

    You might consider starting your son in sixth grade science and seventh grade social studies, or even fifth grade science and sixth grade social studies. I can almost guarantee he won't find these too "easy".

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

  10. #10
    mphx2 is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    Default Re: New homescoolers thinking of using T4L

    Hi, I am new to T4L and homeschooling. I have 2 daughters, 1st grade & 5th grade. They previously attended a Catholic grammar school. I have been reading thru all the getting started guides and I have a questions...I think it might be a dumb question, but I have to ask...how do I know what lessons to start with? I mean when I go to the student launch pad, choose a subject, then what? Do we just pick whatever we want? Does it matter?
    I'm a little overwhelmed right not, trying to figure out what is the right thing...this is causing me to procrastinate!! I know I may be over-thinking everything, but that is my nature!!
    Ok, my kids are screaming at each other...
    MaryPat

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