Question about starting level and anyone used 'ClicknKids'?
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  1. #1
    jmac17 is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    Default Question about starting level and anyone used 'ClicknKids'?

    Hi! I've been reading lots of posts, so I think I have actually found answers to most of my questions. Thanks to everyone for that!

    What I'm still wondering about is where to start my DD. She is 4 years old, but already reading at what I'm guessing is about a late 2nd or early 3rd grade level. (I am a teacher with 10 years experience in tutoring reading, so that's an educated guess.) I want to expand on her keen interest and desire to read, without pressuring her. She is very motivated, and very 'into' the computer. I want to offer her useful things to do on the computer, rather than just games.

    She picked up much of her reading just from various games and activities, such as Starfall, Reader Rabbit, etc., as well as from reading together. I don't want her to miss out on anything that she hasn't picked up on her own already, but I also don't want her to be bored and turned off of Time4Learning. We have used part of the "ClicknKids" program, but she no longer wants to use that. It is VERY repetitive - the same format for every lesson, just basic drill and practice. It wasn't 'fun'. She got through about 40 of 100 lessons. I found it difficult because there were things in each lesson that she didn't know (ie. most of the sight words), so I didn't want to skip lessons, but she already had the basic letter sounds, so that part of each lesson was boring. Just as she started to get to the point where she needed to learn the information (long vowel combinations, etc.), she started refusing to do it.

    So, I guess my questions are:

    1. If anyone has used ClicknKids, how does Time4Learning compare? From what I've read, I'm guessing it's more flexible, and it sounds more fun, but I'd love to hear from anyone with experience. The other drawback we found with ClicknKids was that there was no 'pause' function - you had to complete the lesson all in one sitting, or start over. I guess we could have just left it running in an open window if we wanted a break, but we had a couple of computer crashes and had to go back to the beginning.

    2. Where should I start DD? Should we begin with Kindergarten level and then jump ahead quickly, or will that be too easy and boring?

    3. Are there math/science/social activities at the Kindergarten level? I want to help expand her knowledge, and get her interested in other areas, as she is already ahead in reading. I haven't decided yet whether to enroll her in public school or homeschool, but if we do go the public school route, I don't want her bored and turned off there either. Oh the decisions!

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    hearthstone_academy's Avatar
    hearthstone_academy is offline Administrator
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    Default Re: Question about starting level and anyone used 'ClicknKids'?

    Hi, and welcome.

    We tried ClicknKids and, like you, were only enthusiastic about it for a few days. There is little variety in the activities.

    Time4Learning includes activities in a variety of formats. Because of this, I can't answer your question about a pause function. Some activities can be paused and some can't.

    Kindergarten language arts is very basic. It introduces the parts of a book, vocabulary such as "author" and "illustrator", and the phonemes for single letters. First and second grade language expands on the phonics instruction, reviewing the sounds of single letters and introducing sounds for blends and digraphs. Many sight words are also introduced in first and second grade.

    The first and second grade language arts extensions are marvelous. They are based around science and social studies topics, such as "Bees", "Weather", or "Pioneers". The first lesson in each unit teaches facts about the topic and the language activities are related to the topic. For example, the student's reader (online book) will be a story about the topic and the vocabulary lesson will introduce words related to the topic.

    Because the first and second grade science and social studies lessons are supplemental (social studies is only thirteen lessons across two grades), the language extensions are especially valuable for parents who don't want to have to use another science or social studies program. I've found that casual reading about science and social studies topics is all that is needed to complete the program at that level.

    My children are typically reading first grade readers at age three (except one child). I still have them do the first and second grade language lessons, because I want them to consciously understand and apply the phonics principles that are taught, instead of just intuitively knowing how to read words. This might not be important at the lower reading levels, but a thorough knowledge of phonics has served them well as they get older and the words become more difficult.

    First and second grade language includes lessons on reading fluently that are unlike anything I've ever seen. My daughter loves to improve her score. These lessons show how to make your voice go UP with a question mark and how to change your voice subtly when reading dialog.

    Kindergarten may be too easy for your daughter, but it might be a good idea to start her there anyway, until she gets used to the program. You can always move her up a level. Grade levels can be changed as often as necessary, and there is no additional charge. The kindergarten level does move quite slowly, and instructions are repeated a number of times.

    Your daughter sounds a lot like my youngest daughter: an advanced reader with the typical amount of exposure to science and social studies topics. Additionally, my own daughter finds math quite challenging. I had my daughter begin at the first grade level with everything except math. First grade math is quite a bit more challenging than kindergarten math and students need to be comfortable with numbers through 100 before they attempt most of the first grade math exercises. When she finished first grade science, we went right on to second grade science, as the lessons are still animated and fun at that point, although the student does need to be able to read to do them.

    You might also explore the preschool program. Students do not need to be able to read to do the exercises, but practice is provided in patterning, counting syllables, and extensive vocabulary related to each theme. Many of the themes are on science topics, such as "space", "nature", etc.

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

  3. #3
    jmac17 is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    Default Re: Question about starting level and anyone used 'ClicknKids'?

    Thanks for the input. I registered DD last night. I'm mostly using this as an alternative to just playing games on the computer, so for now I'll just let her play around and see which activities/levels interest her. Once we get a feel for it I may get more organized about doing specific things to challenge her a bit. I'm not really concerned with 'getting through' a curriculum right now. She isn't even technically eligible for Kindergarten until next September. By then I'll have to decide whether to continue with 'homeschooling'. We are considering a Spanish bilingual school, so we'll see how it goes.

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