T4L pros/cons?
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Thread: T4L pros/cons?

  1. #1
    Ps127v1's Avatar
    Ps127v1 is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    Question T4L pros/cons?

    I posted this on my state forum, but I saw this one and realized that I might get more responses here. Thank you in advance for your help!

    I joined this site a month or so ago, never having heard of T4L and not realizing it was a curriculum. At the time I thought this was just a random site for any Maryland Homeschoolers.
    We are currently in our second year of using ACE through LCA. My son is six years old and in second grade. While I liked the ACE program okay for first grade, it is not living up to my expectations this year. I find the information provided in the PACES to be lacking, especially in Science and Social Studies. My son is boarderline ADHD, the workbooks and repetitive writing make him board and frustrated.
    I am looking for a different curriculum to start next year for third grade. I also have twins that will be three by the start of next school year, and I am thinking of using the T4L program with them. I have a few questions that I am hoping someone here will be able to answer.

    1. What do you feel are the pros and cons of the T4L program?

    2. How much time does it take to complete a lesson? (I ask because I will have three children using one computer. Although we will have many supplemental activities for the others to work on while one is using the computer, I want to assure that the days are not too long. This year, we are in the school from from 8:30am to 2:30pm or later most days. I find that to be just too much. It is overwhelming.)

    3. I'm wondering if the twins could both do their lessons at the same time? (This would be for preschool) I will not need to keep detailed records for them this coming year. Would it be possible for them to use one student profile to view the video lessons, taking turns with the activities? (I'm sure this wouldn't be acceptable for older grades, but I didn't know if we could do it this way for preschool.)

    4. Is it possible to select and pay for only certain subjects, or is it the same $20/month even if you don't use each subject? (For example, if we used a different curriculum for Science, but wanted to use T4L for everything else.)

    Thank You in advance for all of your help
    Barbie Lewis
    "Education is not the filling of a bucket
    but rather a lighting of the flame.” ~ Author Unknown

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    Momma Crystal is offline Senior Member
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    I think I can answer at least a few of your questions! Welcome by the way! I have a five year old working on level 1 (1st grade I guess) and a 3 year old in the preschool or kindergarten.

    I really haven't found any true cons of the program. Sometimes in some subjects the directions can get a bit repetitive. I do think some children need that but mine don't. Kindergarten math is a good example of this. But it really isn't a big deal. Just something I'd throw out as a con if I was looking for one. Another I guess would be the science and social studies in the lower levels. While they are great, my kids crave more in these areas so we supplement. There are PLENTY of pros! The biggest being you can make the program fit you and your family exactly as you'd like. You can have your child working at various levels. They can be at level 2 math, level 1 language arts, level 3 science. It is awesome! The next would be that you can work as much as you'd like. Do as many or as few lessons in a day as you please, work 4 days/3 days/6 days a week, whatever you'd like. Another pro would be how engaging and attention grabbing the lessons are. They really do teach and the children really do learn!

    2. We work 4 days a week. My 1st grader is done in an hour or so or less a day (not including what we add) maybe a tad more once in a while. My preschooler works for 15-30 minutes or so. You should NOT have to work from 8:30 to 2:30. That is absurd! Even if you supplement school shouldn't take you more than 2-3 hours a day! We often get school done by 10:30 or 11, spend an hour outside, each lunch, then head out of the house for some activity or fun or whatever.

    If you stick with time4learning for all 3 children I suggest you pick up some net books. They are cheap, small, portable, and work great for this program. Then all the kids could work at once. (They might need headphones too)

    3. I would think you'd like the twins to work separately. Each will get more out of it if they do their own thing and you'll have an easier time monitoring how things are going for each of them. You do get a discount for multiple children.

    4. I do not believe there is a way to pay for only certain subjects. I know you can add stuff (like writing and art at certain levels) but you cannot drop the core stuff. You don't have to use it, you just don't pay any less if you don't.

    Why wait until next year? If you aren't happy with ACE (I wouldn't be), kick it to the curb and move on!

    Hope this helps!
    Crystal

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    Ps127v1's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Thank you, Crystal!

    I will have to look into the net-books. Do you know of anywhere that offers a discount to home-school families?

    I understand what you are saying about not continuing with ACE if it is not working for us. The issue is that we have already paid for all of the materials, as well as his LCA tuition. We just can't afford to take that kind of a loss right now! What I've been doing is just trying to make the PACEs more interesting by teaching them in a different way than is laid out and also by supplementing.

    Thank You again!
    "Education is not the filling of a bucket
    but rather a lighting of the flame.” ~ Author Unknown

  4. #4
    MamaToHerRoo's Avatar
    MamaToHerRoo is offline Senior Member
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    Hello ladies,
    I'm the moderator for the Maryland state group and just happened upon your questions here. Let me first say welcome to T4L! Let me see if I can answer some of your questions and concerns.
    You cannot pick and choose what you pay for. The cost of the program is inclusive. You do only have to use the subjects that are useful to you and your children. You do get a price break for 2nd child on up. I would say that each child should have their own seperate sign in. I realize that you do not have to keep detailed records for your younger children, however, it will be harder for you to keep up with who did what, when. I totally understand about the ADHD son. My daughter is significantly ADHD, and does not tolerate repetition or workbooks or hand written work. This is the reason that T4L works so well for her. There is only as much writing as you want there to be. Even the repetition is in a slightly different form and so doesn't necessarily hit the radar as repetition. My daughter totally enjoys the way work is presented (we are in 5th, soon to go to 6th grade, we have been using T4L since 1st grade). As for how long lessons take...that is totally dependent on the child and the subject and the grade. For the lower elementary grades I would say a lesson is very short, 5-10 minutes. In 5th grade a lesson might take an hour if all of the writing is done. We do school all day long, but we do not start very early so sometimes it seems like our days are really long, when they are about 5 hours, just not starting until noon sometimes. (My daughter has a sleep disorder on top of her ADHD, and sometimes she simply cannot sleep at night, so we have to allow sleep in the mornings sometimes) We also take frequent breaks during the day for pet care/pet chores since we have quite a zoo here!
    The pros of T4L are numerous. Seriously, I cannot say enough good about T4L. It keeps records, plans my lessons, and keeps my gifted/ADHD child engaged. The biggest con I can see is that I will have to find another curriculum when my child hits high school! If you have other specific questions feel free to ask, and come on over to the Maryland State Homeschool group, we are going to try to get it fired up in the new year!

    Linda
    Homeschooling 1 child for 4 years, with Time4Learning!

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    pandahoneybee is offline Senior Member
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    Hello there~ I just happened to see your post and thought that I would respond to you questions, I think having a bunch of different takes on it might help to make a informed decision.

    1. What do you feel are the pros and cons of the T4L program?

    Pros~ for me it that it is a great program for my very visual learners and it does a great job helping me get the message across to my ADHD son. (he is now 14) Plus I like the fact that the boys can work independently on the computer, while i am working with the other one.
    CONS~ well that is a tough one for me, the only thing that I wish is that there were links to online games and sites for us to use when we just can't seem to get an idea across to the boys. Ya know like multiplication, ( my 3rd grader, messes up on this one every year!) here is one site that we love to use for extra help.
    http://www.learninggamesforkids.com/math_multiplication_games.html
    2. How much time does it take to complete a lesson? (I ask because I will have three children using one computer. Although we will have many supplemental activities for the others to work on while one is using the computer, I want to assure that the days are not too long. This year, we are in the school from from 8:30am to 2:30pm or later most days. I find that to be just too much. It is overwhelming.)
    Granted I have older children but my 3rd grader spends about an hour on here and my 8th grader spends about 1-1/2 (he also does the art program for older kids and time4writing programs as well) But I would say not more than an hour for your oldest and maybe 20 mins for the twins.
    3. I'm wondering if the twins could both do their lessons at the same time? (This would be for preschool) I will not need to keep detailed records for them this coming year. Would it be possible for them to use one student profile to view the video lessons, taking turns with the activities? (I'm sure this wouldn't be acceptable for older grades, but I didn't know if we could do it this way for preschool.)
    I agree that you should still split the twins up and let them do their lessons on their own, you will find it is easier to teach them later if you know their strengths and weakness now

    4. Is it possible to select and pay for only certain subjects, or is it the same $20/month even if you don't use each subject? (For example, if we used a different curriculum for Science, but wanted to use T4L for everything else.)
    You pay one price for all the subjects, use what you want to. BUT the bonus here is that you get the grade below and the grade above the grade you are registered in. Like your 2nd grader you get 1st/2nd/3rd grades at one time, so that if they are behind in adding they can go back to the 1st grade lessons for a refresher or if they already know about phonics x,y,z they can go a grade up and see if there is something to learn there instead.

    Anyways i hope that this helps at least a little and if you any more questions feel free to ask away!
    pandahoneybee
    My personal blog- Pandahoneybee's Homeschooling Adventure

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    Hi Barbie,

    I wanted to chime in on this post as well. I have a third grader. We have been using Time4Learning since pre-k. He loves the video games and all the animated lessons. I love the way everything is spelled out for us, no lesson planning to worry about. I also love the reports that you can print and how easy it is to check on their progress. I like the way you can move back a grade if something is just too hard to grasp or you can move up a grade if it is way to easy. At one point my son was doing first, second, and third grade in different subjects. Although he is in third grade, we still use the first grade language arts extensions because he has a lot of trouble with reading. This helps him work on his reading skills.

    The biggest con that I have is that the program stops at 8th grade. I wish it went all the way through high school.

    As far as time, we spend about 2 hours per day working on T4L. It would be a lot less but my son has an extremely short attention span. I have to spend a lot of time refocusing him on the lesson and not on the passing mail truck or the ups man outside. Once he gets focused again, he will work well for about ten minutes and then he is off again. I think if he were on task the whole time we would probably spend an hour a day. For little ones, I would think no more than 30 minutes to start. You could always have coloring or craft projects set up for the ones who were not using t4l while you were working with the one who was on the computer. By third grade, your child should be able to do a lot of the work independently unless of course he is like my son.

    We supplement with lots and lots of outings to nature centers, environmental centers, and historic sites. We also use Handwriting Without Tears to get some writing practice since so much of the work is on the computer.

    Since you have already paid for your program for this year, why not give t4l a try over the summer. Or even start now and use it to supplement your other program. Let your son try the free tutorials and see how he likes it. For us, this is the best program out there. I'd love to know how you like it after giving it a try for a while.
    Kathi Homeschooling Mama to Twelve year old Dakota

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