What kind of quality is this?
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Thread: What kind of quality is this?

  1. #1
    MiRo is offline Junior Member Newbie
    Join Date
    Jul 2015

    Default What kind of quality is this?

    So I tried the demo lesson. Obviously it's a bit annoying to not be able to use an app straight away but rather having to access a website through the Puffin App. The demo appeared laughable and cheesy. There is an image of a laptop and the lesson is played on the screen of this laptop. Why? There is no option to full screen the lesson? I understand the flash limitations, but c'mon. In the 21st Century, is there not a better work around, like a dedicated app?

    The video quality is sub-standard, the voice-overs dry and dull with no excitement, and finally, for Kindergarten, there is only phonics and math? 5 year olds get no science or social studies? I do plenty of science projects at home and they love it. They also love social studies, for instance, studying the social aspects of homelessness and helping others in need when we volunteer at our local soup kitchen. Yes, more sociology than history, but my boys love helping others. They love doing science experiements and projects and I'm surprised that there is nothing for them here.

    Time4Learning comes highly recommended, but in the first five minutes it seems to be like a bad production thrown together haphazardly in the mid-1980's. Since I've heard great reviews, I'm figuring the problem is with. I'm not using it the right way, there is a dedicated app I don't know about, there is a way to raise video quality on the lessons, make it full screen, add other subjects, etc. I'd appreciate it if someone could give me some pointers!

  2. #2
    hearthstone_academy's Avatar
    hearthstone_academy is offline Administrator
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    Nov 2006
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    Hi. The demos give you an idea of what the lessons are like, but they are only a "taste". The lessons can be made full screen. Using Puffin Academy, a little "full screen" option pops up when you access them. On a pc or laptop, you can hit F11 or use the corner arrow to make them full screen.

    Most children find the curriculum anything but dry and dull, but no curriculum will be a good fit for every family. You are correct when you state that Time4Learning consistently receives glowing reviews.

    The developer of these lessons only provides the curriculum to schools. Time4Learning was thrilled to obtain a license allowing them to provide it to individuals. As such, a few work-arounds are necessary to allow a program designed for classroom use to be used by families. Of course, since Time4Learning leases instead of owns the curriculum, their ability to make significant changes is limited. Since the developer does not have an app, families were excited when the Puffin Academy app became available, allowing students to do their lessons on their phones or tablet devices.

    Time4Learning offers a complete math and language arts curriculum, with science and social studies available at most levels as a free bonus. My own kindergarten students learned science and social studies in just the way you describe . . . through hands-on exploration (and library books). A kindergarten social studies curriculum will include such things as community helpers (what does the mail carrier do? doctor? store clerk?), a child's responsibilities as a citizen (keep your classroom clean, pick up your own litter, and so forth), and very basic identifying info, such as "This is a picture of George Washington, who was our first President. A President is our leader." and "This is an American flag, which represents our country, sort of like those golden arches represent McDonald's." It sounds like you are doing a great job of providing social studies opportunities beyond what most K curriculums will offer.

    Kindergarten students can also access the first and second grade science and social studies lessons. I had my own kids do the first and second grade science and social studies lessons multiple times. A year is a long time to a child of that age, and mine had only a vague recollection of having done them before. Kindergarten students can also access the preschool curriculum. Many of the preschool readers are on science and social studies topics: weather, farms, food, fruit, feelings, the human body, space, gardens, insects, color mixing, seasons, healthy habits, the ocean, manners, fitness, nature, and neighborhoods, to name a few. Incorporating some of those readers or video lessons into your kindergarten program (or having a bright kindergartener do both kindergarten and preschool together) is a possibility.

    Time4Learning provides the curriculum, and you use it your way! As the teacher of record, you are free to mix, match, extend, or ignore whatever you choose.

    The video quality you are concerned with could be because you are viewing the demos instead of the actual lesson. This is not a typical complaint.

    If you do sign up and decide the program is not a good fit for your child, cancel within the first two weeks and you will receive a full refund. Do allow yourself time to log in to your parent account, view the parent instructional videos, and set up you "plan" before starting your student. The families who do this are the most successful in using Time4Learning.

    Good luck to you, and please let us know if you have further questions or comments as you go along.
    remmingtonsmama likes this.

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

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