Saturday, April 13, 2013

Curriculum Review - Time4Learning

I have used Time4Learning for my 4 year old to determine if I want to use it for kindergarten.  It is an online curriculum for preschool and grades K - 8.  It is reasonably priced for what you are receiving.   My older kids are in an online public school, but my youngest cannot enroll in their school in the fall. Her October birthday makes her ineligible to attend kindergarten in my state.   I could allow her to complete kindergarten at her current preschool, but I want to save some money and I think I can do this myself (with some help). I wanted something where the curriculum was laid out for me whether it be online or books.  

The kindergarten curriculum contains Language Arts and Math lessons.  You can go up a grade to include Science, but the default for kindergarten is only Language Arts and Math.   When my daughter starts, she will see an Language Arts and Math icons.   After she clicked on one of them, she has a path to follow to complete her lessons.    I can change her grade level temporarily for a subject while in the lesson or permanently through the parent login.  Animated characters give instructions on what to do next.  She was able to follow along easily.

When she was using Time4Learning, she wanted to do more.  She was proud of herself while working through the lessons.  She likes going to the playground after completing lessons.  She has tried to go the playground before lessons, but the system would not let her do it.   The message says you cannot go to the playground until you complete a lesson.   Your student can complete as many lessons as they want.  Since she is so young, I only let her stay on for 15 minutes at time.  That was plenty of time to go through a couple of lessons.   I have other resources like workbooks, flash cards, books and playtime to reinforce what she is learning.  Time4Learning does provide worksheets and ideas to help your child when they are not on the computer.

Will I use Time4Learning  for my youngest daughter?  I am not sure.  I also like Abcmouse which is a curriculum just for preschool and kindergarten and it is cheaper.   If I need an online homeschool option beyond kindergarten then I could see myself using it for my children.   I could see using it during the summer for my oldest kids so learning does not have to stop.   I cannot comment on other grades because I only reviewed kindergarten.   I would take time to look at the Time4Learning Parent Forums, read other reviews and pray to determine if this choice is right for you.  I do recommend this online curriculum in addition to plenty of playtime and trips to the library.

I was offered a 30 day free trial by Time4Learning so I could have the opportunity to review this program.

Book Review - Grace for the Moment: 365 Devotions for Kids

I was already a fan of Grace for a Moment.   I have the morning and evening edition in one book in my bedroom   I could not wait to read Grace for the Moment: 365 Devotions for Kids by Max Lucado.  The book did not disappoint.  You have devotionals for every day of the year.   They are written in a way that makes sense to kids.  The book stayed near our kitchen table where we spend most of our time.  After a meal or anytime, I would read with my children today’s devotional.   

The devotion on January 3rd “Worry Doesn’t Work” was especially relevant to my son.  He tends to worry a lot about things that are not in his control.   Lucado compared worries to a big thunderstorm which my kids are afraid of and cannot change.    He says God can fix anything, but worrying does not change a thing.  The kids are reminded that God “put his angels in charge of you”.  The Growing In Grace section suggested that you can imagine putting your worries in a box, say a prayer and hand it over to God.  What a great visual and lesson on how to handle worry!

My son actually tried the suggestion from the Growing in Grace section from the January 4th devotional.  It is titled “God Lives Here”.  Kids are encouraged to make room for Jesus.  He explained it as if you were decorating a room.   “Let Him live long enough in a heart, and that heart will begin to change.”  The suggestion in Growing in Grace was to decorate your room with God’s Word.   What did my son do after reading it?  He put sticky notes around his room with Bible verses.   At first I was upset because all I could see was that most of my sticky notes were gone, but then I realized he made a connection with what he read.  That was more important.

I originally received this book from NetGalley in an eBook format.  I liked it so much, I bought the hardcover book.

This book receives 5 stars.

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