"Mom can I play on Time 4 Learning again?"
For most of August, Lauren and I had the opportunity to try Time 4 Learning's Preschool curriculum. Time 4 Learning is an online program with learning activities for ages Pre-K through 8th grade. We only sampled the preschool materials. A subscription to Time 4 Learning costs $19.95 per month for the first child, and then $14.95 for each additional child (at the time I post this review).
At first I was a bit skeptical about this program. Lauren works fairly well with computer activities, and I was providing only minimal supervision while she explored the site. Before long, she had entered the Playground area and linked to an educational game on PBSkids.org. I was a bit confused as to why I should pay for a subscription that merely linked to one of the free websites that I already use.
I later realized that the Playground area serves as a reward and that it can only be accessed after the child completes a certain amount of the Time 4 Learning activities. Actually, after Lauren got the hang of some of the Time 4 Learning games, she rarely went back to the playground area.
Some of the concepts covered include counting, syllables, patterning, colors, sorting, rhymes, and much more. Lauren's favorite area included a song about vibration and making music. It showed how sounds are made when something vibrates; for instance, when a rubber band is placed over an empty shoebox and then plucked.
Overall, I think this curriculum did a good job of exploring preschool and pre-kindergarten topics. By the end of our month trial, I found that I preferred to help Lauren get on the Time 4 Learning website instead of some of her favorite free websites for preschoolers. While we were unpacking boxes, she spent more time than usual online. With all of this extra time, she figured out how to watch videos on many of her favorite free websites. I soon found that she had to be supervised on the computer so that she was actually doing the educational games on these other websites and not just watching free videos. When I helped her access Time 4 Learning, I was certain that she'd be exploring appropriate educational activities and not merely watching a TV show.
We only reviewed the preschool portion of Time 4 Learning. I've also heard wonderful things about the levels geared for other students. You can see other reviews on The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew blog.