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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Review: Time 4 Learning Pre-K


A little over a year ago, the kiddos got to try out Time 4 Learning, a web-based subscription program that covers reading, language arts, math and science. The big blue mouse hasn’t changed very much since my original review, but they have added a brand new Preschool section.

As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew, I received one free month of access to Time 4 Learning’s preschool program. I received no compensation.

This review will concentrate on the Preschool program. For further details of the site in general, including the basic interface and assigning levels to your children, please read my original Time 4 Learning review.

The Preschool program is divided into Pre-K 1 and Pre-K2. While you do assign a particular level to your child, they always have access to the level above and below (if there is one) to where they are at. Time 4 Learning recognizes that we all have strengths and weaknesses in different areas, and this flexibility is a nice touch.

Your child will be greeted by the blue mouse on entering the program and then a menu:

time4learningscreenshot2 These are just some of the Pre-K 2 topics. Each topic has about 4-5 activities:

time4learningscreenshot1 Activities do not require reading, and if your child can’t read the activity names, that’s ok. Once an activity is selected, a window pops up with a “yes” (green ball that nods) and “no” (red ball that shakes from side-to-side), with the audio announcing the name of the activity and asking if this is what he wants to do. With time, he’ll learn to recognize what each of the icons means.

After spending a minimum amount of time doing “Lessons,” your child can check out the “Playground” (see the see-saw icon on the left), where he can play simple games. A timer counts down his time there, and once it runs out, he is done with the playground for the day. (Minimum lesson time and maximum playground time can be set by the parent anywhere from 0 minutes to 59 minutes).

The simple, animated lessons include matching, listening to a storybook, watching a short video, painting, identifying patterns, and all the other activities you’d expect to find in a preschool.

The interface is simple to use. There will be “reports” you can access on your child’s progress, but they are not yet available in the Preschool program. One drawback here is that, while you will have a separate “Parent” account, its functionality is very limited. You can use it to change your child’s level, pay for your subscription or temporary suspend your account (if your going on vacation), but you can’t use it to check his progress. You’ll have to go into his account to access progress reports…that can be a bit of a headache if you have several children using the program.

One other niggling thing…the volume is very inconsistent. I found that I had to adjust it often while Peter was using the program. The blue mouse at the intro is very loud, the activities are much quieter, and the volume varied from activity to activity. Quite distracting when other children are trying to do their work or a baby is trying to sleep.

Overall, possibly worthwhile if you need some independent activities for a busy preschooler, or for a short-term solution (new baby in the house, illness, or some other transition).

Time 4 Learning is available as a subscription for $19.95/month for the first child, and $14.95/month for each additional child. Prices are subject to change, so be sure to check the Time 4 Learning website for current pricing.

For other reviews of this program, please visit:


1 comment:

  1. I Totally Agree!!!
    When we 1st ordered We had just had our son..Now he was not the reason we switched to this program,But I can tell you that looking back,It was defiantly a sanity saver LOL :P
    I know a lot of people may choose to use this program as a suppliment or short term use;Which is awlays a great idea, but you can also use it as a core..Thats what we ended up doing..For us the characters were so interactive that for my daughter she just picked the work up fast and I didnt feel a need to add any additional book work ;)
    Of course every childs different.....
    Anyways,I just wanted to share my exsperiance with Time4Learning too :)


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