Time 4 Learning
That’s what I say every morning after breakfast. The kiddos come to me with their iPads and flip to their Puffin Academy app. (This app is NEEDED for Time4Learning to work on the iPad properly about 99% of the time. Due to the 1%, some lessons may need to be completed on a non mobile device.) I sit them down and show them the lessons that need to be completed that day and they go off to their own corners, sometimes reluctantly, and they come to me with any questions or issues. It’s that simple. It hasn’t always been that simple though.
Let’s start at the beginning.
When Ana was 4 we enrolled her in a local church’s 3 day a week preschool program. We hadn’t 100% decided that we would homeschool at that point and my sister worked at the church as their secretary. so knowing Ana was in the same building as my sister helped the anxiety. Ana loved that program. She made friends and learned a lot. Her teacher was great as well! At our end of the year Parent – Teacher Conference, she suggested that we do NOT enroll Ana in Kindergarten just yet. We were on the same page really, since Ana has a summer birthday, she wasn’t ready for that next step as a brand new 5 year old. I wasn’t quite ready for that anyway.
Over the next year…
We moved to Atlanta, at this point, I was 32 weeks pregnant and we weren’t interested in adding a preschool program to the schedule, since we knew we would only be there temporarily. Instead, we filled our time (when I had the energy with a 4 and 2 year old) by going to the Georgia Aquarium and other various museums. After a few months in Atlanta, we moved to an area just outside Jacksonville, FL.
Hello, Sunny Florida!
When it was finally time to think about school for Ana, I had wanted to homeschool but was so overwhelmed when I started to look at all the options. After a few months of research, I found something that I found interesting. Clay County was starting Clay Virtual, their version of public school at home. I remember thinking that this was exactly what I wanted! There was a big meeting between all the parents and teachers at one of the high schools and we signed up right there!
We eventually signed Chase up for Kindergarten, as well. The children were supplied computers and headphones and various other school supplies. The classes were held by webcam with their teachers and classmates. Also, they had the entire class come together every few months for testing and fun activities. Even to this day, 7 years later, Ana still remembers these events fondly.
It’s mid school year and we’re in Pennsylvania now. We sign the kids up with PA Virtual that uses the K12 curriculum. Again, we receive big boxes of fun stuff! Computers, headsets, LOTS of books and various school supplies. PA Virtual ran a lot like Clay Virtual with classes at specific times, BUT the biggest difference was that each child NEEDED to log at least 6 hours of schoolwork AT the computer! This seems a little crazy to me but I roll with it. After a month, I have a conference with Chase’s teacher and we decide it best for him to stop and restart Kindergarten the following fall as a brand new 6 year old.
Ana is in second grade at this point and some things just weren’t working for us. She wasn’t reading much of anything and it frustrated both of us. Schoolwork was taking FOREVER, but I kept saying to just push through. We both survived the rest of the school, just barely.
Next school year…
Now it’s a second try for Chase with Kindergarten and third grade for Ana. Chase was NOT happy to have to log 6 hours a day at the computer, neither was I. Ana was enrolled in her regular classes and then they added on two extra classes to get her reading up to speed. (We now know that Ana has Dyslexia and those extra classes were not helping.) Ali was a rambunctious 2 year old and what this means in short, three unhappy children because there just wasn’t enough hours in the day. By the one month point, we would start at 9 and still be doing school by 4. They were long frustrating days and we were all starting to resent school completely. I remember calling Zachary in tears saying this was just too much and I think we should withdraw the kids from PA Virtual and homeschool ourselves!
Finally homeschooling on our own terms!
The next morning, I drove the kids to the local School District and withdrew them. It wasn’t a hard process, I just had to submit a letter of intent to homeschool. The next month was GLORIOUS! We de-schooled! We all needed time to not think about the frustrations of school. It was amazing. I eventually found a free site, Easy Peasy. We used this for the next year. The children went at their own pace and it was wonderful!
I wanted to find something that had a little more physicality to it and tried Catholic Heritage Curriculum and Ali started pre-k. This method worked, but all the books started to become too much and with us on the cusp of becoming an RV family, we needed to downsize.
We eventually moved on to what I call “piecing it together.” We used some workbooks, along with internet resources.
Time for more structure.
Once we became a full-time family and started hitting the road, school took a back seat and I decided that we needed more structure. I found a program called Time 4 Learning. They have Math, Language Arts, Science and Social Studies from Preschool to High School! It’s only $19.95 a month for the first student and $14.95 for additional students, hence for my three kiddos we only pay $50 a month! High school is a flat $30 a month. Each child can go at their own pace! That’s what I love most! Each child has their own log in info as well! Each subject is sectioned by boxes, and are completed with a checkmark on the corner as you can see in the screenshot below. As you can see as well, the child can jump ahead a grade level if the current level is too easy.
Details to mention
- Time 4 Learning can be used as an after school program, skill building or during the summer so the children’s brains don’t turn to mush.
- Has a 14 day money back guarantee. Try it, don’t love it, get your money back!
- Start, stop or pause membership at any time.
- Print off a membership letter stating the child is enrolled with T4L, this could come in handy.
- Make a lesson plan, ie. what lessons to complete which day to be done by a day you determine.
If you give Time4Learning a try, or have any questions. Let us know in the comments!
The beauty of traveling!
Along with the program above, as we travel around the country to different areas, we also cover the local history and flora and fauna.