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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Time4Learning Update!

It's been a week since my kids have started using their FREE TRIAL of time4learning. Update Time!!!

Our first hour in and the entire site went down... Not kidding. I sent them an email and got back an answer that "developers experienced technical issues on their end, which caused slowness when trying to log into the lessons." I was asked to, "wait...a few minutes" and try to log in later... If I were paying I would've been very upset. 

So far, the site has been hit or miss. My older kids have been left stuck mid-test 4 separate times. Once they reload, they have to start the test all over again with different examples which is a bonus for me (more practice) but makes them less motivated to get the right answer because they're positive they'll put in the work and have the site blank out on them.

We've also had hiccups with browser issues (which somehow magically resolve themselves once you refresh a few times) and text issues--we've noticed that with some lessons, screen size affects the ability to see the words.

If you are patient and know how to manipulate your browsers, you should be fine. It's very annoying though to have to sit in front of the computer troubleshooting for 30 minutes (which I've done every single time any one of them has started a lesson.)

Overall though, there have been lots of laughs shared--mainly with the language arts lessons. My kids think that's the strongest area of the site and I have to agree. The animations are funny and interactive.

The math is dry--very dry. Some lessons are better than others but it's math after all, and making it fun is difficult. My 5th grader said, during a lesson of place value, that the voice coming out of the speaker was monotone (a word he actually learned in a language arts lesson the day before) and he felt sleepy listening to it. That's not a good thing for learning.

Science and social studies are almost an afterthought and all my kids are struggling to find inspiration with the lessons presented. It's filled with bad clip art and book suggestions--which wouldn't be bad if they presented us with some sort of lesson planner to help organize before hand. I'm guessing this area will be updated at some point in time?

So now we press on with week two! Maybe the site problems will resolve themselves? Maybe the math will get better and my kids will stay awake during a lesson? Maybe the science and social studies will get a revamp and become interesting--I see a missed opportunity there... We've committed to 30 days and that's what we'll do!

Stay tuned!!!
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