Friday, December 29, 2006

Music Learning at Home

Homeschoolers Learn Music at Home

Look at the new page appearing this week on Todays Learners, an affiliated site to this one. The idea is start looking for a "Time4Music" type product. At this stage, we are measuring interest and offering two interesting products, a miracle piano and voice training product, both very interesting.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Time4Learning - An Online Learning Resource

If you are using Time4Learning as a supplement for your child who is enrolled in a public or private school, then choosing materials to supplement their schoolwork is as simple as going to the Scope and Sequence lesson plans page, picking the correct grade and subject matter (either math, language arts, science, or social studies), and then finding the matching lesson that your child needs extra practice in.

Each lesson includes corresponding activity numbers that can be inserted in the Activity Finder within the child’s welcome page. This will take the child directly to the lesson where he or she needs reinforcement.

If you are using Time4Learning as a supplement to a homeschool curriculum, you have many choices as to how you could best use Time4Learning to aid your child’s education. One choice would be to use Time4Learning as the primary curriculum for one or more subjects, and then use the other subjects as supplements to your other preferred curriculum. Or, if you are using a conventional homeschool curriculum for your core subjects, you could use the Activity Finder to pick and choose those lessons you want to give your child further practice in.

Time4Learning also understands that children can have very different mixes of skills which can be considered "above" or below" grade level. Often both gifted and special education students have areas of strengths and weakness. Maybe your child is enrolled in fourth grade at their public school, is excelling in their math, but is only reading at a second grade level. You might want to supplement their math at grade level, but supplement reading at a lower level. The availability of this multi-level learning is one of the key benefits of the Time4Learning system.

by kerry jones, homeschooling mother

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

HomeSchool Curriculum Reviews

There have been a few homeschool curriculum reviews of Time4Learning recently:

Anita - a homeschooling mom in Mississippi with four children who starts with:
I had read thousands of stories of beginner homeschool families on the internet and no matter how different each was - what they had in common was the total overpurchase of teaching materials that first year....her homeschool review

Heidi - a California homeschooling mom who says:
Ok...this is just TOO weird. My daughter, TOTALLY unsolicited, just said, "I like problems with orders of operations...In fact...I LIKE math now. If that isn't worth $19.95 a month, I don't know what is. VERY cool.

And here is another ...Venomous Kate says Yes-Freaking-Hah! about her best homeschooling day yet!.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Maryland Homeschool High School Story

I ran into an old friend today who homeschooled his second child during high school. Here's the story.

R (son) went to a public high school in Maryland. He had asked his parents a few times about private school and was clearly not doing well at the start of 10th. Near the end of the first semester, on a Friday, there was some incidents which confirmed the parents' suspicions that he was involved with drugs, perhaps dealing.

By Sunday night, the parents had made a decision to not send him back to school. They decided to start homeschooling him on Monday and would try to find a decent alternative school. They told M on Sunday night and he did not complain.

Monday morning, they took him to the office (he is an optician, she is the office manager) and father started to establish a program. They took him to the office daily and his father put together his educational program.

For math, he basically got the school text book and teacher guide (getting the teacher guide was a major pain) and starting work R through it.

In language arts, after having some discussions with R, his Dad decided that the major goal was to get his son to read. It seemed that he had never really read a book. He picked King Rat by James Clavell because it was the type of book that would appeal to his son, was meaty and would provide a sense of accomplishment, and he remembered it as gripping from page one.

The first week did not go well on this score. R was surley and while he spent the requisite one hour a day on it, he seemed to have covered less than half a dozen pages by the end of the week. Week 2, R started reading and over a few weeks, devoured the book. They talked about what to read next and R asked if Clavell had written anything else. This opened the floodgates.

On science and social studies, they discussed what courses to do when and basically followed the public school text books.

There was no socializing or other homeschool activities, there was just a daily focus on academics. In MD, there are meetings with public educators mandated to get reviewed and advised. Some meetings were very helpful, some were a waste of time, in one case, the reviewer was hostile. Overall, they had minimal impact or input.

They did look for schools for a few months but did not really pursue it. Over three years, he covered a good high school curriculum and graduated. He continued his very active athletic career during this period (he was a world class kayaker).

I found this a very interesting story. It shows how parents need to be responsive to their child's needs and to be both sense what problems they are having and help with leading them out of it. In this case, pretty successfully.

This homeschool case story sponsored by Time4Learning - online homeschool curriculum for gifted children, Special Needs Learning , aspergers, etc with math, language art, science and social studies.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

All roads lead to Rome

Names? Please help name this article....
a - Homeschoolisms End up being not as different as we all initially think.
b - All Roads Lead to Rome
c - Religious, Radical, or just problem-solving - All Homeschooling Parents share common Problems
d - HomeSchool Parents

Time4Learning has been surprised to find that its homeschoolers have widely divergent reasons for homeschooling and philosophies. Despite their obvious differences, they seem to commonly find Time4Learning an important part of their homeschool use.

I was intrigued by this and have been spending time talking to our homeschool members trying to better understand their motivations. I've come to believe that while parents start with widely divergent views, their experience working with their children generally leads many of them to the same place.

First the differences - Three Reasons that People Homeschool

Problem-Solvers - These families had their children in school with every intention of keeping them there. But, it did not work out well. This can happen for many reasons (which is not the topic of this article). But for one reason or another, the parents have found that the best solution for their children was to homeschool.

Religious Reasons. This category is parents who want to manage their children's education during their formative years.

Philosophical or Educational Innovators. This are the traditional homeschoolers, often inspired by Gatto or Holt, who rebel against the institution of todays schools.

Why Each Group Adopts Time4Learning...

stay tuned....

Florida Virtual School

Does anyone know much about the Florida Virtual School?

Here's what I know....
1. They are set up as a school district in Florida and get public moneys proportional to however many students that they sign up. It seems that the more they sign-up, the more money that they get.
2. They are incredible in terms of advertising. They are at every homeschool show and do more google Pay per click advertising than anybody. Their student acquisition cost, perhaps part of the public record, must be really high. I would guess that they spend more than a $100 per student that they sign up. It might be as high as thousand.
3. The education is free to students in florida but there is tuition for out of state. I don't know how much yet. I'd like to know.
4. The courses are OK but not great.
5. They have some licensees who put in their own teachers and offer themselves. I think Broward county is a licensee although that might be ending.
6. They started with high school, I don't know if they are doing middle school

BTW - this article is sponsored by new subjects from our online homeschooling system. There is science and social studies and a new index to educational resources. In terms of learning to read, there is the most incredible new story about dyslexia. For solutions, parents should have a good grounding in each of the key foundation skills of being a successful reader: Phonemic Awareness, Phonics Reading Comprehension Reading Vocabulary Reading Fluency . Some new sites that are excited about; , ,, , , , , ,

Monday, July 10, 2006

Want to be a reviewer?

Time4Learning is looking for parents to review our members-only subscription service for homeschool or enrichment use.

All we ask is that:
- you tell us where you will publish your review - give us the url of your blog, online newsletter or forum, or website. Or, if you are planning a printed version, send us a copy of it
- give us your name, address, phone number, and email

We will provide you and your family with up to 4 children's logins for a month or so for you to review our site. You are free to like, love, adore, or not like our service. We hope that your review will be personal (not just an overview) and say what you found useful or not about the service.

For more information on becoming a homeschool curriculum reviewer.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Summer School

Summer school seems to be a must for many children who are told at the end of a school year that they are ill-prepared for the next grade.

Time4Learning has received ALOT of calls recently by parents who want their child to repeat the previous year's math curriculum during this summer. They want to know if it is possible and how it work and whether it is comparable to summer school.

Here is how we answer.

1. Time4Learning is a great change from school and for some children, a great antidote (and an interesting alternative to attendence at summer school). What this means is that many children have developed some bad habbits about school. They've found themselves in a rut where their learning style and the school's teaching style are not working. This is especially likely with the children that find themselves needing math remediation (or any remediation) since they have apparently been thru the school year without learning what they are supposed to. Time4Learning puts the responsibility on the student to control the pace and learn the material which can be a very maturing opportunity for them. The summer school environment in many ways would just recreate the classroom environment with all the same distractions, teaching styles, and attitude problems that created the problem in the first place.

2. What to do? - We advise parents to focus on the problem. If the student was told that his math skills were weak, then focus on math. If both math and language arts skills were weak, consider attacking the math skills with a curriculum approach (such as Time4Learning) and the language arts with another approach such as a 50 page/day reading program. We don't advise them them to try to pick the specific areas of math weakness since one, its harder to pinpoint than you think. Secondly, math weakness is often across the board and the different strands reinforce each other. Thirdly, its really really depressing to only work on the areas where you are weak. It's better for morale to spend some time in areas of strength and areas of weakness.

3. How to do it? - Start by looking up the curriculum in time4Learning's online lesson plans. Then figure out how many days you plan for the child to work in the summer. 50 is a reasonable number if you are just doing school days. Count the number of lessons and divide by the days. For instance, if there 125 lessons, you need to do 2.5 day. So, tell your child that each day needs to start with them doing 3 Time4Learning lessons. Once they are done, if there is quiz or test, they need to do that too. Then, have them print out the report for you each day. So long as they are doign the work and the tests show mastery (90% or higher), then the system requires no intervention. However, in cases where the child is not mastering the material, you will need to spend some time with them helping them get the concepts.

Comments welcome
Related article on comparing different choices for summer skills sharpener (not remediation)

Monday, May 15, 2006

Homeschool curriculum

There are many homeschool curriculum to choose from.

More importantly, parents should probably decide how best to mix and match the curriculum for their families. What are the most popular homeschool curriculum and homeschool programs?

Time4Learning has selected a few and is trying to build information on how they fit with Time4Learning. We are considering a full mapping of say - Singapore Math, Saxon math, Sonlight and other unit thematic studies, Five in a Row, and Switched on Schoolhouse.

Time4Learning is also thinking of getting more involved with some homeschooling groups

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Gifted Education

Time4Learning has decided to help parents of gifted kids get the advanced math that they deserve.

"With Time4Learning, you can help us place your child at the appropriate math level. It's not unusual for a child gifted in math to be weaker in language arts. With Time4Learning, your child can pick and choose those lessons that are most meaningful to him or her (and to you!).

If a parent wants to change a grade level up or down permanently, we can shift the student easily.

Once placed, you have access to the materials in adjacent years so in areas where the student is ready for even more challenge or would like to review, you can click forward and back. This is especially important for gifted children, who often have uneven skills development in different subjects."

So, if you are looking for advanced materials for your gifted child, give us a visit.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Appropriate Literature

Time4Learning, an online homeschool & enrichment service, received this email this weekend....

"A homeschool acquaintance told me about your site so I had to try it. First, I have to say I was really looking forward to having my children do your program. So much so that I even signed up my two boys (on March 28 2006). They've been having a pretty good time with it ....But that's not why I'm writing and canceling our subscription. ....

I must say, your interpretation of what homeschoolers want is light years away from reality....I say this after taking a look at what your 8th grade "lesson plans" had to offer. Dang folks! Do you really think I'm going to let my 8th grader read the kind of trash that you offer in your first language arts lesson?

I mean really. I looked up "Surviving the Applewhites" on Amazon and was appalled that you can even think that a book so disparaging of homeschoolers could even possibly be attractive. Was the intent to show us just what we were missing by not sending our children to public school?....."

Here is how I answered.....

"I am very sorry to have upset you.

Time4Learning takes its educational content seriously. We have licensed the
CompassLearning system which is sold into schools around the country. We make it available to users at home with minimal adaptations and at as low a price as possible.... When I got your email earlier this weekend, I looked up the book. Since I had not personally read it, I acquired a copy and read it. I have not read the Amazon summary but generally I have found Amazon to be very accurate on questions of price but somewhat undependable on questions of content. Have you found differently?

The book is interesting and a fast read. Here is what I have found.

The book was a Newbery Honory book in 2003 for literature and as such, it is on many recommended reading lists for students. My first reaction is that as a homeschool enthusiast, I am pleased that a major children's book uses homeschooling as its context instead of the usual stories where "John and Jane go to school every morning..."

The book focuses on a difficult rebellious adolescent (Jake) who is taken in by a unschooling family in NC made up of a set of colorful tempermental characters. The story is a combination of coming of age and dealing with issues of adolescence, identity, self-worth, and family.

Do I think the family is ideal or typical? No, this is literature. The family is more than a little dysfunctional although big-hearted and full of talented people. Their approach is unschooling which works extremely well for some of the children in the family, not so well for others.

The family itself is portrayed a little cartoonishly. I found that as literature it would have been more appropriate for a younger grade since it lacked subtlety and was a little formulastic, the ending was relatively predictable. However, the book did support the content of the lessons that it was supposed to and it is very well written. I'm sorry that you found a review of the book which led you to believe that it was inappropriate.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Children are...

Children are...

Amazing, acknowledge them.

Believable, trust them.

Childlike, allow them.

Divine, honor them.

Energetic, nourish them.

Fallible, embrace them.

Gifts, treasure them.

Here Now, be with them.

Innocent, delight with them.

Joyful, appreciate them.

Kindhearted, learn from them.

Lovable, cherish them.

Magical, fly with them.

Noble, esteem them.

Open-minded, respect them.

Precious, value them.

Questioners, encourage them.

Resourceful, support them.

Spontaneous, enjoy them.

Talented, believe in them.

Unique, affirm them.

Vulnerable, protect them.

Whole, recognize them.

Xtraspecial, celebrate them.

Yearning, notice them.

Zany, laugh with them

© 2001, Meiji Stewart

For printed posters, abcwritings
(note to Meiji - remember me from herewood house?)

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Word Awareness & Vocabulary

I have recently been thru an experience interesting from an educational point of view. I have spent alot of time with a 9 year old (not mine) whose language skills were poor. She basically was a non-reader TV-watcher who, while bright, had weak language skills. Her grammar was poor, her vocabulary was weak, and she couldn't care less about either.

Over the last six months, I have convinced her that just such things matter. She even asked why it mattered how she spoke "so long as people know what I mean". I compared it to clothes (whcih she cares alot about). I explained that "some people think clothes are only there to keep us warm and for reasons of modesty. But, don't you think clothes are also about looking good?".

After she finished snickering at the concept of "modesty" (she asked me to explain what it meant), she admitted that perhaps people were paying attention not just to what she said but how she said it.

We also spent alot of time playing word games and discussing the meanings of words. After about six months, I think she has become word conscious (language aware ?)and is on the path to improving her language skills. The word games were almost always played in the car and consisted of:
- Hig Pig - What do you call a feline that has put on weight? (answer: a fat cat)
- Opposites - What is the opposity of "hasty"
- Synonyms - What's a word that means the same as "tiny" ?
- Alphabet Games - I went to the grocery store and bought...apples, berries, cherries, dates, eggs...
- Analogies - A flock is to birds as what is to fish?

Friday, March 24, 2006

Eagles Peak Charter School

Eagles Peak Charter School of California Provides Time4Learning to Elementary & MIddleSchool !

Time4Learning was requested by some homeschool parents in California and Eagles Peak Charter School can now provide to their students as part of their overall homeschool program.

But, for the 2005-2006 school year, the deadline to add them to your program is March 31, 2006.

For further info on adding Time4Learning to your Eagles Peak Charter School Program.

Would you like to Review Time4Learning?

Would you like to be a Reviewer?
Attention Bloggers & Aspiring Journalists

Time4Learning is a new online educational program. I am inviting you to review our system in your blogs, in your parent or church forums, in group newsletters, or in homeschool support groups.

Terms & Methods
For participation, you get a free one month membership (no credit card or payment required) for up to four children. If you are interested, please send us an email saying where Time4Learning will be reviewed (URL), your full name, phone, and address, and we will provide you details and a free month to Time4Learning.

Review Suggestions
We would ask that you focus your review on something of importance and relevent to you. For instance, if you have a fourth grader struggling with reading comprehension, a kindergartener ready for more advanced math, or a homeschooled child with special needs, please write the review from that point of view. If you are busy and you are looking for help organizing the lives
and education of of four children, talk about how it affects your situation. This keeps the reviews from being too general.

Why are we doing this?
We are doing this as a way to help get the word out about Time4Learning to the homeschooling community without resorting to big budget marketing (which frankly, we do not have the budget for anyway). Much of our growth has been due to word-of-mouth and this seems the best way to build on it. We are a small family-owned business and would be interested in working with others if possible. Also, we are very proud of our service and interested in feedback

Contact info: 954 781-7723

I just did some work on MSN search to find personal sites' links to Time4Learning. Here is the start of a list...

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Parent Discussion Forum

Time4Learning is pleased to announce that it has opened an online discussion forum open to all parents interested in home education and online learning for their children from preschool through middle school. Here are a few comments from this week:

debbie24 wrote:
Where can I find information on the FCAT (Florida)? Does my child need to take it?
Fort Lauderdale Homeschool mom in need.

The FCAT (Florida Comprehensive Achievement Test) is required of all public school students in FL as part of the NCLB mandate. Florida private school students and homeschool students are not required to take the FCAT.

"Home education" families in Florida have three ways to meet the State's legal requirements:
1 Establish and maintain a Home Education Program;
2 Enroll in a non-campus based Private School (sometimes referred to as a "cover" or "umbrella" or "600" school);
3 Hire a Private Tutor.

What's the Difference? In all three cases you can educate your children at home, using the materials and methods you select. The key difference between enrolling in a private school and registering as a home educator is this: Private school students are overseen by administrators you select. Identifying data about the student and samples of the student's work are never shared with anyone outside of the private school (other than at your request). Home education students are overseen by government employees at the school district. Parents must file annual evaluations with the district and are be required to show their record-keeping and samples of the student's work upon demand by the Superintendent. by enrolling them in a "homeschool private school".

Quoted from and for further details:


I recently joined Time4Learning to help out my 1st grader.

I initially thought Time4Learning would just be computer games. Now that I see how great and substantative it is, I would like to use it differently next year.

This year, I am just using it for reinforcement (so I pick the lessons out that she needs) and frankly, as a good learning tool that she can be on while I'm doing other things for 45 minutes before lunch every day. I would like to put her on Time4Learning next year as the primary curriculum for math. When she doesn't do well on a unit (as measured by the test at the end of each unit), I plan to do additional instruction using a text book.

Here are my questions: - Have any of you tried using Time4Learning this way? - Has anyone organized the 2nd grade math lesson plans on a calender (we go Labor Day to Memorial Day with a winter special studies unit from Thanksgiving to Jan 1? - Any thoughts on what the best math textbook and source of worksheets are to do indepth work in areas where she needs it? I will keep using it for the other subjects but as the secondary curriculum.

Los Angeles, Homeschool mother of 1st grade student
For the answer to this question on Getting Started Homeschooling
John Edelson It's Time 4 Learning. And Fun!

Saturday, March 18, 2006

CompassLearning for home education

Time4Learning provides CompassLearning Odyssey® - the premier online learning system - to home users for homeschool or enrichment use.

CompassLearning's Elementary & MiddleSchool Programs are still available!

Time4Learning provides to individual homeschool users the complete PreK to 8th grade interactive curriculum including language arts, math, science, and social studies. The CompassLearning® Odyssey program, known to some as ChildU, was previously provided directly to homeschoolers directly or through some websites such as .

The good needs for users of the Odyssey Program is that it is available, with great customer support, from Time4Learning. For more info and to sign up online, just click on CompassLearning

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Home School Curriculum Reviews

Here are some recent home-school curriculum reviews that I liked:

Many children, especially otherwise reluctant learners, love to use computers. My children are no exception and my children absolutely LOVED There were many things about this program that impressed me.The first was that my children begged, I mean literally begged, to do “school on the computer”. The program was easy enough for the non-reader to navigate and provided challenging topics of study for the proficient reader.
by Meg Grooms - BellaOnline "Voice of Woman" Homeschooling Editor

First, I need to mention that I am new to homeschooling; this is my first
year. I have five children; but as a start, I decided to homeschool only three
of them: a twelve year old, an eleven year old, and a five year old.

For weeks I searched the internet looking for an online homeschooling
curriculum that would meet my needs for simplicity, ease of use, and low
cost—Time4Learning was the answer I was looking for! My children and I
have been using the Time4Learning Homeschool Online for the past couple
weeks and we are extremely satisfied....Time4Learning Review by Christine Rissew

My son absolutely loved the site. He would work on a lesson and often ignore the timer, going beyond the 30 minutes until it would be finished before going to the playground. I was gone for a couple days after he had been on the site for a week or so and he went to some friends during the daytime, another homeschool family. The first day when he worked on the site, their daughter watched everything intently. She was so interested her mom signed her up for the two-week trial and then went to monthly subscription despite limited finances. She absolutely loves it as well..... by Nancy Wagner - Old SchoolHouse Magazine Homeschool Families
....The Math area was very helpful to both of us. We had to miss a Prealgebra class the week after my surgery, but were able to review the material we missed using Time4Learning. Speaking of my surgery, having educational activities that KJ could do alone while I recovered was very helpful. KJ enjoyed the Science sections the most and will be continuing through those for sure. ...Time4Learning has a parent login where I can see what he has completed and how well he did on the quizzes so I can keep up with what he is doing. Overall, I think Time4Learning is an excellent supplement to our homeschool curriculum.

by Rebel Hart 3/15/06 -
I was excited to learn that Time4Learning had expanded their online curriculum to include all subjects and now through eighth grade. So I decided to take a new look at this site, thinking of my fifth grader who loves to learn online.
With permission from the owner, John Edelson, I signed in and took a peek at the middle-school level courses. The topics are greatly enlarged from the former math and language arts with just a sampling of science and social studies. Now the subjects include Brain Buzzers (art, music, and health), Thematic Projects, and algebra, for a total of seven full curriculum subjects.

Since Kaitlin is a highly visual learner/kinesthetic learner, her ability to interact with the subject matter made learning come alive ... Second Grade Software - Time4Learning
Looking for second grade software? Time4Learning is a comprehensive educational learning system that offers second grade worksheets, activities and games geared to help 2nd graders develop a solid reading and math foundation. ... through examples of the reading. Second graders have challenging worksheets and reading exercises, and should be ... Audio Books for Kids. Homeschool Curriculum. Kids Typing Tutor ...

Second Grade Worth Seek
Time4Learning is an online curriculum. Actually, its more than that since it has a system for playing games but only after you do your work. Focusing on the math, I have experience with my kids at the preschool, 2nd, and 5th grade levels.

The preschool is a systematic set of learning exercises which does patterns, quantity, numerals, features, greater/less than, shapes, etc etc. There are animated exercises and printable worksheets.

The second grade lesson plan is more formal with each unit organized around a skill with lessons, interactive exercises, worksheets, and an assessment. Its a broad curriculum whose strength is covering the entire curriculum (arithmetic, measurement, data analysis, algebra, probability etc). In some places, I would like more repetition and depth as in the math facts.

The fifth grade lessons still has elements of the fun and playful but not all of the lessons are truly animated, many are text-based with interactive exercises at this level. Again, the programs strength is that it is a self-running system which takes the kids from lesson to exercise to reinforcement to quiz. And it is a broad thorough curriculum.

For more reviews...

Title: Homeschool CurriculumURL: A good source of homeschool teaching articles, teaching athome resources, and educational curriculum information.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Special Needs Learning

Did you know that more than 20% of the K-12 students in the U.S. are now classified as "exceptional"? Special need parents often ask if a child with learning difficulties requiring special education should use Time4Learning? While each parent must determine what is best for their child, Time4Learning can say that many children with special education needs are blossoming with Time4Learning.

When evaluating learning software for special education and needs, you should make sure that it:

  • Proceeds at the students own special needs pace.
  • Builds on existing reading, writing and math skills.
  • Allows placement and progress for eachchild at independent levels for math and language arts
  • Encourages kids to become active learners through exploration and discovery.
  • Introduces new learning opportunities in a safe, supportive environment.
  • Balances learning with fun!
Here are what some parents have said about Time4Learning and their special needs children:

Both of my boys really enjoy the Time4Learning program.
Of course, their favorite part was the play time but they enjoyed the lessons as well. Thank you Penny - Mother of twins with Learning Difficulties in Reading.

I just wanted to say thank you for Time4Learning...a great tool for Zac through the summer. He was asking yesterday to do "his work". I would definitely recommend this program to other families. I think it offers great characters and fun learning activities. It also gives you a chance to monitor the progress, and you can even print out reports and activity pages that your child completed what more could you ask for. Also this is very kid friendly. Theresa - Mother of a five year old with autism.

The content was varied and was able to keep Benjamin engaged without frustration. It also moved him gradually through the skills and once mastered was appropriately quized. The timer was also beneficial as Benjamin learned that once it got to "0" he was free to go to the playground. I also feel that the "Magic Hand" was instrumental in aiding Benjamin in how to proceed with the lessons. Ann - mother of a six year old with development delay, speech language impairment, ADHD.

Elizabeth really enjoys the website. She especially liked the language sections (stories, family trees, etc). She also found it easy to use. It is very good for children with Aspergers, as they are such visual learners and the computer gives prompt feedback. Marianne - Mother of a fourth grade girl with asperger syndrome.

Lena and I both found it to be age appropriate and interesting. I LOVED the fact that I could start Lena and she was able to continue at her own pace. Ninety-five percent of the time the language level was appropriate as well as the assignments. Initially, she rushed through to get to the "Playground", but as she became used to the lesson structure, she forgot about the time and "Playground". The graphics and sound were awesome. Both, Lena and I enjoyed all the adorable characters and narrator's voices. I would highly recommend this program as a support system during the school year, and SPECIFICALLY, during the summer months (especially if your child is not receiving any services.) Mother of daughter with ADHD and Tourette's Syndrome.

Time4Learning was the first online curriculum which help my sons attention. My son has attention issues and reading and learning difficulty and after difficulties in school, we find that homeschool works well for him. Time4Learning has made our days much easier and more productive. Mother of eight year old boy. homeschool Texas.
Time4Learningis a great homeschool and after school partner because it offers each child their own learning path, with animated lessons, interactive activities, unit assessments, and integrated printable worksheets for reinforcement.

Time4Learning's comprehensive Pre-K to 8th Grade language arts and math curriculum can enrich your children's educational programs, whether they are special needs, mainstream, or gifted.

Time4Learning has helped thousands of children, why not try it today? There is no long-term contract and it makes learning fun.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

SPD - Sensory Processing Dysfunction

Quote from yahoo group private: sensoryhomeschool 1/16/06
Sensory Processing Dysfunction (SPD) or Sensory Integration Disorder (SID)

To those that are not familiar with me my name is Terri. We have been homeschooling now for 5 years. My husband John and I have 2 beautiful girls. Our youngest is now 5y/o and was diagnosed with SPD at age 3. At age 4 she was diagnosed as gifted and expressive speech delay.

I have been keeping up with the posts but I have not really had time to reply until now. I know that sometime back some of you were talking about ways to home-school and ideas as to what to do. There are so many ways that you can home-school but I think sometimes that it is a little more challenging with a child with SPD. My oldest child now 11y/o seemed to be a breeze but I have had such a time trying to just "grab" the youngest's attention and spark her interest in any way possible.

I have spent many hours looking around trying to find something that would help me and my children so that we might attempt to get the best of both worlds. LOL

We have started a program called Time4learning. We found it at it is on-line learning program that goes up to 8th grade. It has been absolutely wonderful. We are starting our 3rd week this week and both my children love it. Instead of fighting with the youngest to attempt to do anything at all, she asks first thing in the morning to do her "school work" and I have to make her take a break. It is so animated and tells the child what to do with each step. They have it set up so that as each lesson is finished the icon, which is a star, twirls as she has completed it. This has increased her self esteem which had been lacking. I can not say that it will be this way with all children and to be honest I was a little sceptic about it working for her. They had a 2 wk trial period so I thought what the heck it is worth a try. We plan on keeping it because it is grabbing her attention and keeping it. She is learning academically and her expressive speech has been improving as well. Her eye hand coordination has gotten better from using the mouse and her listening skills have also improved because the program tells her what to do and then shows her how to do it. I do stay near her so that I can see what she is doing and sometime throw in my own stuff but it has helped me to not have so much scheduling, grading, and logging. I am really excited about the program and all that it entails.If I have a question and send them a quick email my question is answered relatively fast and they have even called me afterward to see if my issue was resolved. I am now finding more time to do some of those things that we always say we want to do in home school but never seem to find the time. I am also interested in how it might work for other children with SPD issues.

Some of the things I have set up for her while doing her lessons is I allow her to swivel the chair back and forth and she always has a stress ball in her hand. As long as she fidgets she seems to do much better. They do sell fidgets at some of the on-line stores but I find that most anything can be a fidget it you think about it.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Homeschooling - Getting Started

Welcome to the Homeschool world. Getting Started Homeschooling.

About half of Time4Learning's members (and the more vocal half) are homeschool families. Many parents often ask for our advice on getting started on homeschooling. So here are our thoughts based on our experiences:

Overall, we hear that families who choose to homeschool usually find it to be one of the best decisions that they've ever made. But, this does not mean that it is easy to get started, that it is for everyone, or that you should do it forever. It does mean that for parents who have become convinced that their child would benefit from a change and who have soberly considered the alternatives, finally making the plunge into homeschooling is a fun exhilarating experience. Note that many parents who have homeschooled a child for a few years also talk about the decision to put the child back into school as another great decision. My conclusion: many parents have the right instincts for their child but they tend to postpone making some of these life changes so that when they do make them, they feel very right.

1. Plan to speak to at least half a dozen homeschoolers as you get started. The reason is that the homeschooling community is broad, diverse, and passionate. You will find some people with whom you do agree and others that you do not. Expect to be compatible with maybe about half the people that you speak to and if you start with half a dozen, the odds are strong that you'll find a few that you like. Ask them what they do and what they recommend. Try to find local families who you can share ideas & activities with on an ongoing basis. These groups of homeschool families are a key to success. As over two percent of the population homeschools, you become part of a large, dynamic and diverse community. Try to find people that you are comfortable with. If you don't have personal contacts, try asking locally or searching online for local groups (try google - your city name - homeschool support groups) or look at of the top homeschooling sites . Again, don't be put off that some of these groups are a poor fit for you. Homeschool groups come in all shapes and sizes: large or small, formal or informal, religious or not, special needs oriented or not, conformist or not, etc etc. Pick the ones that you are comfortable with: you will have to search through several groups. Also, you'll find that alot of the online guides are somewhat out-out-of date and full of dead links and emails or phone numbers that don't answer.

2. There are fantastic websites with oodles of articles, recommendations, forums. I would recommend blogs as also a great way to get information and to meet people. To find ones, you can type into the Google search engine: "blog homeschool yourstate". I just typed in "homeschool blog iowa" and found dozens of people from all over the state with children of all different ages and approaches (Christian, non-religious, special needs). You might also type in a special interest such as: "homeschool blog dyslexia" and find a group of people with a specific interest that you could discuss common issues with. You can also look on the big web sites such as,, and They are rich with information but you will probably find them overwhelming at first so don't get discouraged. There are also conventions and get togethers which are definitely overwhelming but can be very exciting and informative.

3. . Be sure to check out your State's legal requirements. is a great guide with links to local sites and to local support groups.

4. Decide on a basic approach. There are many ways to think or go about adopting a basic approach. While there is alot of literature and sites on this subject, Time4Learning suggests including some thoughts about the most immediate and mundane: the organization of the day. Most children do best with a day that has a predictable schedule with diverse activites and which provides for time when you are totally attentive to them and time when they have some separation from you and some freedom. For instance, the morning might be:

8:30-8:45 Opening of Day - Perhaps some rituals and a review of the day's schedule
8:45-9:15 Parent & One Child Working together in core curriculum, ex Reading or handwriting
9:15 - 945 Child working independently - perhaps art
9:45-10:15 Break & Snack

10:15 - 10:45 Time4Learning Math
10:00 - 11:15 Time4Learning Playground
11:15 - 12:00 Educational Play with manipulatives

5. Accept that you will need to integrate the right materials for your children. One of the challenges of homeschooling education is selecting a curriculum that meets the needs of each child. Many families find that what fits one child, may not fit another, or that what worked well one semester, may feel stale and stop working the next. Or in some cases, what works for one child in one subject, does not work for the same child in another subject. Well, nobody said it was going to be easy. What most families discover is that their children's educational needs cannot be met by a single curriculum or medium. And that blending several homeschool programs and approaches can increase effectiveness. Some parents use Time4Learning as supplementary, others use Time4Learning is the primary homeschooling curriculum. Time4Learning has curriculum for homeschool children from Preschool through eighth grade. Time4Learning provides a comprehensive language arts and math curriculum.

We suggest being skeptical about any program which claims to be THE COMPLETE RESOURCE for all children. Each child's needs are different. And program, either online, video, or text-based should be the entire homeschool program, especially for younger children. Its important that young children have daily work with:
- writing and drawing to develop fine muscle skills
- maniplatives
- arts program
- speech development
- socialization
and other areas that the computer or video or workbooks cannot address.

6. Special Needs - All children are special needs. Period. Of course, if you have decided to pull your children from school, you are probably wrestling with this question in one of its many forms. Stay tuned for the next article which helps parents understand more about their child's own special strengths, needs, learning styles, and issues.

7. Learn about learning. As the teacher & curriculum specialist for your child, you should understand the basics of learning to read, a solid math education, how children learn

Parenting Teens Online

New article in the works:

Check out my thoughts on younger kids internet safety.

I'm writing a similiar article for publication on preteens and teens. The issues start with safety but also include work habits and productivity.

Example: most children share homework help at age 15 thru IM with their classmates. While common, this needs some management and thought. Starting with the fact that most IM discussions cross back and forth from gossip and drivel, but to homework, and back to silliness. Meanwhile, the homework's not done & the hour is getting late.

I believe in some discussions with the kids (not in the heat of the moment), lots of understanding of what they feel (I was impressed by "How to talk so children will listen" which says you need to start acknowledging and accepting that people have feelings. They turn-off the instant you tell them what they should feel. Our feelings are not for others to tell us about: they are ours.), some basic behavioral self-monitoring tools for them, and in many cases, parental monitoring (guide to tools to be included....

Send me your thoughts (which I will use in my article) -

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

HomeSchool Parent Curriculum Review

"We have been home schooling for 5 years now. I started with my oldest daughter who is now 11 years old and is on a 6th grad level when she was 5 years old and in the 1st grade. My youngest daughter who has just recently turned 5 is just now showing signs of interest in learning to read etc.She begs me from the second her eyes are open to do her "school work" , which of course is Time4 Learning. She ,however, is what the school system would label a special needs child. She is gifted and has borderline ADHD, and Sensory processing dysfunction. The fact that it keeps her attention and allows her to go at her own pace is wonderful.

I have sat on the board of our local home-school support group ...

I have searched the world over looking for that perfect curriculum or program that fits my child and now children individually. Ok so maybe not the world but I have searched for 5 years now relentlessly. I can tell you that this program alone has been what I have been looking for. I realize that it has been less than a week since we started using Time4Learning but it has been wonderful for both of my children who have two very different learning styles. I am so thankful that I found you and that you go up to 8th grade. I am excited that you are going to offer a forum or blog in any sort of fashion as I can see that too really taking off. I think it is going to be great and can not wait to start using it.
One thing that I have learned in home-schooling my children is that you need support and help in many different areas. ...