This year the boys have tried some online learning programs. I enjoy them because there is less planning for me but I also miss "teaching" the concepts. But, sometimes it is better to have someone else explain - especially the math that Josh is getting into now. I know how to do it but am not very good at explaining it. We started with one but I wasn't happy with how the boys could click through the explanation and then just do the problems and not understand the concept at all. I also didn't like the record keeping part of it. I had a hard time figuring out what the boys had covered and what they didn't get. They enjoyed the freedom of doing their work on the computer independently but I felt like I didn't have a clue about what they were doing.
I began searching google and checking with other homeschoolers online and..........I was so excited to find Time 4 Learning! What a great program. We signed up for the 14 day trial and now I am hooked! We will be doing 1 lesson a day throughout the summer in the Math and Language Arts areas. If the boys want to do the Science or Social Studies lessons that would be fine by me but we will see. They have lessons from pre-K through 8th grade. Then next fall the boys will use it for their 4th and 7th grade curriculum.
This program is the best! It has all the lessons laid out for the parent to see and the kids have the chapters on the first page they open. They can either first listen to all the lessons or try the chapter test if they feel confident that they know the concepts in that chapter. If they pass the test, great. If they don't, then they just do the lessons and activities and then do the test again. The lessons consist of small animated video clips and then questions to review the information given in the clip. The boys know they are doing "school" but it isn't as painful as pulling out the book and working in it. I also like that they get immediate feedback on a wrong answer, rather than waiting for me to correct their lesson (sometimes it would be a few days before I would get to their book) and then having to do the lesson over because they missed a small piece of the formula.
I can print out a report of their activity with test and quiz scores daily, weekly or monthly. I am printing weekly right now and think this is working well. I will just keep this with our weekly schedules so I know where the boys are in their progress.
Can I say it again? I AM SO EXCITED TO FIND THIS! Check out the website at http://www.time4learning.com/ and see how well it will work with your own kiddos! The 14 day trial period leaves you with nothing to lose! And, being as un-techy as I am, I have already had to call the support number. The people on the other end of the line are so helpful and friendly!
If you sign up, please say that you heard about it from me. Time4Learning does most of their advertising by word of mouth and members can earn a free month by referring other people to them.