We recently had the opportunity to preview Time 4 Learning - an online multi-subject educational tool that is great for homeschoolers or for folks who are looking for a supplement.
We are not the schooliest of homeschoolers, meaning we like to keep things interest based and fun, and this program had several things that appealed to me in that respect.
First, the material was presented on the computer in a game like manner. There were quizzes and tests, but they all had that game like feel, which my kids like a lot better than workbooks.
Now one thing that I am often leery of in children's "educational" games is annoying animated characters and loud obnoxious voices. There are two very common types of "educational" voices I notice- the ones that speak very slowly and clearly and use very simple words so as not to confuse little minds. We call it the preschool teacher voice, and thankfully we DID NOT find that voice in this program at all. The other common "educational" voice is too loud and too fast and sounds the character had a bit too much caffeine. There were some fairly excited characters in this program, but none were too bad. So, it passed that test.
Another thing we all liked was that the kids could choose not only the subject, but also from an assortment of activities within each subject. Choice is good an keeps things interesting.
My Boy Child mostly used the program for 6th grade math, and had this to say: "Whenever you try something new, it walks you through the first few problems to make sure you know how to do them, then it lets you some by your self. One other thing I liked about Time4Learning is that it will give you real life examples on how you would use the problem in real life."
My Girl Child, who worked in the 8th grade level said, "The math section was the most helpful for me, because of the way they walk you through lots of examples- something a workbook couldn’t do. The language arts would be my second favorite; I thought it was pretty interesting and interactive. The science section had some pretty cool experiments, but you have to understand that it's not something you can do entirely on the computer. The social science was my least favorite. It wasn't very interactive; mostly just reading texts. And, I thought the social science quizzes were especially hard, because they were testing me on random facts I had only read once. Overall, it was a good program, but I would recommend taking the trial before you sign up to see if it's right for you."
And, I think that's good advice. It's always good to try before you buy if possible. This seems to be a well put together program with a lot to offer, but when I am paying for an ongoing service, I feel the need to use it often to make it worth while. Right now, we have so many activities going on both in and out of the home, that I think we would all feel pressured if we added another thing to our plates that we "had to" do. I count us as blessed to have so many options, but don't want to overwhelm my family with too much. For families looking for a good base program, or to add a regular practice into their homeschooling, I think kids could have a lot of fun learning with this program.