Sunday, March 22, 2009

Second impression of the Time4Learning website

After playing with the site, I suddenly discovered that there is a parent section with our own password... Cool! What is there? I wondered...

So off I went and dived in. I discovered lots... Let me tell you what a parent can do...
The first thing you see when you enter the parenting section is which child is registered and their loging and password. This is useful if you want to go print their report which can only be accessed after entering their own registration information. You have the possiblity to add another child, cancel your child or change the time specification for a child which is originally set to 15 minutes.

You also have the possibility to make your account dormant in case you need to take some time off from Time4Learning with a discounted billing so you won't have to pay the full amount during that time. You also have the possibility of update your credit card information or your account information when changes are made ( this is handy is you move or if you receive a new credit card for whatever reason like fraud or just expiration). Finally you also have the possiblity to cancel your account or reactive it whenever you want too.

The best additional resources for me was the lesson plans. In this section, you can select the year where you child is and get more information on a particular lesson. Unfortunately, not every lesson have a document that you can print to complete the lesson but as a general rule there is a lot more for sciences and language arts in the first primary years (preschool, kindergarten and first grade are the ones I have checked...)

You will also find a parent's forum where you can exchange ideas with other homeschoolers or even find homeschoolers in your area (please keep in mind that this site is American so there might be more US homeschoolers registered in here than Canadian ones!). I must honestly admit that I didn't check the forum that much so I can't tell you what I think about it...
Finally, the last things in the parental section are Hints and Help, a getting started guide and a contact us link. These three sections will help you navigate through the site and get help when you need it.

I've mentioned earlier that the only way to print the report for a child is to log into his/hers account. This can be accessed when you press the backpack where it is written My Portfolio. The report is fantastic showing you where the child has understood the subject or what needs more work. You have the possibility to print for a specific subject, a specific activity and for a week, a month or a date range. The reports show all the activities a student avec completed, how much time the student has spent on each activity, the score the student had for the specific activity and the answers on the quizzes and tests.

Personally, I would like to have the option to be able to print such reports for all my kids in the parents section. This would permit me to keep track of their progress without having to go through their account. Apart from this specific little thing, I think the parents section is well thought and have a lot of functionality.

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