Thursday, November 13, 2008

time4learning...getting started


We are currently enjoying a trial membership in Time4Learning. Though the site includes lessons in math, science, social studies and language arts, we are starting with language arts to supplement what we have already been using -- sort of.

I add the caveat because we have used Time4Learning for writing instruction this week with surprising success and we have used it to the exclusion of anything else. Remember -- Mr. Math and Science will tell you that he hates to write. He does love to use the computer, however, and anything online has at least some measure of appeal to him. (This became very clear when we started using StreamlineSC, an educational video service offered to {all} South Carolina schools through our public television system.) Like his mom, my son is also very much a visual and tactile learner -- we use videos, hands-on activities and real world experiences to supplement everything. Time4Learning plays nicely to his visual curiosity.

We have jumped right into Language Arts Extensions, beginning with writing paragraphs. I am excited about the possibility of the site walking us through the research paper that has been looming in my lesson plans like an angry bear. (Most of our school day is fun for both of us. Writing? Not so much.)

After two school days using the site, Nolan has four well constructed paragraphs (on actual paper!) that were relatively painless for both of us. I think this will be a big help as we move to essays and longer papers. So far, so good. I will continue to update...

Edited to add: He really does write a lot and often -- this is about prompted writing, a skill without which the rest of the world (read: test graders and colleges) will be unable to evaluate the good stuff cooped up in his brain. Just last week he finished a multi-page work of fiction. I swear.

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