Like any other parent, Sarah Murphy wants her kids to be happy and successful, and she believes education is the key to achieving these goals. However, she also feels that what the pandemic has done to education has the potential to derail those plans.
Sarah lives in Illinois with her two children, a daughter in fourth grade and a son in pre-K. Like a growing number of parents, she has turned to Time4Learning as an afterschool supplement because she believes her children would fall significantly behind in school otherwise. Sarah and her kids were in the process of moving from Florida to Illinois when schools shut down due to COVID-19. The school sent home what Sarah describes as “little packets of stuff to do.” She worked closely with her children and quickly realized that this was nowhere near her expectations for what her children needed to learn.
Today, her children attend in-person classes two days a week, with a “little bit of schoolwork” on the off days. “I feel this situation makes it difficult to learn,” she says. “My kids are losing information if they only do a few hours a week.” To combat the learning loss, Sarah has added Time4Learning to strengthen her children’s school-year learning. Without such a program, she says she fears her children would fall behind. “I want to prevent the learning gap in education that is happening with other kids,” she says.
How does Sarah use Time4Learning as an afterschool supplement? As it is with all of our members, it all depends on the child. She has found that with her daughter, two activities in each subject, plus the corresponding quiz each day works well. “My daughter does the activities in order per subject, and has the option to mix up the subjects when her brain needs a change,” Sarah says.
Since Sarah’s daughter is not an avid reader, she finds Time4Learning’s animation and interactive lessons to be a nice break from the norm. For example, she really likes science, and the Time4Learning lessons keep her engaged and expose her to skill-sets and knowledge that she can use across subjects. Sarah’s daughter even logs in on the weekends to get herself back on track during these unprecedented times.
With her son, Sarah has found that he is too young to follow the same type of schedule. Although she started him on the pre-K curriculum, she determined that the Kindergarten program was a much better fit, so she changed his grade level.
While there are many choices for how a family can supplement schoolwork, Sarah feels that Time4Learning has tons of advantages. Its online format makes it convenient for her daughter to learn anywhere, anytime, as long as there is access to the Internet. Glitches are uncommon, and the information is accurate, which, she believes, is not always the case in school. “Time4Learning teaches the same content in a different way, so there is another option for learning the material,” she says.
What really brings value for Sarah is that Time4Learning can be done somewhat independently and it’s not expensive. “What I like is that I don’t have to be there. I can still work full time and still have time to monitor their progress and check their work,” she says. “I also like this program because it is affordable.” Some families can afford to send their children to private school, but she cannot justify such an expense. She believes that she can give her kids a leg up and get an entire curriculum for the cost of one 45-minute class in other programs. These two features—its ability to be used independently and its affordability—make Time4Learning “very valuable” for her family.
Sarah says she will continue using Time4Learning even once schools fully reopen, and throughout the summer. “This program gives my kids an advantage over other kids in the city,” she says. “I am keeping them on an even playing field with their peers. Things would be more challenging if we didn’t have Time4Learning.”