From Stressed to Self-Confident – One Student’s Journey
When her daughter’s school transitioned from full-time virtual instruction to part-time, in-school instruction during the pandemic, Cristina soon noticed a change in her nine-year-old’s demeanor. Not only was Elizabeth Rose coming home with signs of anxiety, her grades were also suffering and she was barely sleeping and eating. Cristina wasn’t the only one who noticed.
Elizabeth Rose’s brother could also tell something was wrong. Even the school staff, who’s known Elizabeth Rose since she was three, also noticed. Cristina knew traditional school was not going to work. The once happy student who would get out of the car and look around to find friends at the start of the day, would now avoid eye contact, put on her mask, and head inside. “It was heartbreaking,” said Cristina.
Elizabeth Rose, who is meticulous and very organized by nature, was having a hard time cramming all her school work into three hours of instruction time. When faced with an obstacle, she felt uncomfortable asking her teachers questions because they always seemed so rushed.
Cristina recently joined us on our fifth episode of “Tales from the Homeschool Front.” You can watch the full interview/chat here:
So the single, full-time working mom from Maryland knew she had to do something, and started researching homeschooling. She joined a few Facebook groups and asked other families what their experiences were like, and what curricula they were using. She created a spreadsheet to help keep her organized, and compare pricing, instruction type, and pros and cons.
She finally narrowed it down to two programs, one of which was Time4Learning. After watching the lesson demos, she made her decision. “Time4Learning just seemed like the one that was going to fit best for our family,” she said. “It was definitely economical. I love the reports and the things I would be able to do.”
Last September they started their homeschooling journey and jumped right into Time4Learning. It didn’t take long to notice a positive change in Elizabeth Rose. “In less than 3 weeks there was a drastic change,” said Cristina.
Not only is Elizabeth Rose happier and less stressed, but she’s also discovering things about herself and her perception of learning. Time4Learning’s flexibility means she no longer has to feel insecure about asking questions. She can simply go back to the lesson if she needs to. Plus she’s realized that if she stays focused, she can finish her work in just a few hours.
To address learning gaps with math, their family has begun using Time4MathFacts for multiplication, division, and other areas. Cristina also loves the convenience of being able to switch grade levels so Elizabeth Rose can review previous material if need be. And since they started homeschooling midyear, Time4Learning makes it simple to pick up where she left off in school. “I can go into each subject for her grade and remove everything she had already worked on.”
Since Cristina works from home, she’s available to help Elizabeth Rose with any questions and even started teaching her important study skills like taking notes and highlighting. Cristina also created a binder with all the extra resources that Time4Learning provides like spelling lists and science experiments, in case they want to change things up from time to time.
Mom says she loves the flexibility she has with Time4Learning and the freedom that it gives her daughter. “I get to pick which subjects she’s doing on which day,” she said. She then leaves it up to Elizabeth Rose to pick the order she does the work in.
Plus, Elizabeth Rose has been able to make tons of connections to what she’s learning with things she loves, one of them being the musical Hamilton and the Time4Learning social studies chapter on the U.S. Revolutionary period. They were also able to visit Mount Vernon which helped to reinforce what Elizabeth Rose was learning about George and Martha Washington.
For anyone considering homeschooling, Cristina suggests staying focused and not listening to the naysayers. “It really is an awesome opportunity to not only learn with your children but to see them become empowered and have control over their education,” she said. “Make the jump,” she said. “Don’t be afraid. There is plenty of support there for you.”
She also expressed her appreciation for the way Time4Learning is bringing to light different homeschooling situations. “Homeschooling is different for everybody,” she said. “It’s not always stay-at-home moms. It’s not always two-family parents.” As a single parent who works full-time, they are getting it done and her daughter is thriving.