Frequently Asked Questions
Common Questions About Homeschooling
Common Questions About Time4Learning
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Common Questions About Homeschooling
How do I start homeschooling?
Many families new to homeschooling think about it from the literal perspective. What school supplies do I need? Which workbooks should I buy? How do I set up my home? These are all valid and important questions, but we often suggest that before families dive into all the tactical components of homeschooling, that they care for the legal requirements first. Depending on your state, you may need to write a letter of intent to homeschool. For specific information on what your state requires, the best sources of information are local homeschool groups and co-ops. Most of these are run by experienced homeschoolers who were once in your shoes and will be happy to help you as you make this transition. You can also check out our state homeschool information page, which will help you navigate to your state’s resources, or our Families Group on Facebook to talk to homeschoolers in your state.
Is virtual school the same thing as homeschool?
Not really. Virtual schools are online schools that are usually part of either a public or private school, therefore someone other than the parent is responsible for selecting the curriculum and ultimately the education of your child. In the case of virtual public schools, which are offered by many states and are usually free, it’s essentially public school at home. There are also many virtual private schools throughout the the U.S. that offer tuition-based, K-12 programs and are essentially private school at home. While virtual schools are a viable option for some parents and children, you need to remember that they will likely require you to adhere to a defined school schedule/calendar.
When should I start homeschooling?
Parents who have made the decision to homeschool can start anytime. You don’t have to wait until the traditional school year ends. Once you’ve taken the necessary steps to withdraw your child from school, it’s important that you take some time to get to know your child from an academic perspective. Many families usually take a few weeks to discover how their child learns best, when their children are most productive, which subjects they excel in, which topics pose more of a challenge, etc. Doing so will help you determine what curriculum will work best and give you a better idea of what your homeschool routine should look like.
How much does homeschooling cost?
This all depends on an individual family’s budget. There really isn’t a specific amount that it costs to homeschool. Regardless of where you are financially, it’s important to try to avoid one of the biggest mistakes new homeschooling families make: spending a ton of money without knowing how their student learns best. Sometimes, this results in money lost if you are locked into a contract or can’t return your items. That’s why Time4Learning is a good option. We offer month-to-month billing and the option to start, stop, and even pause your membership at any time.
What schedule should I follow when homeschooling?
One of the great aspects of homeschooling is the flexibility it provides. Unlike traditional schools where children follow a strict schedule, homeschooling allows your children to learn when it’s convenient for your family. Every family is different. Some homeschool year-round, with breaks throughout the year; other families follow a traditional school schedule with summers off. Since homeschooling offers a more personal approach to learning, you’ll find that your children don’t need to spend 6 hours a day sitting at a desk doing work. Depending on your child’s grade, they will typically spend between 2-4 hours a day homeschooling. Depending on your preferences and extracurricular schedule, you can also decide to homeschool 5 days a week or less. The choice is yours. Many homeschooling families also include field trips, sports, and other extracurricular activities as part of their learning. Just remember that learning can take place anywhere, not just behind a desk at home.
How do I know if my child is learning enough?
This is a common concern for new homeschoolers. In addition to following your state’s education standards, an easy way to measure “enough” is by setting goals. Do you want to complete an entire grade level in your curriculum? Do you want your students to master certain concepts? For many homeschooling families, progress is “enough.” For families who want a more formal means of measuring achievement, there are Testing Services for homeschoolers. These nationally normalized standardized tests can be administered at home and is one way to see if students are on track. Ultimately it’s up to your family to best determine how you will measure progress.
Can my homeschooler go to college?
Yes! Be sure to do research on the homeschool friendly colleges and universities your child is interested in attending. Depending on the school, you may need high school transcripts and/or a high school diploma. All 50 states in the U.S. allow parents to issue a homeschool diploma to a child they feel has met or exceeded the guidelines for high school graduation. There are plenty of templates online; you can use this high school transcript template or you can check out the ones at Homeschool.com. Some colleges and universities also require scores from tests like the SAT and/or ACT. Colleges and universities have admissions counselors that are available to help you understand and plan for their admission requirements.
I’m worried my child won’t be socializing with other children. What can I do?
Experienced homeschoolers will tell you that socialization is the biggest non-issue in homeschooling. There are so many homeschooling groups and co-ops available for families that socializing your child shouldn’t be a concern. Many groups offer activities such as field trips, play dates, and other fun events for families to take part in together. If you will be doing the teaching, homeschooling groups can be helpful in connecting you with other parents who can be a sounding board when you have questions. Depending on where you live, some schools also open their doors to homeschoolers for certain events and activities.
Do I have to homeschool forever?
No. Each family is unique and it’s up to yours to decide how long you want to homeschool. Remember though, it’s easy to move in and out of homeschooling, so you can homeschool for a few years, send your child back to school, then homeschool again if you choose. Look for homeschool programs that are standards-based, offer flexibility, don’t require contracts, so you don’t lose money if you change your mind.
How do I pick the homeschool program my child will use and by when do I need to choose it?
Your child’s learning style will be a huge help when choosing a homeschool program, which is why it’s important to get to know your child academically when you first start homeschooling. Otherwise, you may end up losing money on a curriculum that isn’t a good fit. While some families use just one curriculum, others find that mixing and matching different curricula and sources works for them. This curriculum checklist will help you make an informed decision when choosing a homeschool program.
Common Questions About Time4Learning
Can I use Time4Learning as a homeschool program?
Yes, you can! The majority of our users are homeschoolers. Some choose to use Time4Learning as their primary curriculum; others use it as a supplement. Parents act as the teacher of record, so it’s important to refer to your particular state’s requirements to determine what is mandatory to be in good standing. If you are new to homeschooling, we recommend reading our free “Welcome to Homeschooling Guide.”
Is Time4Learning Accredited?
We’re often asked if Time4learning is accredited. The short answer is ‘no,’ but the longer answer is worth understanding. Accreditation is a form of credentialing that applies to schools. Accreditation addresses issues such as teacher:student ratios, number of computers in the media center, number of teachers holding advanced degrees, curriculum used, and so on. Because Time4Learning is a curriculum and not a school, accreditation does not apply to us. However, the curriculum offered by Time4Learning is used at many accredited schools across the United States, so you can be assured that it is educationally rigorous.
Can I enroll my school / classroom for Time4Learning?
Time4Learning does not provide its K-12 curriculum to schools. Time4Learning is intended to be used in the home as a homeschool curriculum, afterschool alternative to tutoring, and for summer study. If you are looking for an online curriculum for classroom use, please contact Edgenuity for information.
Does Time4Learning offer any assistance to help me plan my homeschool year?
Yes! Time4Learning parents have access to many tools that can assist with planning out your homeschool year. We understand that there are parents who prefer to see a structured list of what their students should do and when, so this option does exists. And we also understand there are parents who prefer a more flexible, less structured approach. We accommodate this style as well. Whatever approach you prefer, Time4Learning has tools that support all parents.
How can Time4Learning help my child with special needs?
There are many reasons Time4Learning works well with exceptional students. Every child has his or her own combination of gifts, skills, needs, and difficulties with learning, so each deserves a learning program suited to his or her needs. Time4Learning is great for educating both gifted students and those with special needs because:
- The lessons build on existing reading, writing, and math skills.
- The levels for language arts and math programs are independently set for each child, helping those who perform or progress at different levels.
- Time4Learning includes extra practice, such as Time4MathFacts, that allows special needs students develop strong foundational skills
- Where available, K-8 students are given access to one grade above and one grade below their grade placements so they can review or move ahead whenever they need to.
- The program allows students to go at their own pace and even repeat lessons if need be.
- The lessons use exercises that stimulate the visual, auditory, and motor skills of students with multisensory activities that are animated and interactive.
In fact, for the reasons above, we have been approved by the IBCCES as a Certified Autism Resource.
Program & Membership Questions
How much is a Time4Learning membership?
Pricing depends on the grade level of your students:
- For PreK to 8th grade, the monthly membership cost is $19.95 for the first student and $14.95 for each additional student.
- For high school, the monthly membership cost is $30 per student, and includes 4 courses. Additional courses may be purchased for an extra $5 per month, per course. If you have one student at the high school level, you will receive a discounted rate of $14.95 for a student in the lower grades; there is no discounted rate for a second student who is at the high school membership level.
Your billing cycle begins on the day of registration and members are billed every 30 days. Time4Learning has no hidden fees, offers a 14-day money-back guarantee for new members, and allows members to start, stop, or pause anytime. Parents must cancel through their Parent Dashboard. Once an account is cancelled, members will only have access to the program and student reports until the end of their billing cycle.
What does a membership consist of?
In addition to the subjects specified below, Time4Learning includes the following:
- Comprehensive lesson plans, resources, and teaching tools for parents to visualize and better prepare for every step of the teaching process
- Convenient answer keys accompany tests, quizzes, and worksheets and are available to parents in both online and in print
- An Activity Planner to successfully plan out a whole school year, a few months or a couple of weeks
- Time-saving automated grading and reports that automatically track and record your student’s progress
- Access to multiple grade and course levels so you can customize the curriculum to your student’s skill level with unlimited changes
- A secure, ad-free, online learning environment for your students to work in
- 24/7 access to our award-winning online curriculum
- and much more…
What is the Time4Learning 100% satisfaction guarantee?
Time4Learning offers a 14-day money back guarantee period. If our curriculum does not satisfy your family’s needs within the first 14 days of membership, we will refund your money directly to the credit or debit card used to pay for your membership. This offer is only valid for new members and does not include reactivated accounts. Further cancellation and refund policies are detailed in our billing policy.
What subjects / courses are included with my membership?
The preschool to eighth grade curriculum consists of standards-based language arts and math.
- The language arts curriculum is presented in a suggested sequence designed to create a strong literacy foundation. It includes phonics, grammar, reading comprehension, spelling, vocabulary, writing skills, and more.
- The math curriculum combines multimedia lessons, interactive activities and reinforcing worksheets to teach basic arithmetic, number sense and operations, measurement, geometry and more. Time4Learning members also have free access to Time4MathFacts!
- Social studies lessons are available to students at the second grade level through middle school. Because state standards differ, social studies at the elementary level may need to be supplemented to satisfy your local requirements.
- Science is available to students at the kindergarten level through middle school.
- Elementary science is offered from kindergarten to fifth grade and is organized by grade level.
- Middle school science is offered at the sixth to eighth grade level. It is organized into three primary courses: Life Science, Earth Science, and Physical Science.
The high school curriculum consists of the primary subjects of Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies. There are 14 elective courses that are also available. Membership includes four courses, with the option to add courses for an extra $5 per course per month. For a closer look at the high school selections, visit the high school curriculum overview page. Please note that it is possible to use Time4Learning for just one subject, however, pricing will not change.
Which grade levels / courses should I select for my child? Can I make changes if necessary?
During the signup process, parents are asked to select a grade level for their student(s). If you are not sure what grade to enroll your student in, that’s okay. Simply choose the grade level that you think might be a good starting point based on your child’s academic background. Since you’re the teacher of record in your homeschool program, you are free to make changes at any time. Since many children can be ahead (or behind) in one subject, while on grade level for others, all preschool to eighth grade students are given access to three levels of curriculum. So a student who is enrolled in second grade math and language arts will also have access to first and third grade lessons. This allows them to review and advance whenever they need. We recommend having your child complete a few activities in various grades to get a better idea of what his or her strengths or weaknesses are in each subject. High school is organized by courses rather than grade levels. Therefore, students do not have access to grade levels. However, you can change or update your courses, e.g., change Algebra I to Algebra II, at any time if you find a course is too challenging or not challenging enough. If your student is college-bound, we recommend that you review your state’s course requirements for high school graduation so you can make the correct selections from Time4Learning’s offerings. No matter what grade level or course selections you choose for your students, parents are ALWAYS able to make changes. You can change the grade level or course selections at anytime through the Parent Dashboard, and requests will be processed immediately.
High School Questions
Does Time4Learning offer a diploma?
Since Time4Learning is a curriculum rather than a school, we do not provide diplomas, but as the homeschool teacher of record, you can! All 50 states in the U.S. allow parents to issue a homeschool diploma to a child they feel has met or exceeded the guidelines for high school graduation. To check comparable public school graduation requirements, check your state Board of Education website.
Does Time4Learning provide a transcript?
Time4Learning is not a school, so we offer transcript templates you can use to create a transcript for your student. Time4Learning’s automated system grades your student’s online lessons and keeps reports that can be included in homeschool portfolios or used to create transcripts for your students.
Can my high school student access middle school grade levels in addition to their enrolled high school courses?
Yes. Parents have the option to select eighth grade math and language arts, as well as any of the middle school science and social studies courses.
How many credits is a Time4Learning high school course?
Time4Learning is a curriculum tool to be used by the student, while the homeschool parent remains the official teacher of record. Time4Learning does not assign credits to courses, however Time4Learning’s automated system tracks the amount of time students spend on the online lessons. This feature can help parents estimate the value of the courses based on how much time students spend on their assignments. For information on high school credits, we suggest checking out the Guide to High School Credits for Homeschool at LetsHomeschoolHighschool.com.
Will completing Time4Learning’s high school courses qualify my child for graduation?
It is up to the parent to compare Time4Learning with state standards to make sure that graduation requirements are satisfied. Because Time4Learning is not a school, students do not graduate from Time4Learning. Time4Learning is an online curriculum, parents are the acting “Teacher of Record,” and the home in which they teach is considered the school students will graduate from.
Technical & Support Questions
Can Time4Learning run on any computer?
A computer (PC or Mac) with fast access (DSL or cable modem) to the Internet is ideal. While some subscribers have been able to access Time4Learning with a satellite connection or a Linux operating system, it is not recommended. Our curriculum does not support Linux and requires a strong, steady Internet connection to run the streaming lessons. We do not recommend using cellular data or mobile hotspots.
What browser works best with Time4Learning?
Can Time4Learning run on an iPad or other tablets?
- iOS Devices (larger than an iPad mini) are supported using Safari or Google Chrome.
- Android Devices are not supported for K-8. Users may encounter random issues including activities not marking as complete.
- For High School and Middle School Science and Social Studies courses, please review our System Requirements page.
- Kindles are not supported.
How do I get help and ask questions from Time4Learning?
Our support team and the Time4Learning community are here to help you. You can get help in a number of ways: Call Time4Learning: We can be reached toll-free at 888-771-0914. We answer the phones Monday-Thursday from 8:30 a.m.until 8:30 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time) and on Fridays from 8:30 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time).
Email Time4Learning: We answer emails seven days a week. Online Parent Forum: Read as a resource, post your own questions, connect with other Time4Learning members and more! Find local Time4Learning members in your state. Join our Facebook Families Group to help you meet and connect with other homeschooling parents.