A Mosaic in the Making


    Nicki Black  September 3 2010 11:27:18 PM

    Vendor: Time 4 Learning

    Website: www.time4writing.com
    Subject: Online Writing Course To Help Students Sharpen Their Writing Skills
    Contact Information: Time4Writing, 6300 NE 1st Ave Suite 203, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33334, 954-771-0914
    Suitable Age Range: Elementary – High School
    Cost: $99.00
    Duration of Course: 4-8 Weeks


    My middle school daughter loves to write. She loves to write so much, in fact, that we often need to remind her that the rest of reality still exists and she should think about taking part. When I saw that we were on the selection list to review a Time4Writing online writing course, I immediately started looking forward to putting her penchant to task beyond what she was getting here on the homefront.

    Time4Writing is an online compliment to the writing and/or grammar curriculum that you are already using in your own classroom. It is not exclusive to homeschooling students, as it could also function as additional practice for any student within the elementary school through high school grade levels. Lessons are menu/online driven, but the instructor for each course is available via email to answer any questions you might have along the way, so you still have actual human contact, if necessary. The site, and therefore your assignments, are available 24 hours a day, which is quite convenient for homeschoolers like us, as we don't operate on a 8 AM – 3 PM kind of schedule. Most of our school "day" is in actuality later in the afternoon, early evenings, and even weekends when we're not fixing something on the house, the yard, or catching up on missed sleep from a sci-fi or board game late night bender.


    After an easy account setup, course selection, and teacher introduction by reading their profile information, we were able to start working straightaway. The course I chose for our DD was Advanced Essay Writing for Middle/Secondary School. The complete course list is as follows:

    Elementary/Grade School

        * Grammar
        * Sentence Structure
        * Paragraph Writing
        * Essay Writing

    Middle/Secondary School

        * Basic Mechanics
        * Writing Enhancement
        * Paragraph Writing
        * Essay Writing
        * Advanced Essay

    High School/College Prep

        * Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics
        * Paragraph Writing
        * Essay Writing

    Advanced Essay Writing was methodically spread across an 8-week period, laid out with between 1-4 assignments per week. Although you could freely read about each assignment at any point during the 8 weeks, it was strongly discouraged that you skip the scope and sequence, as each assignment builds upon the previous to it. You were asked not to go on to the next assignment before the current assignment was graded, and if necessary, corrected and re-submitted. From this bit of information, I opted not to read ahead. Upon hindsight, I should have read ahead anyway, as it would have come in handy sometime around week 4, which consisted of the assignment to do research for 1 of 5 or 6 given topics, and write an expository essay on the subject. We logged on late in the day and after reading the instructions, we were discouraged to know that our library had already closed and we did not have the book resources at home for DD to write on the topic of her first choice (transportation as one of the greatest inventions). That was very disappointing to her, and it afforded us with the lesson that we should perhaps look through every lesson no matter the week, for a head's up in preparation. So being the resilient DD she is, the next topic in line was enough to her liking that she completed the essay without any trouble and scored a solid "A".

    We are currently half way through Advanced Essay, as we have chose to take the 8 week route versus the 4 week route. This far into the program, I can say that DD has been challenged not so much in her writing, but in strengthening her writing mechanics. Her Time4Writing teacher has been very thorough in correcting grammatical mistakes, and also offering encouragement for DD to keep writing, for she has a true love for it, and a heart's desire to become an author.


    • Reinforcement for an existing writing curriculum
    • Easy to navigate through each lesson's scope and sequence
    • Built in spell-checker
    • Interesting assignment topics
    • Quick turnaround in grading
    • Quick feedback from teacher
    • Enough meat within the assignment without being too overwhelming for the student
    • You could view the profiles of the other students in your child's class, spread out across the globe
    • Virtually no other materials needed, as most everything is done online.

    • Quiz component is not readily apparent, nor mentioned within lessons, but expected to be completed. Neither are quizzes easy to find within the website to play catch up, and although there is a quiz column on the home page, it is not a clickable link. We found this frustrating, and used up a lot of time trying to find them.
    • If you have a very laid back schedule, this program might not work for your child, as you have to do assignments every day to keep on track.
    • There is not a lot of room for thinking outside the box, or getting creative on assignments (you have to do exactly as you're instructed, no add ons or deviations).
    • Grading was very formal, and similar as to being in a non-homeschool environment
    • Modeled after a non-homeschool environment, whereas the assignments left little room for more exploration.
    • $99 for 8 weeks can be pricey to some families

    Overall, I think Time4Writing has been a great experience for our DD, who is used to working within our parameters and/or a somewhat student-driven atmosphere. In the 4 weeks she has been working through the program, she has gotten a small taste of what it will be like to re-enter the non-homeschooled educational pool when she goes off to college and has to work with professors who will, in fact, be more formal with their expectations. Despite this shock to her system, she is really enjoying the challenge, and I would recommend Time4Writing to other families for sure.

    Happy Homeschooling!

    Disclosure/disclaimer statement, as required by the FCC:

    I have been given this free product in order to write this review. I used this product in my home, and the comments and thoughts shared herein are solely my own, based on my personal experience. Any products reviewed by me as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew have been given to me free of charge in order for me to provide you with an honest and genuine review of those products, and how we used the products within our family. I receive no other form of compensation for the reviews posted on this blog.

    No Comments Found