Any of you following my blog know that The Allergy Friendly Vegetarian is a new business. Although the blog has been live for a couple years, we decided less than a year ago to begin offering products and services to people with multiple food allergies. This blog post may not be a recipe, but it is a TIP… a tip for how to be a busy entrepreneur AND home school your child(ren) successfully.
For any person who has started their own endeavor or runs your own business, you know how intense the process is, especially if your business is, what’s called in the industry, “under-capitalized”. The Allergy Friendly Vegetarian is run by me, Jessica McMorris, and my wonderful husband, Sean, who helps on a part time basis. What you may not know is that I also have a health challenge with my heart that limits the level of activity I can engage in.
For many reasons we wanted to home school our son, but one of the biggest deciding factors was this health issue for me. Many nights I don’t sleep well due to my heart beating irregularly and leaving me breathless, so I’m not always able to reliably wake early, because lack of sleep creates the same effect with my heart as well. My husband travels weekly, so he is not always here to take the lead with our son and house. So, public or private school, even though it would give us more time to focus on work, is not a viable option for our household.
So, I had to find something that would offer our son options to learn the core skills he needs to be successful in life, and practice being able to sit and focus so that he is equipped later to take standardized tests or sit in classes or training he may take down the road. We love the unschooling model of home school and see its value, but are also aware he needs skills to learn other ways out in the world. We also needed something to empower us to work while he is learning, and that we could trust. The final factor was cost, due to me being home with a disability.
I discovered Time4Learning through a Facebook home school group I am a part of. Once I looked the website over, I was excited to give it a try. It seemed like the perfect compliment to the unstructured learning that our son already had… The structure I desired to build that skill set, focus on core skills, and an ability for him to work at his skill level.
We signed up to try it out 4 months ago, and we have been with Time4Learning ever since. The cost is affordable, and VERY comparable for the value you receive. Although the website does not have a skills assessment to “place” your child at the appropriate level, it does offer grade levels, and you get to choose where to place your child. You are also allowed to work 1 grade up and 1 grade down from that level. That makes it easy to customize your child’s learning. You can pick and choose which subjects and lessons you want your child to engage in, OR you can set up weekly lesson plans to move your child through the curriculum at that grade level. The website also allows you to track your child’s progress, time spent on the website, and to print progress reports for whatever purpose you may need.
The best thing is that the lessons I’ve seen my son working on are age appropriate and engaging. He is able to work independently for most lessons, and we support him understanding the work only when needed, which is rarely. He actually likes to learn on this website, and he is able to complete his daily structured work in about on hour, with the option to do more if he desires.
That frees us up to do our work while he is learning, which is SO critical as a new business owner!
We are able to trust he is receiving core academic skills (reading, language arts, history, science, social studies, and math) and our unschooling methods then supplement those core skills. I also like that if he is struggling with a concept, I can see it when I go in to look at his progress, and unlike public school, he has the chance to go back to strengthen the skill, and retake the assessments without penalizing him (or holding back others like in public school).
This gives me peace of mind as a mother, and aligns with my values for educating our son. So, when we send him off for his afternoons of socialization and social structure with the Boys and Girls Club (yes, home schooled children do have regular social interaction) we know we have met his needs wholeheartedly as his educators and parents, and are then free to focus on building our business with a peaceful mind and spirit.
The one thing I would LOVE to see offered that is not now is an assessment at the beginning of the year/ at sign up, that would feed into tailoring the lessons for each child’s level. But, that is really such a small wish for us compared to all that we already receive from this site!
I give thanks in large part to Time4Learning for that! Prior to discovering this website, I was struggling to plan lessons and have time for my business; home public school systems were just WAY too time consuming; and strictly unschooling lacked an avenue to teach him how to manage himself during structured activities. I was a VERY frustrated and frazzled home school mom. We also couldn’t afford some of the more expensive systems out there. Time4Learning has fit all of our needs for our son, and I am so thankful.
As a member of Time4Learning, I have been given the opportunity to review their program and share my experiences. While I was compensated, this review was not written or edited by Time4Learning and my opinion is entirely my own. For more information, check out their standards-based curriculum or learn how to write your own curriculum review.