Friday, October 29, 2010

Time4Writing Update

You may recall that over a month ago, I completed a review of an online writing curriculum called Time4Writing. If you would like to see my thoughts on the program, or details about what it entails, you can check out that post HERE.

Once our review was done, I gave Tex the option of stopping using the online course, but he declined, saying that he'd started it and wanted to finish it. Well, a month later, he is done with the program and earned his certificiate of completion. He is very satisfied with his accomplishment and with his experiences using this program.

Since we mentioned having a few issues with the program duing our initial review period, I thought it only fair to let you know how those issues were resolved very much to our satisfaction.

During the first few weeks of our use of this program, we had some communications issues with Tex's instructor. I felt as if there were not enough guidelines for what was expected at his level, and also felt that the grades/corrected errors were not well explained. I was having to spend a lot of time teaching Tex myself, and to me, the appeal of an online, teacher-graded program, was to release me from having to teach everything.

I wound up writing a lengthy note to the teacher about my concerns, and was pleasantly surprised when she responded positively and showed an almost immediate turnaround in the way she was handling her grading and remarks about Tex's writing. She started giving very detailed reasons for her marks, and taught him how to fix his mistakes. Her comments became more positive (which is what Tex thrives on) and he took the bit in his teeth and ran with that, eagerly completing the remaining assignments, trying to wow her with each one (instead of feeling he couldn't please her). She was a great teacher for him, once we worked out that homeschoolers are a bit different than public schooler, and I very much appreciated her efforts to help Tex improve his writing skills.

Overall, I would have to say that it was a great program for our current situation (I have two who are learning to read this year, plus other things, and needed help with the teaching load). In light of how agreeable this teacher was to adjusting her style to fit my student's needs, I would definintely consider enrolling Tex in another class at Time4Writing in the future.

One of my other concerns had been time constraints (we homeschoolers appreciate our freedom), but I want you to know that the administration of Time4Writing was very helpful, not just once, but twice, in adjusting the class time-frame to meet our needs. They increased the length of time we had up front (since this was a review situation) to accomodate our family vacation, and at the end, when we were one assignment away from completion and time had run out, they gave us an additional few days to finish our assignments.

Thanks, Time4Writing, for a great experience, and thank you very much, Mrs. Burrows, for being a great teacher.

Tex enjoyed Time4Writing and wants me to share that though some of the assignments were a bit easy for him, he thought they were all fun and liked the writing topics, in general. He felt he learned to be a better writer, because this program challenged him to try new styles and explore different ideas.

I'd like to share with you his final writing assignment, as well as her comments, as I thought they were particularly nice and demonstrate how connected she was to him as a student by the end of the program.

If you have further questions about the Time4Writing program, you can check out my original post HERE. It has links to the program's website, as well as a link to other reviews on the product by other members of the TOS Crew.


8.5 Expository Paragraph: What do you think is more important, how a person looks
or how a person acts towards others? Remember to support your opinion.
Pretty Is As Pretty Does
by Tex
     There is an old folk saying that goes, "Pretty is as pretty does," and I believe this to be true. It means that beauty comes from your heart and your actions, not from what you look like. No one wants to be friends with someone with a bad attitude, no matter how good looking they are. People might stick around for a while, but in the end they will leave the rudeness and negativity behind. Folks just don't want to stay around people who are bickering and gossiping constantly, or who are always talking and thinking about themselves. The truth is, God does not look on the outside either. He looks at what's inside to see what is in your heart. It is whatever is in your heart that reflects who you really are. Most people look at your heart, too. In the end, it's better to be ugly with a good attitude, then to be beautiful with a crummy one. Beauty starts on the inside, and slowly and surely will shine through.


You made me cry with your paragraph -- it was that well written! I could tell you connected with the prompt because your writing was so 'real.' Grade 100%

Your overall writing style is organized, focused and detailed - all of the aspects of strong writing! Please save this piece of writing for your portfolio, as this is the sort of writing that wins contests - or gets you into a great college! Nice job, Tex!

Ms. Burrows


We were initially given a complimentary class from Time4Writing in exchange for writing an honest review about our experiences with the product. I was not solicited to write this follow-up review, or compensated in any way. I wrote it because I feel that you should have all the facts about our experiences with this product, so you can best make a decision about what is likely to work for your family. I hope this review helps you. If you have further questions, please feel free to contact me.




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