Once upon a time, (I have it on good authority that all great stories begin this way), there was a young prince who lived in the kingdom of Homeschool-i-ump-umpton. The young prince worked hard each day to prepare himself to one day rule over his own kingdom. But alas, the Queen of Homeschool-i-ump-umpton was concerned that the young prince was only being influenced by her wise teaching. She felt the prince needed to experience the teachings of another scholarly being. So she searched hi and lo across the kingdom for just such a scholar.
One day, while she was searching hi, she came across a scroll in her e-mail inbox. The writ was strange but contained just what she may have been looking for. The author of the scroll was looking for the services of her TOS Homeschool Crew to review a few programs, including a new writing program that was filled with scholarly beings and writ. The beautiful and gracefully aged queen was wise enough to know that her young prince would most likely benefit from just such an experience. So she acquiesced and arranged for her crew to review the various programs that the e-mail scroll inquired of her.
The queen arranged for the young prince to take the Middle School Essays class at the Time 4 Writing website. The course provided a scholarly teacher to help mold the writings of the young prince. The teacher would lead the young prince through the hills and valleys of essay writing over the course of just 8 weeks. The wise queen was satisfied that this would be a beneficial journey for the young prince.
The prince eagerly attacked his new course, eager to prove that he was a scholarly student and able to meet the challenges the teacher would place in his learning path. He completed the exercises and was presented with his first quest–a simple paragraph. He eagerly wrote out his masterpiece, complete with compound and complex sentences. Surely this would earn him the respect of the teacher. But alas, the teacher did not appreciate his efforts. She complained about his complex and compound sentences. He was asked to revise his efforts to suit her style instead.
The young prince was disheartened and sought the advice of his mother, the queen. She looked over his work and secretly suspected that the teacher, (now referred to by the prince as the evil teacher), did not believe that the young prince had actually done this work. She advised the young prince to simplify his work. The young prince did just that and the evil teacher rejoiced.
On the very next quest, the young prince once again simplified his writing and received glowing comments. The prince was still disheartened as he did not appreciate having to dumb down his work and efforts to please the evil teacher. But he rallied to the cause and put on his big boy pants and fought the program he believed to be evil with valor.
After some time, the prince finally reached the mid-way point of the class. He worked really hard and decided he was done with the simple writing as it was boring him. He wrote a masterful rough draft, describing the worst thing he had ever eaten. All of the jesters in the kingdom laughed with much force and the prince was satisfied with his efforts. He turned in his rough draft as the program had instructed and waited with bated breath for the commentary of the evil teacher. Once again he was asked to revise his work to suit the style of the teacher. The comments she made went against other things she had said previously and the young prince was confused. He did not understand the contradictions she made with her own rules and methods. He once again turned to the queen for help.
At this point the queen decided that the young prince had done enough and pulled him from the program. Her young subject needed consistency in order to thrive. She explained to the young prince that he was done with the course and he rejoiced that the queen had saved him from the evil teacher. The wise queen explained to the young prince that the teacher was really not evil. She was just most likely used to students from the public school kingdom and didn’t know what to expect from students from Homeschool -i-ump-umpton.
The queen penned into her notes that the program, which cost $99 for 8 weeks, was not a good fit for her family. The program might be a good fit for others though who were searching for help with basic writing skills. It would also be a great fit for public school children who are striving to improve their writing.
The queen closed her notes and things were once again happy in the kingdom of Homeschool-i-ump-umpton.
You can read what the TOS Crew thought of this and the other programs by Time 4 Learning here.
*Disclaimer: I received a free subscription to Time 4 Writing directly from Time 4 Learning in exchange for this review. No additional compensation was provided and the thoughts expressed are my own.*