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      July 12, 2020

Home  >  Learn to Read  >  Time 4 Learning vs ABC Mouse

Best Learn

To Read Programs

  1. Reading Eggs
  2. Time 4 Learning
  3. Kiz Phonics
  4. ABC Mouse
  5. K5 Learning

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Hooked On Phonics

Reading Eggs

Time 4 Learning

Kiz Phonics

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Time 4 Learning vs ABC Mouse

To help you find the Best Learn To Read Programs, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Time 4 Learning and ABC Mouse.

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Help Your Child Learn To Read With Hooked On Phonics Today! What is the best way for someone to learn to read? There are many approaches to developing literacy in young children, struggling older readers, and even adults. Some education experts advocate the study of phonics, or the sounds that combine to make words, while others push for "whole language" methods that emphasize meaning over sounds.

The most current studies show that the best way to help people learn to read is by mixing both strategies, teaching students how to decode the way words are formed and spoken while encouraging increased comprehension of what's being read.

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Best Reviews

2020

Learn To Read Reviews

4.5 stars
Time 4 Learning

TIME 4 LEARNING

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Cost:

$19.95/month for PreK-8 (1 student)

$14.95/month for each additional student

$30/month for 9th-12th (4 courses)

Time4Learning is a comprehensive learning platform that includes Math and Language Arts while incorporating lessons from the fields of social studies and science. This program is particularly popular with homeschooling families, because of its well-rounded, all-in-one curriculum. Generally speaking, Time4Learning uses lessons that correlate to state standards; of course, with each state setting its own criteria, you may find that the program doesn't precisely match the learning standards where you live.

We strongly recommend that you look through the Lesson Demos for the grade level you're considering. They're broken down by Pre-K, Elementary (K-2nd or 3rd-5th), Middle School and High School levels. That will help you get an idea of whether or not Time4Learning's style is a good fit for your reader. For example, the Pre-K curriculum has 60+ chapters and 350+ activities. In their Learn to Read programming, you'll find games like Sentence Slopes, Syllable Drum, Initial Sounds and Rhyme & Climb.

Time4Learning emphasizes both phonics and whole language concepts. They describe this with their Reading Skills Pyramid, which includes Print Concepts, Phonemic Awareness, Phonics, Fluency, Vocabulary and Comprehension. Lessons are taught by animated characters, helping your student to engage with the material instead of being expected to read it (or have someone read it to them).

One of the best aspects of Time4Learning is that you're not locked into one particular grade level with your monthly membership. Instead, your student will have access to a three grade-level range of curricula. For instance, you can sign your learner up for their second grade level and have access to lessons in both first and third grade. That's a huge perk compared with programs that make you pay per grade level.

Membership plans with Time4Learning start at $19.95/month for students in grades Pre-K through 8, and $30/month for high schoolers. If you have additional children in 8th grade or lower, you can add them for $14.95/month per student. That's more expensive than most of the Learn to Read programs in our review, but is a good value for the money when considering that you get access to a full curriculum and not just reading lessons. There's no contract, so you can start or end your membership at any time.

The company offers a 14-day money-back guarantee. If you use the program for two weeks and decide that it's not the right Learn to Read system for your student, you'll get a full refund. This policy only applies for new members, not for reactivated accounts.

We love that Time4Learning offers free help from Personal Advisors. Their in-house, full-time representatives can help you get started, answer questions about grade placement, explain how the online platform works, and much more. You can opt in for this complimentary feature during the signup process.

Time4Learning has an excellent reputation, from its "A+" rating with the Better Business Bureau to numerous industry awards (including The National Parenting Center Seal of Approval, certification as an IBCCES Autism Resource, and the Disney iParenting Media Award). It's been used by more than 500,000 families around the world over the last 10 years, making this Learn to Read program one of the most highly-rated in our review.

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3 stars
ABC Mouse

ABC MOUSE

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Cost:

$9.95/month

First month free

ABC Mouse is an online educational program designed for children ages 2-8. The materials cover Reading, Math, Science, Art and Colors across 10 levels, with over 850 lessons and 9,000 learning activities.

If your priority is helping someone learn to read, we suggest that you review the Curriculum Overview for Reading. You'll find that link at the bottom of the page. There, you'll get more details about the ways that ABC Mouse targets the following Learn-to-Read foundational skills:

  • Learning Spoken Words
  • Recognizing Sounds in Words [Phonics]
  • Knowing Letter Names and Sounds
  • Sight Words
  • Understanding Stories and Books

ABC Mouse puts a lot of emphasis on Phonics. Under the site's Results and References tab, there's a wealth of information that explains the importance of Phonics to parents, including a webinar from a National Teacher of the Year award-winner, that could be really helpful in understanding how a child learns to read.

According to parents, one of the most motivating aspects of ABC Mouse is the Tickets and Rewards system. As children successfully complete learning activities, they earn virtual tickets that can be used to buy rewards in the online platform, like new items for their digital classroom or add-ons for their avatar. Many parents say that their kids ask to use the program all the time, specifically because they want to earn more tickets.

Parents appreciate ABC Mouse's Progress Tracking system. They can easily and quickly see exactly how their learners are doing, by subject and by academic level.

Pricing for ABC Mouse is straightforward: you'll get a free one-month trial, and then you'll pay $9.95/month thereafter. There are no contracts or long-term commitments. This subscription includes 1 parent account and up to 3 student accounts, making the program a bargain if you have more than one student that needs to learn to read. On the other hand, ABC Mouse doesn't have any satisfaction guarantee or refund policy, so you'll want to make sure you use the program thoroughly during your one-month free trial.

While ABC Mouse's parent company, Age of Learning, has an "A+" rating with the Better Business Bureau, we weren't happy to find so many complaints from customers who said that they were charged for subscriptions they didn't want. While some of those were very clearly situations where the users hadn't read the fine print or followed the required steps for cancelling, especially after the free trial, there were quite a few cases where the customers had followed the process to the letter and still wound up with charges - sometimes months after they thought they had successfully cancelled their subscription.

We also found more than a few comments saying that the Tracking and Rewards feature was glitchy, especially for app users. Some parents said that their children were in tears after working hard for new rewards that mysteriously disappeared.

ABC Mouse is probably best used by younger children; most of the reviews we found from happy customers had children who were 2 or 3 years old and were using the platform for advanced learning. The games and activities would probably be too "babyish" for children on the high end of their recommended spectrum of ages 2-8.

If you decide to give ABC Mouse a try, watch your credit card statements very closely, since the biggest issue users have with the program is related to billing.

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Continued from above

There are many online programs designed to teach these fundamental reading skills to learners of all ages. Of course, younger students have the most potential for rapid skill acquisition, because the human brain is amazingly flexible in the earlier years. Fortunately, hope is not lost for older students, who often have greater vocabulary and background knowledge compared with children and can use those language experiences to help them understand how the printed word works.

As you consider the various Learn to Read programs currently on the market, it's easy to get confused by all of the options. Here are several criteria to keep in mind as you choose the program that is right for your student:

  • Target Age. Is the program geared towards preschool, elementary, or middle school and beyond? You should select a program that isn't too advanced or "babyish", otherwise your learner won't feel engaged with the instruction.
  • Structure. How is the program formatted? Is it online and interactive, just on paper, or a mix of both? Do you have to progress through lessons in a certain amount of time, or can students go at their own pace?
  • Value. How much will it cost to access the Learn to Read program? What do you get for your investment, and is it a good value for your money?
  • Effectiveness / Reputation. What do other customers say about their experience using the program for learning to read? Does it work? Does the company have a good track record for customer service?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best Learn to Read Programs available today. We hope this information will help your student get better at reading, in a way that is fun and effective, right away!

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