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      July 16, 2020

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Time 4 Learning vs K5 Learning

To help you find the Best Learn To Read Programs, provides you with an in-depth comparison of Time 4 Learning and K5 Learning.

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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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Learn To Read Reviews

4.5 stars
Time 4 Learning


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$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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2.5 stars
K5 Learning


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Monthly subscription - $14.95 for the 1st child, $9.95 for additional children

Annual subscription - $119 for the 1st child, $79 for additional children

Free 14-day trial

K5 Learning offers instruction in Reading, Spelling and Math for grade levels Kindergarten through 5th (hence the name "K5"). The program can also be used by advanced learners in preschool but isn't recommended for much younger children.

This program comes with a free 14-day trial, which includes a skills assessment that covers 5 key reading skills:

  • Phonemic Awareness
  • Phonics
  • Sight Words
  • Vocabulary
  • Comprehension

Your membership gets you access to all of K5's curriculum, including downloadable worksheets for further study. Membership options include monthly and yearly plans: $14.95/month or $119/year for one student, $9.95/month or $79/year for each additional child.

Reading comments from parents shed a lot of light on the user experience with K5 Learning. One mother gave examples of words that her second grader was asked to learn, which included "gun" and "wine", and the sentence "He kept a flask in the top drawer of his desk even though it violated company policy." Another parent pointed out that many aspects of the program are not frustrating - parents have to select lessons to assign each day unless they let K5 Learning do it automatically, and students can be frustrated to the point of tears when they accidentally select the wrong answer, because the system doesn't let them go back and change it to the answer they meant to enter.

It's worth noting that most of the reviews of K5 Learning are years old; in fact, at the the of our review, the copyright date at the bottom of the company's website was 5 years prior. That makes us wonder if the program is outdated, compared with other Learn to Read options currently on the market.

You also get a sense of the program's lack of polish when you play the New User Tour video. The voiceover is clearly computer-generated: not a great strategy when you're marketing a Learn to Read program, which should use natural speech for optimal learning. The K5 Intro video had a native speaker voiceover, fortunately.

On a positive note, the BBB gave the company a flawless "A+" rating, so their reputation is decent.

Overall, K5 Learning feels a little cheesy and less up-to-date than most of the Learn to Read programs we evaluated. We strongly recommend that you take advantage of their 14-day trial before choosing a paid membership plan, since there's no credit card information required to give the program a try.

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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? 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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