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I'm finally getting together the kids stuff for the year. Last year we started T4L with Nevaeh (almost 8) and abcmouse for Aidan (3.5). I have been using the "Learn at Home" series books to compliment and enhance the curriculum along with other goodies found here and there and whatever I pull out of left field to fill the gaps and enhance the T4L stuff.
This year I'm looking at Studyladder.com and it seems to have some fun stuff on there. I signed up for the free trial, but still trying to decide if it's worth the money. I have about $100 bux left in the budget to go towards curriculum related resources. I'm battling about putting it towards Study Ladder or Time4Writing. Although, I have been eyeballing the Scott Foresman Reading curriculum that is online and it seems comparable to T4W (at least at Nevaeh's level), so if I go the Scott Foresman route, I'm leaning towards going for the goal and getting Studyladder (which would be a bang for the buck I think because I can use it for both kids).
I feel like I came out on top this year finding a lot more free resources to use and I'm looking forward to trying all this new stuff!
So I'm curious if anyone else uses Studyladder.com and I wonder what your kids think about it, and if you see that it makes a difference in their learning. 88 bux is a lot in my family and I sure don't want to waste it!
First, let me say I've never used it, so I can't comment personally about it.
Second, I have to say I wouldn't use it. When you click the "courses" link at the bottom of the page, it takes you nowhere. You don't get to see what anything looks like or how it works without giving them your info first (signing up for a "free" account). The site is less than a year old, and it was primarily developed for PS teachers in Aus/NZ, with input from Canada & US (supposedly?). How much content can it possibly have in that little amount of time? Also, when you go to the sign-up page, the text isn't lined up right so that the submission box overlays it. That's just lazy web work (or inexperienced?). It makes me wonder what else will have bugs.
I would definitely use the free trial, yes, but I wouldn't spend that much money until it's been around a few more years and has had time to get the bugs worked out. I'd wait to see reviews from people in the US who have no ties to the company behind the product. It says it's full of videos & worksheets. You can get that free all over the place. Have you looked at sites like these, first:?
I am employed by Studyladder and just wanted to clarify some of the comments above which are all very good points.
1: Yes Studyladder is a new brand just over a year old but it incorporates 10 years work by teachers, the original brand was smartkiddies which covered just math + english. It now lists 10 subjects. I believe Studyladder has more resources across more subjects for elementary students than any other website. So there is definitely no shortage of resource material. (Over 6000 individual resources)
2: The RESOURCE link at the bottom of the page does go to screen shots of each resource, you just need to drill in further than one link and deeper into subjects to see these without signing in.
3: With regards to layout of signup pages, we have tested these across all major browser. Please post here what browser you are using or email support at studdyladder. with this information and we will get this fixed within 24hrs if you are using a browser we haven't tested yet.
4: We have teachers, programmers and support staff all ready to help 24/7. It is hard for any parent to see what website is worth joining which is why we allow free trials, we really appreciate ALL FEEDBACK especially well thought out responses like this from BENSMUM. Bensmum points are all very good points and we have already emailed them to our team to see if we can improve in these areas.
In the end the only people you can really trust is other parents and teachers who are using a product. Please take time to check out Studyladder's facebook page it is mostly USA teachers and parents making the comments here. Also go to Studyladder and flick through some of the testimonials there are 100's from existing users.
If anyone reads this and wishes to try Studyladder, join now for a free trial and then contact us quoting JUSTMOMMIES and we will give your family full paid access for 60days so you can decide yourself. We have teachers already in over 10,000 USA schools using studyladder. Also this month we are launching a new version aligned with the USA Core State Standards. The special 2 month offer is only valid until Oct 2012
If anyone has any further questions please contact support at studyladder.
Thanks for your response, Robert. Below is a screenshot of what I was talking about (taken from IE... just checked Firefox, and it looks fine). I now see that you were trying to stop the line to put text within it, but the line didn't stop in IE. When I opened it in IE, it looked as if the entire form were shifted upward about 1/2 inch.
I'm curious what the difference is between parent and homeschool accounts. When I clicked homeschool to test the sign up, I was directed to the parent sign-up. It's a bit confusing. If they're the same, I'd simply have a parent account like LetsGoLearn does. Also interesting that you only require 4 character passwords. I would, at a minimum, require 8 characters including 1 letter and 1 number. (My husband is in the security field, so I hear that lecture quite often.) After you told me to go to the resource link, it still took me a few minutes to figure out what you were talking about. I have a background in web design, so I'm used to glancing over anything that is below the bottom navigation pane, assuming it's just copyright blah-blah. When you click "courses", I'd recommend taking that link to a new landing page, and on that landing page, I would separate math and language into two columns and/or colors, with links below them so it's easy to click through the site. When the page doesn't change other than the links showing up in gray at the bottom of the page, people will smaller screen sizes or those working from other types of devices won't even see the links unless they already know to scroll down.
Curious... how did you find this post so quickly? What is your role at SL?
I contacted support and linked them to this page. They promptly responded. I'll post a portion of their response here:
"Thank you for your email we are pleased you have contacted us, you now have 60 days full paid access which the reverts to limited access . Next week we are launching our version that is algned with the USA Core Stae Standards. It is the same material but arranged to match your national state standards.
Please let us know what you think, a lot of the material is printed material for teachers to use in the classrooms your children can skip these if you wish only to use the online resources.
You can now login and you will have FULL ACCESS. All your children will have unlimited access to lessons as well as access to extra reward features such as the "treasure chest" and other items."
I'll get it set up so that my daughter can start testing it out this week and I'll let you know what we think.
Things that I'm looking for:
-Ease of use: will I have to guide her through the website or will she be able to navigate it on her own.
-Is she learning anything? Does it enhance her lessons?
Honestly, I know this may be silly, but I'm really looking forward to extras like art, language & culture, music, health, safety, and citizenship.
I really appreciate the opportunity to have full access for a season while we try to decide on the purchase.
I really appreciate your feedback, to answer your question I am in charge of customer support. Thanks for the screenshot, we will get this alignment issue fixed right away. We normally test all versions of IE with the IE tester.
Our online support attempts to respond to all emails within 24 hrs. FYI we discovered the post promptly as we have a google alert set up for our brand name. Its great to get feedback from a parent with such good IT knowledge, although I would preview it to be less public, but we are always happy to be transparent.
I did not mention to you in the last post that last month Studyladder was awarded one of the "2012 BEST Websites for teaching and learning" by the American Association of School Librarians which is a very respected association in the US, we were awarded this for "Content Resources" which is the most important area of the awards as far as we are concerned.
The parent and homeschool sign-ups are currently the same as you noticed but we do have plans to offer homeschoolers more features than non homeschoolers. This is why we have separate signups so that when these new features are added we know who to allocate them to.
Please let me know if you have any more questions.
I have seen it advertised as well but never really checked it out, price was my issue and then when I looked they wanted payment info. and that is my big turn off as it is a hassle and usually doesnt go through right when you cancel. It seems to be better from what I read than T4L, which we tried and didnt like even as a supp. Give it a shot and let us know what you think of it.