Sunday, August 3, 2008
One of the biggest struggles I had while teaching public school was the record keeping. Writing down lesson plans and then averaging grades was quite time consuming. A few years ago my homeschool mentor Bonnie introduced me to Homeschool Tracker (www.homeschooltracker.com). This has been a lifesaver. I started out with the basic version that is free, but quickly learned how valuable the Plus version is. It now costs $49. but every time they develop a new update, you get it for free. (I think I paid only $35. for ours). This unique software helps you keep attendance, hours, and grades. During the summer I decide what I want our school year to be. We generally run from July 1 - June 30. I set holidays and vacations that suit our family. Then I set up the lesson plans for each subject for the entire year. This takes a little time, but I guess I need something to do while the kids are at the pool. On the weekend prior to our week of school I "assign" lessons to the days of the week. It may take 20 minutes for all 4 kids. I then print them each off an assignment sheet so that they know what to do each day. HT also averages the grades. All I do is input how many points possible and how many are correct. I classify it as homework, quiz, test, project, lab, or a custom named one and it will even do weighted grading. HT keeps track of field trips, a book log, and journal. The reports it will publish are phenomenal. I can print assignment sheets, report cards, and even transcripts! This makes it such a valuable tool for high school. There's still several things I haven't learned in using this, but for now I can't recommend it enough.