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3 of My Favorite Homeschool Things

I’m having so much fun reading about other homeschooling mom’s favorite things this month! I love our curricula so I feel no need to change anything (except maybe the reading – the program Lisa is using for her emerging reader looks really neat!), but it is fun to get a little virtual peek into a few homeschool classrooms.

This mom shares her favorite planner, history, and reading programs, including a completely FREE curriculum!

Here are a few of my own favorite homeschool things:

The Well-Planned Day Student Planner

StudentPLanner

The Well Planned Day Student Planner is very thorough, compact, and so easy to use. Plus it’s really pretty, which is a huge bonus for my artsy fourth grader! My daughter absolutely loves writing in this planner and she has it double as a regular calendar as well. I will occasionally write her lessons in this planner for her and I have no need for a teacher planner because this one is enough for us.

(On a side note, even though I’m not using a teacher planner this year, I do use The Well Planned Day’s new blog planner and I absolutely love it! Planners are 15% off through Sept. 30.)

The Mystery of History

MOHVol1-2ndEd

I cannot recommend The Mystery of History highly enough. My kids LOVE this history program and they LOVE the audio lessons that are read by the author, Linda Hobar. This is a four-year chronological history program that starts at creation and goes to present day.

I love how Mrs. Hobar connects Biblical History with World History, especially in Volume I – (something that I didn’t even know was possible until I began homeschooling)! For example, did you know the first Olympic games happened just 16 years before Jonah was swallowed by the big fish? I learned that just from reading the table of contents from Volume I!

Depending on our schedules, some years we do several of the suggested activities and other years we just listen to the audio lessons and move on.

All in One Homeschool

ALLinOne

The All in One website is such a blessing to my family! We don’t use it for every subject (although we could!) but I do use it with my kindergartener to help her work on her reading skills, and we’ve recently started using it for music class as well (I plan to start All in One gym soon too!).

The site doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles but once we got the hang of it, we found that it’s really easy to use. It’s also very well thought-out and thorough, and the price (FREE) can’t be beat!

Well, those are three of my favorite homeschool things – what are some of your favorite homeschool things?

Davonne (9 Posts)

Davonne Parks is a married Christian homeschool mom who began teaching her children at home in 2009. She blogs about cultivating a heart for motherhood, as well as organization and simplicity, at DavonneParks.com. Davonne believes that some of life’s richest moments happen when we embrace the beauty of imperfection as we extend grace to ourselves and others. She’s written two eBooks, “101 Time-Saving Tips for Busy Moms” (free to her blog subscribers) and “28 Days to Timeliness: Tips and Confessions from a Semi-Reformed Late Person.”


A Word From Our Sponsors

Homeschool Products from Nest Learning
***3 FREE Complete Drawing Lessons from the SEE THE LIGHT 9 DVD/36 lesson ART CLASS curriculum that is used by many homeschooling families. Recommended for ages 6 + + http://www.seethelightshine.com/free-lessons/***

Lesson Planning Made Easy with Lessontrek {review}

 

Are you like me and write things on scraps of paper, only to lose them later when you need them? How about keeping several separate notebooks, binders, and even computer files so that all your thoughts and plans are scattered and stored in different places? I’ll confess to being guilty of that one, too.

I wanted to try something that could keep things organized and in one place with a system that I could use consistently. Lessontrek is a new online record-keeping software designed to make homeschool lesson planning and grading so much easier for parents.

 

LessonTrek

 

How It Works

Lessontrek offers monthly ($6) and yearly ($60) subscriptions.  The interface is straightforward and easy to use.  Setting up students is a quick process.  This is a screenshot of the student profile setup:

 

Lessontrek Student Profile screenshot

Features
  • Lesson tracker
  • Grade recording
  • Drag and drop lessons to another weekday
  • Copy/paste lessons across weeks
  • Copy/paste an entire week of lessons
  • Print weekly lesson plans
  • Secure information storage
  • Customer support
  • Ongoing improvements based on your feedback

As a new product, Lessontrek is being improved all the time.  New features are in the works, including transcripts, attendance tracking, gradebooks, and more.

Lessontrek also offers a free 14-day no risk trial so you can see how it works before committing to a subscription.

How I Used It

My girls are 12, 7, and 5.  We are relaxed homeschoolers, though our state is highly regulated.  We tend toward delight-directed, almost unschooling, literature-rich studies.  Record-keeping and lesson planning are necessities, but they aren’t easy for us.

Even though we don’t fit neatly into a homeschool method category, Lessontrek worked for us because it is so flexible.  You can plan ahead and create assignments for your kids, as well as assign grades for those lessons. This works well for my oldest daughter who is starting middle school studies this year.  I’m beginning to consider things like credit hours and transcripts for the future.  *gulp*

Or, you can use the system as a way to keep records of what you have actually completed rather than what you plan to complete.  I often write things down after the fact because my two youngest girls are still little and we don’t do everything in a formal way.  I still need to keep track of it for the school district and Lessontrek works well for this.

Like any tracking and grading system, whether paper or digital, consistency is the key. No system will work unless you make it work for you as part of your routine.  That’s where I’ve fallen apart in the past.  I like pen and paper systems, but I often end up spilling tea on them or accidentally tearing pages.  The storage issue is a problem, too.  I want to make digital work for me because it really is practical in the long run.

Some of the features I like best include copy/paste and drag and drop.  These are big time savers and make things a lot easier for me since I tend to move things around when our studies change due to delight-directed detours.

I used Lessontrek on my desktop PC running Windows 7 and a Firefox browser with no issues.  It also works with Chrome, Safari, and Internet 10+.

Save 50% off a yearly subscription

Lessontrek would like to offer ALL of our readers 50% off a 1 year subscription. This makes it very affordable for even tight budgets. Families can get a full year access to Lessontrek for just $30.  Just click the $60 yearly subscription choice and enter the code 2IOL50 in the Payment Info section.  Your credit card will be charged $30 for a full year and then renew for $60 each year thereafter.

If you’re looking for an easy-to-use digital homeschool lesson planning and tracking system that can be accessed from anywhere with any of your computers or devices, you should consider Lessontrek.

 

 

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post written on behalf of Lessontrek.  I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions expressed here are my own.

 

Sara (34 Posts)

I'm a reader, writer, dreamer, wife, and homeschooling mom of 3 girls. We take a relaxed, eclectic, Charlotte Mason-leaning, Montessori-ish, literature-rich, delight-directed, almost unschooling-at-times approach to learning. Lots of unit studies, field trips, and lapbooks, too. I like to blog about our learning adventures (plus faith and encouragement) at Embracing Destiny.


A Word From Our Sponsors

Homeschool Products from Nest Learning
***3 FREE Complete Drawing Lessons from the SEE THE LIGHT 9 DVD/36 lesson ART CLASS curriculum that is used by many homeschooling families. Recommended for ages 6 + + http://www.seethelightshine.com/free-lessons/***

Homeschool Schedules to Fit Your Family

Winding Down or Gearing Up?

Academic years are ending. Most graders are closing out a year and winding down for summer. But not everyone homeschools via an academic school calendar. Many homeschoolers are abandoning the academic schedule concept altogether. Homeschool schedules are vastly different depending on the family. Some are choosing to school through summer, others begin their school year in January and transition with the calendar while others are choosing year round school, taking time off throughout the calendar.

Year Around Homeschool Schedule Options

This is the second summer that I will be homeschooling through the summer. I can’t say that it’s my ideal for a homeschool solution; however, I like the idea of taking time off as we go through the year. But what I found since last summer was that I wasn’t taking off much time at all. Oh, I had taken a day here and there, but nothing was really planned out. Then March rolled around this year and I felt burned out and May rolled in and I just wanted to crash.

That got me to thinking. Surely, I’m not the only one who has the dilemma of how to set a year long homeschool schedule. So I began doing what every good homeschool mom does, homeschool research.

Ideas for Homeschool Year Round Schedules

  • 9 weeks of school followed by 2 weeks off.
  • 4 weeks of school followed by 1 week off.
  • 12 weeks (3 months) of school followed by 4 weeks off (1 month).
  • Set your own schedule. Most state homeschool requirements give a minimum number of hours, that can translate into any number of days or weeks that best fits your family schedule.

So for me I’m looking at this and thinking, ‘Well I’m not sure my life fits any of these schedules.” I’m thinking the set your own schedule might be in my future. The problem with that is, I have to actually sit down and plan a schedule. This is not my strong suit. Especially in the middle of trying to school through summer. Maybe, just maybe I’ll be taking Davonne’s advice from Dear Homeschool Parents Whose Kids are Still in the Books.

The reality is every homeschooling family has different needs so the best schedule for your family is the one that works best for you {Tweet That}. I’m still in the process of figuring out which one that will be.

How about you? Do you school through an academic year, calendar year or year round? What works best for your family?

 

Renée (18 Posts)

Renée Brown is author at her personal blog, Great Peace Academy. She is a homeschooling mom to her one amazing son, Jonathan and has been the wife of her Beloved Michael for 21 years. On her blog you will find discussions about her work as a homeschooling mom, her family and her faith.


A Word From Our Sponsors

Homeschool Products from Nest Learning
***3 FREE Complete Drawing Lessons from the SEE THE LIGHT 9 DVD/36 lesson ART CLASS curriculum that is used by many homeschooling families. Recommended for ages 6 + + http://www.seethelightshine.com/free-lessons/***