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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 all of your computers, 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 (25 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.


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How to Start a Homeschool Group

 

 

Guest post by Misty from Joy in the Journey.

Homeschool groups offer so much to homeschoolers. They offer friendship opportunities for parents and kids. Homeschool groups can offer field trips, co-op classes, and sports groups. Homeschool groups help answer the annoying “What about socialization?” question. In my opinion, they are essential to homeschool success. However, they are also hard to find sometimes, and can be overwhelming to consider starting.

How to Start a #Homeschool Group @hsbapostPhoto Credit: Kevin Dooley via Creative Commons

When I began homeschooling, our area did not have a local homeschool group. I founded our group with the help of two friends. Within a few years, we have over 50 families in our group. Starting a homeschool group can be a great blessing to you and your family, as well as new homeschoolers who may be afraid to step out into homeschooling without a support group. If your area does not have a homeschool group or if you are considering starting one of your own there are a few things that can help.

The first thing to do is find a couple other homeschool families to get started. If you know some already great! Get with them, and see if they are interested in starting a group. If you don’t know any homeschoolers ask around your church and family. Usually you can find someone who knows someone who homeschools. Libraries are another good area to find homeschoolers. Ask your librarian if they know any, and if they do leave your number so they can pass it on.

Once you have a few homeschoolers who are interested in a group, you will need to find an online platform for communication. This is the easiest way for members to communicate with each other. There are a few different options for online communication:

Web Page- This is a good option if you believe your group is going to be large, or you are going to charge an annual fee. Web pages can have “member access” areas for field trip and co-op information. A good example of a homeschool group webpage can be found here.

Facebook-Facebook is a great free tool for groups. This is the platform our homeschool group uses and it works really well. You can add members, create events, and stay in contact with most people in your group. The only down fall is that unbelievably…not everyone has a Facebook.

Email- If your group is small, and you have numerous members who do not have a Facebook account then an email group correspondence may be your best bet. One member of the group can send out emails to everyone in the group regarding field trip information and get togethers.

Yahoo Groups- Yahoo offers group pages and they are easy to set up. This option is a nice one for those groups who may not want to mess with email, and have multiple members without a Facebook page.

Another thing to consider when starting a homeschool group is what do you want from it? What do the other families want? Consider this and make up a mission statement. You may also want to consider a few standard rules that go along with your mission statement. For example, our group is only open to homeschool families who are okay with the Christian faith. It is set up so all members can plan events, and our rules are simple and state that all members must treat each other with respect.

Starting a homeschool group may seem daunting but I promise you that your work will not be done in vain. Homeschool groups are a huge blessing to new homeschool families, and give them encouragement to get started on their homeschool journey. They offer friendship for our children, and support for us moms who have been on the journey for a while. Some of my best friends are in our homeschool group, and I honestly do not know where we would be if I wouldn’t have taken the step to get our group started. So, if you cannot find a homeschool group near you, take the first step and get one started. Yes, it is a lot of work but once you begin to see the fruit of your labor, you will not regret it!
Misty @ Joy in the Journey

Misty Bailey is a wife to Roger and a homeschool mom to three beautiful blessings. She resides with her family in Southern Ohio. She loves helping new homeschoolers and shares her struggles with time management, becoming unglued, and finding joy in the everyday moments on her blog Joy in the Journey.

 

 

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Dawn (24 Posts)

Dawn is still happily homeschooling after 16 years. She teaches her two sons, 13 & 11, enjoying every minute of "the second time around". She lives in Eastern Washington with her husband, the youngest 2 of their 6 kids, and an assortment of barking, squeaking, and clucking critters. She writes at her homeschool/parenting blog The Momma Knows and her new chapter, Dawn Marie Perkins. You can also find her on Twitter @DawnMPerkins, , and Pinterest.


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Homeschool Products from Nest Learning
***ART CLASS curriculum: 10% off + 10% off on all other products in order + FREE SHIPPING in U.S. Code : HSP Offer expires August 31st. www.seethelightshine.com***