Friday, March 27, 2015

HomeSchool Office, by Lord Heritage {Schoolhouse Review Crew}

HomeSchool Office Review
Do you struggle with organization? Or lesson planning? Are you searching for a program to assist in that? I'd like to invite you to check out HomeSchool Office, by Lord Heritage! This useful tool may be just what you are seeking.

It is an online program (which I've recently had the opportunity to review), so you won't ever have to worry about your computer crashing, and losing all your lesson plans, records, etc. Read the product features and purpose here.
I like the home page, when you first log in. The navigation bar across the top makes it easy to navigate to where you need to go. There is also a place to share messages among your family members, which would be like texting or messaging each other. There is also the reminders feature right there on the home page, too. That helps us all see when orthodontist appointments are coming up, etc.

After I set up my account, and set up student accounts, I then went in to the plan section, and added in my boys' subjects for this school year.
You list the school year, student's name, subject, and you have the ability to record the required hours, and credit hours, which is very handy for your high school student. You can even fill in the books and materials needed, as well as the goals or objectives for that subject.
To add lessons, I clicked on the subjects tab, clicked on the edit button in front of the subject I wanted to add lessons for: Little Bit's math, for instance. Then click on the lessons tab, then add the lesson.

I didn't see any way to "batch edit," which would come in especially handy for subjects where you just want your student to do the next consecutive lesson, as in math. Instead you have to manually add each day's lesson. Of course, as my mom (a retired church school teacher) pointed out, she always had to manually add each day's lesson to her planner...and that was handwritten, because they didn't have/use computers "back then."
I also went to the master schedule tab, to fill in the boys' basic daily schedule. I clicked on the choose calendars tab, to make a calendar for each boy...and I was able to color-code it! That makes the week look all pretty and colorful! I also made a birthday calendar, and an appointments calendar.

When we glance at the week, using all calendars, it is easy for me to see what each boy should be doing, and when. I can also see the check marks for each of their completed lessons.

There is a To do list, that can also keep us organized. I suppose you can add things there like, plan menu or clean closet, or have one of the boys mow the lawn, etc. I didn't get around to trying that feature out, yet.
I like how the day view of the calendar looks, even including the "all day" event of the birthday on there. I like calendars does my youngest! 

When my students log in, they see the home page, and have access to the work tab, which shows them their calendar. They can view by month, week, or day. On the day view, if they tap on the subject, a box pops up, and tells them their assignment for that day.
Another feature is the reporting. You can create a report card, and even build a transcript; very valuable for those high school years. The report builder creates a printable report, which includes attendance, grades for each subject, and credit hours earned, etc. This is especially useful if you live in a state which requires such information; just include it with your portfolio.

I'll admit, because this is totally online (but you can print off lessons, calendars, reports, transcripts, etc.), and we spent much of the review period at in Florida with very limited internet access, we didn't get to utilize this nearly as much as I wanted to! I am thankful for the one year subscription we have available to us, though, so I can have time to explore even further.

The two things I was most looking for were a way to "batch edit" so I could just have my boys "do the next lesson" in each of their core subjects. I also was looking for a way to keep track of the work my high schooler actually completes each day, with a check off type feature. He likes to work independently, but I also need to make sure he really is doing his schoolwork! ;-)

Be sure to read the rest of the reviews by my fellow Crew mates, and then decide if you think this with help with your homeschool management.

HomeSchool Office Review

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