In the past I have done all my record keeping in notebooks mostly and it has worked pretty well. But when I was contacted by Lessontrek to try out their brand new online lesson planning program I decided to give it a try.
Before I get into how I am using Lessontrek, I just want to let you know a few things first.
Lessontrek is still very new and while they have many neat features available, they have many more in the works. They spent some time beta testing the program and are using the feedback they received to work on new features that will be coming available in the months ahead. They have an excellent team working on this app and I am very excited to see all the new features that will be added soon!
I don’t grade my kids’ work. Lessontrek does have the ability to enter grades for each assignment and also keep track of hours if you want. I may use this feature later, but for now I am not. Hence, I am not using the “Assignments” feature where you can create assignment types for each subject and have each assignment type given a weight for the grading.
Our homeschool is very literature based. Because of this we read a lot of books. This affects the way I am keeping records and I will explain how I am using Lessontrek to do this below.
I tend to do my homeschool record keeping by recording what we did each day. With Lessontrek, while you have the ability to actually make out lesson plans for each subject, entering assignments for each day of the week, etc., I am using it more as a journal to record what is done for each subject. I will go into more detail below.
How I am using Lessontrek!
I have four children that I am homeschooling right now. I set up each child as a student in Lessontrek, and then I set up each of their subjects that they do independently (not our together studies). I then set up a week with the subjects for each day entered into the planner. Then I copied that week over the next month or so to get us to the end of this school year.
Here you can see how I set up a week with the subjects, all ready for me to fill in under each subject what is completed each day (click on image to see enlarged).
On the left side you can see the students, and you simply click on the student to go to their planner page. By doing this, I can quickly see what subjects they need to do each day. It is really easy to click on the “Click to add lesson description” link and type in what was done that day for each subject.
The subject boxes have a “drag and drop” feature that allows you to click and drag a subject box to another day. You can also copy a whole week and paste it into another week. I used this feature by setting up a week with the subjects for each day, and then copied that week over multiple weeks through the end of the school year. It was very easy and quick to do and makes it so nice to have it all laid out for me each week.
I mentioned above that we do a lot of reading — reading aloud and the kids reading on their own. So here is how I set up Lessontrek to record those subjects that we study together. I set up a “student’ that is called “Together Studies” and set up subjects for that student that we do together (history, science, literature, composers, art, etc.). That way I can record in a similar way each day what we do in our “Together Studies”.
Here is a screenshot of this week (click on the image to enlarge). As you can see, we finished up a World History unit and began a Literature unit. I recorded in the description under each what we did each day.
For the reading that the kids do individually, I set up a subject for each child called “Reading”. I use that subject to record any reading the kids do — whether it is the younger ones reading out loud to me, or my older ones reading books on their own. See the screenshots above to see the “Reading” subject to see what I mean.
I think this could even work great for older kids to log on and record each day what they do. I know some people record hours for credits, and it would be pretty simple for older kids to go into the day’s subject and record how many minutes they worked. So far I haven’t used this, but I can see where it might be something in the future I would use.
More report options are in the works, but for now you have the ability to print each week’s lesson plan page. It prints a nice-looking page that you can keep for your records. I plan on printing out the weekly pages for each child, and then making copies of the “Together Studies” weekly pages to keep with each child’s records for the year.
What I like about Lessontrek:
* It is easy to set up and use.
* It is affordable at only $6/month or $60/year. You can even try it out with a 20-day money back guarantee!
* I love it being online which allows me to log on with any computer and fill in the lesson plan pages.
* I will have all my records in one place and each year will be archived so I can access them in my account at any time.
* I love how everything is color coded — you can assign colors for each child and each subject!
* The customer service is excellent.
If you are looking for an easy to use solution to homeschool lesson planning, check out Lessontrek today!