I think one thing most homeschooling moms dread is record keeping. If you're anything like me, you're at the end of the term or semester and trying to play catch up. If you're looking for a little bit of help with not only keeping track of test scores, but also your lesson plans, then I may have the answer. I've been reviewing My School Year (Homeschool Record Keeping) from MySchoolYear.comhttps://www.myschoolyear.com/. This is an online program that you can access via laptop, iPhone, tablet, etc.
Setting up your account and adding your student's information takes just a few minutes. Then for each child you are able to add classes, daily lesson plans, grades, attendance, extra-curricular activities, a reading log, and more. This is so nice to have all your information in one place.
It does take some time to learn to use, and after using it for a few weeks, I still feel I have a ways to go until I've mastered this online planner. Thankfully, it helps guide you along, and gives helpful reminders along the way.
I began by setting up our daily lesson plans. This didn't take too long and you can chose to have a daily or weekly email sent to you (as well as your child if they have email). If you like to plan out weeks or months at a time, this is great for you. You can sit back and have the lesson plans emailed to you on a weekly basis. Because our schedule is so crazy, I set our work schedule from week to week.
If your child does the same time of work each day, you are able to use the option "Rapid Repeat". This is what I chose as it helps us to be a bit more flexible. I love that they give you the choice.
One option that I couldn't find, but maybe I just missed it, is to have both of my children's lessons for the week come up on the same page, rather than individual.
I really liked the book log. You can list the book your child is reading, and it helps keep track of the books they have read for the year.
There is also a section for extra-curricular activities. This would be a great place to add their sports or any other activities your child is involved in. My kids both do scouts, so I was able to add this here.
MySchoolYear.Com also allows you to enter all your child's test and they do the averaging for you. There is also a section that help you make a transcript for your high schooler (something I need to think about next year!).
If you'd like more information, you can go on a tour here of MySchoolYear.com. It may answer any questions that I've missed.
All in all, MySchoolYear.com isn't a great fit for me, but mainly because I'm a pen and paper girl. I love paper planners, and find that works best for me. But I know many of you love online planners, and if you want to give this a go click here for a free 30 day trial.
Math is a subject that my kids seem to struggle in. Some days it can be their favourite (those days when they master a concept), but other days they put it off to last which only causes more problems. We recently had the privilege to review a fun math program called LearnBop for Families which is created by LearnBop. I'm always keen for any program that makes math a bit easier, so I was excited to give it a go.
LearnBop is for grades 3-12. We used this for my son who is in grade 3, but after using it, I am planning to also have my daughter begin the program after the school holidays.
Aren't comfortable helping their child with math concepts
Don't have consistent time in their schedule to help
Want a more affordable option than a tutor
Need a proven math solution
How LearnBop works...
Chose a Learning Roadmap - This is where you chose the grade level or math concept. Starting at 3rd grade was a bit hard for us since my son is only in 3rd grade, so there were many things he has not learned yet. But we were able to pick concepts to continue building on what he is currently learning, and skip others that he has not learned yet. For us, it may have been better to start him in 4th grade and use this as a review of 3rd grade. Having the option to pick a grade lever or a concept is a clever idea. Not all students learn math concepts in the same order, so you can jump around and do the work you chose.
Identify Knowledge Gaps - After you have chosen your grade level or math concept, they will have your child do a warm-up that shows any areas the child needs improvement. LearnBop then personalizes the child's Roadmap so they can focus on areas the child needs to work on. How awesome is that?!
Learn and Master Concepts - As your child begins their Roadmap, they will learn from thousands of instructional videos. This was my son's favourite! Once they watch the video they will do the exercises. Every math problem has helps along the way.
Build Confidence - As your child completes the math problems they can track their progress and see how they have improved, in turn this builds their confidence to continue on. I loved how they encouraged my son not stay focused and not give up. Here's an example of the chart:
Get Real Time Insight - Another bonus to this online math program was the parent section. Here I could see my son's Roadmap and his progress. It always makes you feel good to see your child progressing.
For $14.95/month (single student price), I think it's worth giving LearnBop a try. You can cancel at any time. I have seen my son's math skills improve throughout the course of using LearnBop for Families. Like I mentioned, I plan to have my daughter start using LearnBop after the school holidays. She's in pre-algebra, and I'd like her to master these skills before moving onto Algebra.
As a side note, if you struggle with math, this would be an awesome program for you! I like math, but still struggle with some concepts. I found myself going over a few things, and found it to be very helpful!
Recently we had the opportunity to review the Give Me Liberty E-Guide from Progeny Press. We have been searching for a good literature program. Many programs limit what you can read, or make the choices for you. It was refreshing to see the large selection of books and guides that you can chose from.
We received the Give Me Liberty E-Guide and purchased the Give Me Liberty book separately. You can purchase the book through Progeny Press when you purchase the E-Guide. This E-Guide is recommended for middle school (grades 6-8).
I printed the E-Guide and added the binding myself.
How we used the E-Guide and book.
There was not a lot of prep for me to do. (Yay!) I printed the book, did the binding, and gave it a quick read through. This is what we found to work best for us, my daughter would read a chapter or two each day, and then would answer the questions on the following day. She enjoyed this method, and didn't seem overwhelmed. The E-Guide was easy to follow. The questions were not always easy, and you had to do the actual reading to find the answers. No skim reading!
There are many activities for comprehension, so my daughter wasn't bored with doing the same thing every day. The work includes multiple choice questions, matching, crossword puzzles, answer questions in your own words, and much more.
There is also a vocabulary section for each chapter. So many literature courses skip this, and I feel it's so important. I've found with my daughter (and I'm sure like most kids) she will skim over words she can't pronounce or if she doesn't know what they mean. The first part of every section have vocabulary words and you match with the definition.
Another favorite of mine is the Dig Deeper sections - I loved this section because it has the student search the Scriptures and compare with things they have read in the book. For example, in the book it talks about a person who had a dangerous burst of rage and destroyed something. The E-Guide has you look up Scriptures on self-control, anger, shame, and remorse. It then has the student tell how the situation should have been handled. To me, the Dig Deeper sections are the best part of the E-Guide.
At the end of the E-Guide there is a section called "Writing and After-You-Read Activities". The student can pick one or two of the assignments to do. Of course, if they're really keen they can do more. We are not quite at the end of the book, but one of the suggestions is a field trip to Colonial Williamsburg. I thought it would be fun to find some things online, and look at photos of a trip we took there a few years back.
There are 15 activities to chose from focusing on art, music, creative writing, journalism, drama, and more.
At the end of the E-Guide is the answer key for the entire course.
Table of Contents
The study guides are divided up into 4 categories that make it easy for searching: lower elementary, upper elementary, middle school, and high school. There are so many books to chose from, I don't think you'll be disappointed.
We had a lovely evening at the Katherine Outback Experience. We have lived in Katherine for over 2 years and have never been here before. It is now on our list of places to take guests. My kids enjoyed watching Tom Curtain brake in a wild horse and he also showed us how he trains dogs to work on the cattle stations. It was a fun evening!
He even sang to us while riding a horse.
Cody was in love with all the animals running around.