Wednesday, August 16, 2017

High School Lesson Planning and Record Keeping

I've been using Homeschool Tracker to organize and document our school days since the very first week we began homeschooling back in January 2012. A couple of years ago I moved to Homeschool Tracker Online, despite some misgivings about it. Thankfully, we love it this version and the online service has provided me with expanded options to access our information, including a login for Amber that makes her more independent.


How I Plan:
I tend to be a planner. I like to have lesson plans set out for all of Amber's subjects before school starts. This means I give up some time in June or July, but the whole school year is ready and I simply load up what we need each week and assign it to Amber. While this method is a bit of a pain during the summer, it keeps our school year moving smoothly when I get busy later in the year.

Planning out our lessons in advance also lets me see if I'm planning too much in any particular subject, especially in those courses where I've combined multiple curricula or where I've designed the course myself. I can select my lessons and see how they would fit on the schedule. Occasionally, I need to prune a little, although rarely do we need more lessons added.

Scheduling: 
Every year I create a daily schedule for us through Homeschool Tracker, but more and more we tend to go by our own schedule each day. It's hard to plan for the many appointments that come up between us all, or the sick days that one or both of us need to take. Still, I create the schedule to ensure the subjects and classes we have planned are actually feasible to complete. It also gives me a way to automatically move my lesson plans to various days each week. I just love how I can pop those lesson plans over to the schedule!


Independence:
Now that Amber is older and in high school, she is fairly independent. I schedule out her lessons each day and she can use her Homeschool Tracker login to see her assignments. If I've done my work properly, Amber has all the details needed to complete most of her lessons independently; she simply marks them as complete and turns in her work for review by me. In the case of subjects we work on together, she can see what is assigned and come to me when she is ready for those lessons.

Reports:
Along with being a planner comes the need to know our current status each week (hey... at least it isn't each day anymore). Because we keep Homeschool Tracker Online updated as we go, I can simply check the current hours report or the other tracking reports to see how we stand for the school year. Are we working enough each week to stay on track or have we fallen behind with sick days and relaxation days?

And although I'm not fond of the transcript formats with Homeschool Tracker, all of the data is there and transcripts are easily generated. I really won't have to do much to come up with a high school transcript for Amber when the time comes, because Homeschool Tracker tells me how many credits Amber has earned, in which subjects, which years, with the descriptions I entered while we were in the thick of the course.

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While yes our method takes work up front and we need to keep it updated, our homeschool days really do run smoothly for the whole school year with just the little bit of effort needed to use our tracking software.

Please visit the other members of the Homeschool Review Crew to read how they plan for their school years.

Back to Homeschool Annual Blog Hop - 2017

3 comments:

  1. can you reverse plan with homeschool tracker? Just marking in what you accomplished or doesn't it have that option?

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    Replies
    1. Yes, absolutely. We do that with a few subjects and especially review items that I do not create lesson plans for. And on days like today, when I had to be gone for a doctor's appointment, Amber has edit access to add to the schedule if she does something additional that I had not thought to put on the schedule for her.

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  2. Another Homeschool Tracker user here!! Love it. Although I've never used the schedule feature - we tend to have a routine we follow loosely, and it doesn't end well if we try to regulate the times too much.

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