Are you disorganized and praying for things to change?
Well, I have the perfect tool for you to use. Recently, I was given the opportunity to review HomeSchool Office from Lord Heritage for the SchoolHouse Review Crew. I received a one year (12 months) free subscription to the program.
Lord Heritage's HomeSchool Office is a web-based program that provides a variety of tools to help you plan, organize, and manage your homeschool. Having a well organized homeschool is essential to keeping things running smoothly. HomeSchool Office is extremely flexible and works with any curriculum. Whether you have 1 or 10 kids this program can help you organize it all.
HomeSchool Office uses the POWER strategy. The power strategy is a comprehension program that follows God's proven way.
~build a master schedule
~ set up lessons
~ create projects for home or co-ops
~ plan a budget
~integrate home & school activities
~add important reminders
~create personalized lists
~ manage everyday to do lists
~follow daily lesson plans
~view or print individual schedules
~ allow student access
~ manage state regulations
By using the HomeSchool Office online program, you can plan and organize your daily homeschool life as well as your year to year homeschool journey. The program not only helps you plan the day to day lessons, it allows you to keep track of activities, subjects, and to create reports. By doing all of these things, it makes building a transcript extremely easy, especially for the high school years.
Once I logged it, I went about setting up my information. Be prepared this will take some time. HomeSchool Office is extremely thorough and asks for a lot of information!
Most of the information needed is pretty useful, but there were a few things I thought were not overly important. Maybe when you are creating transcripts you need all the "extra" information, but for families with younger kids it may be too much. I didn't see why I needed to enter in all the phone numbers and addresses for all the kids. To me it would seem the program would know that each child's address would be the same since we are homeschooling. Maybe just being able to check a box that says use existing address would help the set up process go quicker.
Setting up your homeschool should have been easy. I didn't find that to be the case. I had problems with the program freezing and not saving information. After a few tries, I was able to set things up, but I do wish it could have been easier. I have used and tried other online programs, but this program seemed a little more confusing to me. It took me a lot longer to figure it out. It may not be as user friendly for some people or it could have just been me.
After creating you homeschool, you get to add your students, lessons, activities, etc. HomeSchool Office has everything. I can't think of anything this program missed when planning for your homeschool year. You get to add your children's subjects, create their lessons, create a master schedule to follow (it even allows you to add in extracurricular activities), books, and budget. There is a section where you can enter your children's grades. This is perfect if you grade your children or if you hand out report cards. You can track attendance to make sure you are following your states attendance laws.
Finally there is the ability to print reports. The reports are broken up into 4 quarters. These reports are great if you need to create a transcript or if you do a portfolio to meet your states requirements.
Did I tell you that there is even a section for you to record the contacts for your state? Well there is! I did find this extremely helpful, because every year ( and I mean every year) I have to go and search for our information online.
Overall the HomeSchool Office is a great program. I think anyone wanting to keep detailed information would love this program. For me, I found it not so user friendly, but I prefer to plan my lessons the old fashion way with paper and pen. I just use a regular old notebook to plan my budget, books, and subjects. I then create my own lesson plans online using plain old Word. As far as logging our progress and work, I use another online program that I have been using for 4 years now. It's O.K. not great but it works a little better for our needs. I tried HSO hoping I would fall in love with it, but so far I haven't. I know others have and that's great! I think you just have to go with what works best for your family. The best part with the HomeSchool Office from Lord Heritage is that they offer a 30 day free trial. You can try the program out to see if you enjoy it before you buy it. A one year subscription costs $79.00. Head over here to check it out for yourself.
Till next time,