For four years I used a curriculum that provided me a straightforward presentation of what each day in our homeschool should look like. I knew what pages to read in what books, what crafts to create, what to say to my child to get a key idea across, and could do it all by simply opening a teacher’s guide and reading the lesson plans. As a newbie homeschooler, this was what I needed. I wanted my hand held as I tip toed into the sea of home education.
When this style of schooling stopped working for us and I made the decision to break out of the box and begin to wade in the waters on my own, I was at a loss of where I should begin. For our first year with a piecemeal curriculum, I didn’t jump in full force. I purchased things that had guidelines rather than point by point instructions on how to conduct our day. Some things were scripted and others were not, but I had the confidence to lean more on my own knowledge as well.
For our upcoming school year, things are a bit different. I’m running completely on a schedule of my own making and at times, I feel completely overwhelmed. A few days ago I found myself sitting in the middle of our living floor with approximately 30 books surrounding me and a migraine threatening to overtake me. I started to question my abilities to tackle this all on my own, but I took some deep breaths, grabbed some chocolate, and reassessed my approach. Maybe the problem wasn’t me. Maybe the problem was how I was trying to accomplish the task.
Let’s face it, piles of scratch paper covered in scribbled out lists do not make for a very organized lesson plan. I needed to find a better solution. Then I started using LessonTrek.
Honestly at first, I was really hesitant. I know that in this day and age you can do nearly anything online and that here are apps for everything, but I tend to like the old fashioned approach. Give me a good notebook and a pencil so I can happily make lists and check them
five hundred and seventeen two times each all day long. My curiosity got the better of me and I went over to check out this online lesson planning tool.
Basically you just enter in the lessons and assignments that you choose into the online grid. It’s very user friendly and simple to implement. First, you have to add your students. Each child will have their own individual tab on the side of your screen. You give each student a designated color so it’s easy to see at a glance which child’s schedule you are viewing. Plug in the grade level and the dates of your school year.
Your next task is to fill in all of the subjects that your student will be studying for the year. You can also color code these for easy distinction as well. If you keep grades (I don’t in lower levels), there is also an area to enter in your grading periods and the actual grades for your records.
Once you have all of your children set up, you can start the real planning! You will start out with a blank slate on your week. Then you just choose a subject, enter in the day’s plans and add any assignments. One of the best features of this program is that you have the ability to copy weeks and move them to other dates or copy individual subject assignments and place them elsewhere.
If you don’t finish everything on the day’s agenda (which every homeschooler experiences!) then all you have to do is drag the incomplete subjects over to the next day (or wherever you’d like to place them).
The final piece that sold me on this program was that you can print your plans after you’ve entered them! It’s the best of both worlds and allows me a hardcopy of plans to scribble notes on as well as the ease of the virtual plan to edit without erasing or emptying a bottle of whiteout!
The ONE thing that I wished was available was a way to copy lessons from one student’s profile to another. Some of my children work together in certain content subjects and it is going to be a bit tedious to have to enter the same things for each one. However, I did notice that the website lists “shared subjects across students” as one of the things in the works for the program!
From relying on someone else to tell me what and when to do certain lessons to now being able to plan everything on my own and have a readily available and highly functional guide that I created!
What Does it Cost?
This is a subscription program, but there are two options available. You can choose to either pay a monthly fee of $6 or pay $60 for a full year (and get two months free!). If you’re unsure if you are willing to pay for a lesson planning app, then you can sign up for a 14 day free trial to test out the waters and see if it will work for your family. Right now, as a special offer, you can get a one year subscription to LessonTrek for 50% off with the code JULY50BLUE! That brings the price down to only $30! Offer ends July 30th.
You can also enter to win a one year membership right now! Just fill out the form below!
I was sponsored by Lessontrek to review their homeschool lesson planning tool and am excited to share my experience as well as an awesome giveaway! All opinions are mine alone. For more information please read my full disclosure.