Monday, September 16, 2013

10 Online (+ App) Homeschool Lesson Planners



I've used a lesson planner, and then not, and now I want to again because I like to know if we are where we need to be, and have an idea when our year is going to end. Not that we finish everything all the time, but it's nice to know we're on track at Christmas. It's also nice to be able to generate reports for our support teacher.  So, I've been researching online and app lesson planners. There seems to be quite a few more than when I last looked three years ago.

I will start with the ones I've tried out first and then list a few more options afterwards. Some of them are even either entirely free or free to try!


Olly homeschool app, lesson planning, record keeping, mac app

The OLLY homeschool app is available for Mac and the iPad. This is the planner I decided to go with because of a couple key features: the ablility to generate lesson plans without having to type in every lesson for every resource in every course, and being able to 'bump' a lesson ahead to the next day and have the rest of the lessons in that lesson plan follow suit. They even automatically skip holidays that you've already created. 

It's a new app, so there are a few things to work out but there's a great forum and support gets back to you quickly with an answer to your question or problem. It's $40, and there is a free one month trial available from their website.



homeschool minder online lesson planning, record keeping

Homeschool Minder is an online lesson planner and record keeper. I really like the look of this one. It's clean and simple, but really nice. My favourite as far as design so far. I also really like some of their features, like the book list, for example. Their reports look fantastic, and this program is online instead of being confined to the computer or device you install them on. 

The two big problems I had with them was not really being able to generate multiple lesson plans (instead of typing in each and every lesson) and only being able to bump one lesson ahead, instead of the whole rest of the course going forward one day if we miss say, Math, one day. Generating lessons should get easier in the next month and bumping calendar events ahead should be available by next year. They are also reasonably priced at $4.99/mo or $39.99/yr. I guess the one disadvantage of being online is that you do have to pay every year instead of just buying it outright.



homeschool skedtrack, free online lesson planning, record keeping


I used Homeschool Skedtrack a few years ago and it worked pretty well for me. This one is FREE as well. I found it a little tricky to learn but once you get the hang of entering things it can go quite quickly as you can copy one assignment multiple times and just change some of the text very easily. There are helpful video tutorials available to help you get started. This is still the one I would have used this year if I hadn't found the OLLY app. 



my mardel homeschool, a simple plan online, free lesson planning, record keeping


My Mardel Homeschool is the online version of the very popular paper based A Simple Plan homeschool lesson planners. It's FREE, which is nice. I couldn't find any screenshots, youtube videos, or much of anything about it but since it's free I signed up to try it out. It looks fine, but just a bit awkward for entering assignments. I think it would work well if you were wanting to enter lesson plans and assignments at the beginning of each week instead of all at once at the beginning of the year. It's still in beta, so I'm sure there will be improvements made for a while to come. 

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Those are the ones I've personally tried. These next ones I have not.


homeschool tracker online, hstonline, lesson planning, record keeping

HSTOnline stands for Homeschool Tracker Online. I have played around with the basic free downloadable Homeschool Tracker and I did not like it. I wasn't impressed at all, it seemed old and outdated. However, when I watched the video demo of HSTOnline, I thought it definitely would merit another look. Especially when I saw the part about adding multiple assignments. (Can you see my obsession with this yet?) It's a bit pricier, at $60/yr.



homeschool planet, online record keeping, lesson planning, family planner


Homeschool Planet from the Homeschool Buyers Co-op is touted as being more of a whole family planner, with more than just homeschool in mind. It also does lesson planning, but it's a big all in one for your family. Keep up to date with email or text reminders. More than I need. It's $65/yr. You can read this informative review from examiner.com or watch the video demo. I'd love to know what you think of it if you've tried it.



scholaric, online homeschool lesson planning, record keeping


Scholaric is another online option. I really don't know much about it, but here is a video on creating lessons. It's $65/yr.



homeschool helper app, lesson planning, attendance, record keeping

The Homeschool Helper App is available for a variety of tablets. It's only $4.99, and looks pretty slick. It has a fun, planner book interface and looks easy to use. I wonder about entering very much data on a tablet, but it might be ok. It would be great if you wanted to keep track of attendance, field trips, etc but not necessarily daily assignments.




There are two more FREE online planners, Lesson Minder and PER from Homeschool Inc, but I really don't know anything about them. I just know they exist. 


What do you use? Do you prefer a paper planner or an online planner? 

If you know of any others, please leave a link in the comments. :)


10 Online or App Homeschool Lesson Planners





2 comments:

  1. I've used Homeschool Tracker in years past but this year decided to try Homeschool Helper App. So far I love it. Backups are done via email. You can create lessons easily for multiple students and can bump and copy lessons. Well worth the $5!!

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