Friday, March 27, 2015

Schoolhouse Review: Lord Heritage's HomeSchool Office #hsreviews

HomeSchool Office Review

All homeschooling mommas know that it's all about organization -- or lack thereof.  You can sail or you can sink based on how well you keep it all together.  A good plan will keep you going on even the roughest days -- and Lord Heritage gives you the power you need to manage your school with the HomeSchool Office.  I was given the opportunity to review this online tracking tool with a full year access and I'm enjoying pulling it all together.

I am pretty sure that one of the most difficult aspects of home educating your children is the management, tracking, scheduling, and planning of everything that needs to come together to make homeschool really work.  Following an easy set up of your school, HomeSchool Office directs your path step-by-step by using the acronym P-O-W-E-R.  You can easily begin to organize and manage your school in any state, with any number of students, no matter what curriculum you use.  The flexibility of the web-based design allows you the opportunity to make changes as needed and keep your child's education fully individualized.  There's even a place to keep up with co-op teachers, mentors, resources, and friends.

HomeSchool Office uses aesthetically pleasing full-color which helps me find peace and order. When utilizing the program, parents organize student lessons and help prepare for graduation by following these biblically-based steps:

Plan -- (Jeremiah 29:11) set subjects for the year for each student (including credit hours needed), set the number of school days required (I set 175 days for our school year this year), decide on your master schedule for the year making sure to include projects and set your budget.  This is a great way to include all of the different subjects you want your children to study and makes planning your own Unit Study a breeze.  I was able to assign books to be read, movies to be watched, and projects to be completed for each of my children and allow them to mark off when each was done.  We've included plays, musicals, concerts, cultural events, and art shows that we've attended and this has allowed me to put together a unique Fine Arts course for High School credit.  I'm able to include delight-directed learning alongside required academic courses and give my children the best of both worlds.  A quick glance at the Master Schedule insures that my children are working on task.

Planning Individual Lessons

Putting everything together in the Master Schedule

Order -- (1 Corinthians 14:40)  Order your days and mark items off of your "To Do" List.  I LOVE this part best.  I'm a list maker and I enjoy a visible reminder of what we have left to accomplish almost as much as I enjoy knowing how many more days until we are done.  As of right now, we have completed 134 days of school and have 41 more to go.  This school year at Long Leaf Academy is 76% COMPLETE.  I'll take that.  This section allows you to schedule individual lessons and activities for your children and offers a big picture of what needs to be accomplished.

I love a good list.  Color-coded is the perfect bonus.

Work --  (John 17:4)  The nuts and bolts of what must be done, students have the ability to access this portion of HomeSchool Office.  The Princess uses this portion as a reminder of reading assignments to complete, chores to be done, Girl Scout preparations to be made, and piano practice sessions.  Whew -- she needs all the help she can get -- like mother, like daughter.

It's easy to see what needs to be done.

Evaluate -- (Matthew 28:20)  enter grades earned and attendance for each student and class.  Daily attendance records are not required in Mississippi, but I just have to admit that it makes me happy to know how many days we've studied and worked.  I like being able to check off all of the boxes and proving to myself that work is being accomplished.  I especially like knowing that I can keep track of the individual subject hours as we work to complete requirements for high school credits.  Making sure that the Eagle Scout has enough hours of Fine Arts and Physical Education is easy using the HomeSchool Office.

Grades and Attendance are important.

Report -- (Romans 14:12)  The ability to print detailed evaluations that reflect our personal goals is a huge benefit that makes my end-of-the-school-year super-easy.  At a quick glance, I can see exactly where each of my children are in terms of what I set out to accomplish with them AND I can print an updated Transcript to make sure that required credits are up-do-date.  It's the perfect visual and the professional quality can easily be used for college applications.

Easy-to-read reports make for a happy momma.

I realize that I am fortunate because I live in a state that is homeschool-friendly and record-keeping is simple, but for those of you that have strict requirements pertaining to the number of hours spent with each subject and the specific amount of schoolwork accomplished daily, HomeSchool Office is most definitely worth examination.  I found it quite helpful in keeping all of us organized and on-task and I am positive it will help ease the pressure in educating your children while keeping substantiated records.

Crew Disclaimer

I was given the opportunity to review HomeSchool Office as a member of the Schoolhouse ReviewCrew.   You can check out the Crew Review and see what other members of the Schoolhouse ReviewCrew thought of this and other products as well (or just click on the banner below.)

HomeSchool Office Review
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