Friday, June 24, 2016

Schoolhouse Review: My School Year (Homeschool Record Keeping) #hsreviews #homeschoolorganization Review

I've tried many different ways to keep our homeschooling plan on track through the years, and I've finally found one that is both simple to utilize and easy to implement.  The My School Year (Homeschool Record Keeping) program by is an online organizational tool that is helping me to become a more efficient homeschooling mama as I work on planning and maintaining our focus for the new school year.  For review purposes, we received an Annual Membership and I am putting mine to good use with Reading Lists, Extracurricular Activity trackers, Field Trip and Event planners, and Class and Lesson Plan schedulers.

There are lots of ways to use My School Year from attendance tracking and class scheduling to recording grades and even creating high school transcripts.  The website is colorful, direct, and easy-to-use and interfaces well on my iPhone. It's a great way to keep everything all together in one place and allows easy access for me to find out the total number of hours both of my children spend in volunteer service, on educational field trips, and out in the workforce.  Although I keep a color-coded calendar of who is supposed to be where when, the My School Year program offers a simple way for me to actually track cumulative hours spent studying, reading, and doing life and makes it easy to transfer those hours directly onto their transcript through reports.  I am not required to track the hours spent in "class" or the number of days spent in formal learning, but I do like to see the big picture of how we spend our time serving in our community and learning about the world around us.

You can see how this works on the Extracurricular Activities report for my son that is pictured below:

For this report, I have been compiling all of the activities that he has been or will be involved in this summer.  Beginning with his stint at Boy's State in May/June and ending with volunteer work with Camp ShadyRest at the end of July, he will be a busy guy.   We can list the start and end dates for each activity, name the organization he is working with and his position for that particular activity, and list the hours he will serve and see a running total of time spent.  This makes for the perfect record for future resumes, as well.  As you can see, for two of his summer activities, we could easily determine beforehand how long he would be involved.  For others, we will edit once the activity is completed and re-run the report so that his hour total is most accurate.  What I like most about this is that My School Year gives me the open-ended option for ongoing activities.

Another of my favorite uses of My School Year is the Reading List.  Of course, each child in a family is different and what works for one or two may not work for all.  I am finding this to be especially true as we enter the home stretch of high school with my last two children.  For my older girls, I was able to prepare lists of books to read and things to accomplish and they methodically worked through those lists.  They were self-motivators who aimed to please.  For my younger two children, this does not work.  The technological distractions found in their rooms make it difficult for them to simply "work through a list."   I have found that although they need and want lists of assignments, they also need tools to hold them accountable to fulfilling the items on their lists.  My School Year offers both.  I can make a Reading List AND my children can be held accountable to read the books on the list.  I like that I can set up the My School Year Reading List in such a way that they know what is expected and they have to report what they accomplish.

Check out the required reading that I've put together for part of my daughter's 10th grade year.  This is a list of books that I want her to read for a Marriage and Family class.  I have chosen eleven books so far, but I have the freedom to edit and add more as we go through the web interface.  To create a Reading List, you add the title and author of the books to be read and assign it to your child.  What I find most impressive here is that my daughter will have the chance to log the amount of time she spends reading and the number of pages she reads at a time.  This will make a great record for us both to be able to check her work against the time she spends in her room.  What a win for accountability. 

There are so many cool ways to use My School Year and each user is able to tailor the program to best work for their family.  I like the unique aspect of making it mine.  I am currently working on creating lesson plans for the next year and determining exactly what all I want my children to accomplish for 10th and 12th grades.  I intend to go into this year with a better plan laid out for all of us and I think that doing so will lessen our stress level since we will all know what is expected.  We want to make sure to cover the core subject areas, but also want to be intentional about scheduling time to enjoy unconventional learning as well.  My School Year is helping me to relax as it removes the worry of "are we doing enough?" and offers my children a stress-free plan of action. Review
You can find out more about how to best utilize My School Year (Homeschool Record Keeping) from  by visiting the following Social Media sites:

And you'll  want to make sure to visit the Crew blog and read some of the other reviews to see how each family used My School Year.  With so many different features, you're sure to find one or two or ten that you just can't live without.

Crew Disclaimer

I was given the opportunity to review My School Year (Homeschool Record Keeping) 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 it as well (or just click on the banner below.)

Homeschool Record Keeping { Review}
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