Thursday, March 26, 2015

Lord Heritage Review

I am always looking for a good way to keep myself organized.  What better way than being able to combine your work calendar with your school calendar online?  We had the opportunity to review HomeSchool Office from Lord Heritage.

HomeSchool Office is a organization system that is completely online.  It allows you to combine your work, home and school calendars.  You can input your lesson plans and it will help you keep track of the progress of your students and it even is able to create a transcript for you.  It keeps everything for you in one place and you can track from year to year.  They like to give you "POWER" in running your homeschool.

P - Plan
O - Order
W - Work
E - Evaluate
R - Report

When I got my login for HomeSchool Office I will admit, I was extremely overwhelmed.  It took some time to get our information input into the program.  After all, I have 4 kids at 4 different grade levels.  

They do have a ticket/help section.  You can look and see if someone else has had similar questions about doing something in the program.  You can also ask questions to help out with whatever troubles you are having.  They also have step-by-step instructions on how to enter the information.

After reading through, I was able to get started.  First off you need to set up your school and the students in the system.

Once you enter students, you go into the planning stages.  This is the point where you enter each student's subjects and materials.  You also can select the number of days in your school year, and start entering your plan for each day.

It took me a little while to input all this information.  This became a little frustrating for me.  I prefer the "click N add" option, instead of inputting each line individually.  You need to select, then enter the information, select the schedule and save.  So it was taking longer than I planned to get through the information I needed to input.  I actually tried to make it easier for myself and group some subjects together, but that didn't work.

I found entering the Master Schedule something that didn't work for us.  We simply do not follow a set schedule everyday.  I work on the kids attention schedules.  So some days I might like to have math done at specific times, but it might not get done until later in the day.  Joey might get up and start working on his work at 7 am.  My rule is that as long as they finish their work each day, the boys are allowed to work on it throughout the day.  

The calendar feature was nice.  I can add lists next to it where I can add a grocery or errand list.  I could also block out my online class time.

This feature is definitely something I will continue using, since I can keep track of field trips for 4H and coordinate my online class schedule with the kids online classes.  But since we use android based devices, I was only able to bring it up with my laptop.  It didn't help me when I was on the go, and someone was asking me our schedule.

HomeSchool Office also offers grade tracking.  This is another feature that I do not use, since I do not track grades currently.  In our state, I just create a portfolio of their work.  I do check their work and allow them to correct material (especially math) that needs to be fixed.  I feel this is the best way for them to learn, without a bunch of red marks on a page.  In the future though I may need this option, since we will have a high schooler soon.

I do like that you can get a printable report of each child's studies and transcripts really easy, once all the information is input.  I do see myself continuing to use HomeSchool Office, just not all the features that it provides at this time.  I look forward to seeing what further updates that they continue to do.  I do see myself using many areas of the program more as our kids get older.

For someone who needs to have more reports and is building a transcript for their high schooler, this program would be ideal.  

You can try out HomeSchool Office from Lord Heritage for a free 30 day trial by visiting their site.  An annual subscription is $79.00 for a family, which is actually reasonable when you are planning out for a high schooler and need that transcript or if you have stricter state requirements for tracking.

Several members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew were given the chance to use HomeSchool Office for the past few weeks.  See how others used this in their homes and what worked for their families also.

HomeSchool Office Review
Crew Disclaimer

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