Homeschool Skedtrack: A Homeschool Must-Have

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Organization is the key to everything in homeschooling. Before we begin a homeschool year, we (try to) put together everything that we need such as books, various reading materials, binders or notebooks and art materials.

And by we, I mean me.

If say,  I don’t get to fill up our school supply/craft cabinet before the start of the year, I’d just collect other needed materials as we go along the way. But then I have this thing for supplying supply cabinets with a lot of supplies, so you can come knocking on my door for anything from scratch paper to sponge paper and I’m ready to supply you with those.

There is, however, another kind of organization that calls for a lot of attention: the planning and managing of weekly or monthly lesson plans, activities, presentations, discussions, field trips, etc.

On our first three months back to homeschooling, the load of work drove me up the wall—and I don’t mean that in a cute way. Cole was five years old when we first homeschooled him so we relied on what was around us—we counted cars, watched birds and their colors, listened to sounds of animals, etc.  Click here for a portion of our homeschooling story.

Now that Cole’s 12, we’re following a more structured curriculum which my husband and I prepare on our own.

My Ultimate Virtual Homeschool Organizer

I discovered that so many homeschooling parents around the world were just as addled as I was when they started homeschooling.

Am I doing things wrong? Is there something wrong with how I sequence my lessons?

Those were just some of the questions that bugged me every single day. And of course, there were the perpetual questions on record keeping, grading, compiling study materials, and a long list of everything else.

I constantly searched for help on how to organize everything until I found Homeschool Skedtrack, a free online lesson planner, scheduler, and tracking system in one. It was a bit confusing to use at first but they provide comprehensive video tutorials every step of the way. With a bit of diligence on my part, I was able to fully understand and appreciate how HS worked.

What I like about Homeschool Skedtrack

Writing down lesson plans could be a daunting and time-consuming task (I kid you not!). With the skedtrack I am able to put all our subjects (or courses as they call it in HS) in one place and create activities for each course. Cole has nine courses for 2014-2015, seven core subjects and three electives. 

The Activities page contain the lessons that we want to cover for a homeschool year. In my case, I only had time to prepare for two days’ worth of activities (or lessons) before we started homeschooling for 2014-2015, so I just kept adding lessons as we progressed. 

We’re on our third week now and here’s our Activities page for Grammar just to give you an idea of how it looks like.

I clicked on Predict Dates to see how much work we could finish at a given time and at what dates we could accomplish them if we stick to the lesson plan that I prepared without delay. Delays are okay, especially if it means sticking to a certain lesson if you think you need to.

If you’re not crazy about computing grades (I’m not!), the Homeschool Skedtrack provides that service as long as you provide them details of your graded activities. You can also go without a grading system if you choose to. That’s one of the beautiful things about homeschooling. If you think your child will soar higher without you giving him A's or B's and whatnot, then you can always opt for a hug rather than  a grade of A+ for a job well done. There are also kids who think of grades as their mini trophies, so give it to them if gives them motivation.

What’s great about homeschooling is that it gives you the opportunity to explore what type of learning works best for your children. It also allows you to find the kind of lesson planning that matches your creativity level as a teacher.

The Homeschool Skedtrack is just one of the virtual organizers that can assist you with your day-to-day activities. It works for me but other homeschooling moms think that it’s not for them. Keep in mind that a great part of the success in homeschooling comes from understanding by heart your goals and how you want to reach them. 

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