I was sponsored by Lessontrek to review their homeschool lesson planning tool and am excited to share an experience as well as an awesome giveaway! All opinions are an honest review of the writer. For more information please read my full disclosure.
Lessontrek Homeschool Planner
Today I get to bring my homeschool friends (which I think I have a lot of them in my audience) a great resource with Lessontrek Homeschool Planner. Some of you might be saying, “Hey, you don’t homeschool!” You are fairly right. I do teach my children at home. I believe on being an educator of my child. However, I do send them to school also. You are right that the Lessontrek Homeschool Planner may not apply directly to me, but I have recently hired a close friend to do some writing for my blog. You may have seen the post she wrote for me titled, “I Once was a Super Mom.” My friend, Kelsey is a homeschooling mom, and she was able to explore the Lessontrek homeschool lesson planning tool and give her review below. I also have great news. I get to offer a discount.
There is a special 50% discount on the year subscription to Lessontrek for my readers readers. Use code: JULY50BLUE for 50% off of the 1-year subscription. Offer ends July 30th
The other wonderful news for you is that I get to offer a giveaway for a 1-year subscription to Lessontrek, which is a $60 value. It sounds like Lessontrek is THE solution for homeschool planning. Good luck in the giveaway. There are a lot of ways to enter.
Homeschool Planner Review
Shortly before the start of the schoolyear in 2011, my husband and I were led to make a drastic change in our plans for our Kindergartner. Due to a number of factors, we rescinded our son’s enrollment into the local public school and began researching homeschooling! We now have two first graders and a third grader, and though this journey is not easy, we have not looked back! I quickly learned that my children would take their cues from me; therefore, if I was planned and organized, our day had a great likelihood of running smoothly. However, if I failed to have necessary supplies on hand, if I didn’t have lesson plans prepared or if I didn’t have a schedule for us to stick to, we would flounder.
Due to unique family circumstances, our family follows a non-traditional school week. My husband works on Saturdays and Sundays, and takes Thursdays and Fridays off. In order to maximize our time together as a family, as well as for him to experience our kids’ homeschooling firsthand, the kids and I “do school” Sunday through Thursday. This provides the flexibility we need to have an entire day off as a family (Friday) as well as for a school day (Thursday) in which my husband can participate. We delight in this flexibility and how it allows for our family to thrive. However, over the last three years, I have struggled to find one thing- a homeschool lesson planner that allows for me to structure my week in a different fashion than the traditional Monday through Friday configuration. I found myself scratching out days of the week, rewriting or trying to modify online schedules to no avail. The results weren’t pretty, and they really bothered me!
Recently, I was introduced to Lesson Trek. Lesson Trek is an online lesson planning application that is ideal for homeschooling families. For $6 per month, or $60 for a full year, you can log your lesson plans, record grades, print weekly plans and more.
What I first noticed about the site is that there are no tutorials guiding you through the site. There are a few help icons, and very clear instructions in the “example student”. I was confused by the lack of direction when I first started, but quickly understood the reasoning. The site really is so simple and user friendly to navigate that they don’t need lengthy instructions or tutorial videos! For a busy homeschool mom, like myself, that is a huge plus. It was quite straightforward for me to begin adding in my own students and subjects, and in the rare case that I did need a little extra help it was easily accessible through the clearly indicated help icons.
Within a matter of one hour, I was able to input each one of my children, their current school year and the start and end dates of our year as well as our grade reporting periods. Each child is color coded and designated on the left-hand side of the planner by their initials. This keeps the planner free and clear of clutter, again, another huge plus! Within each student’s profile, I was also able to input and color code all of their subjects, the amount of weekly time spent on each subject and a grading scale.
Not only did I create individual profiles for each of my children, but also I was able to easily generate weekly schedules of assignments, tests, activities, etc. The daily, or weekly (depending on personal preference) schedule is effortlessly copied and pasted week after week for ease of use. Our schedule doesn’t change much from week to week, so this feature is very attractive to me! The weekly schedule is includes boxes to check online once completed. The schedule is also printable, which means my more independent kids can keep their own schedule in their daily binders and check things off as they are completed. Once an item is completed, the user can also go into that particular assignment and input a grade! Grade keeping and flexible daily/weekly planning? You had me at hello!
Some of our subjects have multiple components, or assignment types. Lesson Trek allows for each component to be delineated and saved for inputting ease into our schedule. My first graders’ Language Arts curriculum includes Phonics, English and Reading. I was able to record each one of those components separately under the Language Arts subject I created. Each facet was then able to have it’s own grading scale (or none at all). When Language Arts is inputted into their daily schedule, I can simply indicate which component they are working on, along with what assignment type (test, reading, workbook, etc). Again, a very straightforward and simple tool that goes a long way in streamlining my scheduling process.
I could go on and on, but suffice it to say, I love this tool. Lesson Trek is uncomplicated, user friendly and visually appealing. It allows me, as an active homeschool mom balancing three kids and their multitude of assignments, one place to schedule, plan AND record our days and weeks. The fact that it is all online and I can access it anywhere means that even if I don’t want to print out our week, or I forget it when we are homeschooling on the go (yes, that happens!) my kids and I can stay on task! I urge you to check out this tool and try it out for yourself!