You can usually find me the first week of November surrounded by stacks of paper, a calculator, a calendar, my planner, and a large cup of coffee. It is around this time of year, we have completed our first quarter of the school year. As usual, I have procrastinated and am scrambling to meet my own deadlines. Not this time.
With my daughter entering ninth grade, I knew I needed to keep better records than I have in the past. I searched over the summer for a computer program that was user friendly, able to customize, and would meet my needs. I had dabbled last year with an online program to do this, but found it busy with things I did not need and glitchy. Mid-year I got frustrated, and went back to my trusty pencil and paper. In my search of finding something different, I came across Homeschoolminder. They offered a free 30 day trial, so I decided to give this one a try. I was able to get it set up for both kids and their subjects with ease. I was able to set up our calendar, grading scale, and even weighted grades for various subjects.
Homeschoolminder does it all, ya’ll! The calendar is one of my favorite things about the software. It keeps up with everything! Attendance, assignments, personal appointments, field trips, even chores! The one thing I love is the drag and drop feature of the calendar. No need to go into several screens and change dates, or cut and paste. Simply drag and drop. Field trip cancelled? Didn’t quite get to the scheduled history assignment because you were having so much fun with science? Need to move afternoon subjects over, because you realized your pantry was empty and everyone was cranky and hungry? Not that that’s ever happened here….. Just drag and drop. That’s all you need to do!
Another favorite thing about Homeschoolminder is the beautiful, professional-looking reports it produces. Every Sunday, I print out the assignments for the week, and the kids have a professional sheet to work off. No post-it notes or scraps of paper floating anymore! You can even customize the time subjects are to be worked on – although, I’m in the “do the next thing” mode, but making progress. There are nearly 20 reports you can download and email: attendance, lesson plans, reading list, community service activities and hours, transcripts, and much more. They thought of everything. You are able to print or email all reports in PDF format.
The Homeschoolminder is clean, easy to use, and has made the dreaded task of record keeping enjoyable for me! I instantly feel more organized and techie just using it. It has a lesson plan feature as well that can be copied if you have other students doing the same thing and could literally replace my planner… ( but I can’t let it go!) I still love my paper planner and colorful erasable pens! I’m not ready to jump in to everything electronic with both feet. For now, I’ll keep one foot in the computer, and one on paper. When I’m ready, I’ll be taking the plunge into the digital world with Homeschoolminder. The cost is very reasonable: $4.99/month, or $39.99/year with full access to all the features whether you go the monthly or yearly route. I have contacted customer service with a question, and they were quick to return my email, very friendly, and helpful.
I can say that I have been much more organized this year thanks to Homeschoolminder. If paperwork is overtaking you, I recommend trying their free 30 day trial, and see what you think. It really is the only record keeping system you will ever need.