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- It makes us more confident in doing our lesson
- It can arrange our schedule much better
- It is like a tracker of what we have done, what we need to do, and what we need to improve
However, planning is not everything for us. It is just a mean to help us regularly. our learning is not limited by what we have planned. If you miss my planning postings, please look up for them:
Our planning system and methods are changing from time to time. We try to get the best out of our planning session. It looks really give another job for us to do, but we really depend on it.
Recently we change our planning system from the manual paper into an automatic electronic one. I think that this change is quite urgent to make as I am closer with my gadgets rather than my paper at the moment.
- I don't need to bring piles of books or binder, and paper whenever I wait for my kids having outside activities. Usually I bring my folder to write their daily and weekly planning on Friday.
- It is better to use “at once” busy time to input huge amount of data rather than shifting, moving, bumping schedules manually like what I did weekly to make sure that I was on the track.
- The electronic planner should be much more organised than my manual, I think. They should be more well presented rather than my manual or handwritten one.
I gave a try to homeschool skedtrack and it was great for us. All of the planning was done automatically. I just need to set up all of the courses and activities at the beginning of a semester or year, giving ticks to those which have been completed, type the score for the test, then all of the other things just went on smoothly. The printed layout was not bad also.
However, I need to be online or using the internet connection to get my planning done. There is a time that I cannot be connected to the internet. Once I was distracted with this problem, I started to find out another program for me.
My heart just fell into Scholaric as it has simple and nice layout. I used the free trial facility to try one. It also has a very practical drag and drop method to move or change the schedule here and there. It also has a well organized record keeping I love it a lot.
Once again, it is a fully online planner. I just thought what if there isn't any internet connection once we went out in the mountain or wherever and whenever possible.
A friend of mine just informed me about homeschool tracker and I just went there. It has three products offered: Homeschool Tracker Online which asks of either monthly or yearly subscription, Homeschool Tracker Plus which is an offline full featured electronic planner working with Windows operating system, Free Basic Homeschool Tracker which is a partial offline electronic planner working with Windows. I browsed around the internet and got some information about the well performed printed layout that they have.
Unfortunately, my laptop I work with is an Apple Mac and my tablet is also iPad. It won't work with us. We also try to look for an offline program that can be syncronized with some gadgets if possible.
Homeschool Helper is an iPad apps that I think will be perfect for us as I always bring my iPad anywhere. I should be able to control and track our lesson plan through my iPad.
It has everything that I need, except for printing. This apps has great record keeping, lesson planning, scheduling, etc. Anyway, printed planner is something that my kids need to enable them controlling and tracking their own learning. I think Homeschool Helper will be a great electronic program if you don't need the printed form of the planner.
OLLY – The Organized Life and Learning Yearbook
This is the last homeschooling planner that we are using at the moment. Olly is a specialized electronic homeschool planner for both Mac and iPad. Both of OLLY for Mac and OLLY for iPad can be syncronized using Dropbox to connect both of the applications in the gadgets.. This is what I am looking for.
- It is a semi online program that don't need any subscription and all of the time internet connection.
- I can print the planner and put them weekly on our bulletin board to track the lesson.
- I also can bring it anywhere I go as my iPad is always with me. I also can keep my children's record well.
- I can keep my own backup both in my local mac and in the Dropbox, the clouding hard drive.
- It has a great forum and support in Ollyhomeschool, so that I have someone to talk with when something doesn't work with my Olly.
So far we don't have any problem with Olly. It just works great. I need to work more on it so that I can share more with you. 😉
It is such a great homework to get the right product that work for us. We need to be more flexible and open minded to improve things going on right now.