Let me show you how I use Homeschool Tracker to organize my children’s education. I have two children, a middle schooler and a preschooler. I love to keep records, way beyond what I show for my semi-annual portfolio reviews.
My main foundation of planning is entering lesson plans. Homeschool Tracker allows you to enter lesson plans without applying them to a specific calendar date or child. Each assignment is given a generic day number and needs to have a subject attached to it. I can go through a chapter or a book and figure out the daily assignments months in advance without needing to know exactly when these lessons will happen. So for a single course with a textbook, it might look something like this:
I can group lessons for different subjects together under the same day number. For example, if Chapter 3 of the book we are reading for English mentions Claude Monet, I can make an art assignment to go to a certain website to look at all of Monet’s works on that same day. So, here is an example from a curriculum that lays out day-by-day activities across several subjects.
Once I have planned out some period of time, I can use the Scheduler feature on Homeschool Tracker to apply the lessons to actual calendar days. I usually do this every weekend for the following week. Homeschool Tracker lets you lets you specify which days are school days and set days as vacations or holidays. You can select several lesson plans at a time for a child and Homeschool Tracker will drop in all of the daily lessons for any time interval you want, but that usually doesn’t work for me because we don’t do all the subjects every day. So, I usually go to each lesson plan and schedule from there. That way I can select the specific days for each subject and make sure we don’t get overwhelmed on any day. So, the List View of one day often looks like this:
The nice thing is if something unexpected happens, I don’t have to pull out the eraser and rewrite weeks of assignments. Since I only schedule one week at a time, I can either just change the date on assignments that need to get bumped, or I can easily drag assignments to another day using the Calendar view. If there was a major emergency, I could reschedule several days’ worth of assignments using the Reschedule action, which would just drop them in the appropriate order on later dates.
Once I have scheduled the assignments for the week, I print a Daily Task List for the entire week for each kid. The older one reads his every day, completes the work, and checks it off. For the younger one, the list is for me to know what we are aiming to complete each day, but if we don’t we try again the next day. Here is part of this week of my son’s assignment list.
I have also used the Daily Task List for my reviews. Sometimes, I have brought the format pictured above to show all of the work done in a sample week. I have also made the list contain all of the assignments for a subject over the time frame of the semester. I use this as a log of activities for the subjects that do not have written work, like music and PE.