Record keeping is important, but not something we’ve done a lot of, so if you’re like me, you may want to check out the Annual Membership Plan from My School Year Homeschool Record Keeping. For more information, read on for our review.
Because my children haven’t particularly needed homeschool records to date as they are on the younger side of their education (and records we may need in a particular subject we can garner from the class itself either online or in their workbooks), I haven’t thought too much about it, yet. However, with Tristan now 11 and considered to be in the equivalent of high school over here in the UK, it’s something I’m starting to think more about.
In addition, I want my children to learn more about staying on top of things and the consequences of falling behind or not completing work on time. One way to do this is to assign a lower grade or no grade at all when an assignment is not completed by the due date; which is why I was interested in this program.
I received an annual subscription to My School Year Homeschool Record Keeping online program. There are both monthly and annual options available, and you can add as many students as you need within each subscription. Students can be set up with their own access with bespoke permissions as set by the parent.
I will admit that this year my head has not been as clear as it should be as it’s filled with things that need to be done and worry about family and friends who are not well. When I logged on initially, I was overwhelmed and could not figure out how to get things moving. It took me a few times before I could get things started, but I was still having trouble. There are videos available to watch, which are very helpful so at this point I handed the reigns over to my 11-year-old son and asked him to see if he could get things organised as I just could not get the scheduling tools to ‘stick.’ If you’re in the US, you could avail of a toll-free support line – that would be great!
I hate that I’m reaching the age that my children are better with technology than I am…but because we’re home educating, we can think of it as a class in tech and then he was able to play around for a while over a few days (he has more free time than me and he also loves a challenge). Yes, Tristan figured out how to use this program and then taught me how to use it….this last month has been like that – my laptop had to be sent in for a new drive at the same time my backup drive failed, amongst other tech issues that set me back. I think my brain has also backfired with all the commotion…
Once we had things figured out, Tristan and I sat together and set up some basic plans (it is still summer, after all and the children aren’t running on a full schedule) to see how things work. We did have a couple of glitches, but we did get there in the end. I like the descriptions that Tristan gave the assignments to keep up motivation.
I am set up to get a weekly email so I can see what the plans are for the week and get myself and the children mentally prepared.
Each day Tristan has been writing down his grades in each online assignment so that I can put them into the program and mark the lesson complete. At the end of the term, he’ll have a transcript that can be downloaded and printed off to go in his file. I do believe now that he’s seen this it will give him better motivation to complete his work on time and have the best transcript he can have.
I think having a transcript of this manner will be very good to have at the end of the year so we can all see what’s been accomplished as we tend just to work through programs and projects and don’t always realise how much has actually been completed. This should help keep morale up as the year goes on.
What I didn’t like
I found that there were too many screens to maneuver through to add classes, lessons, mark lessons complete, add grades, etc. It would be nice from a user perspective to be able to see the daily lessons and mark them and complete them all on the one screen. It feels a bit clunky and time-consuming to me to have to click through so many places, and I had trouble getting the Create-a-Plan to show in the calendar and agenda views so sometimes had to delete it and try again. I also couldn’t find a way to schedule a class/lesson on a day other than the start of the term or the current day which makes it difficult for short mid-term projects.
What I did like
There were some good options in this planner, such as being able to set up a class and lesson plan for one student and then copy it over to other students with a couple of clicks. Having the planner figure out how to divide the work evenly over a set number of days or dates and then automatically schedule it out, will also save time.
I liked the Rapid Repeat scheduling tool for scheduling in chores as my children rotate every other week, which this can be set up to do. And the extra-curricular activities have a different icon on the calendar to show they are not regular classes.
The transcript format is basic and to-the-point but gives the info needed.
Overall, I think My School Year are onto something great, but it needs a little tweaking to be more intuitive. They’re constantly making upgrades so it can only get better in the future; at the moment, I would recommend this more for high school students than elementary school students. If you’d like to see if it will work for you, they do have a 1 month free trial available, so give it a whirl.
I’m just one opinion, click here to read 45 more reviews about My School Year Homeschool Record Keeping by the Homeschool Review Crew. If you’d like to know more or would like to follow My School Year, you can connect with them through their website, Twitter, and YouTube.