Having the opportunity to review MySchoolYear.com‘s My School Year (Homeschool Record Keeping) has made a tremendous difference in our lives, literally. This review may provide hope for others in a similar situation, so please take the time to read it and forward this to any homeschooler you know that may benefit.
Ten years ago I found myself facing a grueling divorce that ended a high-stress marriage. I am not going to go into any details about the demise because not only is it unimportant to this review, it is also not my desire to disparage the father of four of my six children.
What is important to this review is that I have found myself facing court again for allegations that are false. One of the allegations are that I have been homeschooling Bookworm Beauty without his consent and have alienated her from all social networks and have disregarded the importance of her education.
Bookworm Beauty has been homeschooled for two full years now. Her home education had not been challenged until recently, within weeks of being able to begin our review of My School Year (Homeschool Record Keeping). I have tried multiple things over the last two years to maintain records as I have always been in fear that we would have to face the court at some point and would need to provide evidence of meeting the educational requirements set forth by the state of Colorado.
My School Year (Homeschool Record Keeping) has saved the day! I have been able to generate lesson plans and schedules, track attendance and generate professional looking transcripts and report cards. There is also a place where I can add her standardized test results, which we do annually (to prove her progress) even though the state only requires bi-annually. I can track all of her activities (she has a lot of them). I am able to account for all of the required instructional hours. To top it off, she has a homeroom dashboard where I can access everything going on in her school year from one location!
I knew I needed this program when I first heard of it. I was hesitant though because I was worried that it was going to take up too much time to set it up. I did not want to spend as much time planning and maintaining records as I spend teaching or supporting the kids’ education. I am not one to spend time planning to plan. I want to jump in and move towards the end goal (in this case – educating the kids). I do take time to plan but I also despise spending days or weeks to plan out something that ends up needing to be altered at a later time.
I admit that I felt a little bit like my arm was twisted into taking on a “project” like this one and I was pleasantly surprised. I spent one evening – yes, only one evening – setting up the entire upcoming year for Bookworm Beauty. Setting up her daily lessons was a breeze. Than, half way through the project I realized that I had used the wrong start date. After a deep breath, thinking that I had to make a lot of adjustments in the program, I discovered that I only had to make one adjustment to the start date and all of the subsequent lessons were adjusted accordingly. Repeat after me… “WOW!”
I am now wondering how I managed the school planning before this. It is literally as night and day as writing checks to pay bills vs using a debit card to pay them online. It has streamlined every aspect of my homeschool planning.
One of the most useful elements of My School Year (Homeschool Record Keeping) is that I receive a weekly email providing me with an outline of the lessons for that week. Since Bookworm Beauty does a lot of her work independently, this provides an outline for her as to what is being covered for the week. If she decides to work ahead in any area, she can do so. If she works ahead farther than anticipated, I can the go into the lesson planning for that class and make the necessary changes to them so that all future lessons will be automatically adjusted as well.
I simply can not convey how refreshing My School Year (Homeschool Record Keeping) is. I am eagerly looking ahead to a full school year that is well planned out, where little to nothing falls through the cracks. I am also looking forward to being able to be accountable to her father and to the courts as to her educational progress.
For me, the solid, consistent, quality record-keeping is worth far more than the $40 per year cost. It may very well end up being the difference between the freedom to continue homeschooling and having to watch Bookworm Beauty board a bus daily.