This has been such a busy week, that I missed getting a post written for day 4 of this series. Depending upon how tomorrow night goes, I just might do a 5th post going live on Saturday just to round it out. However, I wanted to finish sharing a bit more about another nitty gritty aspect of homeschooling ~ scheduling and tracking schoolwork.
I’ve shared on the blog before about my love of Homeschool Tracker Plus. It is such a great resource for me as I can create lesson plans for each course that the boys have. If you purchase the Plus version OR the new online subscription, please consider putting our referral code: 1KQZI so we might earn a small commission.
Depending upon the subject, my lesson plan in HST+ might show just the lesson number and topic along with being marked as what type of assignment it is (e.g. reading, worksheet, test, etc.) Other lesson plans have more information included, especially in the directions field where I can really spell it out for the child.
Once the lesson plans are created, I can ‘submit’ the assignment or group of assignments to a particular child beginning on a particular day. What I didn’t realize I could do when submitting to their schedule is to customize the date given and the date due during the submission process. The same thing can be done if I am reassigning a new due date to a group of assignments. This has been very helpful for me as I try to reorganize their assignments to ‘catch up’ to where we should be now and still maintain a school calendar that ends in mid-May.
After you have different assignments scheduled for the child, you can print out an assignment list for them in one of several styles. My boys prefer having the subjects listed for the week (Assignment Calendar option) so they can go down the column for Monday and check off as they get something done. I’ve also printed all of the scheduled work for this month to create a new ‘control’ folder for each of them. (I’ll share more about this modified workbox approach soon.) While I could do handwritten calendars like this (and have in the past), a nice benefit for it being digital is that I can reprint pages if a child ‘loses’ their assignment sheet and it doesn’t take me long to do it.
As I get work submitted to me and graded, I try to get it put into HST+ quickly. There are times, though, when the work stacks up and I have a power session with the computer to enter their grades. HST+ also has a spot to add time spent on an assignment, which is very helpful for subjects that need to show total hours spent. I can also keep attendance (by whole day or half day) for the boys.
A feature that HST+ has which I usually forget to use is weighting the grade so that certain components (e.g. a test) can carry more weight towards the final grade than others (e.g. participation in an activity.) I do like that feature, though, for high school level courses where tests and projects are where the emphasis might need to be compared to just doing their reading and basic bookwork.
Beyond just entering grades as they are attained, I can then print out report cards for the year or transcripts for a range of years. This has been helpful for reporting to our correspondence school as well as giving P a clear picture of what his official transcript will look like. You do have to adjust the setting for the active calendar year to make any adjustments. I just recently did this as I saw the transcript had multiple math ‘courses’ in P’s freshman year when the transcript from the school will just show one.
Looking for more posts like this one? Here are some previous posts on planning for homeschoolers:
How do you approach schedule and track schoolwork in your house?
What resources do you have to share that have been helpful?
This post is part of the 5 Days of Homeschooling Essentials with the Schoolhouse Review Crew. Take some time to visit a few of my fellow ‘crewmates’ and see what they are saying:
Julie @ Nurturing Learning
Lisa @ Farm Fresh Adventures
DaLynn @ For the Display of His Splendor
Lori @ At Home: where life happens
Nicole @ Journey to Excellence
Adriana @ Homeschool Ways
Brandy @ Kingdom Academy Homeschool
Meg @ Adventures with Jude
Sarah @ Delivering Grace