Online Homeschool Planning and Record Keeping With My School Year (A Schoolhouse Crew Review)

I've confessed before that I have an obsession with planners. I love them. Online planners, pen and paper planners, printable planners: if it's a planner, I've probably tried it out. I like a planner that has flexibility because I like to keep a record of what we have done more than to plan out in detail what we are going to do. Recently I had the opportunity to try out a new to me online planner.

I received an annual subscription to My School Year (Homeschool Record Keeping) from MySchoolYear.com. When I first signed up for the program, I logged on and poked around a bit to see the best way that I could use it in the way that I do lesson planning and record keeping for our homeschool.

Online homeschool record keeping

When I initially logged on and set up my account, the program guided me through setting up our school year, dates of school, and students. I was then taken to a page that would let me set up the classes and lesson plans. I chose not to set these during the setup.

There are several things that My School Year allows you to plan and track:
  • Curriculum Materials 
  • Classes and Subjects
  • Daily Lesson Plans
  • Attendance
  • Grades
  • Extracurricular Activities
  • Reading Log
  • Awards
  • Events


One of the nice things about this program is that you can choose to have email notifications sent to yourself and to family members to notify you of assignments that are coming up. You can choose to receive daily emails or weekly emails.

Homeschool record keeping

You can also choose here to manually track attendance and hours or to have attendance or hours tracked automatically. At first I left attendance to be tracked automatically because that is the default. This wasn't a good choice for the summer, however, because our school days are more sporadic, and I had to go back and mark each day as "Not Set" when we didn't do school that day. I decided to mark attendance manually.

Homeschool attendance reporting

Although I found that there was some flexibility about how I could use this program, I found that the program didn't really like for me to use it in a different way. The program will give notifications of anything that needs to be done. Because I set classes but not lesson plans, my notifications continually showed that I need to add lessons. 

This feature would probably be handy if you were using the program in the traditional way and planning all of your lessons ahead of time.

Lesson planning


Once the program is set up, you can view your Homeroom. In this area, you can choose a student to look at lesson plans or other information for each student.

I looked for any way that would allow me to see an overview- a weekly plan or calendar or attendance chart- that included all of the students at one time. I couldn't find anything like this. Everything I saw was to look at each student independently. I would like a way to see an overview of all of the week's activities for every student.

Homeschool lesson plans

When you select a student from the Homeroom page, you can see a page of graphics that shows an overview for that student.

Online lesson planning

One of the things I struggled with in using My School Year was figuring out how to use the program. There is a Help button on each page, but the information in the Help button isn't very detailed. It's just a general statement of what that feature does. I would have loved to have some tutorials to help me figure out how things worked.

I became stuck because I chose not to set up lesson plans in the initial setup. I wanted to use the program as a record of completed work. But the entry of lesson plans happens as you're setting up the program. So after I exited the setup and came back to the program, I couldn't figure out how to add what we had done as lesson plans. I spent some time poking around and found that by choosing the Classes option under a student, I could set a lesson plan for that class. Options also allow you to repeat lessons or set a long assignment and have it automatically broken down into smaller assignments for daily lessons.

Homeschool lesson planning

Homeschool planning

Besides being able to see a student's details from the Homeroom, the program allows you to print reports for each student. You can print awards, courses, events, extracurricular activities, attendance, lesson plans, reading logs, report cards, standardized test scores, and transcripts.

Online lesson plans

The features I most liked and used were the record keeping features that allowed me to record things such as books read, extracurricular activities, and events. I began recording these things that the kids were doing over the summer- sports, camps, books read.

Lesson planning

All in all, My School Year isn't a very good fit for what I want to use a Homeschool planner for. If you plan out detailed lesson plans ahead of time, this may be a better choice for you. 

The visuals that allow you to see what has been accomplished are nice. I wish that I could see an overview that included all of the students at once though.

The ability to print reports is nice, and I also like the ability to email other members of the family with reminders of what is due.

Homeschool lesson plans


If you're looking for a new homeschool planner, you can find out more about My School Year here, and you can click the banner to see what other Review Crew members thought about the program.

Homeschool Record Keeping {MySchoolYear.com Review}
Find My School Year on social media here.



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CONVERSATION

2 comments:


  1. Hi Leah,

    Thank you for your review.

    We wanted to make you aware of something that you wrote. You can delete the alerts in the Teacher’s Aid – in others words, you can remove the warnings about not having lessons. The Homeroom is designed to provide a graphical “snapshot” of each child in order to make sure their education is on track. The Planbook allows you to search/filter/sort and view all students upcoming work and see multiple students at once.

    Also, My School Year does not actually need lesson plans to operate fully. You can pre-generate lessons BEFORE it occurs, enter it in manually AFTER the day is completed, or just assign a grade for the classes (no lessons required). The choice is yours.

    As a reminder, if you ever need assistance while on the site, we have both a support email and a toll-free support line. That contact info is located on every screen.

    Again, we appreciate your review, and look forward to implementing the ideas your review has provided us.

    Sincerely,
    My School Year Support
    support@myschoolyear.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for clarifying those things.

      Delete

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