MySchoolYear.com is a record keeping dream come true
Written by Veronica Wallace
I am an eclectic homeschool mom of nine with one on the way so I homeschool high school down to kindergarten. With all these kids, I needed a record keeping system that would be able to track all of my students and assist me with my reporting needs. I am not very computer savvy, and I don’t care to take a lot of time to learn a new system – I need to be homeschooling, running my household, and not spending countless hours setting up my records.
Enter MySchoolYear.com. The registration process is quick, and a simple 4 step wizard gets you up and running in no time. From there, I set up each child’s school year by creating classes and lesson plans. The lesson planning, which for me is the central focus, has a lot of options.
First, you can create each lesson individually. This method works great for those one-off assignments or for a set of assignments that do not have a similar theme. One of the many things I like when I create an individual lesson plan, is that I have the option to share it with other students. This works wonderfully for my twin girls and my two boys who share a lot of the same classes. I only have to type in the lesson plan once, but it appears in both students’ classes. That feature is called Share-A-Plan. What is nice is that even though the plan is shared, the students can have different grades and notes.
The next super cool lesson planning tool is called Create-A-Plan which has two options: Rapid Repeat and Quick Split. Rapid Repeat allows you to repeat the same assignment name with or without the repeat number (think “Read Chapter 1”, “Read Chapter 2” and so on or repeating events like “Piano Lessons”). Quick Split helps breakdown any materials into evenly spaced pieces. For example, a 750 page book is divided into 150 lesson plans so each lesson plan has 5 pages. Of course, both of these lesson plan generators give plenty of options of adding materials, grade weighting, dating of lesson plans, Share-A-Plan, and even scheduling days off. Create-A-Plan is a step by step wizard and is really easy to understand. My 14 year old daughter couldn’t wait for me to generate her plans because she wanted to see the breakdowns and get started right away. Create-A-Plan saves me hours in lesson plan generation, and it’s fun too!
Another lesson plan feature that I use a lot is the copy plans. Because of the number of kids I homeschool, I re-use most of my lesson plans. Well, after I create and use them for my eldest, I go into the copy plan wizard, select what I want, and copy those plans to my second eldest. Again, this saves me time and effort so I can get back to homeschooling. I used and will continue to use this feature to copy down all the lesson plans from on child to the next.
While I don’t typically assign dates to lesson plans because I operate my homeschool with a focus on completing 36 weeks regardless of specific dates, it does have a reschedule feature that helps to bump or move up dates of lesson plans to adjust for when life happens or students get way motivated to work ahead. You just select the student or students and classes that need to be bumped, or adjusted, and MySchoolYear.com will automatically adjust the dates. Extremely helpful for when life happens.
Finally, MySchoolYear.com does auto grade calculations. Whenever I create a lesson plan, I set the grade type. Grade types are like “test”, “daily assignment”, “project”, etc. Then, when I assign a grade to a completed lesson plan, it automatically calculates the class grade. The default is to equally weight all lesson plans, but I can easily customize each class to make my own weighting percentages. It is super simple. In fact, in the customization setup, it displays in an easy to read format how it calculated the grade and gives links to make it simple to adjust any grades. It is one less action that I need to do. There is also a grades page where it lists all the graded lesson plans which is helpful for keeping track of what is graded and not.
Naturally, after I create all those lesson plans, I give them to my kids. My kids can know what their assignments are and don’t need my assistance to get started on their work. This gives me availability to work individually with my students, grade work, or spend time with my baby/toddlers. At this point, I turn to the extensive reporting that MySchoolYear.com provides. It does transcripts, report cards, lesson plans, reading logs as well as other portfolio items like awards, standardized tests, and organizations.
For my printing out lesson plans, there are 2 formats: grouped by date and by class. By date allows me to print out everything within a date range. The print out will group all the lesson plans across all classes under the dates. However, as I said earlier, I don’t assign dates so I use the lesson plan report by class format which allows me to select one or all classes. I select the print out options that I need and make my reports. My kids then snatch them up and put them in their subject folders and are ready to start the year. The kids always know what to do each class time and if so inclined can work ahead…no really some of them do!
One quick note, when I signed up I got 30 days free and have a lifetime price lock guarantee. As long as I stay a member, the price will NEVER increase. Knowing this is comforting for planning out my homeschool budget because there are no surprise price increases.
I just can’t say enough good things about MySchoolYear.com. It is fun to use, saves time, and relieves all the pressures of lesson planning and tracking. I spend my time enjoying homeschooling and leave record keeping to MySchoolYear.com.