Organizational Tools for Lesson Planning
Do you sometimes feel like lesson planning is taking over your life? For many homeschoolers, lesson planning becomes that dreaded task we must do but never look forward to doing. Sure, it makes teaching lessons easier but at what cost? If you’re sick of giving up your Sundays to lesson planning, try using online tools and/or apps designed to make this task a tad easier.
Trello is a free organizational tool that acts as a visual pinboard for users. As a Trello user, you’ll create “lists” and each list will have “cards” on it. For instance, you could create a list for each day of the week with cards for each subject. Or, you could create a list for each quarter with a card for each week in the quarter. However you decide to organize it is completely up to you.
Google Classroom is another free organizational tool you can use for your homeschool. Once you set up a “classroom” in Google Classroom, you’ll have a “feed” (similar to your Facebook newsfeed) where all assignments and announcements you post for your students will appear on the home page. Easily add assignments and your students can communicate back with you. You assign deadlines and Google keeps track of what’s overdue for you. This tool is especially beneficial if you have older students who are gone frequently.
Homeschool Tracker Online
Homeschool Tracker Online (formerly known as Homeschool Tracker Plus) serves homeschooling families who have needs that extend beyond just lesson planning. While you certainly can do lesson planning with it, it has so many more features that users find helpful. For instance, you can keep track of attendance, grades, school subjects, and report cards. Its built-in features will even generate high school transcripts for you.
Homeschool Minder is similar to Homeschool Tracker but has a different price point. You can input lesson plans, track assignments, add events to your calendar, record courses, monitor reading lists, and generate as many reports as you need.
Lesson Planning Apps
Lesson planning apps are similar to online versions except that they’re configured to run on mobile devices such as tablets or phones. If this suits you best, you may be interested in one of the following apps:
- Homeschool Helper – This app is consistently rated as one of the most helpful apps for homeschooling families. The app was built specifically for homeschoolers and it allows you to track field trips, assignments, events, grades, lesson plans, and more.
- LifeTopix – This iOS-based app is an all-in-one app that allows you to keep track of your personal and business life all in one place instead of having various apps for different aspects of your life. Since education is at the heart of your life as a homeschooling parent, you’ll appreciate the ability to track and manage lesson plans, add events to your calendar, create reading lists, keep track of field trips, and more.
- iPlan Lessons – This app really has a ton of things for homeschooling families. For lesson planning, they have a Student Information System you’ll find useful whether you’re using it for your own family or in a co-op setting. You can upload lessons, track grades, create task lists, manage your children’s activities and so much more.
- Evernote – Evernote is a great app for people not quite ready to take the plunge into the digital age. You can store files, images, to-do lists, and more. Of course, that means you can also create lesson plan lists and portfolios of your children’s writing assignments. Since it’s an app, you’ll have access to it either online or on the go.
Lesson planning is a necessary evil in homeschooling. Thankfully, these days there are plenty of organizing tools to make lesson planning easier. Whether you’re looking for somewhere to digitally store research papers and lesson assignments or you have a true desire to go paperless, there are many choices available.