Thursday, March 26, 2015

A TOS Review: Lord Heritage



I currently experiencing an organizational slump. What is this? How in the world did I manage to stay in college or teach school? I’m having a hard time finding matching shoes at this point in my life. My hats go off to all of you mommas who are wrangling more than one child.

Honestly, I’ve tried many different kinds of systems and methods. Some work better than others. Some work when I actually use them. I’m frankly more of a pen and paper kind of gal. I have more notebooks I’m scribbling in than I care to admit. I recently had a chance to review HomeSchool Office from Lord Heritage. I was anxious to see if this could possibly be something that would relieve my organizational woes.

HomeSchool Office is a web-based program. It is intended to help the homeschool parent keep track of a child’s education in one location. This is a subscription based product. The cost does not increase with the number of children that need you need to keep track of. Great news for all of you with more than a few!

Initially, it was easy to get on the site. I first needed to create my team. This is helpful for those of us who participate in co-ops, take additional classes, extra-curricular projects or play sports.



My team consisted of the aquatics director for Josiah’s swim team and the professor who oversees a PE class Josiah takes at a local university. I should have listed the family who joins us for our reading club, but I am pretty sure I have her number on speed dial.



HomeSchool Office uses P.O.W.E.R. to keep us organized.

Plan
Order
Work
Evaluate
Report

Plan – Here you enter subjects, schedules, projects and lesson plans for each student. There is also a section for budgeting.

I plugged in each subject I have scheduled for Josiah during this school year. This took quite a bit of time.  If I planned a lesson (or lessons) for that subject I simply clicked on the little tool on the left hand side of the screen. This took me to another page. There I could add lessons to my heart's content. 



Order – Now that you have your plan you can take all that information and schedule your lessons. This feature allows you to set up "to-do lists" and helps you integrate your homeschool and outside activities. 

I really had a hard time with this step. I think I need "organization for dummies." It is basically a calendar feature that hopefully melds all those moving pieces together. 

Work – This looks just like the Order step. However, this one can be shared with your student through a student account or it can be printed out.

I did like the print option. However, I didn't share much with Josiah. He is on a need to know basis! 

Evaluate – Grades and attendance are tracked here. 

We don't do grades on the whole. I keep track of math scores to track his progress. We also don't move on until I feel that a subject has been mastered or at least understood. I do like the attendance portion of this. I have been using a calendar to keep track.Sometimes I can't fine said calendar. You know that is...

Report – This features gives you a variety of options for record keeping. My state doesn’t require a lot of record keeping, but I know some do. There is also assistance for making up a transcript if you have a High School Student.



How Did I Use It?

I love the idea of HomeSchool Office. I think it requires you to really plan carefully and think the school year through. This is especially important for those who are schooling older children.
I also like the idea of having all of my information in one place.

Take for example this lesson plan for Art History. We were studying Michelangelo. I was able to plan out how many lessons I wanted to complete the study in. I also made sure I included extra art projects. I didn’t have to go searching through my notebooks to find my list of resources.


However, HomeSchool Office isn’t something I found very easy to use. Our day is very relaxed. We rely on reading and living books. I spent more time plugging lessons in than I really had time for.  

That being said, there will be many families who will find HomeSchool Office a lifesaver.  I think it would be terrific for those of you who are more structured. I also feel that it would probably benefit a High School Student immensely. 

Lord Heritage is a Christian company which I love! I so appreciate how they have created this program around solid scripture. 

I recommend trying HomeSchool Office out for yourself. They offer a free 30 Day Trial. And as always, please click on the banner below to read more reviews.



HomeSchool Office Review

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