An Online HomeSchool Planning Program (Review)

Friday, March 27, 2015

Planning is one of the most tedious parts of homeschooling your children.  Yet planning is essential no matter what style of homeschooler you are. Anyone who knows me would not be surprised to know that  I am an avid planner of our homeschool.  I love to be prepared & know we are achieving our goals (maybe it's because I am a firstborn).   I've tried various methods of planning over the years to keep my children on track with their schooling & to keep myself organised.  While I was very happy with the method I used, I was excited to be asked to review an online program that is dedicated to helping homeschooling parents with their planning & record keeping: HomeSchool Office by Lord Heritage.
HomeSchool Office Review

HomeSchool Office is an online program that guides you through the planning of your student's academic goals all the way to recording your student's homeschool achievements.  It guides users using the acronym 'power'. This stands for:
Plan; Order; Work; Evaluate; Report 
( Each term is a tab heading & as has their own role to play in the planning process.)

Here is an example of the report screen which shows the variety of information able to be included in the  reports.

This tab includes your budget, master plan, subjects & other important planning areas

Shows your master schedule for whatever time period you choose.  It is where you are able to easily edit it depending upon your personal requirements for the week. It is also where you are able to print a list off should you choose to.

Here is where the finalised to-do lists & schedule are displayed. 

This is where grades & attendance are recorded.

This is where you choose the sort of report you want.  There are a variety of options depending upon your personal requirements. HomeSchool Office also has the ability to generate a complete high school transcript.  

Once the user is familiar with the different functions, navigation to the area of need is easy. 

HomeSchool Office  includes a tab for Team which is where you enter your generalised homeschool information, students & resources that you use. 
The tabs work together in sequence to provide an easy flow to the overall Homeschool planning process.  As you progress throughout the HomeSchool Office program you are able to include a large variety of  information.  It is possible to utilise this for all your planning needs. 

  I've used HomeSchool Office over the past few weeks for some of my generalised homeschool planning. I used it on our PC.  While I was rather unprepared for the large amount of time required to set up our specific program within HomeSchool Office, I found once set up was completed, that it was very easy to use.   
I began by entering my students & their subjects.  I ended up entering 48 subjects in total due to the way I juggle our homeschool schedule.  I did find that the subject list did not include some of our Australian subjects.  I mentioned this on their forum & they replied that it was already on their list of enhancements for the future.  They also noted that the reports are able to be downloaded to Word where you can then edit the subject names. 

Due to personal time restraints I ended up scheduling just Zai on the master schedule.  Once this was set up I was highly amazed at how easily I could edit the schedule depending upon our daily requirements.  Any homeschooling mother will tell you that each week is unique & so having the ability to easily edit your schedule is a bonus. 
Entering your students marks (grades) is simple in the Evaluate Tab.  As Zai is only in early high school (year 7) I did not feel the need to utilise the Report tab.  This would be excellent as he progresses, particularly when he enters the later years of high school when what he studies count towards his university entry.
Overall I found HomeSchool Office an easy program to navigate around & use.  While initially there is some time commitments to set up for your particular homeschool, once it is done, it is easy to utilise. 

I must also note that I was particularly impressed with the customer service of Lord Heritage.  Every time I emailed with a question or comment, they were very quick in replying.  They were a great help in addressing my queries.  

HomeSchool Office is a neat package that uses a logical & conclusive sequence to make good planning possible in any homeschool family.
  HomeSchool Office is available as a 12 month subscription per family (there are no size restrictions) from Lord Heritage

HomeSchool Office Review

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