I am forever trying to figure out a way to minimize my time spent doing planning and grading for school. I have tried Homeschool Tracker Plus, Homeschool Daybook, Homeschool Inc PER, Homeschool SkedTrack, TOS Homeschool Planner to plan and track our school and a really great OpenOffice Calc spreadsheet just to track hours. I did a combination this year since I was spending almost an entire day a week doing our planning on Homeschool Tracker.
Homeschool Tracker Plus was and is a great program but I got tired of entering each and every lesson, the great little details bogged me down.
So This year I used TOS Homeschool Planner to plan things out and keep track. It worked well except when it came time to tracking hours. A friend sent me a sheet to check off each hour spent on school since we need to do 1000 hours here in Missouri. I color coded the core and non-core hours and it worked but I could not see how many hours were English or Math. I needed something that I could easily keep track of individual courses and quickly get a running total, enter OO spreadsheet that a dear friend shared with me. I now can easily add in hours and it does all the calculations for me.
I thought I had grading down as TOS Homeschool Planner had a sheet that I was using to put grades for each day in various subjects but doing term grades became very tedious and I knew there had to be a way to enter my daily grades and have my kiddos term grades ready to go. I was trying to find something online or software I could download (or already had) that could allow me to do just that with out entering every single lesson with the grade.
I came across something called Homeschool Minder and downloaded the 30 day trial. It is precisely what I needed. I hesitate to purchase it for a couple of reasons, however. I looked at the forums and was encouraged to see there were not to many unresolved issues but it seems since October there has not been any prompt response to issues. A second hesitation I have is the cost. It is about $40 a year, not something I have come across before. In everything else I have come across it has always been a one time cost. The company also appears to have been sold a few years ago and is now not under the original owners control. I am really stymied as I would love to use this software but can not afford to buy a lemon product.
So now my dilemma is not quite solved but at least I got this terms grades added and now I can figure out what to do for the rest of the year. I would love to hear what you use and how you to track necessary school info. Just leave me a comment with a link to your blog if you have one or just in the comments if you don’t. If you have experience with Homeschool Minder I am especially interested.