Because You Asked:
I have received many requests on the Blog and on Facebook – asking for software used for homeschool planning while using an iPad/iPod or iPhone. A couple of weeks ago – I had two people ask what I thought about iPlanlessons.
At first glance, based on their App Store information – this product looked really efficient. The price is low, 1/3’d the price of other similar products – and the screens looked easy to use. The issue I had – was the comments in the App Store. I didn’t feel good about just saying – “Look what we found – this might work – and it might be a good gamble for under ten bucks.”
I emailed the company and received a very quick thoughtful reply. Not only would he answer my questions, but he’d give me a copy to use – and 4 additional codes to give away on my blog! Wow!
The Videos Show the Program Well:
Take a moment to watch these two lessons:
You can see Screen Shots in the App Store as well.
I have two pieces of PC software that I use which are priced at $45.00 each. I feel that this product, iPlanLessons, is a excellent streamlined combination of both of them, power packed with features – for only $9.99 in the App Store . I highly recommend it!
My Experience Using the App:
I downloaded, created 2 classes for the boys, entered their names, entered their math resources, then copied lessons throughout the month. I had their math and language arts scheduled with my thumbs in less than 5 minutes, pushed the items to my iCal and Google calendar, and printed a report on my computer. 5 Minutes. No Joke.
But – then I ran into frustrations. I didn’t take the time to really get to know the software. As she explains in the video #2 above, there are two calendars at work. One is the iCal and one is the calendar in the App. Pushing something to the iCal/changing in the iCal, will not change information in the App. I was getting confused. My other silly frustration was that I was working on this the last week of December, and I’d create a lesson plan for January 3rd, and it wouldn’t show up . . . . . until I figured out I had back created lessons for January 3rd 2011. I won’t tell you how long it took for me to figure this out. . . . But now that it is a new year, the same shouldn’t happen to you. Ha.
There is a basic database path to the program. You need to think of Classes, Subjects, Resources, Lesson Plans and Dates. Once you are comfortable with the flow, and have a few entered it, creating Lesson Plans is simple. My advice would be to make a target date of one week, or even one day at first, before copying the lesson through June. Deleting is extremely easy, a swipe over the lesson plan and a click, but you’d not want to overwhelm yourself at the start.
I realized I didn’t want my phone and iPod to keep reminding me that I wanted to start Teaching Textbooks Pre-Algebra Lesson 74 every 30 minutes . . . so I deleted all of the Math and English Lesson Plans. They are still pushed to the iCal, and I need time to take it out of there, but it was fun practice.
What I need on a portable device – is a quick list of what we are studying, should I find myself in town, with time, while near the book store or library. I have a list of countries, artists, composers, nature study objects and historical figures. I’d challenge you to remember some of the names of these artists or composers . . . on the fly, in the wonder of Robert’s Bookstore. . . Sometimes I forget my own name in there. . . .
I used to keep index cards in my purse all of the time, but they seem to get misplaced. I’m not one to carry my lesson planner around town either – so I am excited to have these plans entered into the iPod – for a moment’s notice glance. I am not going to push these to my calendar . . .
One thing that is fun, is the Report options – You can email yourself daily/weekly reports. I emailed this report to a couple of friends for fun, just to see how it works. You can see that you can be as detailed as you’d like. I do think it would be easier with an iPad, especially with a keyboard, but I did ok with my thumbs. With the chart above, if I wanted to go change it with my OCD, I would change the Lessons to reflect the actual lesson. i.e. Renoir/Tchaikovsky, Winter Wonderland & Russia. I’d let the Category be the Category. Then, under assignment, I’d just not fill in the Complete the Following – for my reminder – as we pretty much “Do the next page”. If I were to send this to my son to his Google Calendar or his Gmail – I’d write out my assignment completion requirements.
Depending on your State Reporting Requirements – you can add your Objectives, Standards, Journal and Assignment. If you watched the video – you would know that each individual lesson can be emailed or sent to calendar by clicking on the envelope or calendar chart. The hourglass buttons let you know where the student is with progress. and you may copy the lesson per week or per day, automatically skipping weekends.
Now I can click on the calendar – click on a Geography Day, and be reminded of what is up on deck!
Like all software databases – there is a learning curve – but now I know how to use it, and would welcome any questions you have. The Contact from the iPlanLessons is also very quick and responsive!! Remember – no software is going to help create a plan for your students. You’ll need to do the part of pulling out your resources, looking at your goals, figuring out your week, and then having follow through with consistency. Homeschool Schedules is not a chain and ball to put around your child’s neck for them to carry. No program, written or software will actually do the job of enjoying learning with your child. This software has so much that it can do – besides sit beside you during algebra. (I asked, they said they wouldn’t drive over. sorry)
Again – I give a recommendation for iPlanLessons – if you are looking for a great lesson planner, calendar schedule, email, report software for your iPod, iPad or iPhone!
Leave a comment here on my blog to be entered into a drawing for one of the FOUR codes!
Feel free to leave any detailed questions as well!
(If you are reading this on a Reader Program – click through to see the comments – many great questions have been asked and answered – and while you are there, enter for your chance for one of the 4 codes!)
Thabks so much for the review. I was so frustrated last year when I searched apps trying to find this very thing! The ipod has so simplified my life, except for the thumb typing! Trying to figure out how to justify the ipad…
Thanks for the review of this app and the opportunity to win one. I’m an on-the-go homeschooler, so this might work well for our family.
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Congratulations! Laura D., Christa D, Angela R, and Lori B ! I will Email you your codes! For the rest of the eager planners – I am still using this daily and realy enjoy the app!
If you missed out on a promo code for iPlanLessons, watch my facebook page, Nancy Barth Tutoring, for some in the next day or two.
Thanks! This might just help me keep organized 🙂
This looks really neat. Thanks for the chance to win it!
I would so love to win this!!!
I would love this. I do alot of planning on the iPad but I just use a spreadsheet app, so this would be great for me.
Would love this
Thanks for such a fun giveaway. We are new to the i world and love all the apps we can get.
Great review. I’ve been wondering about this app for sometime and would really love to try it. Thank you for the chance. 🙂
Tea, contact me for the code you won through Nancy Barth Tutoring!
Nadine, if you’re here, you are a winner, too.
What a great review! It looks like something I can definitely use with my kids. I would love to win a promo code for this wonderful educational tool!
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Wow this review has really helped me. I think this just might be the answer to my son’s and my problem of staying focused. I am always looking for ways to use my Ipad to stay organized.
Thanks for the review! I’ve been looking at it in the APP store for quite some time, but I wasn’t sure about the cost. I think it will really simplify my homeschooling!
Thanks for this review! I’ve recently been searching for something like this since I don’t bring my notebooks into town either. 🙂
Ohhhh…. I am excited to read your review. I look at this often in the App Store and always wonder if it will simplify my lesson planning.
I am just starting to learn about all the wonderful tools that are out there for our iPhone and Mac. I would love to win this app. I love the idea of having a list of what we are studying with me at all times.
I have been eyeing this for a while. I use and love Homeschool Tracker, but we now own all Mac computers and I had to partition my hard drive so I could add windows and run tracker. I loathe windows now that I’m on macs, so I’ve been tempted to get this and see how it compares.
Thanks for the great review.
I so want this! I have looked at it but wasn’t sure so it’s good to read your review.
I use this with my tutoring students, and love being able to email the parents about the week’s lessons and accomplishments. The resources function is fantastic–I finally have most of my most important materials listed there.
It’s nice. Thank you for sharing this information. I’d appreciate that. 🙂
this looks really cool!
Thanks for sharing! This does look useful at a good price.
Looks really great!!
Hi everyone and thank you Angie,
The cloud options I’m experimenting with include iCloud and Dropbox.
There are different limitations though – iCloud will only show new transactions so I’m still not convinced this is the way to go.
Dropbox will backup the full database – and you have to pull it to each device – but then only one person can be the master owner of changes…
So I’m still in the R&D phase…
Thank you all for your questions!
I’ve looked at and wondered about this app too. After the parent has set up dates andassignments, can older kids use it to check off what they have finished? Would it sinc between kids iPods and mom’s iPad?
Until we see how the cloud is used I am not sure. That would be a great question for the creators.
Have been looking at this in the app store. Wondering – could it work as something that the girls could use to check their assignments?
Yes, you could email them the lists, they could easily open the app and tap on the calendar and then on the day to see the lessons. They are working on a cloud upgrade and I am interested to see that. On a simple level I have entered plans about 4 different ways to get a feel. Each time has been really quick. If your child has their own device the input is simple.
And- they have a three step indication to show how the assignment is going. They could click on it to let you know they saw it and are working on the assignment.
I have been watching for this! I actually thought I missed it- thanks for sharing your opinion of it!
You wouldn’t believe how many times I have gone to this App in the App Store and then backed out b/c I was unsure if it was worth it. Thanks so much for the review!