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!)