For this review, we received the Annual Membership Plan offered by My School Year Homeschool Record Keeping. I have been using it to track my girls’ extracurricular activities, co-op schedule, and homeschool plans.
Like many planners, digital or paper, guidance is needed to know how to get the most out of it. Guidance on how to use a planner is helpful to know what sections are essential for you (and your family), or what sections are not needed.
I’m glad that My School Year offered Video Tutorials to their members. Because the site is still under active development, new tools are always being added. And without the video tutorials and written guides, I would have been absolutely lost.
So, my first suggestion – as with any new toy or gadget…
“Read the instructions, first!”
There is an introductory tutorial that gives an overview of the menu structure and where to find all the features.
There is an intermediate bundle of video tutorials to help you set up chores, create lesson plans, bulk delete plans if you need to start all over, or bulk update if the changes are small but affect the entire lesson plan.
For my family, the Bulk Update tool is amazing. Because daily life in the Costa Rican rainforest constantly brings something new, I find myself updating the lesson plans (the chores, the extracurricular schedule, etc.) weekly.
There is also a bundle of Advanced video tutorials to help you Create-A-Plan without having to manually enter in Every. Single. Thing.
You are able to Create-A-Plan if you need to consider:
- different lesson names
- ending the lessons by a certain date
- skipping lessons by a specified increment or grouping lessons by a specified range
- lessons that need to be tiered and divided into several parts
- spreading out the same lesson plan over multiple lessons
Can you tell I love tutorials?
Paarents are usually the primary member but an unlimited number of students can be created. (I would consider this a great option for large families.) You can then grant them their own student login access in the setup section. That way, older kids can access their information, but you will still have control of that information.
If your family happens to use the same curriculum and you tweak it for younger or older students, My School Year offers a tool that allows you to re-use and copy lessons/classes to other students.
I would have loved to use this option, but, ALAS, my two are using totally different curriculum this year. They aren’t even doing the same Spanish.
Personal Drop-down Menus
Because my kids are working at different levels with many different curricula, it is good that My School Year offers a personal drop-down tool for each of my kids. I can easily go to their name, choose the option I need and go directly there – without haveing to scroll or jump to anything.
Of course, only having two children at home with me, this was the simpler option.
I really liked the homeroom feature in My School Year. Yet another way to easily access your student’s information. One page is Mission Control. You can view different school terms that you’ve designated and then jump to:
- extra curriculuar
If you realize you need to enter an upcoming event, class, reading or record a past award or missed school day, you can do so right from the student’s homeroom page.
If you’re like me, you might be on the go a lot. Taking the kids to co-op or some other activity. So, you may need to access My School Year on your phone or tablet. Well, every feature works on ANY internet connected device. Which was helpful for me while my girls were in ballet or jiu jitsu.
And if you have high school aged students, you can create and download transcripts on your phone!
The Teacher’s Aid
My School Year offers an alerts system called Teacher’s Aid. It reminds you of what may be needed for a student. Or, it asks if your student has completed certain milestones (like awards, readings, attended events, etc.).
You have the option of fixing the reminder and making sure your student’s information is up to date. Or, you can delete that reminder if it is not applicable.
Another great feature is the email reminders sent daily and weekly. I was able to open the email and see that I had not entered a recurring activity for my youngest. The email made it easy to go into My School Year and correct it.
You can generate reports on nearly everything. From attendance to materials. Even Course Descriptions.
Still under active development
Because My School Year is regularly updating and improving the user interface and features, I consider it a smart tool for homeschooling families to stay on top of life.
Find out more
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