Friday, 23 November 2007 05:00

Homeschooling Resources

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I've decided to start a list of homeschooling resources. I will feature one or two every couple of days, along with a small review, in the hopes that it will help someone out there in the blogosphere.

Today I will start with my favorite resource:

Homeschool Tracker

Homeschool Tracker is a wonderful software for keeping your homeschooling records. The creators were homeschoolers themselves. They have a Basic version that is free, with no strings attached. They plan to offer it for as long as the Lord allows them to. The Basic version is a good program in its own right. I used it for a year before they came out with the Plus version and it met my needs.

The Plus version (HST+) has a lot more bells and whistles than the Basic version. It has a very low price for what you get. Once you pay for the version, all upgrades are FREE! The customer and technical support are superb. They host a forum where you can talk about how you use the program. If you are having trouble wrapping your mind around a concept, or how best to enter your curriculum, the forum users, as well as the creators, provide some great help. If you have a technical issue, you can email the support email, and unless they are on vacation, they will answer you within the day. Usually within minutes. There are videos on the website for helping to learn the program, and the creators hold online classes to help those who want some extra help.

One of the best perks of the software are the upgrades. Each major upgrade adds some tremendous features which a user may use, or not use, depending on their needs. The creators consider each request for new or changed features, and try to incorporate them into the next big updates (which is ALWAYS free). They recently added the ability to share lessons plans among users. So, if I have set up a lesson plan for using my math textbook, and I have a friend with HST+ that is using the same textbook, I can send them the lesson plan to import into their program. This feature is only for non-copyrighted plans. For example, Sonlight publishes an IG to go with books you can readily check-out from the library. Sonlight holds the copyright for the way the books are taught from, so I couldn't share that lesson plan. I can however, enter those lesson plans into my HST+ for my personal use. (That is all hypothetical ~ I don't use Sonlight).

For a comprehensive list of the HST Plus program features, visit the website and explore by clicking the logo above.

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