Our family is reviewing our experience with HomeSchool Office. The support page provides lots of helpful information to help you get started setting up your account and page. As the parent you create the main password for the account that gives you the administrative powers to set and plan for your homeschool. You can also generate passwords for your students so that they can access their assignments. When students are log in the only area they can click on is the work area where the lessons are scheduled on the calendar.
Parents will find all tabs activated when they log in. One of the first areas in the Team area. This section includes taps that allow you to set up information about your school, your school district, teachers, and students. It also has a tab that lets you resources you use in your school and friends (a contact list).
Plan is the main area where you set up everything you need to assign work for your students. In this section there are tabs for setting up the subjects your students will be using. A School Year Lesson Plan which has a calendar that allows you to set up which days of their year are school days. This is used when lesson plans are added. If you have days unchecked on this calendar then the program will skip those days when added work to the schedule. The Master Schedule tab allows you to assign which subjects are done each day. You can schedule everything for everyday or you can assign certain subjects on only a few days. The Project tab gives you a place to set up school projects and assign them to certain subject areas. Budget gives you the place to track expenses.
Order shows you the assignment calendar. From here the parent can make adjustments or print out assignments. You can view the calendar but the month, week, or day. You can also view the assignments in list form by the week or day. This screen also gives you place to set up to do lists and assign them to one of the calendars. You can set up as many calendars as you want. I set up one calendar for each child so that it is easy to print out a list specifically for that child. Changes can be made by the parent in the Order section.
Work looks pretty much like the Order section but in this section is for viewing only. This is the only section that is active when the child uses their log in. Like the Order area you can also turn off and on calendars so that the student can see just their work if they are logged in. Also, if you want to print out assignments you can the assignments for only one student.
Evaluate is where you will enter grades and manage attendance. Each grade does have to be entered separately but as you start to type in the assignment it will bring up assignments for the lesson plans so you don’t have to retype everything.
Report is the area where you can print all kinds of reports based on the information you need. You can click on any areas you wanted included in your report. In this area you can also generate a transcript.
Using HomeSchool Office
When I first opened the program and began to use I had little trouble figuring out how to set everything up but by taking advantage of the Support area I was able to figure my way around the program. Once you add items to the lesson plan they are quickly added into the assignment calendars for each student. I only added a few weeks worth of lessons plans since I wanted to get started quickly. When the student runs out of items in the lesson plans for a certain subject when you print out the assignments you lets you know that you have run out of work.
Since I was away from home for a couple of weeks during the review period I was able to print out a copy of the assignments for my husband and older son to help them check up my two students while I was away. They were also to log in and check their assignments for themselves.
During the review period their brother was home on leave. There was one week that I had marked as a school week that they ended up not getting any school done because they were busy doing things with their brother. While the easiest way to take time off from school is to mark the days as non-school days before they occur. But the work had already been assigned and those days had passed and I couldn’t figure how to move them. I put in a request through the support page. Customer service got back with me quickly on how to solve my problem as well as giving me the suggest to uncheck days ahead of time to avoid the problem in the future. They also check with me to make sure the information given worked for me. I was impressed with the level of customer service.
There were a few things I would have like to have like being able to copy and paste items on the master calendar so that it would be quicker to fill in. Also for items that children repeated every day like such as spend 15 minutes free reading those items could be put into the lesson plan and just repeated with the same assignment each day. Also, I would have found it helpful that items on the lesson plan where already listed in the Evaluate section and you only needed to go back and enter the grades.
Because this program is online it is easy to access on any computer or tablet with internet access.
HomeSchool Office Facts
This program can be used by the whole family whether you are parent log in and entering information or the student logging in to check on their assignments.
Annual subscriptions are $79 and can be used by all the students in the family. The annual subscription rate also gets you any updates as the occur during the year.
For those who would like to try it before they buy it Lord Heritage offers a 30-day Free Trial that will allow you to give the program a test run before you purchase.