Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Logging with Homeschool Day Book: Day One

I have been frantically looking at different ways to log my hours for school. I am/was looking for a program that would tally hours for several subjects for multiple children. I also want(ed) to be able to write a brief account of what we did in each subject.

I found that Homeschool Day Book has a free offer for homeschool bloggers. In theory, all I have to do is one review on the product. But, you know me... I will be writing many  reviews! (I think this is what they probably expect with bloggers ; ) If it turns out that the product is not for me... well, that time will not be totally "wasted," because I will be one step closer to knowing what I want/need.

Day One:

- Entering each child was very easy
- Entering subjects was very easy... so was changing names and adding others as I went on
- Entering the log was not complex. I had to make it a little more difficult, since I am logging more than one child (more on that later)*
- If the children share the work, you can mark both names*
- Overall - very easy
- I can count hours, minutes, or both (so this works whether you go by actual minutes or by the "credit hour" approach)

- One helpful hint - to save time later, write a title for each "day book entry" as the subject. Makes corrections easily later on!

- I went to look at the "printable reports" page right away, to see what it looks like. Was it what I was expecting? Not exactly.  Will it work? Maybe. It does tally hours for me (in the various subjects, and all total), BUT I had to go to the "printable records" page to see it. I was/am looking for a program that keeps my total hours in view at all times. But, I can make this work, so long as I look at the printable records often

* - One problem that I found very quickly (by looking at the printable records) is that there is some difficulty in the recording of hours if I marked the same subject "reading" for both children, but wrote separate entries. While the time was listed to both children, it did not show up as under the reading subject. So, I had to make a "Rebecca Reading" subject and a "Nelson reading" subject. This will need to be done in all other areas when the children do not overlap.

- Another thing that would be nice, that this program does NOT have (and I don't know if any programs do this) -would be a list of main core subjects and then minor subjects that build up that core. (You know, like a hierarchy drop down menu. Choose "Social Studies," then "geography", etc)

So far - so good. I will not make any recommendations at this point. I will be writing more later.


Kimberly said...

Do you have MS Excel or some type of spread sheet program already on your computer? I use excel spreadsheets all the time for lots of things. It would keep a running total of hours for each child individually, after the initial creation of the sheet, all you would need to do would be to enter a number into a field.

Bethany W. in mid-MO said...

I am not at all familiar with Excel, though I figured I *could* make up a program. I read on another blog that spread sheets work... so long as you have the time/patience to set them up.
Paul suggested that I take a college course to learn to use Excel... maybe in 15 years when school is out - of course, I won't need it then...

Thanks for your input!