Thursday, October 6, 2011

Homeschool Daybook Review (After one year)

I have been using Homeschool Daybook to log our school hours for over one year now. I am continuing to use the program for this new school year. If you are still looking for a concise, easy way to log your hours I encourage you to look into Homeschool Daybook.

What I Like about Homeschool Daybook:
-         super easy to use
-         I can record all my children in one log
-         You can view/print/save records at any time to be sure of having a back-up (and I find it VERY encouraging to see how many hours I have actually completed!) I can total my hours and view my reports from any dates I choose. I typically use my state’s legal homeschool school year (July 1 through June 30)
-         You can pick the subjects/labels that suit you (or the state you live in). If I recall correctly then when you first set up the program there are a few suggestions, but you choose which to keep, rename, or delete
-         At any time you can choose a category to become “inactive.” So, if you find (as I did) that you did not need to use so many different labels, then you can simply make that category inactive, but the hours stay recorded. Similarly, you can begin a new category at any time too.
-         You can choose between various color schemes, in case you are a person who can or cannot read light print on dark background or dark print on light background.
-         The set up was very easy with helpful, simple directions
-         The daily recording is easy and fast. I spend no more than 5 minutes a day logging ALL of my kiddoes’ hours.
      -    There is a special offer for blogging homeschool parents

What I would like to see changed/improved:
-         in MO, I am supposed to keep a record of hours spent at home verses school time away from home. I would love to see a box to click for “at home” or “away”.
-         in MO, we have a certain set of required “core” subjects and a certain amount of hours to meet that criteria. Last year, I simply added the columns up on my own to keep track of these required subjects. But, I would love to see some kind of box to distinguish “core” subjects from “extra” subjects.  Along these same lines, I would love to see a section on the printable reports page that reports these core hours vs. extra hours and then a tally for both. (Moms I know in MO almost always write their own Excel programs to meet these two above concerns. This mom has no time or energy to learn to use Excel at present.)

Overall, I highly recommend Homeschool Daybook. Any “problems” that I originally had in the first weeks/months were almost entirely my own mis-understanding of the working of the program… or lack of patience ; )  I will continue to recommend this program to large families as well as small. We homeschool moms need an easy way to log hours, and this program is the easiest I have seen.

Just so you know: I am NOT receiving any benefits/gain from Homeschool Daybook for writing this review. I am writing it from my own interest in seeing homeschool moms find an easy-to-use program.

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