Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Looking at LessonTrek & Summer Starting.

So, I'm checking out a new scheduling tool.  I really like the Simply Charlotte Mason Organizer - but I'd really like to be able to print out a week at a time for my kids - and I really am a visual person.  So I'm playing around with a program that plays to those features to see what I want to use next year.  The reports are not as good, and I think it may be harder to properly schedule for the whole year and adjust.  It is easy to move things around - but any changes would only affect that week...  So it may end up being harder to change things long-term.

But - I'm getting ahead of myself I think.

Lesson Trek lets you setup different courses, decide if they are graded or not, and setup different assignment types for each course.  I'm finding that it works well for setting up a course that uses different books.  For instance, I setup a Literature course with Assignment types of 'Age of Fable', 'Pyle's King Arthur', 'Christmas Carol', and 'Shakespeare'.   You can colour code each child, and each course.

So far I've played with coming up with a weekly layout of the AO 5 readings (with my Canadian and other modifications).  I did this by putting in the first week (and included readings that aren't used for that week).   It looks like there will be 3 readings per day.   

I am considering setting these all up ahead of time.  (Note that I made an 'AO Week Number'  course to label them, and put them on the Sunday (I moved it to Saturday to make the picture smaller...)) I've also made a 'Holiday's and Birthdays' course to easily note those ahead of time in the calendar. 

I figure that I may setup the 36 weeks at the very end of the school year, then copy the week to the current week when we get there.   Actually, I'll probably just do 1 term at a time....  fewer adjustments. 

Sample week of AO readings

I have also played with figuring out what each day might look like.  This definitely isn't set into stone at this point, but is giving me the general idea.  This picture is from the report screen instead of the planning screen.  For this I've just put in a generic 'AO Reading' course while I work things out.  I think I'll keep a week near the end of the year setup like this to use as a basic template to copy.  

Daily plan
I haven't decided how to deal with things that I hope to schedule out ahead of time, but that are not AO readings.  Things like General Science, or even Math.   It would be nice to get it scheduled out so that I can see where we are going to be at various times.  On the other hand - the more that gets scheduled out, the more I have to adjust when life happens.  Because LessonTrek will not push back assignments.  It is easy to move stuff around by hand - but not automatically.  (And it is tricky to move things from one week to the next - you need to copy the week, then indicate what you want to keep.  I will probably use the Saturday/Sunday days to help with that as we don't generally use those days.  I knew I said to show them for a reason!


I've played a little longer, and have decided how to store the AO weeks ahead of time.  I will keep my sample week at the end of the year.   And I am creating my specific weeks per the AO schedule - putting all the readings for a week on a single day (with a little marker subject between the days).   That lets me hold a good 6 weeks on a single week page.  When it is time to setup a half term, I can temporarily move the day with the week I want to copy to the Sunday, and then copy the week to the current week - and only keep those assignments.  Then I can move them to the proper days.  That allows me to have all the plans ready to store - but if we get off track, I don't have to shift up to 36 weeks worth of schedules!   I sure like the visual nature of things.  I wish it had more features, but it sure has potential.

6 week of AO readings  (well, just a small part shown)


On another note - the kids are finally almost done with school for the year!  (The public school kids have school today too... so we aren't way out there.)  Echo and Foxtrot have a few readings left to do - maybe 4 each.  Summer is going to be busy with swim lessons and camps!

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