Thursday, May 23, 2013

{Review} My Home School Grades

Do you have to keep track of your homeschool students’ grades for reporting?  Do you like to keep track of grades for your benefit only?  Are you looking for an easy program that does not include planning?  Are you looking for a program to record these grades that is accessible from any device?  Then I have a great recommendation!

My Home School Grades came about in the fall of 2012 when the CEO, John Echols and his wife were looking for something to help them keep track of grades and create a transcript for their freshman student at home.  They searched all the available programs offered and each one lacked what they were wanting for their family.  Mr. Echols joined forces with self-taught web designer, Jordan,  who developed the site and program.

The program is easily accessible whether you are using a computer, tablet or smart phone.   If you have access to internet, then you have access to My Home School Grades.  The program is also designed to do most of the work for you.  Once you are signed on, the program fills in the students’ last names automatically which helps with reporting and transcripts.  There are also preloaded publishers in the system with curriculum and lessons already laid out.  All you have to do is add the grades as the work is completed.   Other easy areas to navigate are Activities which include things like sports, choir and organizations as well as a transcript creator.

I was excited to use this program!  I have personally used one or two other programs offered to most homeschoolers but they had lengthy user manuals and/or they required that I enter lesson plans of the curriculum we were using.  That was time consuming and redundant since we use curriculum that includes a lesson plan for the year.  I found myself giving up and not using those other programs to their full potential.

My Home School Grades does not have any place where you add in lesson plans.  This is strictly a way to record grades and activities for each of your students.  The best part of adding the grades was that I can decide if I record each grade as a letter (A, B, C), a percentage (90%, 85% 70%) or a fraction (84/90, 90/100, 50/50) and the program shows the cumulative grade for each subject.

You will find that many common activities that homeschool students are involved are included in the activities area already but you can also add whenever necessary.  Activities our family will be recording will be volunteer experiences for Legs, sports for Dude, dance and theater for Little Red and dance for Chubbles.  I am sure there will be other activities to add as the kids get bigger too.

One thing I didn’t expect with My Home School Grades was that when it is time to create and send in transcripts to colleges or other institutions, all I have to do is go into one student’s page, clink on Transcript and it is immediately created and ready to be printed.

You can visit My Home School Grades to watch tutorials on how to use the program and to sign-up for a 14-day free trial.  After the trial, you can purchase a lifetime subscription for $49.99.  This allows one family to add as many students as they need to serve them.

Pros: This is another product that I think is amazing!  I am so blessed that our family was allowed to review this product and be allowed to continue to use it throughout our homeschooling career.  I really think this program is going to be a huge blessing for many.

Cons: I have not found anything in this program that I did not like.  Some families may find that the publishers or curriculum they use is not in the system but Mr. Echols has said they are working daily to add more and if you would like to see a particular one, please send them an email and they will work to get it added.

This review is part of Mosaic Reviews: A medley of review perspectives.  To see other perspectives, please visit here after May 23rd.

The next review will be Apologia book, How Do We Know God Is Really There?

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