All of you who know me will understand this.
I love Homeschool Tracker.
I have been working with it for a little over a week now, and it is so reassuring to see the little portions of hours add up for each girl. When I begin to feel like we aren't getting things accomplished, I can just go to the "time spent" report and see that we are working hard, regardless of how far down the list we get.
I am always subconsciously worried about whether we are doing enough, whether we are gypping the kids by homeschooling them, especially since they are so far apart in age and abilities (three years' difference any way you measure it). Teaching three different levels has made me feel, even when we work hard all day, that if we don't finish the list we haven't done enough. We are still in Term One for two of the three Ambleside Years the kids are working through, and that has been weighing heavily on my mind, even though I know that AO is an intense program. Now I can see that the load may still need to be adjusted down for two of the girls, at least.
I started using Homeschool Tracker Basic (the freebie-- I can't believe they offer Basic for free, this is truly a blessing) as a way of getting my feet wet for serious recordkeeping-- I'm thinking of the need for transcripts for college, and decided to allow myself a year or two to explore, flounder and finally arrive at our way of doing things. At this point I am only tracking lessons, not grades or points, although I do plan to record Triss' Apologia and math scores beginning this week. I will probably record those scores alone for the next year at least. I am not in a hurry to learn to assign grades to her literature, history or writing studies-- Apologia and math are more objective and easier to score.
Initially, I worked for several hours to get everything loaded, but now it takes only a few minutes to mark assignments completed and print out the next day's assignments. I am excited to see how long it will take me to load up the new week's assignments, because I now have templates in place.
I will probably move up to the Plus program in the next two years. I don't know anything yet about lesson plans, or rearranging subjects and assignments for high school purposes. But at this point, these precious reports reassure this "anxious pendulum" that we are "doing enough".
(This post begs the question, "what is my definition of 'enough'?" Perhaps I will post about that next.)