Sunday, May 2, 2010

Google Goes Homeschool

I was recently given a complimentary trial subscription to in order to write this review.


I had no idea what Lesson Planet even was until I tried it.  I thought it was a site similar to ABCTeach or Enchanted Learning.  BOY was I surprised with what I found.


Lesson Planet is a search tool for homeschoolers or teachers.  You type in a subject you are preparing to teach and Lesson Planet returns a list to you of pages with lesson plans on that subject.  You are able to narrow your search quite easily.  You can ask to see only those lessons that have been highly rated by lesson planet users.  There are featured subject guides on homeschooling and all the subjects at all the school levels.  I didn't spend much time with the guides.  I wanted to really use this tool to search out lessons.


If you are a homeschool-mom who likes to use and build unit studies, you will find Lesson Planet a real help.  In my title I wrote, "Google Goes Homeschool."  That is not to imply that Lesson Planet is affiliated with Google at all.  It's just that this is a search engine that is just focused on lesson plans.  This is what Google would be if it were just for educators.  In the lesson planet lists you don't have to wade through blog entries, or wikipedia sites.  The list you get are useable lesson plans that you can morph to fit your homeschool.


And there's a worksheet search tool, too!  If you are that unit-study type homeschool mom, there are times when you just need a worksheet.  Maybe you want to represent a book you've read in your portfolio.  Maybe you are planning a drive and you need a few worksheets to keep the kiddos busy in the backseat.  Whatever your need, you can use the worksheet search tool to find something to fit the bill.


When I began to evaluate Lesson Planet, I used this video tutorial to learn how to refine my searches.  It was short and direct and I was off and running in no time flat:


If you have used any search engine to find a lesson plan to fit your current subject you know how frustrating it can be to weed through the junk.  Lesson Planet has eliminated the junk for you.  At $39.95 a year, this is a valuable tool for a small price.  AND if you would like to check it out first, they offer a 10-day trial.  Give it a shot and see if you would get a lot of use out of this lessons searching tool. 


But before you do all that, check out the opions of my fellow crew-mates.  You'll gain lots more information buy reading the other opinions here.  OR you can find Lesson Planet's contact information here.  Definitely take the 10-day free trial and see if you like it as much as I did.

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