Hi, my name is Melissa. Pour yourself a cup of tea and stay a while. I'm completely devoted to my Savior, madly in love with my husband, and joyously raising my daughters. I'm so glad you stopped by and I hope you enjoy your time here!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Homeschool Helper App: Review and Giveaway!

Record keeping for homeschooling isn't always easy. Although I live in a state with minimal requirements regarding record keeping, I keep lesson plans, grades, field trips, and attendance in a notebook so I can easily see where we are. My main reason is to help me stay on track and know where my girls are at in their learning. In the past I was spending a good hour or so at the end of the week grading and recording grades. Bleh...not my favorite part of homeschooling, but definitely something I felt was necessary. 

When I purchased my iPad one of the first apps I wanted to download was the Homeschool Helper App. I had heard of it about a year ago and really liked what I saw. This very functional app is available for iPad, Android tablets, Nook Color, and in the Amazon store for Kindle. The $4.99 cost is well-worth it once you realize all this app can do! In addition this is a one-time purchase with no need to pay for updates. 

The first thing I noticed about this app after installing it is just how pretty it is. Many of the life-management apps I have looked at are very functional, but also very sterile. I love the look of the opening screen for this app because it feels so personal. I quite often have my steaming cup of tea by my side as I work on record upkeep and I'm very much a pencil and paper kind of girl for the most part. Using this app makes me feel happy and not like I'm turning into a technology zombie. I appreciate the effort that the creators put into making this eye-pleasing in addition to being extremely functional. 

As for the features, wow there are just so many! As I began to use this app I would find myself enjoying features I never thought would have been included. One I particularly like is the inclusion of field trips. We try to take 1-2 field trips a month as a family. I kept a mental list of what we did, but now we have a formal list. I do not have to report at the end of the year to our state or create a portfolio, but it is really nice to be able to look back and see some of the fun we've had. 

I can add as many students as I want which is a nice feature for families with lots of kids. My three girls were very easy to setup. My oldest two are receiving letter grads and my youngest daughter receives effort based grades. I like being able to have it both ways and that I have the ability to set how the grades are calculated. I can also enter up to 14 subjects. I thought that was more than I could ever need, but I ended up using all of them for my oldest daughter because I included things like art and computer.

The lesson planning feature allows you to input lessons for each day and every subject. You can also track what lessons have been taught and which ones are still waiting to be covered. This would be very nice for families who create their own curriculum and lesson plans. Since we follow a pre-planned curriculum this has not proved as useful for me. I do make a weekly checklist but it is still fast for me to do this as a pencil and paper project than it is to type into my iPad.

I really like the grade calculator because I prefer a points based system and the grade calculator allows me to do that and then quickly input the number onto the subject page. I would prefer a points only system as and option since that is what I'm most comfortable with using, but this is working out fine. 
I printed report cards for my girls last week and they were so beautiful! I easily sent them to my e-mail and now have a lovely printed record of my girls grade including their school name, attendance record, and exact grades.They are attractively designed and look as formal as traditional report cards. 
A lot of thought and time has been put into the creation of this to make it as user-friendly as possibly for homeschooling families. It was intentionally created as self-contained with no need for the internet so that it can be used 100% of the time. This is nice for us since we do not have 3G capability on our device. The only feature I could think of that I would like is to be able to set quarters and semesters at the beginning of the setup. Right now I can print grades from any date range and create my own quarters/semester. 

Take a moment to also learn a little about the family who created the Homeschool Helper App! They are homeschoolers and I think this is very evident from how easy and functional this little app is.

Now for the giveaway!!!! One of my readers will be blessed with a code to receive this for free for the iPad app!

a Rafflecopter giveaway 

Disclaimer: I was provided with this app for my iPad for free for my honest opinion. I was not required to write a positive review. No other compensation was received. 


  1. I just bought this for my Kindle this year. It has been terrific! We use it for planning - LOVE the "bump" feature for those days when something unexpected comes up. I also like that my daughter can see her list of assignments for the day and then checks them off when done. It puts school responsibility into her hands, as she has several subjects that are self-directed this year. She likes seeing what is left to do and picks what she wants to do when. A friend recommended it to me and I'm so glad she did!

  2. I have yet to find the perfect fit for us when it comes to keeping records. I would love to win this app! Hopefully it will be the one that sticks!!!

  3. Right now I do not keep grades as my boys are still littles. I just use satisfactory, needs improvement, and unsatisfactory. That will need to change next year, so I have had my eye on this app for awhile now.

  4. I have purchased an online system but they had major issues on getting it out of Beta and it still isn't really working well. I would love to try this app instead as I need some type of record keeping.

  5. Would love to try it.

  6. honestly just a simple 3 ring binder and page protectors

  7. I am not currently homeschooling but I would love to use the Homeschool Helper app when I do! I have checked it out and it seems to be well-organized and simple to use. I also plan to use plain ol' pen and paper to keep my records. :)

  8. I spend a LOT of time putting together spreadsheets and documents and binders to try to keep my school together. Something easy and simple and already put together sounds like a blessing for sure!

  9. I'm currently using Homeschool Skedtrack. But I often forget to update it or edit things and I feel like it's more complicated than necessary. But since it's free I deal with it. For planning, I have the Well Planned Day planner. I've wanted to try it so I bought it on sale. It works well but I don't know if I'm in love with it or not just yet! Next year when both boys are using HOD together, I don't know if I'll even need it!

  10. Love that this is compatible with HOD. I am also a pen & paper gal, but I am finding this first year of high school a lil rougher than I had hoped trying to keep records. It would be so nice to have them all beautifully organized and ready to print into records at anytime!