Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Review: Lesson Planet

LessonPlanetLogo 

“Hello, my name is Denise and I’m a Google-holic.” There! I feel much better. :)

Like most home educators, I tend to heavily rely upon Google’s services in order to find new and interesting resources. I’m a big fan of using/creating/printing worksheets for subjects like vocabulary and math (just ask my kids!), and love having a lesson plan to follow.

That last comment might seem a bit strange, considering homeschoolers are by nature, a bit of a rebellious bunch. We come from the “Don’t tell me how to raise my child” point of view, and that often includes set lesson plans. But for me, not having a plan (in addition to my many synchronized To Do Lists) is a recipe for disaster. I feel totally lost and slightly panicky without one. (Think deer in the headlights.) However, I must admit that while I definitely thrive with a prescribed “plan of action”, I’m not above tweaking those plans when the situation calls for it. (There’s that rebellious homeschooler streak! LOL)

So with that, I present this next review product aptly titled, “Lesson Planet”.

Lesson Planet is “The Search Engine for Teachers”. The website offers a vast slew of teacher-reviewed lesson plans (150,000) and worksheets (75,000) all in one place. Click the video below to view a brief tutorial.

My Opinion

I found Lesson Planet to be a bit like a buffet. While some lesson plans didn’t exactly float my boat (they either weren’t conducive to a home environment or just weren’t engaging enough for my taste), I found others that actually worked well for us.

For example, the section on dance/art/music education really struck a chord with me and my youngest daughter, Abby (10).  She had recently received a charming new dance bag with a "Degas” print for her birthday. While I explained who Degas was, it was the lesson plan about Edgar Degas and his paintings that ultimately made an impression. (Pardon the pun. Ahem.)

Additionally, some of the links took me to a site that required me to register for an account in order to view the actual lesson. While that’s not necessarily a bad thing, it did make me more inclined to select another lesson.

However—the worksheet section was much better. I found several math worksheets which were painless and simple to use, as well as interesting Geography and Science worksheets that went well with our current unit studies. (Woohoo!)

Overall, I’d have to say that Lesson Planet provides a healthy variety of resources to choose from. Although the majority of their lessons are designed for classroom use, several remain highly “tweakable” to suit your personal needs.

A subscription to Lesson Planet costs $39.95/year. A free 10 day trial is available here.

To read what my fellow Crew Members had to say, please click here. :)

*As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew, I received a free subscription to Lesson Planet for the purpose of this review. No additional compensation was provided and my views are strictly my own.*

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