Online Homeschool Planner for the Mac – A Giveaway! (Closed)

It just occurred to me that I planned on posting my annual Curriculum Round-up.  In July.  It is now September, if you’re keeping track.  This should give you an idea of how our school year is progressing. (I hope to rectify this, and post my Curriculum Round-up before Christmas break.)  :)

In my defense, I threw caution to the wind, and after saying NO THAT’S NO FOR US, I enrolled Emme into Classical Conversations.  Since she’s in the 7th grade, it is a drop off program once a week.  After her first shell shocked week, we finally have settled into a routine with regards to the work demands of this curriculum.  Which includes Latin.  “Dear God, why didn’t I pay more attention in mass as a Catholic?”  So things have been a little topsy turvy in the homeschooling department.

One thing that I hope will help, is that I just ordered an extensive key to first year Henle Latin.  It’s sort of like Latin for Dummies, in that I couldn’t make heads or tails of the key that actually comes with the Henle Latin.  This spells it out for me.  Which is the next best thing to someone holding my head while I puke whenever I think of declensions.

One thing that is going well, with regards to homeschool, is that I found an online planning program that is made ONLY for Mac users, called OLLY (Organized Life and Learning Yearbook).  What makes this program different from others that I looked at after our annual homeschool convention, is that there is a one time license key fee of $39.95.  There are other online planners out there, but they come with a yearly fee.  Since I use OLLY, I keep all of the records (backing up to Dropbox) and never have to fear an outside source losing anything.  (And thanks to Dropbox, which is FREE, a certain budding author in my family shouldn’t fear her mother deleting her ENTIRE LIFES WORK…again.)

Over our brief summer break, I was able to take my time entering each course and lesson plan for my children.  When our school year began, I was able to assign a lesson each day to each child and then print it out for both their benefit and mine.  I assign weekly, since I tend to fly by the seat of my control top pantyhose.  But you could assign weeks, months, or even a year at a time.  And the beauty of the system is that you can bump the assignments should something be missed.

Some of the features that I love about OLLY:

•  Keeps track of attendance
•  Records grades
•  Journal entries for field trips
•  Photos can be uploaded for yearbook
•  Keeps track of all resources
•  Lesson plans can be reused yearly for younger siblings
•  Lesson assignments can be printed out
•  Completed lesson plans can be tracked

There are more features that I’ve not even explored yet, but these are the ones that I’m currently using.

There is also a great how to page that explains in detail (and many with a tutorial) how to use all of the different functions of the program.  OLLY also offers a free 30 day full featured trial so you can check it out.  If you decide to buy the program, your work entered during the trial will not be lost.

This is the lesson plan that I created for Cailey’s Language Arts

A Giveaway!

I have the privilege of being able to give away a free license key (valued at $39.99) so that one lucky winner can have full access to the OLLY program.  All you have to do is head over to the OLLY website and tell me which function of the program would help you to feel organized while homeschooling?

The Rules:

•  You pretty much need a Mac.
•  You must answer the prompt given.
•  No duplicate comments/ one entry per person.
•  This giveaway is open internationally, age 18 or over.
•  Winners will be selected via random draw, and will notified by e-mail.
•  You have 48 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

I will keep comments open until Sunday, September 16th at 9:00 PM, EST.

Disclosure:  I was given an OLLY license key for the purposes of this review after I contacted THEM to tell them how much I loved their product.  The honest opinion expressed in this review is my very own.

Update:  My winner was #8, Nan.  Congratulations!!!

13 thoughts on “Online Homeschool Planner for the Mac – A Giveaway! (Closed)”

  1. Wow! I had no idea that this existed. I have been using numerous excel spreadsheets trying to organize and keep my hair from falling out. All of it looks great. I think I am most excited about being able to use it for a schedule to include chores, fieldtrips, etc. The other thing is that we do a lot of nature lessons outside and this would be great to record each trip and what we did.

    I am a MAC love .. oh..and iPad too :)

  2. The function of the OLLY program that would make me feel organized while homeschooling is the “bump it” function. It seems that after I spend hours planning, there is ALWAYs a change in plans. I could then just bump it and not miss a teachable moment or wonderful memory just to stay on schedule (: I like working documents since I, my children, and our homeschooling are a work in progress.

  3. I have been looking for a program to do my homeschool planning on my new Mac and love the fact that you can take pictures of the field trips and put the captions under the pictures in a yearbook form. I also like the idea of being able to tailor it to each child in your household. This program would really facilitate the planning for us as a new homeschooling family!

  4. I need a better place to keep our daily activities and to keep track of resources. I love it keeps everything in one place and can be kept on the go.

  5. LOVE me my Mac! And now I’m salivating over this planning software. For me, the lesson plans feature would be the most helpful. Schooling 3 of the 5 kids right now is challenging enough trying to keep the schedules coordinated and knowing where we are going with each child – I can’t imagine in a couple of years when I’m trying to juggle 5 schedules. Watching the video on how to create lesson plans made it seem like this would help alleviate some of the stress of organizing our home studies. Thanks for the opportunity!

  6. I would love the feature of being able to create the detailed routines for each child that included chores as well as tracked their school schedule. Things get pretty crazy around here with eight kids and 6 of them are home schooling this year. This tool would take away me having to remember everything for each child and trying to stay on top of our cleaning routines. And by the way……I’m typing this on a Mac.

  7. I ADORE OLLY. (Don’t include this in the giveaway round up because I already have it.) But I love it. Was going to blog about it soon. It has made life so much simpler for me this year. There’s a bit of a learning curve with it, but once I got it figured out, I’m very happy with it!

  8. I have used the trial version of OLLy for the last 22 days and I’m in love. OLLY does everything the review says. It has been so helpful to plan and keep track of my school year (classes, lessons, activities, testing etc). I love planning the big picture, but I also love having the freedom to move things around as life changes.

  9. I would love to win a copy of this! I had the Beta version but didn’t get to “play” with it much before we packed up our belongings to move from AK to OK…in the process I lost everything. I have hesitated to buy it because I own another program on the PC…but now that we are a Mac family I need something new.

    I love the lesson planning. I need something to organize our CC program and our non CC stuff. Thanks for offering this, OLLY!

  10. Ive been drooling over OLLY since I found it on an Internet search. I use spreadsheets this year for the first time, and they’re so limited in the information that I can store that I want to. I cannot link files, add photos or connect a calendar. To plan and track my hs years, I have to either leave a giant paper trail, (stored in bankers boxes in my garage) or use half a dozen combined websites and
    Programs to try to make it work. SO, the feature I like best is the multi-functionality!!

  11. I had no idea that this existed and I have been looking for something for about 6 months. I would love to have the weekly checklist for my daughter. She is in her last year of Foundations and this would help with the transition to Challenge.

  12. I had a homeschool program that I used faithfully when I was a PC user even after my husband wiped my laptop thinking he was helping me out. (No backup) Well I am now a Mac freak and have too many matching Apple products. The first thing that I did was look for a program to use and couldn’t find anything. I would love to have something like this. I really need the lesson plans especially with a high schooler and since I have to do this all over again with the youngest, it would really be nice to save myself some time and work. Oh, and I love dropbox!

  13. This sounds like just the thing we need. We are a new HS family and the option of planning the assignment and being able to move them forward a day or week if we need to without having to re-write everything is great.

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