Monday, April 26, 2010

Lesson Planet membership

Lesson Planet calls itself "The Search Engine For Teachers", with over 150,000 teacher reviewed lesson plans and 75,000 worksheets in its database.  The lesson plans and worksheets are searchable  by subject and theme.  You can also search for lesson plans and worksheets by grade, so you limit your results to only those that are appropriate for your students. 

Lesson Planet has 24 different subject guides, with articles on each subject written by veteran teachers.  The articles include links to  related lesson plans.  They even have a homeschooling guide, written by Kristen Kindoll.

Lesson Planet has a helpful calendar which lists lesson ideas, with links to lesson plans, for each day of the year.  Another interesting feature is the state education standards that you can view.  This is helpful for teachers creating lesson plans, and also for homeschoolers wanting to compare their curriculum choices with their state's standards.

Lesson Planet has a  free 10 day trial period , which provides full access to the Lesson Planet website.  If you like it, you can sign up for a one-year membership, for $39.95/ year.

ElCloud Opinion:
I found that the lesson plans on Lesson Planet are definitely designed for a classroom and public school setting.  They are designed to meet red tape requirements, and sometimes you have to wade through that to the actual lesson content.  Many of them are also designed for larger groups to complete together.  While this could be helpful for those running homeschool group co-ops, it's much less useful in my actual homeschool.

The worksheets were more helpful, although many of them I could have found myself using a free search engine.  Some of the worksheets did not include answer keys, so a parent would need to be sure they knew the answers to the worksheet before presenting it to their children.

I would not personally pay for a one-year membership to Lesson Planet.  Being a relaxed homeschooler who prefers oral discussion and a literature-based approach, I know I would not use it enough to warrant the $39.95 subscription fee.   I also have become very adept over the past 11 years at finding worksheets online when I do want one, so I'd have a hard time paying for the service Lesson Planet provides.

But, Lesson Planet could be beneficial to other homeschoolers:

  • new homeschool parents needing help getting started

  • homeschool parents required by state law or custody agreements to follow strict guidelines

  • homeschool parents who prefer to educate in a way similar to the classroom setting

  • homeschool group teachers and leaders

  • those homeschooling in a crisis situation who have not yet purchased their curriculum

  • those homeschooling temporarily, and wanting to stay as close to the public schools as possible

  • homeschool parents with limited time to search for materials or create their own

Although I would not personally subscribe to Lesson Planet, I do think it is worthwhile to try their 10 day FREE trial and decide for yourself!

This item was provided free for our review  (for 3 months) as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew.  We received no other compensation, and this review is our honest opinion.  Click the TOS Homeschool Crew banner at the top to read more reviews on this product by other Homeschool Crew members.

Trusting In Him,

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