Sunday, April 18, 2010

Lesson Planet

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 Lesson Planet is an subscription based search engine designed for  teachers and parents to search over 225,000 online lesson plans and worksheets. Each lesson plan and worksheet is categorized by subject, topic, and grade level and is rated by teachers (1 to 5 stars). These lesson plans and worksheets are not actually on the Lesson Planet website—Lesson Planet is a search engine that locates free education materials from sites all over the web.

What I liked:

-It was easy to limit my search to exactly what I needed. For example, I could search for frogs, grades 3-5,  lessons rated 4 stars or higher. This kept me from having to weed through lessons for high school or kindergarten that would not be useful to me.

-The worksheets were more useful to me than the lesson plans. Sometimes I do want something to supplement a topic we are studying and Lesson Planet made it easy to quickly find and print out a page to go in Emily’s workbox for the day.

-With all the resources that are included, there were a lot of options to choose from. My search of “frogs” for grades 3-5  with a rating of 3+ stars gave a choice of 192 worksheets and 643 lesson plans.

What I didn’t like:

-The lesson plans contained formal learning objectives and content standards that are worthless to me as a homeschooler. Most of the lesson plans are very scripted and not suited for a homeschool environment. I truthfully didn’t find any lessons that would be useful to me without quite a bit of modification. We like to read “real books,” not scripts and one-page narratives, to draw in multiple subject areas in a study and to chase “rabbit trails” as our interest leads.

-Some of the links were dead. I can see how this can happen, with 225,000 links to maintain, but this was an issue at times.

-Some links were associated with specific curriculums and were not of use unless I owned the associated textbooks.

 Conclusion:

Lesson Planet is not something that would be useful in our homeschool. Classroom teachers or homeschoolers who have a more formal teaching style might find it more useful than I did, however.

Lesson Planet has a 10 day free trial to allow teachers and parents to try the site with no obligation. After the free trial, membership is $39.95/year.

I received a free 3 month subscription to Lesson Planet in order to write this review. 

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