Plus is quite different from the basic version ... the weekly planner is wonderful... and it's only a plus feature.
As far as Homeschool Tracker goes, I give it a big ol' . I'm still using the free version, & am very happy with it.
Now, I know this is my own opinion, but even the free version was better than MLR, but the Plus version is by far worth the price...and MUCH better than the free version.
As a matter of fact, since I will soon be out of the homeschooling business (unless some grandchildren start showing up at my door wanting homeschooled ) I am thinking of adapting this program for other uses.
I agree that Tracker is a database program and that you could accomplish some of the same things in Office ... my knowledge of office is ok... but not extensive. My thought on it is...why should I reinvent the wheel when someone else has done such a fantastic job at doing so already.
I love tracker...it has totally changed how I organize my school records and my lesson plans (previously I had used excel loosely...along with pen and paper)... my knowledge of Office would never allow me to build lesson plans and manipulate them as I do, to reschedule assignments forward or back... a single activity or the whole week. I also couldn't produce a transcript with the click of a few buttons. I think it's well worth it's price tag... which honestly is less than taking my family out for dinner. Good luck with your choice...
Tracker does have a 30 Day money back guarantee... if you tried it and found it not to live up to it's reputation... you wouldn't be out anything.
Maybe I just do things the hard way.
I don't think it's doing things the hard way ... it's time for me... but if you have a system you like, why change. It's more of what works best for one, hinders another ... thank goodness we all have so many options to choose from.
They make constant upgrades...one major one a year and minor ones to improve glitches that people find or things they want to make minor changes to, which I assume is why the CD isn't current to the most recent version ... cd's do cost money to make no sense wasting them. Excellent customer service.
Anyway, these tools should be useful helps, they shouldn't control us.
I spent a ton of time erasing plans in my plan book when things changed because I needed it to be written down.
I can't plan what my kids are going to do because I can't plan on them missing x amount of problems. If they do, they have to correct and do the lesson over again. I just haven't seen how I can incorporate this into a lesson plan.
One... you could submit lessons to the assignment grid on a daily basis. Meaning you would have them already inputted into your lesson planner ... only available in the Plus version ... and rather than submit lots of plans you could do it daily... I think this would be time consuming...but it might work for you.
The other thing that HST does is it has a reschedule feature. So you could submit several weeks of lesson plans...or even just one week and should you need to reschedule ... the reschedule feature can move all of the assignments or just one kind of assignment.
Some people also use Tracker to show what they did ... they don't plan lessons ahead, they input the data after the fact.
It's very flexible. I would be lost without it!
Now why didn't I think of that?
If it were me... I will still do the data entry work ahead of time ... just submitting it as you use it ... inputting data is the most time consuming ... when you use it, before or after you do an assignment, doesn't really matter.
The best part is with the lesson planner you can save your lesson plans for younger children coming up behind.