Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Lesson Planet (TOS Crew Review)

When I was given access to Lesson Planet for the purposes of reviewing their website, I was certain this was an answer to prayer!  Who doesn't want the most information for the best price?  We know there is a ton of information 'out there' on the internet that is free (or just about), but it can be time-consuming to find it all... and let's face it, time does often equal money.

That's where Lesson Planet comes in: they offer an ad-free zone full of lesson plans, worksheets, and links to educational information that is geared for educators.  At this point in the process, I was hooked... but I have to be honest: actually using the site didn't measure up to my expectations.  For some parents/educators, this site would offer a great variety of lesson plans, worksheets, and teaching topics in a short amount of time.  For me, a fairly accomplished "Googler" (is that a word??), Lesson Planet didn't really offer much more than I had already been finding for myself.

Also, much of the information I did find was in "read to learn" format, and for that, we use books at home or in the library.  My kids would rather read a book than a worksheet, and we don't need to pay for most of that access.  In addition, I am fairly creative, have a decent home library, and have more than a passing grasp of ways to extend a subject.  So, just because I didn't love it certainly doesn't mean you won't.

Something worth noting: you can search quite specifically, so if you have a third-grader who is getting ready to learn about weather and it is winter, you could search for "Winter weather" and specify 3rd grade.  You can also specify a "Rating" which is when teachers have rated a resource already, so you could look only at things with a 3-star minimum rating.

While there were a WHOLE LOT of worksheets, activities, lesson plans, unit studies, and outside links for information on just about anything you could think of, it wasn't really something I would pay money for.  It would be useful to lots of people, though (and I didn't dislike it; I just wouldn't buy into it).  You can try it free for 10 days to see if you might be one who would benefit.  After the trial, it is $39.95 per year.

To see what my fellow Crew Mates thought of Lesson Planet, click here.

*Disclaimer: I received a 3-month subscription to Lesson Planet's website in order to use and review it.  This review is my honest opinion, and I have not been compensated for it.

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