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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Lesson Planet Review

Lesson Planet is a search engine site designed specifically for teachers. It features over 150,000 teacher reviewed lesson plans and 75,000 worksheets. That's a LOT of stuff! The plans and worksheets are sorted by grade levels, user ratings, and subject and you can narrow your search by any of that criteria. Lesson planet has experienced teachers "guides" assigned to each subject and teachers who review the materials on each site.

The pros: If you want comprehensive, this is it. A search of "chicken" worksheets yielded over 1200 results, and when I searched Fractions, I got 3777 lesson plans, 3222 worksheets, and 2 fraction sites. The fact that they are then narrowed for you by grade level is handy, and you can narrow the search initially too. I like that the sites the search engine sends you to have been checked out already, and I know what to expect when I get there. There is even a calendar feature that tells you what is special about today in history and gives you lessons relating to that topic. And the site has link to the state standards for every state.

The cons: The lesson plans are overwhelmingly designed for classroom teachers, and therefore not so useful for homeschoolers without some tweaking. I found I had no use for the lesson plans. But I did search for and use worksheets and found it handy that they had grade information so I could immediately know which sites were grade appropriate.

The bottom line: Of all the educational search engine sites I've seen, this is the best. But still, you are paying for information that is available for free. The question is, is the convenience of having the sites pre-researched, sorted, and rated worth $39.95 a year? That's something every homeschool has to decide for themselves, but the great thing is that Lesson Planet makes that easy for you with a free 10 day trial of their site. To check it out, go HERE. And to see what other members of the TOS Crew had to say, go HERE.

Legal Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Crew, we received a three month trial membership that the Crew shared. That membership was the only compensation I received for this review.
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