I grew up in a generation that was just realizing the endless potential of computers and the internet. It’s one of the only areas where people in my age group just flew by leaps and bounds ahead of our parents and grandparents. But being a parent in my late 20’s has brought a new set of challenges to our homeschool.
My kids know nothing of a non-electronic lifestyle. All phones travel with you and offer endless ways to entertain, all cameras are digital, all TV’s are supposed to have hundreds of channels of programming available at all times, and most families have at least two computers in the home. The struggle for me has been how to really utilize all the benefits of this technological age we live in while still protecting my boys from the wasteland that can be accessed through those same advances. I am being 100% honest when I tell you how thrilled I was with the opportunity to review a product that offers a myriad of solutions to my concerns along with literally countless possibilities to take advantage of all computers have to offer!
LanSchool is a management software that gives teachers and homeschool moms the ability to monitor, teach and communicate through their teacher console with the student computers in their ‘classroom’. My oldest boy is the only one in our family that does a decent amount of work on his computer; he and I have had a lot of fun using this program and making it work for us!
Each morning, before our full school day begins, you can find me here at my kitchen table, drinking too much coffee and reading a few pages of some book. My 9 & 7 year olds can be found downstairs getting started on their math work. I have a contentious relationship with math so this year we switched to an all-computer based, not-mom-taught, math program. However, my boy does still have trouble from time to time and I like to know what he’s working on so we can look for real-life ways to reinforce the skills he’s learning. LanSchool has given me the ability to open my laptop and keep tabs on what he’s working on. When he runs into trouble or has questions I’m able to click a button on the teacher console to control his screen or show him something on mine as well as have the option to switch on microphones on both computers so I can give him any help he might need.
The possibilities for ways to use this program really are endless. There’s a way to create and administer tests, take polls, ask questions and teach lessons all from your own computer. We didn’t really get a chance to use these features but the whole console is easy to navigate and extremely user friendly.
Because my children are younger, a lot of their computer usage comes in the form of web-based games. My absolute favorite thing about LanSchool is the ability to monitor what sites they’re on, manage where they’re allowed to go, and control how much time they spend playing.
I love that I can send them a message when their time is up, or even completely blank out the screens on the student computers. We have fun passing notes back and forth, and I’ve even used the option to control a student computer screen to shut down the downstairs computer from upstairs on my laptop. You should have heard the giggles the first time I sent them a message. They think LanSchool is one of the coolest things!
Check out the LanSchool website for a more complete list of features, & specifications, there really are so many things this program can do. I was also impressed with the long list of video tutorials available! If your kids spend a good amount of time doing their schoolwork on computers or you’re looking for a solid way to monitor their usage, you really cannot go wrong with LanSchool!
One Hip Homeschool Moms reader will win a one-year license to Lanschool v7.6 ($199 value)! This monitoring software works with PCs, Macs, Thin Clients, iPads, and Linux.