What Is It? The HSTOnline FAQ

HSTOnline is the latest development in the Homeschool Tracker product line of lesson planning, organizing and record-keeping software designed to adapt to your particular homeschooling style in a simple yet sophisticated way. Use HSTOnline to assist you in meeting the mandatory reporting requirements of your local authorities or simply to maintain a log of your child's homeschooling career. With HSTOnline, you have access to your homeschooling records anywhere you have an internet connection. Use your PC, Mac, laptop, tablet, iPad or other devices with browser connectivity to the internet to view and manage your records wherever you are! The base subscription level allows you to create records for up to 20 students and access for two teachers and one teacher/administrator.

What can I do with it?

You can keep records of your Student's homeschooling activities to whatever degree of detail works best for you. Read here to learn how it all works. Here are just some of the features available:

  • Attendance - track days of school, 1/2 days, choose to track the amount of time spent in school each day. You can manually enter time, or have HSTOnline track it for you using the Time Spent or Sessions fields.
  • Assignments - create records of work your student is doing in each area of study. You can create Assignments in advance so that you can provide your Student with a 'to-do' list, or you can enter work after the fact, or a little bit of both. Each Assignment can include as much detail as you like including Subject, Course, Activity, Resource, Page/Lesson/Chapter information, Topic, Directions for the Student, Notes to yourself, etc.
  • Chores & Appointments - create a complete day for your student including outside activities in addition to school work
  • Grading - you can enter grades for any of your Student's work. Grade all Assignments, some Assignments, or none at all. It is entirely up to you. You can create the Grading Scales you want and you can even set up weighted grading if needed. You can generate Report Cards and Transcripts based on the data entered.
  • Lesson Plans - set up work in advance and assign to your Students as needed. Lesson Plans are reusable for multiple student and multiple years.
  • Library - maintain a list of the books and other resources used in your homeschool. Quick entry for books using the ISBN lookup feature.
  • Reports - generate Report Cards, Transcripts, Assignment lists and more in printed form or as a PDF.
  • Reschedule - move things around when 'life' happens and schedules don't go as planned.
  • Student Access - allow your students to see their assignments and track their progress on line.
How can I access my records?

You can access HSTOnline from any device using Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera, Safari and most Android browsers.

Each user of your account will have their own username and password. Edited items will show when they were edited and by whom. For your Students who have access, you will determine which areas of the program they can see and which items they may edit.

What about Grading?

Grading is optional in HSTOnline. You can grade all, some or none of your Student's work, as desired. You can set up your own grading scales - determining what letter grades are awarded for which percentage grades. You can set the grade points you want for each letter grade so your high schoolers can have a GPA on their Transcript.

My high schooler needs a Transcript!

Great! HSTOnline can take care of that. If you use HSTOnline throughout your Student's high school career, Transcripts are a breeze. Just choose the Transcript report, set a few report parameters and your Student will have the documentation he needs for his next steps in life. If you haven't used HSTOnline for all of his high school years, no worries!! You can easily add minimal information into HSTOnline to generate a complete Transcript.

I'm a planner - what's in it for me?

The Lesson Plan feature allows you to create as any lesson plans as you like. Lesson Plans are created with no particular dates or students assigned to them so that they can be reused as often as you like to create Assignments for your Students over the years. Even in a one-student homeschool, you might find it easier to do all your lesson planning over the summer before the school year begins so that your daily and weekly work of generating assignments will take up a very small amount of your time.

Don't want to bother with Lesson Plans? No problem. You can create Assignments directly in your Student's Agenda so everything is prepped and ready to go!

Ugh - do I have to do all that planning ahead?

No, not at all! Use HSTOnline in the way that works best for you and your homeschool. You can plan work out in advance, you can document every single assignment your student completes, you can enter work after the fact, or only enter representative assignments of her work throughout the year. To generate an entry in a Report Card or Transcript, you only need to enter a single Assignment per Subject/Course per Term which has been graded and marked as completed.

In fact, you can simply create placeholder assignments for your Student for the entire year for each subject area and you or your Student can fill in details of what was actually done on that day as you go along. With this solution - if you don't get to a Subject on a particular day, you can just delete the entry. Please see Tips for Unschoolers.

I need Reports!

HSTOnline will take the data you have entered and generate any number of reports, such as:

  • To-Do lists for your Students - which can contain any or all of the following: Assignments, Chores, Appointments
  • Attendance reports - for any date range you choose
  • Resource lists - a list of the books and other materials used by your students in their studies
  • Report Cards - create a yearly grade report that can also include attendance records and progress notes
  • Transcripts - create a Transcript for as many school years as you like. You can also include additional information such as Activities & Achievements, Standardized Test results, and other Schools attended.
  • and more...
How secure is my data?

All data transferred between your web browser and our servers is encrypted. Physical security at the data center is handled by our service providers: http://aws.amazon.com/security/ and http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/support/trust-center/security/. Our privacy and security practices are documented here: http://www.homeschooltracker.com/privacy.aspx. The Terms of Use policies are documented here: http://www.homeschooltracker.com/terms.aspx.

I want my Student to access his own work

You can do that! Each Student can have their own username and password to get access to their Assignments, Chores and Appointments. As the account administrator, you will set the limitations for which items they can view in the program as well as determining the kinds of items they may edit. Every edited item will show when and by whom the last change was made.

I have someone who helps me teach - can they have access?

The base subscription plan allows for up to 20 students, one administrator/teacher sign in and three additional teacher-level accounts. You can use those slots for anyone you choose. You can contact us for information on purchasing additional account slots.

Can my friend and I share a subscription?

The base subscription plan allows for up to 20 students, one administrator/teacher sign in and three additional teacher-level accounts. You can use those slots for anyone you choose. You can contact us for information on purchasing additional account slots.

The main things to consider here are:

  1. Access: You will each have access to each other's student records for adding, editing and deleting items.
  2. Compatibility: You need to agree on certain aspects of the program which are set in the Program Options area by the Administrator including:
    • Attendance - whether to use auto-attendance and the use of 1/2 day present entries; whether to track time along with days attended
    • Grading - whether to calculate grades by Averages (traditional method) or Sum of Earned/Possible
    • Optional Fields - determining which fields are available throughout the program

Only one person can be the administrator of the account and all purchases and renewals need to come from a single source.

If none of those conditions present a problem for you then yes, certainly, you may share an account.

I forgot to renew before my subscription ran out, now what?

When your subscription is within 10 days of expiration, you will see a message to that effect each time you log into the program. If you still miss the deadline, no worries! Your data is retained in the online database for 90 days after the expiration date of your subscription as a grace period. You can re-subscribe at any time during that 90 days and retain access to all the data you have previously entered. After the 90 day window your data is scheduled to be deleted and will be removed during the next purge process.

How should I time my subscription renewal purchases?

When you activate a subscription renewal, the new expiration date is set based on the following:

a) If your current subscription is still active, the new subscription extension will be added to the current expiration date, whether that current expiration date is a day, a week, or even months into the future.

b) If your current subscription has expired, the new subscription extension will begin on the date on which you enter your extension code. It is not back-dated to the old expiration date.

HSTOnline is great, but I don't need it any longer - how do I keep from being renewed again?

At Homeschool Solutions, LLC, we do not hold on to any credit card or PayPal account information on your behalf. As such, no automatic charges can ever be made to your account for HSTOnline. When your subscription expires, your access simply ends without express action on your part. You never have to be worried about unintended charges or extensions of your account.

We're done homeschooling - how do I get my data in case I need it in the future?

You can generate any reports that you think you might need in the future and save the PDF files to your long-term storage area - whether that's a folder on your hard drive, a Dropbox location, your external backup drive, etc. In addition, you can use the Export feature of HSTOnline to create .CSV files of each of your lesson plans, your entire library, and your Student's Agenda. The Agenda report can include every Assignment your Student ever did, if you wish. You will certainly want to generate and store copies of each Report Card and Transcript.

What happened to Homeschool Tracker Plus?

Homeschool Tracker Plus (HST+) is no longer being sold to new customers. If you are an existing user, you can still get support for HST+ for the foreseeable future. You can learn more here.

Moving to HSTOnline?

If you are a Homeschool Tracker Plus, Trial or Basic customer please read about importing your existing database into HSTOnline.

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