If anyone knows of a better way to accomplish my purpose here, feel free to give advice.
My wife and I have used lesson planning software (that we no longer have) in past years, now are looking for (perhaps) better (or different) ways.
I've known about Moodle for quite a few years. I really like what I've seen in it. For the last few years I've been playing around with Moodle (on and off), but not doing anything with it, and not really learning how to use it very well. I finally decided to use it for our current need and give me a reason to learn Moodle better. I have recently installed the most recent version of Moodle (2.6.2) and am starting to experiment with setting up Moodle to help in homeschooling our son through high school. I have other reasons that I want to learn to use Moodle, but this will at least get me going on the Moodle learning process.
At present, and as a beginning, I want to use Moodle merely as a lesson planning tool. At this point, our needs are very simple. We just need something to keep track of and schedule our lessons for our combination book-based & online teaching. (Kind like using Moodle for a lesson planning software.) I'm sure that using Moodle for such a simple task is a way overkill. Using Moodle is a lot more complicated than, say, using a lesson planning software, or a spreadsheet, or a calendar, would be. But, since I have other potential uses for Moodle, using it for this seemingly over-simple use at least potentially gets me into the process of learning and using moodle regularly. Eventually, after I get all of my son's lessons listed on Moodle, then I can (perhaps) begin adding some additional content to some of the listed lessons. (Once I get everything set up and if we get to using it regular, I'd like to begin adding some lesson content into Moodle, but that would come later.)
With all that said, my current task is to enter the series of lessons for each subject into Moodle. to get started I'm looking to find a simple method to use that I can add to as my Moodle knowledge, skills and needs increase.
In homeschooling we don't exactly follow a fixed schedule, as in the typical school year. Because our schedule is often irregular, we need to ability to be able to adjust the dates of the lessons as needed. From what little I know about Moodle, I know of no way to change the dates in mass on all the courses to skip a day, or a week, etc. for any time we may take a few days off the schedule. Say, for instance, we need to take a week off to attend to some other tasks, or to help someone move etc. Then we would need to bump the dates of all the assignments in all the course from that date onward. For example, if we were at the 3 month mark of the school year, then that would mean that the dates on all the following 6 months of assignments would have to be changed. That would be quite a large task (changing the dates on 6 months of lessons X 5 to 10 courses). This type of rescheduling could happen multiple times each year. (I used to have a lesson planning software that had the ability to "bump" all the follow dates, a great feature.)
I've done a lot of searching to find any type of date bumping function or module for Moodle, but haven't found anything. So, my (possible) workaround is this, to create topic course with all the dates turned off, and to be turned on as needed. (I have installed the date editing module installed.) My plan is to, on a week by week (or day by day) basis, to use the Date Editing module to turn on the appropriate date for the current day or week only. This way, if we need to take a break for a day or two, or a week, and thus bump the dates back, there are no dates (other than the current week) that we would need to change.
So, I'll be creating all the assigments in the Collapsed Topics course type, with all the dates turned off. As a base I'm first creating (and manually populating) a bare-bones blank course, which will consist of 39 topics, each having 5 blank assignments. The only thing each assignment has in it is just a (placeholder)number in the lesson title (see attached picture, which shows the first 2 assignment titles changed to show their intended use.). (I've learned that in "edit mode" I can quickly change the titles of the assignments and thus change them quickly.) I can use this blank course as a template to quickly create additional courses. Then, for each real course I'll use the title editing feature to quick fill in the text for each day's assignments. Then, when my wife (teacher) and son logs into Moodle each day they will see what that day's lessons are.
If constantly enabling the dates proves to be too cumbersome for our needs, we can always just check of the assignments as complete (As shown on the right side of the picture, I've already installed the module for that). Only actually using it will show us what will work best.
(As kind of a side note, I've been using computers since 1985, and have been making a number of my own websites for the last 8-10 years. So using a web based tool, such as Moodle, is something I'm comfortable with, if it is workable.)
I'm open to better ideas and methods if anyone has any. Thanks,