Online Subscription vs. Print for The Family School Lesson Plans

May 13

The announcement of the new online subscription model for The Family School has prompted a number of common questions. This post will serve as a comprehensive Q&A communication from Latter-day Learning and will help you evaluate both options (online and print, or both). If you have a question that is not answered, please submit it to and we’ll add it and an answer to this page. Thank you!

Question: What is included with a purchase of the “online subscription” of The Family School?

Answer: An online subscription for The Family School includes 24 months of access to up-to-date teaching lesson plans for the respective Year 1, 2, or 3 (Year 3 is currently a pilot version). Families will be provided with a username and password to access online lesson plans, which include easy navigation tabs and all embedded videos, external hyperlinks, and linked resources used in each lesson plan.

Question: Why online?

Answer: One of the unique qualities of The Family School is the “crowdsourcing” of many wonderful, existing resources from other reliable sources online. As the Internet changes over time, some resource links must be updated or modified. Such updates are easily updated in an online version. Moreover, consider The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint’s new “Come, Follow Me” youth curriculum, which also is available only online. One of the advantages of publishing online curriculum includes the ability to add new links to newly published resources (talks, videos, pictures, activities, ideas, etc.) soon after they are published. Likewise, Latter-day Learning wants families to have easy access to the many improvements we will make as we link to new academic and religious resources. Print is simply not an effective medium to deliver a curriculum with so many moving parts. Maintaining an updated print curriculum of this kind would be nearly impossible and cost-prohibitive.

Question: Why subscription-based?

Answer: The subscription model is an industry standard for online services, particularly those that require significant ongoing support, maintenance, and/or updating. We want this curriculum to be current and relevant and incorporate the many wonderful resources as they are released and/or discovered. The online version of The Family School will become a “living” resource with new links, activities, assignments, resources, and ideas added daily to any number of lesson plans. In order to accomplish this, we must develop on a platform that allows for responsive design and display. There are significant costs associated with developing, and continuing to provide, this level of service. The pricing model provides families with adequate time to teach it at first use, while also providing a renewal option at a much lower cost, intended only to cover ongoing development costs. For example, if a family purchased the online subscription, then renewed even two times over the next 13-18 years, the cost would be $569.00, compared to $439.00 for a single printed version that is largely out-of-date compared to the online version during that same renewal period 7-13 years later when it is used again.

Question: What are the details of the online subscription?

Answer: The Family School subscription is being offered for 24 months and begins on July 31, 2014 or from the date of purchase, whichever is later. We estimate that families will have partial access to part of Year 1, 2, or 3 (depending on their respective order) by the end of June 2014, and the entire respective year by the end of August 2014. The price for this 24 month subscription is $369 and comes with an upgrade option to receive a printed, supplemental, non-transferable copy of the respective year they purchased for $120.00. A single printed copy of any year of The Family School is currently $439.00, meaning, for only an additional $50.00 a family can have both the online subscription and supplemental printed copy ($369.00 plus $120.00 equals $489.00).

Question: Will I have to repurchase a subscription when I reteach a year I’ve already subscribed to or purchased in print?

Answer: Yes, but not for full-price. It is likely many families will want to rotate through the six-year program more than once as they reteach curriculum for their younger children. In this event, although a family will need to purchase another subscription, they will pay a discounted renewal price instead of the regular retail price. Initially, the renewal price for 2014/15 families will be $100. Meaning, for every Family School online subscription purchased from May 10, 2014 through December 31, 2015, a single-use Promise of Renewal for $100 will be available to those families to use at any point following the expiration of their initial subscription for the respective Year(s) purchased.

Question: What is the difference between the “online subscription” and the “Online Library” we’ve been using already?

Answer: There is an important distinction between the Online Library and the online lesson plans. As currently provided, the Online Library contains all the linked, external, “crowdsourced” resources, as well as, all the proprietary Latter-day Learning resources needed to teach each lesson plan and complete the respective Record and Enrichment assignments and activities provided for each lesson plan. An online subscription of The Family School will not require access to the Online Library since all videos, links, and handouts are embedded or linked directly within the HTML5 lesson plans. The Online Library, therefore, serves families using the print version of The Family School and will always be included with their purchase.

The Online Library will no longer be available via the Network as currently provided, rather it will be accessible via username and password issued upon purchase of The Family School—Year 1, 2 or 3 (Year 3 is currently in “pilot” phase). This access will not expire, however, and families who plan to use their printed curriculum in a rotation, will come back to the Online Library after a number of years and notice that several of the links have been changed, many of the handouts have changed, and many new record and enrichment ideas have been added, and that their printed edition does not line up with what the current Online Library provides. These families need to ask the question, “Is it important that the Online Library and my curriculum match up, or am I fine to use my out-dated curriculum and fill in the gaps on my own?”

Question: What happened to the previous digital PDF version of The Family School?

Answer: Because the new online (HTML5) version is so superior to the PDF version, we will no longer provide PDF as an optional purchase. Creating and managing digital PDF versions of each product was cumbersome and difficult to manage. The two primary reasons for providing it initially was to serve our international families and to provide a more affordable option. Both of these needs are satisfied through the online HTML5 version and provide families with a more functional and rewarding experience.

Question: Will families who purchased Year 1 or Year 2 during the 2012/13 or 2013/14 school year have access to the online subscription version?

Answer: Yes, families who purchased the print or digital form of The Family School Year 1 and/or Year 2 will have an option to purchase a subscription of the respective year(s) purchased for $50.00 until August 31, 2014. After this date, the current renewal rate mentioned above of $100 will apply. Current families will receive an email including a specific promotion code by mid-June with this offer.

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