I often get asked how I keep track of what the kids are supposed to be doing in their lessons, how I schedule our time, and if there’s anything I can suggest to help make this aspect of homeschooling easier. I wrote before about some of the planners we use, but Homeschool Planet at Homeschool Buyers Co-op has continued to be our life saver. When I was asked if I’d like to do a review, I jumped at the chance, because this planner has truly changed the way we manage our homeschool lessons and, more importantly, has become a vehicle for independence as my kids grow up. Mama, if you want to save time (and your homeschool planning sanity), you must check this out!
Online Homeschool Planner
Unlike a lot of traditional planners, Homeschool Planet is entirely online. If you’re a tech savvy family, it’s perfect, because everyone can have their own log-in credentials and access just their information. I find that when the kids can see only their assignments, they are able to focus and organize their day a lot better. I’m really big into having them learn time management and organizational skills, so the daily and weekly overviews are key for helping them plan out their schedule. (Who doesn’t want their kids to learn independence, right?!)
I’m still working on their schedules for January, but here’s a quick look at some of the different viewing options.
Here’s a Monthly View to manage everyone all month long (finally, a planner that makes it easy to see what everyone is doing!!):
And a Daily View to keep things organized day by day:
And a Weekly View so you can easily see what everyone needs to complete each week:
There’s also a Planner view that allows you to see the assignments in a planner format with check boxes. This is where the kids can check off each assignment as it’s completed to keep track of their work.
On the desktop version of the planner, there’s also a sidebar that can be easily customized with drag and drop styling. On our sidebar, I have the Daily Bible Verse, a Daily Quote, a Search Box, and at the bottom there’s the day’s weather (which is not pictured in the screenshot below). You can change things up to suit your family’s beliefs and needs which is a really nice option. I love having the Bible Verse and Quote at the top, because some days, they help remind me of why we’re homeschooling (and that I will make it through the day – ha!).
You can also print out the daily planner by day, week, or month if you want to have a hard copy. My kids are a bit rigid in their need to cross things off both online and on paper, so at the beginning of the week, I print out their daily plan sheets and they stick them in the front of their binders. It’s actually a great option if you have spotty Internet or if you’re traveling and won’t have access to a laptop.
Speaking of laptop… you can also access Homeschool Planet from your tablet or phone by going through a web browser. It’s optimized for a laptop or desktop experience, but my kids access it all the time from their iPods with no trouble. We created a shortcut from the web browser to put on their home screens, so it makes it super simple.
While seeing the schedule in a variety of ways is amazing, the ability to reschedule assignments by simply dragging and dropping them to different days is perhaps the best option of all. When the kids aren’t feeling well or our plans change unexpectedly, it’s only a matter of dragging that day’s assignments to the next day and moving everything forward. With multiple kids doing different assignments, it’s not only convenient, but it saves so.much.time. I can’t imagine going back to paper and pencil and having to erase everything that didn’t get completed or that had to be changed.
It’s not easy organizing your homeschooling lessons, but it’s also not always easy to make sure everything is scheduled in the way you want it to be. The flexibility alone of this online planner is well worth giving it a try. In fact, Homeschool Buyers Co-op has a 30 day free trial of Homeschool Planet that you can take advantage of to give it a whirl. I’d highly recommend doing it, because you’ll get a good sense for whether or not it’s something that will work for your family. Not every planner is good for every family, but this one is definitely a must-have for homeschooling families that don’t mind including technology into their daily routines.
We’ve been using Homeschool Planet for two years now and I cannot imagine going back to anything else. For me, it’s been a time-saving, organizing-helping, totally amazing addition to our homeschool routine. See what I wrote in my original review and then GO GET THE FREE TRIAL! I’d love to hear how you like it and if it works for your family!
And if you’re not familiar with Homeschool Buyers Co-op, all I can say is TYPE FAST and get over there! They have amazing deals on curriculum and programs, as well as a free homeschool ID card that you can print out and use for student discounts. Membership is totally free and you can customize which, if any emails you receive from them. You can also follow them on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Google +.