Are you a paper and pen planner…..or a digital planner kind of person?
Thanks to the Schoolhouse Review Crew and Homeschool Buyers Co-op, I’ve been able to dip my toes into the efficient and even enjoyable world of digital planning for my homeschool, my home and my life, with their online planner program Homeschool Planet.
The answer I’d give to the question above is that I’ve always been a paper and pen planner person. I love my paper planners and my mechanical pencil. I don’t have a smartphone, so unlike my iPhone-owning friends, I am way behind those who use their phones to schedule everything.
I must say that, as someone who’s a relative novice to online planners, I found Homeschool Planet simple to learn, easy to understand and use, and effective not only for short-range planning, but long-term as well!
Homeschool Planet is an online planner designed –obviously– for homeschool families. But, this planner is NOT just for planning lessons. Its features are designed to make it a one-stop planner for the homeschool mom AND for her students. In just one place, a homeschool mom can schedule every. single. thing. that she and her family are doing in a year!
How, you ask? Read on!
WHAT IT CONTAINS
Homeschool Planet offers you the opportunity to schedule:
- Subjects and classes for each child in your family
- Resources needed for each class or activity
- Chores and household tasks
- Appointments or meetings
- Sports, music lessons, coops
- Shopping lists
- and more!
If you’re a person who has relied on lists, planners, paper calendars and Post-It notes to list everything that you want or need to do in a day, a week, a month, or a year….and if you’re looking for an easy way to put all of that in one place, Homeschool Planet is truly what you’ve been looking for.
HOW I USED IT
In order to use Homeschool Planet, you must first sign up as a member of Homeschool Buyers Co-op. This is simple and painless! Once you’ve done that, you’ll be able to access Homeschool Planet in all its glory.
We were given a year’s subscription to this online planner. So, once I’d opened my account, I started with the video tutorials, located under the “Help” tab. There are tutorials for almost everything you can think of needing to explore in Homeschool Planet. These include (but are not limited to):
- An overview of Homeschool Planet
- Creating student logins
- Tracking attendance
- Planning and inputting assignments
- Scheduling classes
After I’d watched several of the tutorials, I created Family Profiles for me and for my son, Jackson. (I could have created one for my husband as well—but he prefers to keep his own calendar.:)) In this section, you can add both telephone numbers and email addresses for your children. This comes in handy later when you’d like to email or text them their assignments/appointments!
Next, I set up the calendar dates for our school year. You can subtract any days you need for holidays, field trips or other unusual occurrences right there.
Then, I added classes for Jackson. You add a class, color code it, and then you can assign it times and days of the week; noting how many timers per day that particular class meets. You just enter all this information in one place. This was pretty simple and easy. Thus far, I’ve only scheduled our summer assignments. I am still working on exactly which classes he’ll be taking this fall. But once I’ve made that decision, I’ll be able to easily input the information.
Once you have these two things scheduled, Homeschool Planet fills in all the dates and adds the classes you’ve chosen to each date of the school year, and you can view that by month, week, or day.
If you look at the lower right hand part of the screenshot above, you can see an area that says “To Do.” This is where I added Jackson’s chores list (and he doesn’t do ALL of those on a given day, by the way!). The drop down menu here also includes the following helpful pages:
- Today’s weather
- My own To Do list
- A shopping list
- Daily Bible verse
- Daily quote
- A Look Up or search engine
- A Messages tab, where you can email your family straight from the planner
Next, I used the Resources section for adding our books (schoolbooks and reading list books) and materials list. Here you can add books, DVDs, CDs, textbooks….all the materials you plan to use in each class your children are taking. And under the Resources box, you can see the small brown boxes that have a plus sign on them. These are the Add Widgets section. Here, you can add more lists as well as adding links to the online curricula your kiddos use—complete with usernames and passwords!
Homeschool Planet also calculates hours spent in school; prints transcripts; enables you to print all kinds of lists and schedules for yourself and your children. It assists you in grading and even helps you to reschedule classes or assignments. Basically—it’s sort of your life organization hack in a box! (I mean, in the computer.)
I am a devoted lover of paper goods. But Homeschool Planet may have just won me over to its incredible virtual planning!
For a digital planner newbie, I found Homeschool Planet to be extremely easy to learn and understand. Even as someone who’s not used to using online calendars, it was simple for me to adjust to. (I did have to watch the tutorials a couple of times….but that was mostly because I didn’t take notes the first time.)
I did have to play around with the scheduling portion, because we made some changes in both schedule and subjects over the review period. And again, I had to refresh my memory with the tutorials. But they’re easy to find, on the header bar at the top, so I never struggled with that! Homeschool Planet is also extremely quick to provide technical support and assistance, if you need it.
I enjoyed its simplicity, as well as how very complete it was for all of our needs. And, because I’m someone who loves things to be decorative as well as functional, I loved that I could customize my Homeschool Planet page background with different themes!
You may purchase Homeschool Buyers Co-op‘s digital online planner at Homeschool Planet. It’s priced at $65 for a full year’s subscription, or you may pay by the month for $6.95 per month. You can also sign up for a free trial, so you can discover all I found, and more!
You may also visit Homeschool Buyers Co-op at their social media sites: