Friday, June 23, 2017

You Homeschool? You Must Be So Organized!

I call myself a paper planner dinosaur. However, I still haven't found the "perfect" homeschool planner, so when I got a chance to review an online planner, I was very willing to take it on and give it a chance. Yes, I love how pretty my paper planner is, but I will admit that there are moments that it's not ideal. I'm always willing to try something new to get organized. With Homeschool Planet from Homeschool Buyers Co-op I can do so much more than just creating assignments!

Homechool Planet

Set up is easy and can take either no time at all, or plenty, depending on how much you like to play with design. The first thing I did is make everyone an account. It is VERY user friendly and easy to set up "My Family." This allows you to add everyone on that you want to be able to access this planner. That way everyone can always see exactly what's going on. It even allows you to have separate log ins (which I didn't think my kids were ready for yet). But when they are older, the kids can check their assignments easily. You can customize the look, and honestly, I could have spent hours tweaking it. You have the option to keep it on month view, week (always my choice) or daily. If you are looking for an online all in one planner, this is definitely for you. They have literally thought of everything to make all aspects of planning in your life simple. Realize mid-planning that you're out of glue? Add it to the shopping list. Realize that reading a certain book would help your history lesson pop? Add it to your reading list. It is available on laptop or mobile, so you can have easy access to your planner no matter where you are. And if you want to print anything out, you can. Truly, you have every option you would have with pencil and paper.

Now so far, I'm just discussing, and showing you, an online planner. It's a nice one. But it's a planner that you could use for anything, not just homeschool. I liked it - a lot - but I wasn't ready to toss my beautiful paper planner.

Adding classes is when I realized that I actually do need this in my life. You create a class - as general (math) or specific (Math Mammoth grade 2) as you like. Add the students you want - I have both girls doing history, science, and things like that together, but separate for reading, writing, and math. Pick how many days a week you want to work. Choose how long you want the class to last (math might take all year, a unit study for history might have a six week time span.) Enter assignments. You can track days in school. You can generate reports. You can add notes about issues. You can take days off, you can adjust on the fly, but it truly does organize you and keep you moving toward a very organized homeschool life. I've been so worried about how I'm going to balance having both girls home full time with me, and this truly could take that worry and make it moot.

Full disclosure - as much as I'm gushing - and I am - I haven't been using this as thoroughly as I could for classes since we're heading into summer.  I am actually looking forward to sitting down and planning out next year!

If the planner itself wasn't enough, there is a  Lesson Plan Marketplace. They have professionally designed lesson plans that coordinate with your curriculum. You can purchase what you need (note: you are not purchasing the curriculum, just the plan) and they will fit right into your planner. It takes the guess work out of trying to do it yourself. If you sign up this month in June for a FREE one month trial, they are offering you a FREE lesson plan that is worth $5 to $15. There is no reason not to try it! I added Math Mammoth for grade 2 since we loved this curriculum so much when we switched to it back in the winter. I haven't gotten to truly use it yet, because we are finishing up our last bit of grade 1, but I was so excited to have it available.

I have to say this is one of those things that I loved much more than I thought I would. The lesson planner, lesson plan marketplace, and ability to keep all of my homeschool organization in one place is definitely a win!

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Homeschool Planet {Homeschool Buyers Co-op Reviews}

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