Homeschool lesson planning was one of the biggest roadblocks I stressed over before homeschooling. I was overwhelmed by the thought of lesson plans for multiple subjects. Then I nearly lost it when I came to the realization that I would have to somehow coordinate all those lesson plans and multiple subjects for not one or two kids, but for six.
We’re talking elementary, middle and high school lesson plans and assignments. Ouch.
Immediately, I searched the web for support, searched the app store for apps, and though I found quite a few programs and spreadsheets, I wasn’t able to find exactly what I needed. After months of searching I found a program that came pretty close, as far as features were concerned, but scheduling took days at a time. I found myself entering data more often than I could retrieve it, and there was the constant fear that the kids would accidentally delete or change information while checking their assignments. By the end of the semester, the extra work and stress, were just not worth it.
The following fall, I came across a 30 day free trial of Homeschool Planet. It looked fantastic, but I was weary. I didn’t want to spend days or even weeks setting things up. Even though I signed up for the free trial, I kinda let it sit, untouched for 3 weeks. As the trial period was coming to an end, I decided to finally give Homeschool Planet a try. After just a few days, delighted, I purchased a one year membership.
It didn’t take days to set up. I actually managed to schedule 27 subjects, for six kids, for an entire semester in just a couple of hours.
Homeschool Planet Set-Up and Go Lesson Plan
Start by adding students, setting up a school year, determining subjects and grading categories. You can even add detailed info about the resources you’re using for each subject. I like to do this for my high schoolers, to ensure better tracking and complete transcript information.
Once the students, school year and subjects are set-up, you can then add class assignments for each student. One of the things I love is that I can easily determine which days of the week we will dedicate to a specific subject. This is perfect is you follow a block schedule, or if you only school 4 days a week like us.
Awesome Extras That Constantly Deliver
Lesson plans and assignments tracking made easy, is what turned me on to Homeschool Planet, however the following features make me want to keep using it for years to come. Specially when it comes to my high schoolers.
- Reschedule Assignments – This is by far my favorite feature. I’m a list checker and incomplete or missed assignments drive me absolutely crazy. This feature allows you to shift the current and subsequent assignments over to the following day. Super handy for sick days, extended documentary watching or outside play days.
- Assignment Lists – When you need to quickly view or print a list of the week’s assignments.
- Transcripts! – This is a feature I discovered this week. Not sure how I missed it, but I’m so excited it’s there.
- Grading Helper – Pulls up ungraded assignments in one neat window, so you don’t have to go searching kid-by-kid, subject-by-subject. Again, a perfect way to get your ducks in a row for those school transcripts.
- School Days & Vacations – Easily set a school start and end date, as well as any upcoming vacations. The assignment scheduler takes these dates into consideration, so nothing will be scheduled on the pre-determined days. This serves also as an attendance tracker, for those of us on states that require a certain number of school days.
- Hours Tracker – If you have a high schooler, you know that some states require a set amount learning hours per subject. You can easily track and report hours with the built-in hours tracker.
- Widgets – These are cool little add-ons that let you customize your dashboard. Two of my most used are the reading lists (quickly add a books or articles to each kid’s lists), and the message widget (send a quick notes, links to educational resources, etc. via email to individual users).
- Instructional Videos – Immediate way to get un-stuck if you can’t figure it out.
Add-On Lesson Plans and a Free Trial
Though I’ve been using Homeschool Planet for a while, this is a cool feature I recently learned about. You can purchase pre-made lesson plans at the Homeschool Planet Lesson Plan Marketplace and simply load them on to your Homeschool Planet dashboard. It’s super easy and super fun. The girls and I are enjoying the virtual field-trips add-on.
Also, remember that 30 day trial I signed up for and ignored a few years back? It’s still available. Don’t ignore it like I did. Sign up and set it up today.