Homeschool Planet Planner- It’s Exactly What You’ve Been Searching For!
*Full Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, meaning that if you make a purchase after clicking through, The Unexpected Homeschooler may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.
Planning is probably one of the most daunting tasks about homeschooling. Staying organized is critical for making sure things get done, keeping a good record, and not forgetting important events. Trying to keep up with your home, family, and school can be exhausting. I don’t know about you, but my brain can only remember so many things, and it seems to remember less as each year passes. I constantly have to write things down or I will forget them. Unfortunately, I often lose those little scraps of paper I write on as well. And then came the Homeschool Planet planner! You might have been looking for homeschool planet reviews when stumbling upon my article and it just so happens it is my top recommended product, below I’ll be explaining exactly why.
The Homeschool Planet* was created by Brett Walter, owner of the Homeschool Buyers Co-op, to make this job easier. Brett is a homeschool dad and therefore, understands the demands we face. This online planner was designed specifically with homeschoolers in mind and is meant to simplify our lives. There are many homeschool planners out there, and I’ve tried several of them. They have either been way too complicated to use, very lacking in the features they offer, or never seem to actually get the planner up and running like it was advertised.
How It Works
This planner is very simple to use. It doesn’t take long to set up and create a profile for each member of the family. You can assign a specific color to each person so when glancing at the calendar, you know who each activity/event is for. Upon logging in, you will be in calendar mode. There are three more options in a drop-down menu to choose from that include viewing in planner, lessons, or resources mode depending on what your preference is.
- Calendar mode is just that. It’s a view of the calendar for the month showing all events/activities, lessons, appointments, and chores that have been entered. It’s a quick way to see what your entire day, week, or month looks like.
- Planner mode gives you a list view of all things that need to be done and when.
- Resources mode will list any resources you have entered which the student needs in order to complete his assignments. This can be website links, books, DVDs, and more. This is helpful so items can be quickly gathered for the day or week.
- Lessons mode is used if you have entered all the assignments for an entire subject. If you have just entered a single lesson for a specific day from the calendar or planner mode, it will not show up here. This is also where you will find purchased lesson plans from the Homeschool Buyers Co-op.
If you want to see all activity for the entire family or just certain individuals, it’s a simple click from a drop-down menu in the right corner of the screen to adjust. After changing to a specific mode, you can change the layout to daily, weekly, or monthly. And going even a little further, you can condense the daily and weekly view to get rid of all the spacing and empty time slots and just see a list of what’s on the agenda. I really liked this to get a quicker view of everything rather than having to scroll down through the day or week. There is also the ability to enlarge the page if needed. There are so many options, you really can set this up exactly how you would like it.
There is a search feature on the calendar and planner that lets you look for any class, assignment, resource, or appointment, making it easy to find something you need right away. An advanced search feature helps you locate by specific students/subject.
If you can figure out how to do something, there are a lot of tutorial videos, as well as an FAQ section, to help you with any question you may have. They also have fantastic customer support!
Below is a video with an overview of the program. It has been updated with more options since the recording, but it still gives you a good feel for the planner.
There is an advantage to each person having his own login. It limits what’s on the screen to just his tasks and helps him to focus on what he is responsible for each day, week, or month. He will have his own login information, and you can determine exactly what he has access to and is able to edit. All assignments have a place to be checked off as finished. This helps to see that things are being completed and quickly identify what is left.
Individual accounts have access to all the same great features and widgets as the main account does, but now they will be able to individualize them for themselves. You can remove access to the widgets if you would like.
The biggest attraction for most homeschool families is the record keeping for school, especially if it’s a strict requirement of your state. Homeschool Planet makes this as painless as possible. In the settings tab, you can set up your entire year and divide it into two semesters, three terms, or four quarters if you so choose. You can adjust the dates for each of these and exclude specific days of the week as well. You can search for and add almost any holiday you can think of to your calendar.
Once that is done, you can see a small calendar view of each month in your school year, and there will be a check mark over the school days or an X over the non-school days. These can easily be changed by clicking on a specific day. Once all days are set, it gives a total for the number of school days. For those required to get in a total of 180 days, this is a nice feature. It allows you to add in some extra days for a cushion. This makes attendance tracking a breeze
For lesson planning, you can enter all the assignments for a subject for an entire year in advance or add them weekly or individually as needed. When you enter assignments, you can add notes giving specific instructions to the student or notes for yourself that are not able to be seen. A list of resources your child will need to complete these lessons can be included. They can even click on a web link right from the planner. So if your child is enrolled in an online class or you have a specific page you want them to view, they can get there without actually having to browse the internet. This can be opened as a popup menu or a separate page. You can determine that in the settings.
Moving things around is easily accomplished with the drag and drop method. If it is part of a series of assignments, a menu will pop up asking if you want to move just this assignment or all from that point on. You can even copy lessons for later use with different children.
Subjects and grading can be set up in the settings also. There are several options, and you can determine how much weight each type of assignment gets. A feature I especially love is the transcripts. This is not always included in homeschool planners. If you use this all through high school, all your grades will already be recorded, and it’s very simple to print off transcripts needed to apply to college.
There are some fun features included in this digital planner like different themes you can use to change the look of your background and the coloring of the planner. My favorite though is the widgets! You can add the following widgets to the homepage of your planner:
- Quote of the Day
- Bible Verse of the Day
- Lookup- you can research something right from inside the planner and use quite a few different platforms to do it
- Shopping List- you can create a list for individual stores and then email the lists to your spouse to use
- Reading List- you can keep track of the books your child reads with a start and end day and number of hours read each day.
- To Do List- prioritize what needs to be done each day and check them off as they are completed
How Do I Get It?
You might be wondering where you can get the Homeschool Planet*. Because it was created by the owner of the Homeschool Buyers Co-op, it is exclusively sold on their site. You can become a member for free and have access to a 30-day free trial of the planner to see if it’s something that will work for your family. Take the whole month to play with it and even get your year mapped out before you have to pay. You will also get 100 SmartPoints in your account for giving it a try! SmartPoints are awarded for the purchase of many of their products and accumulate to be used as cash towards other qualifying products on their site.
If you decide you love it and want to purchase it, it’s $69.95/year or $7.95/month. There is no charge when your trial ends. You can read my article The Homeschool Buyers Co-op- 11 Reasons to Join to find out more about their great membership benefits.
They have developed lesson plans you can buy for many the popular materials they sell. An added bonus for purchasing Homeschool Planet planner, you get the choice of a free set of lesson plans that can be plugged into your planner.
They have honestly thought of everything and somehow made this very easy to use. If you love to use digital online planners, I definitely think this one is worth trying! If you have not read other Homeschool Planet reviews before, hopefully this has been a help to you.
Are you a paper and pen person or do you enjoy digital planners? Let me know in the comments below.
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Planning is probably one of the most daunting tasks about homeschooling. Staying organized is critical for making sure things get done, keeping a good record, and not forgetting important events. Trying to keep up with your home, family, and school can be exhausting. I don't know about you, but my brain can only remember so many things, and it seems to remember less as each year passes. I constantly have to write things down or I will forget them. Unfortunately, I often lose those little scraps of paper I write on as well. And then came the Homeschool Planet planner!
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