Wednesday, July 15, 2015

A TOS Review: Homeschool Planet

Homeschool Planet Review

I have a confession to make...I love so much about homeschooling. Our family has a lot of quality time together. I get to choose what topics and in what order my children are studying. I get to put the most important things first, which are their spiritual training and character development. But there is something that I absolutely dread - something I am not at all good at - organizing. Sometimes there just doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day. I am a complete scatterbrain! Organization was not a gift bestowed upon me. I overplan, miss deadlines, and always seem to throw another fun subject or activity into my poor kids' lives when I know there just isn't room, thus letting all of my multiple spinning plates come crashing down. I have tried planners, schedules, calendars, all. I have tried one for the whole family, one for each child, notebooks, online apps, and so many more. So to have the opportunity to review Homeschool Planet for the Homeschool Buyers' Co-op was a little daunting to my overwhelmed brain. But I was willing to give it a go, for the sake of giving my children some level of sanity within our crazy life.

Homeschool Buyers' Co-op is the world's largest buying club for homeschool families. They are able to find great deals on products and curriculum that will benefit homeschoolers and then offer those products at a group discounted price. They work hard to find quality products to share with us, but they had found many people like me who were discouraged with the homeschool planners available. So they developed Homeschool Planet, an online organizer created for busy homeschool families.

Homeschool Planet has a lot of great qualities. You can begin by setting up a profile for each member of your family. You can enter each individual subject, activity or appointment for a family member. Everyone has their own login and password so they can check their own schedule and mark off what they have done for the day. There is a printable option that you can give each child every day or week so the information is readily available to them. I know I will use this option most with Caleb, since he isn't very computer literate yet. 

Homeschool Planet Review

There is also email and texting notifications available, in case they can't get on the computer or are away from the house, This will be a great tool for Connor. There is a way to see each person's calendar, or everyone's calendar - or whoever's calendar you want displayed! I personally keep my calendar set to display everyone's, but when the kids are on, they don't have to see everyone else's assignments. I really like the diversity in displaying all the information.

Homeschool Planet Review

This is what I have my calendar set to - I can see everyone's assignments and appointments on one page, which is pretty handy for me. But I know it would overwhelm the kids to see all of this, so their calendars are set to show only their assignments.

Homeschool Planet Review
When I go in to schedule their work, I can be as specific or generic as I need to be. I can give them book lists, supply lists, page numbers, book titles, and so much more. This can be a great tool for record keeping! Since we aren't doing a lot of formal schooling this summer, I was enjoying just playing around with the calendar. I added in some of the kids' assignments, then didn't check in for a couple days. I figured it would be a mess! But something really cool happened when I logged in after a couple days away. A pop up box appeared, giving me the opportunity to check off what had been finished. There was also an option to reschedule the assignments without me having to retype everything. Basically, the computer asked me if these assignments had been done. Here is a screenshot of what the pop up box looked like:

Homeschool Planet Review

What a great tool for emergency breaks! (And you know we all have them!) I can just imagine if someone gets sick this winter, and I can just hit the move assignments button - it will be such a relief to not have to worry about it. 

Homeschool Planet offers so much more than just a lesson planner and calendar, ,though. I can't begin to tell you what all is on here, but I'll try. So here goes:
  • Shopping lists that can be sent directly to your cell phone
  • Daily scripture
  • Attendance tracking
  • Grading
  • Transcript templates (I can't wait to use this - transcripts scare me!)
Now, I will admit, when I began, I was very overwhelmed. It didn't really help matters that I didn't have a lot to schedule at this time, so I had to wing it. There was definitely a learning curve for the first several days. But I hopped on the help board and found all these amazing tutorial videos on just about everything I had questions about. The only thing I'm still having trouble with is syncing with my cell phone. 

This planner is the best one I have found. I am excited about planning out the kids' schedules in the coming weeks to get our best foot set forward for the coming school year. There is so much that will help me with planning that I haven't even begun to uitilize all it has to offer. I think Homeschool Planet just may become my new BFF in the homeschool world!

You can follow Homeschool Planet on the following social media:
For more information from my fellow bloggers, check out their reviews here:

Homeschool Planet Review

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