Well up to this point, I had tried lots of different methods, but none of them worked perfectly. And so when I was offered the opportunity to review Homeschool Planet from Homeschool Buyers Co-op I was thrilled.
This is an online scheduling system that is very user friendly. When I first received my membership, I sat down for an hour or so to familiarize myself with the format and capabilities of the site. This came at the perfect time for us; we had just finished county fair and I still had a month of school left. I had not yet done any scheduling for that last month, so this was a perfect fit.
I first gave each child a profile and began to fill in their information. I loved it that there are thumbnail photos for each of them!
There is a video tutorial that I found very helpful in explaining how to use the schedule. I was able to add daily subjects, or subjects that were only done a couple times a week. As I kept adding subjects, I was pleasantly surprised with the ease of this scheduling. At one point early on, I figured out that I could tell the program how many lessons there were and when I wanted it completed, and it would figure out how many lessons to do each week!
And for those days when you get behind? (Oh, I have had those for sure.) You just don't mark the assignment as complete and it adjusts your schedule! I really appreciated that feature; I can't think of any system I have ever used that was able to re-adjust so easily.
This does not just schedule school. I was able to color code different activities and put them on the schedules. And, with the touch of a button, I can have this be an activity for all four children or just one. All our 4H activities, chores, work schedules, orthodontist appointments, can go on this schedule.
After a couple of days I began to experiment. I made up a profile and called her "Menu". Now, I could add my menu to each day of the schedule, so at a glance I could see what I was making each night. I also made up a profile for myself to do my daily chores. I do try to be consistent when I do laundry and clean areas of the house, so the schedule was very helpful in keeping me accountable.
I even added birthdays of those that are close to me. I am horrible about remembering them, and only think of it when Facebook reminds me. Of course they only remind me the day of their birthday, so it is too late for a card. Not anymore. I scheduled all birthdays for the week before, so that I had time to purchase a card or plan something out.
When you first log into Homeschool Planet, you come to your very own homepage. This page has lots of places for you to make it personal; you can change the theme or colors, and add all sorts of fun widgets. Some of these are a Daily Quote, To Do List, Weather, and Daily Bible Verse. And you can easily move them around the page, to make the layout truly your own.
So how did I like this? I really loved being able, at the touch of a couple of buttons, to fill in math lessons for the entire school year. Now this only works that way if you are using a curriculum that has lessons per day, but it can easily be adapted to whatever the assignment might be. Instead of typing the same thing over and over (read for 20 minutes, 4 pages of grammar, etc.) Homeschool Planet gives you the option to just copy the assignment on each day that you want your student to do that particular subject.
And I really appreciated that you could adjust the schedule when you had sick days or days where all of the subjects were not completed. The schedules are easily printed, which I would do each Monday. Each child's name is at the top of the page, with their weekly work laid out for them. I would also receive an email of our weekly schedule which was very helpful too, especially for appointments.
There is the option to keep track of grades and test scores, and even send message reminders to the kids via text or email.
So take a look at Homeschool Planet; right now you can sign up for a 30 day FREE trial. Check out this video tutorial and then see what other Crew members thought by clicking below.