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A couple of years ago I wrote a review for my favorite digital homeschool planner. With how quickly technology changes I figured it was time for an update. After all this time I still am coming to you with the planner that the Homeschool Buyers Co-op offers, Homeschool Planet. Interested in the first review I did of this planner? Organizing for 2nd Semester Lesson Plans is that review. With this review post I want to update you on all the new things that this planner has to offer and explain why after all this time I still turn to this planner above all others.
Not familiar with Homeschool Planet yet? Check out this short video to give you a basic overview.
Now that we are all on the same page about what this program is, let’s get into the details. Since my first review the biggest update that the Homeschool Buyers Co-op has made is the ability to buy and add pre-made lesson plans to your planner. That means that you can spend a LOT less time typing up your lessons and more time actually teaching. This update is HUGE. Even with the ability to quickly make your own lessons in the planner, it still takes time. That time adds up and is worth something. With this new ability to buy lessons already made you can save tons of time and use it for some of the many to-do list items us homeschool moms have to do.
The pre-made lesson plans are really reasonably priced. At first I was turned off by having to pay for lesson plans I already bought when I purchased my curriculum. However, after trying out one of these new pre-made lesson plans I take back my words. These lesson plans include more than assignments that direct students to complete such and such worksheet. Some of them actually include links to be able to print the worksheets, right from inside the planner. Does the lesson include needing to watch a video? That video is just a click away. The hyperlink to the video is right there in the lesson, available for your child to click and watch, all without having to search on the web. Not only is this quicker for you and your kid, but ultimately makes me as a Mom feel better knowing that my kids are seeing just what they are suppose to be seeing and nothing else.
I am a visual person, so here is a video the Co-op put together to show you how awesome the Mark Kistler’s Pencil Power Portfolio lesson plan is. This example will show you how the worksheets and videos are integrated in the planner, as well as a view of how much of a time savings these lesson plans include.
What you just saw is only the beginning. To be honest, not all the curriculum I currently use is available as a pre-made lesson plan. However, the Co-op is constantly working on more. Even if I can’t get all my curriculum lesson plans this way, having just one lesson plan done for me will save a ton of time.
The most recent lesson plan I added was the one for Rosetta Stone. This lesson plan allows you to use it for any language your child chooses. It is going to be invaluable as honestly when I tried to use this curriculum with my oldest we put it down because I honestly wasn’t sure what he should be doing each day. Now I won’t have to worry about that. The planning is done for me! When my next child is ready for digging into another language I will be all set. Another lesson plan I recently added to our next school year’s plan is the Virtual Field Trip lesson plan. Living in Vermont where most of the school year is winter limits a lot of what we can do for field trips. This lesson plan lets the kids experience a ton of different places all with worksheets added in to help them sink their new found knowledge into their brains (and for me to have documentation that they experienced them). Best part is this lesson plan is FREE for all Homeschool Buyers Co-op members!
As for other changes that have happened one of the big ones is the ability to use the planner on a mobile device. There is not an app to download but when you save the page as a quick link it can be added to your device’s home screen. This honestly is better than an app because you get the ability to use the planner like an app would, but also have the ability to change to the desktop version web page and make more changes that would not be possible on a mobile app.
Another important feature is actually not really a feature at all but more of a safety precaution. If the Co-op was to experience a system wide outage, you will always be able to view your lesson plans and widgets. You will not be able to make changes to your plans but at least you have the ability to always see what needs to be done for school that day. Honestly, I have not seen many days at all that the system was down, but when it was I was glad to know I could access what we needed to do for school that day. For all you out there that are nervous about using a digital planner, I hope knowing this might be what helps you feel comfortable making the switch.
Do you have a friend that has kids maybe a year or two below your own? Now you have the ability to create your own lesson plans and share them with your friends! So while you may not get the time savings benefit of having a pre-made lesson plan handed to you, your friends can. Do you have more than one kid? The same applies to you. If you create a lesson plan, it can be used year after year all with just a few clicks and no re-typing!
All the other benefits are still available with this planner. My favorites…
- Import your Google Calendars – When I am doing my weekly planning I am able to see if we have time to fit in that big project or if I should skip it because of how many scheduled appointments we have.
- Creates a transcript, for use while in High School – This is invaluable! If not ready for a transcript but want to keep track of grades, it does that too!
- Reschedule assignments helper. It does the rescheduling for you, so work does not get missed. – Not all days go as planned and when that day comes it is so easy to move all or some of the assignments to another day.
- Kids can have their own login, and you set what they can see or edit – My kids get to login (with their own choice of a kid friendly background) and work on whatever they want first or last. It gives them independence while still allowing me through my own login to see how they are progressing.
Interested in trying out Homeschool Planet? Good news is that the Co-op is offering a FREE 30-Day Trial! If you take them up on this offer before July 1st, the Co-op will give you a FREE pre-made lesson plan of your choice on top of the FREE 30-Day Trial! How cool is that?! The best part about this trial is that there is no credit card info taken. This really is a FREE trial! Whether you want the free trial or are ready to dive in with a yearly or month to month subscription, I believe Homeschool Planet will be an answered prayer for your homeschool.
Interested in what other reviews have to say about Homeschool Planet? Click the picture below to be brought to more reviews.