Let’s face it. Homeschooling takes planning. Yeah, we can get some school work done each day without much planning, depending on which curriculum we choose. However, taking the time to plan out our lessons, makes the school day go by so much smoother. I want to share with you some of my tips to get those lessons planned out, ahead of time.
Have you ever had one of those days where you just had to pull out the curriculum and go at it, because life got away with you? Me too! Try as I may, but usually I end up needing something for science we don’t have at home or I find out as we are working through a lesson where I was supposed to pre-cut out all the pieces for our reading activities. Now what? Now we either stop that subject for the day, take a break so I can get together what is needed, which gets the kids off track, or we have to skip some fun activities, all because we were not prepared.
So how do I go about making sure we are prepared for our lessons ahead of time? Good question! There really isn’t any easy way around it, you just have to set aside time to go through every subject and plan out the lessons. However, I do have some good news for you. I have found an AWESOME online planner that makes this job of planning, sooooo much easier.
With this planner, I am able to get the task of planning done a lot quicker.
- Make my lesson plans ahead of time while seeing any upcoming appointments that could interfere with out schooling
- Assign the lesson plans to one or several kids at the same time
- Print out daily checklists for all my kids
- Make a shopping list for materials needed
- Make a Library list of books we need to check out
- Send text messages to myself or Hubby to pick up what is needed
Now that is not all this planner can do. Check out these other awesome features.
- Keeps track of all Grades, if you use grades (if you don’t, no biggie)
- Printable Grade Reports
- Grading helper that alerts you when completed work is ready to be graded
- Creates a transcript, for use while in High School
- Printable Transcripts
- Tracks hours of class time (if your state requires that)
- Printable Hours Report
- Import your Google Calendars
- Daily Bible Verse or not, your choice
- Day/Week/Month View
- Planner View and Calendar View
- Show everyone on the calendar/planner view, or just one person at a time, you choose
- Check off work as it is completed
- Reschedule assignments helper. It does the rescheduling for you, so work does not get missed.
- Choose your background
- Kids can have their own login, and you set what they can see or edit
- Mobile Device friendly website. They even have a quick link icon for your devices.
- Email yourself or family members a daily or weekly summary of events and assignments.
- Copy your lesson plans from year to year, so all your kids can take advantage of your planned lesson, even if it is 3 years later. No more duplicate work!
Legal Stuff The links below are affiliate links, which means I will earn a commission if you choose to make a purchase. Your purchase will cost the same, with or without using these links. I only recommend products I truly trust and have had experience with. Thank you for choosing to support our blog!
So what is this awesome planner and how do you get a copy? I’m glad you asked! This planner is called Homeschool Planet. As a free member of the Homeschool Buyers Co-Op, you can purchase a yearly membership to this planner for $65. I know, it costs money, and money is tight. I totally get that! I am in the same boat most of the time. However, I had to weigh how much a benefit this software was to how much it costs. Before using this software, I had tried many others, including a lot of paper versions. When I finally made my decision to give this software a try, I was surprised to find that they offer a FREE 30 Day Trial. I was able to try out the software before I had to pay even a penny, and great news for you, is that they are still offering that 30 Day Trial!
So why not paper? With paper versions, when I needed to reschedule an assignment I would either have to erase and re-write everything, or I would have to keep everything on sticky notes. Sticky notes worked okay, but they would fall off, get lost, or just plain stop sticking. I always felt like I was trying to cram all the information into a little box that just didn’t fit everything I needed to say. Not to mention that I still had to have my computer or smart phone open to my family calendar so I could plan around appointments. I also had two shopping lists going to keep track of what I needed to buy at the store or borrow from the library.
What about other online and downloadable planners? With other planners, I had to do so much upfront work to even start planning out my assignments. They were very cumbersome and just took too long to make using them worth it. Yeah they looked pretty but just did not have the easy of use that Homeschool Planet has. Downloadable planners were okay, but most had the same problems the other online planners did, but also had the problem with no way to access the info while we were on the road. With Homeschool Planet, I can literally open up the subject box and start typing up the assignments. When I am done, I click save and that is it. No multiple windows to go through, just simple typing. All on a system that our whole family can access wherever we are. What could be easier? I haven’t found anything.
If you aren’t convinced yet that this planner can help you out with your own planning, here is a quick video tour of the software.
Now that we have covered what I like to use when I plan, I thought I would share with you how I go about planning out our lessons. When it comes to planning out my lessons, I pull up this software on my computer and sit down with a nice cup of coffee and go to town planning.
- I take out one subject of materials at a time and type up the lessons.
- As materials are needed that we don’t have, I just add them to my shopping list and move on.
- If I have multiple kids taking the same subject I only have to type up the assignments once, and assign them to all those kids. Even if I want the kids to do different assignments for the same subject that is easy as well, since the subject box is tabbed with my kids names. I just click over to that kid and type in their assignment, all within the same subject box.
- When that subject is done, I save those assignments and move on to another and another until I have gone through all the subjects.
- I try to plan out two weeks of assignments at a time. Some people like to plan out just the upcoming day, some a week, others plan out for a whole month. You need to do what works for you, but keep in mind that you might have some shopping to do. I try to only shop once every two weeks, so I need to plan my lessons before I head out shopping, and make sure that there are enough lessons planned to get me through when I would be shopping again. If not, I could end up in the same situation I was trying to avoid in the first place, and so could you.
I really think this is the best online planner out there, and believe me, that if you aren’t using it yet, it really could help you plan more effectively, easily and quickly. Check them out today and enjoy the Homeschool Planet 30 Day Free Trial .
What kind of routine do you have for planning out your homeschool lessons?