I am a paper girl.
There, I said it.
I love notebooks. I love pens in every color. I love stationery stores.
It’s no surprise that usually I buy a new paper planner each summer, as I begin planning for the upcoming school year.
But the truth is, as my boys have gotten older, the demands of our family schedule have increased dramatically.
Outside classes, doctors’ appointments, and transcript records combined with the desire to transition my boys to more independent learning have forced me to slowly but surely had to accept reality – the paper planning approach is no longer working.
Unlike me, my boys are online people.
They take notes on their phones and laptops.
They look at me like I am crazy when I am fumbling through and flipping page after page, trying to find the address I wrote down.
Because an online planner seemed like the most natural option for them, I began determining how best to make one work with my archaic, paper based needs.
The truth is, when I worked outside the home, I used an online planner for just about everything – especially communicating with and managing a team. Realizing this was a “light-bulb moment.” What if I approached our plan as if my boys were my team and I was their manager?
I set out to find an online planner that would function in this capacity and I did not have to look far.
Please know, although I was compensated for my time in reviewing this product, I only share products and resources that work well for my family, in the hopes it may help you as well!
Homeschool Planet is an easy to use, comprehensive online planner, designed to help homeschoolers combine their school life with their work and personal lives. Moreover, it functions as a communication tool between mom/teacher and kids/students (exactly what I need!).
Homeschool Planet is how it covers literally every single aspect of planning that I encounter in running my home and teaching my children.
How Online Homeschool Planning Is Saving My Sanity
Here is what I love most about this planner.
Many online systems feel a bit suffocating to me – like I am trying to fit my life into someone else’s idea of how it should be. Homeschool Planet is exactly the opposite. It feels like it was made just for me, with all the flexibility that my family needs.
A Calendar View that lets you see anybody’s or everybody’s calendars at once
A Planner View with a simple list of everything you need to do and when
Separate Logins for kids to view their assignments and check them off when completed (one of my favorite elements of this system!)
Daily Digest Emails to everyone in your family with their own schedule, assignments, and chores for the day
Email and Text message reminders to help everyone stay on schedule
Lesson plans with assignments, web links, notes, and more
Easy attendance tracking, grading and transcript creation (did I mention this is my first year homeschooling a high schooler?)
Shopping lists (one each for Target, Costco, etc.) that you can text to your spouse or have sent to your smartphone when on the go
Mobile Access – a must for our lists to be accessible throughout the day and week
Easy to Use
I cannot stress enough how behind I am when it comes to technology. My children are forever trying to explain our TV remote to me – so any online planner I use is going to have to make it simple for my not tech-savvy mom brain. Homeschool Planet does just that. It is intuitive and user-friendly. I didn’t have to spend a ton of time learning how to use it. I simply opened it up and started adding appointments and lessons.
There is even an option to load lesson plans from Brave Writer, our go-to Language Arts curriculum, automatically. As in, automatic lesson plan, easily synced with my calendar for the entire school year!
Homeschool Planet really is easy to use (even for a paper planning, not so knowledgeable user like me) with tons of options for flexibility and use in real life.
Teaching My Children To Prioritize and Plan
Perhaps the greatest benefit of switching to online homeschool planning is the effect it is having on my boys’ ability to plan and prioritize. Because it is in a format they respect and enjoy, both of my boys have been more actively involved in managing their own schedules and to-do lists. I did not expect this and have been pleasantly surprised to see their surge in independence and ownership.
The truth is, I wish I would’ve tried Homeschool Planet a long time ago!
Take a look at this video to see all the features and benefits of this valuable planning tool.
Happy planning and here’s to a great start to the new school year for us all!
Shawna Wingert is a former training and development professional turned education specialist, and has homeschooled her two children for the last ten years.Shawna has written four books about homeschooling unique learners and has been featured in homeschooling discussions on Today.com, The Mighty, Simple Homeschool, My Little Poppies and Raising Lifelong Leaners.
You can find her online here at DifferentByDesignLearning.com.