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Jeannette Tuionetoa

High School Electives Your Kids Will Love

By | Organizing Your Homeschool | No Comments

It is beneficial to understand why high school electives are essential before exploring them for your homeschool students. We spend so much discerning how to teach and what to teach for core subjects like math, science, reading, etc. Then the secondary years come along; you and your student explore what electives they might like to take. Homeschool Planet has some suggestions for high school electives your kids will love, and we have online homeschool lesson plans to go along with each one.

For all of their primary years, children have had their homeschool lessons planned out for them. They were given what subjects to take or learn. Some parents gear the lessons towards a child’s likes and interest, which increases learning and is motivating.

However, there is a unique embrace to high school electives that make learning particularly appealing to teenagers. Having a stake in the learning that occurs for them in this time encourages independent learning, develops their decision-making skills, and produces accountability.

When high school is fast approaching, and you have investigated the college requirements to plan out high school goals, then high school electives help to round out your student’s schedule.

High school electives serve various purposes, some of which are listed below:

High school electives help students work towards their college goals.

High school electives help students work towards their desired career path.

High school electives help students bring color to college applications.

High school electives allow students to take classes they are intrigued by or for skills they are interested in.

It can be challenging when you realize your student will need to select electives soon. Choosing high school electives mean your child has reached a milestone. It means your child is growing up to be an adult. It means your child is coming to their own. It means that parents have done a fantastic job and educating their child to this point and beyond. Embrace it and enjoy the journey right alongside your high school student.

Sometimes it may be hard to narrow down and select electives if they aren’t necessarily a requirement or a part of a student’s natural course of study. Should you need some suggestions, Homeschool Planet has developed customized lesson plans for some of the best high school electives available.

Explore these high school electives with customized online lesson plans from Homeschool Planet:

Classical Academic Press Logic Series – With a classical education approach, Classical Academic Press has created curricula, media, and training with systematic instruction that encompasses delight, creativity, and flair.

Homeschool Planet’s customized lesson plans for The Art of Argument (Grades 7 – 12) take you through the course as it teaches students how to reason with clarity, relevance, and purpose. The lesson plans for its follow-up companion The Argument Builder (Grades 8 – 12) guides students along the course while they build compelling and persuasive arguments of their own.

You won’t want to miss the lesson plans for The Discovery of Deduction  (Grades 8 – 12) which teaches practical and real-world application of soundly structured deductive logic.

Fallacy Detectives Logic Series – This series of thirty-eight books shows your students how to learn to spot common errors in reasoning. It truly gets children thinking of how conclusions should be made.

The Fallacy Detective (Grades 7 – 12) and The Thinking Toolbox  (Grades 7 – 12) are fun to use and help develop a skill they can use right away. Homeschool Planet lesson plans for each of these texts will keep students on track and growing in logical knowledge.

LIFEPAC Electives – LIFEPAC helps to broaden your child’s knowledge base and boost your child’s confidence. This is a time for your students to explore courses they are intrigued by, fulfill general education requirements, improve GPA, or ones that will develop their desired career skills and abilities.

Homeschool Planet has developed online lesson plans for LIFEPAC Family and Consumer Science (Grades 7 – 12) and LIFEPAC Business Computer Information Systems (Grades 9 – 12).

PLATO: Career Technical Electives  — PLATO offers various ways to differentiate learning, interact with the content, and increase achievement. The courses are full of review games, historical timelines, interactive periodic tables, simulations, and virtual labs.

Homeschool Planet has developed customized lesson plans for the following Plato courses:

Applied Medical Terminology (Grades 9 – 12)

Art History & Appreciation (Grades 9 – 12)

Child Development and Parenting A & B Bundle (Grades 9 – 12)

Computer Programming A & B Bundle  ( Grades 9 – 12)

Drafting and Design (Grades 9 – 12)

Game Development (Grades 9 – 12)

Graphic Design and Illustration (Grades 9 – 12)

Health (Grades 9 – 12)

Intro to Fashion Design (Grades 9 – 12)

Intro to Finance (Grades 9 – 12)

Intro to Social Media (Grades 9 – 12)

Marketing, Advertising, and Sales (Grades 9 – 12)

Music Appreciation (Grades 9 – 12)

Personal Finance (Grades 9 – 12)

Physical Education (Grades 9 – 12)

Principles of Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources (Grades 9 – 12)

Principles of Architecture and Construction (Grades 9 – 12)

Principles of Arts, A/V Technology, and Communications (Grades 9 – 12)

Principles of Business, Marketing and Finance (Grades 9 – 12)

Principles of Engineering and Technology (Grades 9 – 12)

Principles of Hospitality and Tourism (Grades 9 – 12)

Principles of Health Science (Grades 9 – 12)

Principles of Information Technology (Grades 9 – 12)

Principles of Law, Public Safety, Corrections, and Security (Grades 9 – 12)

Principles of Manufacturing (Grades 9 – 12)

Professional Photography (Grades 9 – 12)

Principles of Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics (Grades 9 – 12)

Psychology (Grades 9 – 12)

Sociology (Grades 9 – 12)

Structure of Writing (Grades 9 – 12)

Web Technologies (Grades 9 – 12)

Study.com Electives   — Study.com has over 200 courses that either satisfy requirements or take classes for college. Homeschool Planet has developed a customized lesson plan for Psychology 101. This is an Intro to Psychology (for 12th Grade).

Thinkwell Electives  — Thinkwell Electives are video-based learning materials for electives that enhance the spirit of learning by helping students with thinking well. Homeschool Planet has lesson plans for the following Thinkwell electives:

Public Speaking (Grades 9 – 12)

Thinkwell Economics (Grades 9 – 12)

Thinkwell Microeconomics (Grades 11 – 12)

Thinkwell Macroeconomics (Grades 11 – 12)

Thinkwell American Government (Grades 9 – 12)

Thinkwell AP American Government (Grades 9 – 12)

Check out Homeschool Planet for yourself with a 30-day FREE trial. No credit card information is necessary to give it a try!

At last — an easy, flexible, full-featured online planner that doesn’t require hours to learn. Just launch, click on the calendar, and start adding classes, assignments, and appointments!

With Homeschool Planet lesson plans, homeschooling has never been easier!

Why Art is Important in Your Homeschool

By | Homeschool Planning | No Comments

There may not be one artistic bone in our bodies. We should, however, be mindful that our children are paying attention to how we view things as important — or not. Whether you love the arts or couldn’t draw a stick man without a chuckle from the kids, you should understand why art is important in your homeschool.

I have friends who think of awesome art projects for their children; they even do the projects themselves. The rest of us are just not talented in that area. Usually, when we don’t know much in a particular subject area, we try to steer clear from it in our homeschool.

Obviously, that isn’t healthy and really limits our children to what they learn. We could be holding them back from a talent that never had the time to be birthed in them.

Art in our homeschool can mean a whole lot more than we would think. We should be exposing our children to the arts and encouraging them to create art themselves. The benefits are numerous, but before we go into that, we need to be prepared.

Prepare to get messy, prepare to do impromptu art lessons if your children seem intrigued in one, and prepare to have fun. Although art can get messy (and I am not fond of any messes) it can bring you and your children fun, laughter, and lasting memories.

Why is art important in your homeschool?

Art is important in homeschool for building creative problem-solving skills.

If you have ever been in the corporate world you would know that some people, although educated,  cannot think outside the box or come up with creative ideas. This really stems from the lack of problem-solving opportunities in their past.

The decisions your children make in their minds while they are creating art provides practice in decision making and expressing themselves articulately. Both of these skills are crucial in functioning effectively in the workplace.

Art is important in homeschool to build confidence.

When a child decides to show their artwork to others, it takes bravery. They surpass feelings of possible rejection and go for it.

This is also an opportunity for parents to build up their child’s confidence in truthful reactions and appreciation of the artwork. Think of the effect on a child that has never been told their work was of value or has never been cheered on about something they accomplished.

Art is important in homeschool for developing fine motor skills.

Writing and reading are crucial to your learner’s education. However, art can help them with holding a pencil, paintbrush, working with play-dough, manipulating objects, and more. Many of these academic skills can be significantly improved with a catalyst to get them thinking and creating.

Art is important in homeschool to learn how to complete projects well.

Think about the process of completing art projects and what is done from start to finish.

A child needs to gather the tools they need, keep the items organized, edit their work, complete a project well, put away the tools they used, etc. Each and every one of these tasks is beneficial for kids throughout high school and adulthood.

Art is important because it allows kids to appreciate the beauty of our environment.

Being able to evaluate, provide insight, and input to a piece of artwork can enable children to see the beauty also in things all around us. How could someone look at a painting of a beautiful mountain, then not look at mountains differently the next time they see one?

When we encourage our children to get involved in artistic activities, we are also supporting them in becoming well-rounded individuals.

At Homeschool Planet, we have homeschool lesson plans that perfectly fit some of the very best homeschool art programs for your students. Sometimes art is slightly challenging to track and document unless you have a good homeschool record keeping system.

With these homeschool lesson plans for some of the very best art curriculum resources available, you won’t need to worry about homeschool record keeping. Homeschool Planet’s homeschool planner online automatically captures all your lesson plans in the homeschool organizer specific to each child.

Homeschool Planet has customized homeschool lesson plans for:

Lifepac Art

Lifepac Art is a full-color, Alpha Omega curriculum that teaches broad topics like design concepts, color principles, figure drawing, sculpture, printmaking, and so much more. It is an entertaining one-year art course will give your student a comprehensive introduction to art, design, and composition.

The lessons are flexible and can be easily customized to fit your child’s learning pace perfectly. Homeschool Planet’s Lifepac Art Set Lesson Plan is for the Lifepac Jr. High and High School Art set Grades 7 – 12.

How Great Thou ART

This How Great Thou Art Homeschool Art Curriculum, Christian & Classical Education teaches students the fundamentals of drawing, painting, color theory, and all things — for the love of art. This curriculum guides your child through these topics with a Christian perspective.

Homeschool Planet’s How Great Thou ART curriculum Lesson Plans are for grades 3 to 12 and can last 2-3 full school years.

Mark Kistler Draw3D Pencil Power Portfolio

The Mark Kistler Draw3D Pencil Power Portfolio allows students to draw along with Mark (the instructor) on portfolio pages. Mark is an Emmy-Award winning artist best known for his popular how-to-draw series on PBS. Mark was so jazzed by Homeschool Planet that he created this Pencil Power Portfolio lesson plan exclusively for Planeteers!

Homeschool Planet has lesson plans for the two sets of the Mark Kistler Draw3D Pencil Power Portfolio curriculum.

Art With a Purpose

That Art With A Purpose has simple step-by-step art lessons for children in grades 1-8. Each Art With a Purpose Artpac has ready-to-use pupil art sheets to be bound in tablet form.

Art With a Purpose covers various topics in the Artpac like coloring skills, shading, perspective drawing opportunities, drawing faces, painting, grid work, calligraphy, and so much more.

Each Art With a Purpose Homeschool Planet lesson plan goes along with a 34 weekly art assignment.

I was reluctant to do art with my children when I first started homeschooling. Now, I am so glad we do art regularly. We have made some of the most fun and silly memories because of it.

What do you use for art curriculum in your homeschool?

Check out Homeschool Planet for yourself with a 30-day FREE trial. No credit card information is necessary to give it a try!

At last — an easy, flexible, full-featured online planner that doesn’t require hours to learn. Just launch, click on the calendar, and start adding classes, assignments, and appointments!

With Homeschool Planet lesson plans, homeschooling has never been easier!

Essential Elements of a Homeschool Portfolio

By | Organizing Your Homeschool | No Comments

Surely you can last a few years without putting your student’s work together. When we first start homeschooling, we either keep everything or keep nothing at all. What exactly do you need to document what your children have done all year? If you don’t know where to start, these essential elements of a homeschool portfolio can provide you with a basis of what each student needs.

For all the new homeschoolers out there, you may have heard the words “homeschool portfolio” thrown around here and there. Just the idea of it may seem intimidating.

What exactly is a homeschool portfolio? What should be included in a homeschool portfolio? How do I organize my homeschool portfolio? You are not alone if you have had these questions.

What is a homeschool portfolio?

In homeschooling, a homeschool portfolio provides a means for families to document their children’s progress in their educational journey.

Some states have specific requirements for what they require homeschoolers to document to prove are actually homeschooling. For some states, a portfolio and yearly evaluation are required to stay eligible for an education program at your home. Families are required to be evaluated by an objective third party educational professional is required.

Whether your state requires a portfolio or nothing at all, it is good to note that most colleges require homeschoolers to submit a homeschool portfolio.

Keeping yearly portfolios make it easier to write transcripts when your child is ready to graduate.

How do I organize my homeschool portfolio?

There are a few ways you can organize your homeschool portfolio. Some portfolio styles homeschooling families use are:

  • 3 ring binders
  • Accordion folders
  • File folders
  • Scanned documents on your computer or saved to a cloud drive

What should be included in a homeschool portfolio?

Here are some essential elements of a homeschool portfolio:

  • Lesson Plans
  • A log of educational activities
  • Reading Log
  • Samplings of student’s work (written work, Bible scriptures memorized, tests and scores for each subject, photos of experiments, etc.)
  • Grades
  • Artwork/art projects
  • Extracurricular activities (document sports, music, weaving, etc.)
  • Community service hours
  • Term attendance records

Using Homeschool Planet makes homeschool record keeping extremely simple. The number one essential element of a homeschool portfolio is explicitly laid out for you in Homeschool Planet’s homeschool planner online.

Homeschool Planet Lesson Plans can be customized to your schedule.

Homeschool Planet features fit perfectly for the essential elements of your homeschool portfolios.

You don’t have to stress about capturing your student essential elements for a portfolio when they are all embedded within an online planner.

Here are some features in Homeschool Planet that will make homeschool record keeping super easy:

  • customizable grading categories
  • customizable Report Cards and Transcripts
  • reports to help you manage grades, attendance, activities
  • professionally designed lesson plans
  • automatic attendance records

Is there anything else you would put in a homeschool portfolio? What else would you consider an essential element of a homeschool portfolio? Leave some tips in the comments section for our Homeschool Planet community.

 

Check out Homeschool Planet for yourself with a 30-day FREE trial. No credit card information is necessary to give it a try!

At last — an easy, flexible, full-featured online planner that doesn’t require hours to learn. Just launch, click on the calendar, and start adding classes, assignments, and appointments!

With Homeschool Planet lesson plans, homeschooling has never been easier!

Top 3 History Curriculum Choices

By | Homeschool Planning | No Comments

History is a tricky subject when it comes to choosing curriculum. Using traditional textbooks can make the subject less than desirable for homeschool students. Since it can be so difficult to decide on, I wanted to share our top 3 history curriculum choices for the year.

I remember a conversation I had with my son early last year. I had him, yes, using a textbook. He was frustrated one day, and said, “LOOK, mom! Look at all these pages I have to read with no pictures!” Bless his heart; he was struggling.

I was so focused on our activities and struggles with math that the other subjects fell by the wayside. Not that we didn’t do them, I just figured he was OK with every other subject because the struggles with math overshadowed them.

I almost made him disenchanted with history — a subject that I know he can be interested in if only there were a resource that caught his attention. Even now that he is enjoying his curriculum, I still do extra activities with him at least once every few weeks to keep him engaged and interested.

Here are a few things I do to add our history curriculum that may also help your child get excited by history:

  • We have cooking lessons if we are studying particular regions.
  • We incorporate history in unit studies.
  • We listen to music from the period or location we are studying.
  • We research sports that are popular in the area we are studying. (My son loves sports)

Know that if you are searching for a history curriculum, yet again, or for the first time, it is OK to take your time and do what you can until you find the right one. Use some of the approaches above alongside other lessons until you find a history curriculum that works for your family.

Here are some of the 3 top history curriculum choices on the radar for the year to give you a place to start in your journey to find the best one for your kids:

The Story of the World

The Story of the World is an award-winning 4-Volum set history curriculum that covers human history from ancient times until the present. Your student will find out what happens in countries like Africa, China, Europe, the Americas times long ago. This is a read-aloud series designed for parents to share with elementary school-age children. The books have an accompanying activity book for each volume and use classical methods of teaching. The Story of the World is affordable, easily accessible, and can be used by the entire family to learn history at the same time.

The Mystery of History

The Mystery of History is a “Chronological, Christian, Complete” World History curriculum for all ages. Your whole family can all study the same subject together, which is a huge benefit for large family homeschools. This curriculum has been known to be a favorite among homeschoolers because it is easy to use, accurate, thorough, biblically based, and encompasses numerous learning styles and various methods of education. Whether you have children who different learning styles, The Mystery of History is easily adaptable to most. This curriculum has four volumes that include an audio option.

Veritas Press Self-Paced History

Veritas Press self-paced history has been excellent for busy homeschool families. The Veritas Press SP History course teaches a chronological sequence or timeline of history with an interactive approach. The curriculum has 160 lessons, covering 32 historical events. It also includes music to help memorization and has multi-sensory experiences that include games and exciting videos with talking historical characters.

Lesson Plan Marketplace

Each of these top 3 history curriculum picks has Lesson Plans ready to go for your homeschool in the Homeschool Planet Lesson Plan Marketplace.

The Lesson Plan Market place has a lesson plan ready for both The Story of the World (Volume 1: Ancient Times, Revised Ed.  For Grades 1 – 8, Volume 2: The Middle Ages, Revised Ed.  For Grades 1 – 8, Volume 3: Early Modern Times  For Grades 1 – 8, The Modern Age  For Grades 1 – 8) and The Mystery of History (Volume I  For Grades 3 – 12, Volume II  For Grades 3 – 12, Volume III  For Grades 5 – 12, Volume IV  For Grades 6 – 12). For Veritas Press’ Self-Paced History, the Lesson Plan Market Place has a complete lesson plan for  Old Testament and Ancient Egypt  For Grades 2 – 6, New Testament, Greece, and Rome  For Grades 2 – 6, Middle Ages, Renaissance and Reformation  For Grades 2 – 6, Explorers to 1815  For Grades 2 – 6, and 1815 to The Present  For Grades 2 – 6.

It is as easy as 1-2-3 to incorporate each Lesson Plan in your Homeschool Planet online planner.

All you have to do is follow the steps below:

  • Purchase the lesson plan for your curriculum
  • Sign into Homeschool Planet
  • Answer a few questions, and voila!

Homeschool Planet will automatically schedule your whole semester or year with assignments, notes, and links to online resources (if applicable).

Remember that you are not alone in trying to select the best history curriculum for your homeschool students. I hope this has helped you find one that your kids will love. You can easily purchase a lesson plan that is already set-up for the entire school year or semester for any curriculum choice listed in our Lesson Plan marketplace.

Have any history curriculum questions? We would love to help. Feel free to leave any questions in the comments section below.

 

Check out Homeschool Planet for yourself with a 30-day FREE trial. No credit card information is necessary to give it a try!

At last — an easy, flexible, full-featured online planner that doesn’t require hours to learn. Just launch, click on the calendar, and start adding classes, assignments, and appointments!

With Homeschool Planet lesson plans, homeschooling has never been easier!

This Pretty Amazing Planner is My New Brain

By | Featured Reviews | No Comments

Today we are featuring a review from Angie at Pebblekeeper. Angie is a homeschool mom blogger who enjoys a relaxed home school learning environment for her middle school boys who love nature, the outdoors, LEGOs, drawing and writing. As part of This Old School House Review Crew, Angie reviews products with her unique relaxed style of homeschooling that incorporated deep learning. In Pebblekeeper, you will find insight on homeschooling, beach schooling, lake schooling, outdoor challenges and more.

Angie’s Homeschool Planet online planner review embraces the idea that Homeschool Planet is not just another ordinary planner. She explains how Homeschool Planet made her brain and family dependent on its organizational framework.  Angie recommends Homeschool Planet for anyone who needs to track people, activities, multiple calendars and create events/event planning.

Angie has enjoyed the planning program that is included with the Homeschool Planet system. Did you know with Homeschool Planet’s homeschool planner online you can add notes, tasks, websites, and resources to your lessons?

“What can I say? I love it. It is my new brain. It will print any list I choose and also create transcripts for high school. The crew has been pestering the folks at Homeschool Buyers Co-op with questions this past month. Many of our suggestions have created changes. All of my questions have been answered in detail with a personal person within a day. What? Yep. They are awesome.”

Click here to read this review from Pebblekeeper on Homeschool Planet.

Check out Homeschool Planet for yourself with a 30-day FREE trial. No credit card information is necessary to give it a try!

At last — an easy, flexible, full-featured online planner that doesn’t require hours to learn. Just launch, click on the calendar, and start adding classes, assignments, and appointments!

With Homeschool Planet lesson plans, homeschooling has never been easier!

Top 3 Math Curriculum Picks

By | Homeschool Planning | No Comments

Have you been contemplating changing your math curriculum next year? There are so many out there that I know it can be overwhelming. If you are like many other homeschooling families, you may have gone through one or two already and don’t want to have to go through the change again. We want to help you with your decision making if you need it, so here are our top 3 math curriculum picks for the year.

Change is not easy for anyone, when it comes to your child’s education things aren’t any different. You want a curriculum that works well with your child’s learning style. You want a curriculum that is complete and is understandable.

Some of us have more than one child, making the focus on learning styles even more difficult and tricky to select. One curriculum may not work for all your kids – although in a perfect world that would be pretty amazing.

We understand how hard it is to select curriculum by searching online and reading recommendations and reviews, so we wanted to share with you the top 3 math curriculum picks that have complete lesson plans in Homeschool Planet’s Lesson Plan Marketplace.

Top 3 Math Curriculum Picks for Your Homeschool

Horizons Math curriculum

The Horizons Math curriculum is for grades Kindergarten through 8th grade. The well-balanced spiral approach to math is composed of manipulatives, memorization, and drills that follow a pattern of gradual development to ensure a student’s success. Note: A spiral approach is when students master concepts through a natural process of introduction, review, and reinforcement.

This math curriculum helps students develop solid math reasoning skills and enables them to apply these skills to real-life situations. The major themes covered in the Horizons Math curriculum are Numbers, Order, and Value; Addition and Subtraction; Ratios, Measurement, and Decimals; Fractions and Comparison; Equations, Colors, and Geometry; Graphs, Estimation, and Solving; Multiplication and Division; Linear and Quadratic Equations; Radical Expressions; Monomials and Polynomials; and Functions.

This is not a common core curriculum and children who love worksheets and are visual learners do really well with Horizons.

Math-U-See curriculum

The Math-U-See curriculum system is structured with step-by-step procedures for introducing, reviewing, practicing, and mastering concepts. Each lesson teaches using multi-sensory tools such as videos, manipulatives, and other resources. This approach appeals to most types of learning styles.

Math-U-See has a simple but effective set of colorful manipulatives allows abstract math concepts to be represented in clear, relatable ways. The curriculum isn’t governed by grades as the approach focuses on the actual understanding of math concepts before progressing.

This math curriculum does meet common core standards because of its master approach of math concepts. There are also plenty of opportunities for student hands-on experience and practice.

RightStart™ Mathematics curriculum

The RightStart™ Mathematics curriculum is a hands-on program that provides visual strategies for learning math facts.  This curriculum has a significant focus on understanding and problem-solving. The RightStart™ Mathematics homeschool program is set up with levels, rather than grades so that your child can begin at the proper level and advance at their own pace.

Practice for the lessons is provided with math card games that provide interesting and varied repetition and application needed for the automatic responses to the math facts.

Twenty-one different materials are used in this curriculum to approach topics in various ways to create an understanding and to build critical connections necessary for learning.

Lesson Plan Marketplace

Each of these top 3 math curriculum picks have lesson plans ready to go for your homeschool in the Homeschool Planet Lesson Plan Marketplace.

It is easy as 1-2-3 to incorporate each math lesson plan in your Homeschool Planet online planner.

All you have to do is follow the steps below:

  • Purchase the lesson plan for your curriculum
  • Sign into Homeschool Planet
  • Answer a few questions, and… voila!

Homeschool Planet will automatically schedule your whole semester or year with assignments, notes, and links to online resources (if applicable).

Remember that you are not alone in trying to select the best curriculum that is right for your student or students. We, at times, have to go through trial and error, and that is OK. You will find it. Whether you explore Horizons Math, Math-U-See, or RightStart™ Mathematics, you can easily purchase a lesson plan that is already set-up for the entire school year or semester.

Have any math curriculum questions? We would love to help you find the best math curriculum picks for your homeschool. Feel free to leave any questions in the comments section below.

Check out Homeschool Planet for yourself with a 30-day FREE trial. No credit card information is necessary to give it a try!

At last — an easy, flexible, full-featured online planner that doesn’t require hours to learn. Just launch, click on the calendar, and start adding classes, assignments, and appointments!

With Homeschool Planet lesson plans, homeschooling has never been easier!

Easy Peasy Planning with a Friendly Interface

By | Featured Reviews | No Comments

We are glad to feature a review from Jenn Bowen of From Crayons to Keyboards. Jenn has finally graduated all her children out of preschool and like many of us, feels the brunt of time flying by. Jenn is a homeschool mom blogger who is a part of the Homeschool Review Crew and blogs about homeschooling and home organization.

Jenn Bowen’s Homeschool Planet review shares how Homeschool Planet is a completely customizable online planner.  She says Homeschool Planet is not only a homeschool planner, but it is also a family calendar, and note pad all rolled into one. Jenn finds assigning new tasks on Homeschool Planet a breeze and enjoys many of Homeschool Planets useful features.

Did you know that Homeschool Planet’s online homeschool planner has Rescheduling and Grading helpers that walk you through rescheduling assignments? The grading helper helps you easily assign grades to completed assignments.

“I really like the friendly interface of Homeschool Planet. It is user-friendly an easy to navigate. I love that I can customize my view. Adding assignments was a breeze and I was able to easily assign multiple children to an assignment. If you are looking for a homeschool planner, I highly recommend you giving Homeschool Planet a try!”

Click here to read this review on Homeschool Planet.

Check out Homeschool Planet for yourself with a 30-day FREE trial. No credit card information is necessary to give it a try!

At last — an easy, flexible, full-featured online planner that doesn’t require hours to learn. Just launch, click on the calendar, and start adding classes, assignments, and appointments!

With Homeschool Planet lesson plans, homeschooling has never been easier!

HOW TO: Customize Your Interface

By | Homeschool Planet Features | No Comments

You may have noticed we are making a few upgrades to the Homeschool Planet site! We have updated our Themes and Colors interface, but if you don’t like change – no worries! We have you covered. You can easily customize your Homeschool Planet online planner interface.

If you would like to revert back to the old default Theme and Colors interface, you can simply take the following steps:

  1. Click Settings.

  1. Then click on Themes and Colors.
  2. Now select the Theme and Color interface you prefer.

That is it! We wanted to give you a heads-up and let you know how to either revert back to your originally selected interface or spruce things up with something new.

Homeschool Planet is working hard behind the scenes to make Homeschool Planet the best experience for all of our users.

If you have any questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments or contact us at support@homeschoolplanet.com.

Teaching Your Kids Time Management

By | Encouragement for Homeschoolers | No Comments

Teaching life skills to our children is just as important as teaching them their core subjects. I am sure that statement is debatable, but it is nonetheless, worth taking a moment to consider. A life skill that can be taught from an early age is time management. Teaching your children time management takes some effort but will help them exponentially,  let me explain.

When I first read that time management was a skill issue and not an obedience issue, it really helped me with my reaction when my kids wouldn’t manage their time well. Once I knew there were steps I could take to help them with learning to manage their time, I began to take some ownership; I took a step back and started from ground zero.

When I first became a homeschool mom, I didn’t know much about homeschooling. I was previously an Early Learning Teacher, which really helped me apply the classroom management aspect to my homeschool. Other elements of homeschooling, I had to learn from trial and error – I think I am still feeling the growing pains from some of those errors.

If you are like me, I couldn’t understand for the life of me why my son, couldn’t stick to a task, took forever on a task, couldn’t do his chores right, or just plainly took forever to do ONE thing. I would have pulled my hair out if it didn’t hurt so badly, but I knew something had to give.

Before I share with you some insight on steps to take for teaching time management, I want to tell you some personal tips that worked for our family.

  1. Routines are a life saver.

Honestly, I learned this from managing a classroom of 24 children. I would spend almost our whole first-week learning routines, rules, and guidelines. According to the Child Development Institute, predictability provides a feeling of safety for children. In a “safe” environment, children are freer to build independence and creativity. When it comes to time management, setting up a routine in your home will help.

  1. Sleep and a healthy diet can ease many behavioral issues.

Getting children to bed at an early time, keeping sugars and red food dyes away from your kids during the school week can help them focus more efficiently. When you are trying to get your child to manage time well and finding it difficult, see if there is something you can alter in this area.

  1. Teaching your child time management is not a “hands-off” thing.

Some children have real attention issues which will require much training on your part and guidance towards managing their time better. They will need to be explicitly taught how to manage time. They may fail, they may get frustrated but be there for them to steer them in the right direction.

TIME MANAGEMENT FOR YOUR YOUNG LEARNERS

  • Use timers.

When your children struggle to stay on task (like my son) a timer can help them stay accountable and provides them with a staying focus for a set time only. This avoids the feeling of being overwhelmed.

  • Use chore charts.

You can start using chore charts with your children as early as the age of three with age-appropriate chores like picking up toys. Color code the charts for each child, so younger children know they are a part of the team.

  • Use transition songs.

My children love music. As a prior teacher, I can tell you that most children respond well to music. When it is time to transition from one task to the next, use a transition song or play some soft music as a cue to your young one that its time to stop what they are doing and move to something else. Before you know it, your children will be reminding YOU its transition time.

TIME MANAGEMENT FOR OLDER KIDS

  • Develop a monthly calendar.

Starting with a monthly calendar can begin your child’s journey to time management. They can see an overview of what needs to get accomplished within the month. Add events to the calendar like sports practice, dance practice, Youth activity or Bible study days, holidays, birthdays, or whatever is scheduled beforehand. Add curriculum Test and quiz dates as well.

  • Develop a weekly calendar of activities and homeschool assignments.

Although this may be quite cumbersome, you will need to start with set times for each assignment. Setting time constraints on assignments will get easier as your child gets an idea of how long their lessons/reading takes. To stick to certain time frames for each assignment allows your students to self-regulate their management of time. From the monthly calendar, have your children count backward from quizzes or tests to make time for studying on their weekly schedules.

  • Work with your students for a few weeks while they are getting in their routine.

Try to go over your child’s weekly and monthly schedules with them. Guide them through to what is the priority and what can be tweaked. Teach them to break large projects into smaller tasks for manageability.

  • Allow for downtime.

A full schedule will drive anyone mad. It happens to us even. Remember to be flexible and allow your children time to be children. If they have chores as part of their daily routine (which they should), have a set time for the chores and even set a timer to 30 minutes or 1 hour for their chores only. It can be the difference between being something they dread or just another part of the routine.

A great place to start your children with learning time management is with Homeschool Planet’s Lesson Planning and Home management system. Homeschool Planet’s homeschool planner online is precisely the tool you can use to have your children ready for time management and the organization of their day.

You can have your home, school, and work schedules all in one place and for each of your family members, available 24/7/365. Within the Homeschool Planet management system, you can schedule classes, assignments, chores, field trips, sports practice, doctor appointments, and music classes and so much more.

Once you and your child have scheduled out the year, month, and the week in the system, your child can easily log in each day to know what they need to do that day with reminders that keep them on track.

Homeschool Planet is an extremely beneficial tool to enable your child to take responsibility and hold themselves accountable for their schedules. Homeschool Planet is the ultimate calendaring system to help your child manage their time wisely.

Time management is a skill that can be carried out throughout your child’s lifetime and provide them with the accountability they need to perform well in college and throughout their career.

Have you used any specific steps to help your children with their time management skills? Help out fellow parents and leave some tips on the comments section.

 

Check out Homeschool Planet for yourself with a 30-day FREE trial. No credit card information is necessary to give it a try!

At last — an easy, flexible, full-featured online planner that doesn’t require hours to learn. Just launch, click on the calendar, and start adding classes, assignments, and appointments!

With Homeschool Planet lesson plans, homeschooling has never been easier!

Encouraging Independent Learning

By | Encouragement for Homeschoolers | No Comments

There comes a time when we can encourage our children with independent learning. The difficulty lies in how to do it. How can we help our kids to independent learning when we have been through homeschooling with them every step of the way?

If you have more than one child at home, you probably are quickly discovering that the days of sitting next to your children step-by-step is getting less and less feasible. It seems as though there just aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done.

Once you have set out a foundation for your children and they have gotten in full swing of homeschooling; eventually, you want them to gain some type of autonomy.  However, encouraging independent learning won’t come automatically.

Encouraging your children to work on their own takes time and persistence. Your children would need a strong foundation of the basic subject groups, or else independent learning just won’t work. Another thing is that the time for you to encourage independent learning may be different for each child.

We should know that nothing is cookie cutter, what works for one family, even one child may not work for the other. The perfect timing in each child for independent learning is no different in this sense. Some kids will start in late elementary age and others will begin in middle school.

Whatever age or grade level you feel they are ready, there are a few things you can do to encourage independent learning in the meantime:

Lay a strong foundation of the basics.

As I mentioned above, setting a strong foundation is key. Elementary school lays the foundation for kids to know what to expect from homeschooling and knowing what is expected of them. It is vital for elementary students to have a good understanding of the core subjects like reading skills, counting and number basics, and developing language skills through rote memory. After this, you can gradually train your children into more learning independence.

Expose independent learning gradually.

There is no rush to forcing kids to learn independently early on. The more patience you have with it, the more satisfied you will be when they are finally “doing school” more autonomously. You can begin with subjects that your children enjoy and ones they feel more confident in. Even start with one subject at a time. This is best when trying to get a feel of how your student does working more on their own.

Note: Do not begin with a subject that your child is having difficulty in. That can make your child dislike the subject even more, especially if you are not there for them through it.

Use a timer to know if your child needs more time or less time with independent work.

This one may be a little tricky to start off. You may even have to do some work alongside your student to see how long specific work takes. Then task your student to do the school work slightly faster the next time. Timers keep my son focused and he works well with them.  I always give him a little extra time; however, set times keep him doing the task at hand with a goal in mind.

Provide a platform in their homeschool system that allows them accountability.

It is easy for a mom to keep the kids in line and always be there to steer the students in the right direction. Using an organized system that allows your children to track their own progress and to guide them can be extremely helpful in building their independence.

Homeschool Planet’s homeschool online planner allows for the perfect system for kids to track their own performance, gives them daily goals and supports them in doing work independently. If I can backtrack a moment, I would like to explain where the level of autonomy begins with Homeschool Planet.

With Homeschool Planet’s homeschool planner online, each student holds their very own login. Parents can customize each student’s login features for them to view and edit. Your students can color code their class, activity, category, and subjects with you just how they would prefer it. You or your student can upload their picture to their login page and choose from 18 different awesome background themes.

You can walk your child through the ins and outs of Homeschool Planet, so they know to access email, check texts, explore their calendars, and more.

The Homeschool Planet calendar system sends assignment reminders and daily or weekly email digests with the day or week’s assignments. You can show your kids how to search Google and Bing to research and find out information on their own.

For kids, knowing they have a system of their very own to guide them through their school day helps their independence tremendously. Using this tool in itself is a great way to encourage independent learning in your homeschool setting.

Total independence may never happen while you are homeschooling. Some high school students only have to show you their outputs. Other high school students will need some more hand-holding and guidance. However, it is not an end-all. You still can encourage independent learning in at least a few subject areas.

We know homeschooling our kids is a hands-on commitment for about 15 years of out of our life. We embrace it and know that our children will be better for it. Encouraging kids to learn independently, as part of our homeschooling journey, means more than just having a little time for ourselves in the day.

It means that we are preparing our children for adulthood and equipping them with the ability to complete tasks and follow-through as an adult.

What types of steps have you taken to encourage your kids in independent learning? Did you find it was different with each of your kids? We would love to hear about your story or if you have any insight that can help other homeschool families in their journey.

Leave a message for us in the comments section below.

Check out Homeschool Planet for yourself with a 30-day FREE trial. No credit card information is necessary to give it a try!

At last — an easy, flexible, full-featured online planner that doesn’t require hours to learn. Just launch, click on the calendar, and start adding classes, assignments, and appointments!

With Homeschool Planet lesson plans, homeschooling has never been easier!