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Homeschool Planning

How You Can Make Lesson Planning Simple

By | Homeschool Planning | No Comments

I know this homeschooling journey is different for many of us. Our families are different, our lives are different. Some of homeschool 6 children, some of us are also work-at-home moms, whatever your home dynamic is, one thing holds true—simple is better. Many of us have lives that are chaotic at times, if not most of the time, and simplifying is perfect for the chaos. It is not any different with lesson planning. I found a way to make lesson planning simple in my homeschool and I hope it can do the same for you.

I have to admit that when I first started homeschool I was super organized. I was previously an early learning teacher, so the preparedness I needed to turn in my lesson plans spilled over to how I set up my lessons for my kids. I set the term up into what I wanted my kids to learn in the main subjects (Math, Science, History etc.) and the everyday Bible, reading time, and extracurricular lessons. The order I set outworked for a while, but I found that we would need to reschedule lessons often because of “life” and it became harder and harder for me to ensure we were caught up. Lessons changed. I had to move on to another lesson because of the time constraints I gave myself.

I started working from home which added to the madness. The next terms came and I found myself getting less prepared for them. I pushed off doing my lesson plans a month, two weeks, and then to a week in advance. Eventually, I drove myself mad trying to rush my plans on a Sunday for the week.

I thrive on organization and order, so putting off my lesson plans until Sunday really threw me off my game. I was uneasy and unsettled which was not good for anyone. I was trying to do everything and it was all too complicated.

I knew I needed to find a system that would hold me accountable but I knew, unequivocally, that I could not go to a system that was complicated. I already had complicated and I didn’t want to go back. I needed something to help keep me organized, something to keep me on track, but above all, I needed something simple.

Homeschool Planet had a quick and easy planning system that my friend was raving about. I quickly found out that I could plan my whole homeschool year’s framework in this all-encompassing tool. I was hooked.

I created my children’s school calendar individually in terms like I prefer to run our school year. More importantly, I wasn’t wrecking my brain with lesson plans for the major subject areas. Looking through the Lesson Plan Market Place I was able to select lesson plans that were exclusive to Homeschool Planet.

Once I selected which lessons I wanted for my kids, the lessons were automatically scheduled out for the entire homeschool year. If I wanted to add some resources, I simply could upload the assignments, notes, and online resource links to add to the lesson. I can also do this at all times throughout the year. Homeschool Planet lays out the entire year’s framework, and I can add resources or fun assignments if I come across them online.

I was looking for simple and I got it. I have to dedicate some time at the beginning of the year to set up the lessons, and I also review what I have set up before each term to add some fun resources where I can. Other than that I feel as if there is a weight taken off my shoulders when it comes to homeschooling. I am still a hands-on mom, I still dedicate Monday through Thursday during their homeschool hours to be available for them. However, using Homeschool Planets lesson planning has simplified our days, terms, year and freed up so much time to dedicate to work and home life.

This is the simple way to build lesson plans in your child’s Homeschool Planet planning tool online:

  • Visit the Lesson Plan Market Place and select a lesson or lessons that will fit what will be best for your children.
  • Choose the dates and times you want this class to run. Click next. Note: Homeschool Planet will let you know how many days you have on your school calendar for assignments.
  • The next section will make suggestions on how you should grade the lessons. You can also adjust your grading system at a later time.
  • Homeschool Planet then builds your new lesson plans for you, when you press “OK”. You can edit the class and see all the assignments, resources, and grading information all in one place.

It is super simple to set up a lesson on your child’s schedule. Homeschool Planet provides step-by-step tutorials to help you through its processes. Search through Homeschool Planet’s Lesson Plan Market Place for hundreds of lessons separated by subject. After selecting your lessons, buy the lesson for your curriculum, sign in to Homeschool Planet, and at the click of a button, the lesson is automatically added to your child’s school year.

I am so glad that my child is learning, and that I can trust that the lessons on their schedule are quality lessons. You can also make lesson planning simple with Homeschool Planet. View some of Homeschool Planet’s features to make your lesson planning simple and to help keep you organized.

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!

Seeing the Big Picture of Your Homeschool Year

By | Homeschool Planning | No Comments

I cannot function without an end goal in mind when it comes to homeschooling- or anything else for that matter. I like order and organization, therefore I want my children’s schooling to be done with intention and focus. Seeing the big picture of my homeschool year is what helps me take one purposeful step at a time.

The big picture of homeschooling begins with thinking about what is really important and what you want your outcomes to look like. I see it in my mind like a rainbow. The big picture is like an overarching arching rainbow were you can track from beginning to end  –and hopefully the iris a pot of gold at the end. The pot of gold is the end point where you have achieved the key outcomes you intended to from the beginning.

Planning for my homeschool year starts with lots of prayers. I want to get the Lord’s guidance on what the main things I would like my kids to accomplish by the end of the school year. This year the major things I wanted my kids to come away with was their core subjects (Math, Grammar/Writing, Reading, History, and Science), to grow a love for God’s Word, and focus on one extracurricular for the whole year (that they picked). My daughter picked to work on her skills in playing the ukulele and my son, of course, was to play rugby.

From these overarching things, I then can build my lessons upon them. Planning a big picture approach for your homeschool allows you the flexibility you need to plan lessons under the major aspects of the homeschool year.

According to your state requirements, some of the subjects may not have much flexibility. For instance, you may want to look into what your children, at their age, need to know for math or language arts and reading. However, the flexibility in the big picture approach is that kids can choose what extracurricular they want, what books they want to read, and what science topics they find most intriguing.

How to see the big picture of homeschool planning is the fun part. I love to plan the overarching needs of the year, then see the kids progress throughout the year. Having a visual of what they do when they begin, how much they have left throughout the year, and reaching their endpoint really gives my kids, AND ME motivation to get there.

I have comfort in making this a reality with using Homeschool Planet’s online scheduling for home, school, and work all in one place. Homeschool Planet truly has all your planning needs, when you need it, and available to you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

The big picture of my homeschool year is laid out for each of my family members in our Homeschool Planet calendars. Once we gather what we want to learn to achieve the big picture goals we just dump it all in the Homeschool Planet calendar for the entire year to keep us focused, intentional, and accountable.

I schedule classes, assignments, chores, field trips, sports practice, doctor appointments, and music classes all in our calendars. This is really important to me because it keeps me on schedule to develop my lessons for the week, or month if I have extra time. My outline for the year is set, I know what lessons to prepare for, what field trips to set up, and what dates are known as time goes by. I love how we can adjust our schedules if we need to, and still be accountable to complete what we needed to reschedule.

After knowing what our big picture needs to look like at the end, it feels so good to create my homeschool calendar in only minutes to keep me organized. The Homeschool Planner allows us to view our calendars in the semester, term, or quarter views with an automatic and instant calculation of the number of school days per term.

I really didn’t know how much I needed Homeschool Planet until I began using it years ago. My children have their calendars set for weekly views in order to complete assignments and lessons, but I keep my calendar on a monthly view to see how the month is progressing for them.

Seeing the big picture in your homeschool year really opens your eyes into just how much you can accomplish in a school year. In the public school arena your children are confined to learn and dump. If they love a subject like Astrology, they can’t stay there for a little longer. They are forced to move on because of the need to cover every single lesson in someone else’s ideal curriculum for your child.

Homeschooling is a freedom for you to work towards what your kids are interested in while making sure they progress and keep learning. In every subject, we can point out kids back to the Creator and back to a Christian worldview.

Instead of taking your homeschool through a rigorous intense whirlwind of needing to cover subjects, focus on reaching your big picture rainbow. See how it evolved from start to finish to see the prize at the end–happy, healthy, learning kids.

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!

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How to Stay on Track and Keep All the Children’s Schedules in Order

By | Homeschool Planning | No Comments

When I first started homeschooling, I didn’t know whether I was coming or going. It was like a whirlwind and I was just along for the ride. I was initially so excited about homeschooling my kids that I honestly didn’t plan like I should have or go in it with realistic expectations. Staying on track and keeping my children’s schedules in order was just not something that happened my first year.

Here we are mid-year and I know I could have done better. If you are new to homeschooling, take heart. You are not alone, we have all been there. You can do this! You just might need a little help, and that is OK. I needed a lot of help and I am not ashamed to admit it.

Organization and order bring me joy. When my house is clean, I can concentrate so much better. When my desk is in order, I can work so much more efficiently. I am not quite sure what happened when I started homeschooling. I really struggled with keeping the house clean, and cooking dinner, and working from home. Please tell me someone else out there understands.

I have a paper planner that keeps my business life together. I order a new one every year and it has everything work related in it to keep my freelance work going smoothly. I am meticulous about my work and cannot afford to miss any appointments, being late or not completing tasks. I needed to be as organized with my homeschool as I was with work, and I was determined to do so.

Staying on track and keeping my children’s schedules in order took me years to get right. I think it took so long because I didn’t have anything to motivate me to “get it together”. I let the days slip by my fingers, telling myself I will do better tomorrow–while dreading that failing feeling Ihad when I laid down to sleep. It felt like groundhogs day, stressful, hectic, and repeating itself daily. Something had to give.

I heard of Homeschool Planet’s homeschool planner online and I knew I had to give it a try. I have never looked back since.

I want to share with you what in Homeschool Planet’s online planner keeps me on track and keeps my kiddos on their schedules.

1. Homeschool Planet allows for an easy whole year planning system from start to finish. 

I cannot describe the weight lifted off of my shoulders when I knew I could just plan out my children’s WHOLE homeschool year. Homeschool Planet’s user-friendly options to plan out the year make moms happy campers. I was able to break up each child’s calendar into terms, although you can also break them up into semesters or quarters.

2. I can use Homeschool Planet to communicate with my family when I just don’t have time to chat. 

This sounds horrible I know. However, texting my hubby to pick up dinner on his way home from Homeschool Planet’s site is incredible to me. It has saved me many of times from needing toilet tissue for the house or picking up the kids from a friends house—you name it. Assignment reminders for the kids can be sent via email or text, which really helps when they have their headphones on.  I literally can send a text or email lists, notes, and messages right from within Homeschool Planet to family members. How cool is that?

3. Homeschool Planet has widgets for everything. Really, everything.

We can complete our to-do lists in Homeschool Planet; in “we” I mean my husband and me. We are in the process of renovating a rental property. We don’t have a huge budget for it, so we track every cent we pay and we log in our next steps. It really helps keep us accountable to our goals.

My kids love that they can use the Homeschool Planet widgets to look up reference tools like a dictionary/thesaurus or search Google right from the planner’s site. I love to check the weather while I am on and read the Bible verse/inspirational quote on the screen whenever I turn it on. The planner can track and report class hours with a convenient clock icon that lets you see exactly which items you are tracking.

4. Calendars and reports are everything I need to keep my family on track and to stick to our schedules.

Each child is able to access their very own calendar and I can adjust it as needed. I clearly can see their calendars and what they have planned for the day. All of our appointments and game days are on the calendars. I truly love being able to see where our kids are at any given time and they like to keep tabs on me as well. The calendar system can hold my daily routines, chores, and activities while letting me view my kid’s as well.

The online planner has extensive reports to help manage grades, attendance, activities, and more. The report is filterable to obtain the exact information we need. I let Homeschool Planet handle these administrative tasks for me and it is a blessing on my workload. Rescheduling assignments are super easy, and I appreciate that so much. I can have one on one with a child if they are struggling, then re-assign a task to them. It keeps me involved and proactive in their learning.

5. I saved the best for last. Homeschool Planets have an ever growing list of lesson plans for any student.

The lesson plans are exclusively made for Homeschool Planet. There are over 750+ professionally designed lesson plans that we can select from. Each of the lessons is customizable to fit the schedules you have set out for each child. The lessons are printable and you can even print out free homeschooling worksheets for your kids to use offline.

Staying on track is as easy as a click of a button with Homeschool Planet. I only wish I would have known about it my first year of homeschooling.

Homeschool Planet keeps me on track at home and in my homeschool all one place, and it’s available 24/7/365 days a year. I already use it for school and for my home. I am seriously considering using Homeschool Planet’s planner online for my work as well. I will always be a pen and paper planner gal, but keeping organized and logging down my ideas, meetings, and deadlines sounds more and more appealing by the day.

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!

FREE Membership to Homeschool Planet (Contest for Existing Members)

By | Homeschool Planning | One Comment

We want to hear how Homeschool Planet works for your family!

Over the years we have heard from die-hard “Planeteers” who attest that Homeschool Planet has changed their lives. We have over 500 customer testimonials and 125 blogger reviews raving about our homeschool life planning software.

Would you like to win a LIFETIME SUBSCRIPTION to Homeschool Planet or even a FREE YEAR? Keep reading!

 

We are not looking for perfection, we want authenticity. We want you to record your video testimonial telling other homeschool moms how much you love Homeschool Planet.

Have you already submitted a written testimonial? No problem! You can still make a video letting others know what you like about Homeschool Planet and enter it for a chance to win.

You can submit your video throughout the month of February. We will choose 4 winners. This contest ends on 2/28/19.

Prizes:

  1. Grand Prize Winner: LIFETIME SUBSCRIPTION to Homeschool Planet
  2. Three Winners: ONE YEAR SUBSCRIPTION added to your account

You don’t have to be scripted (we would rather you be authentic!), no need to get your hair done, or lock yourself in a closet (but you may want to). We are looking for videos that will appeal to moms just like you. Have fun!

P.S. We are releasing some amazing new lesson plans this month.Our lesson plan marketplace continues to be a magnet for families who want to try us out. Cathy Duffy has raved about the features. Have you checked them out for yourself?

HOW TO ENTER THIS CONTEST

This contest is for existing Homechool Planet subscribers, AKA “Planeteers.” We are seeking quality video testimonials from real moms like you who love Homeschool Planet. Here’s what you need to do to enter to win.

Record a video testimonial talking about how much you love Homeschool Planet. Here are some ideas that you can use for good talking points:

  • Talk about how many children you homeschool, how long you have been homeschooling, etc.
  • If other planners have failed you but Homeschool Planet works, that’s good to mention. Please no bashing of other programs though. 
  • Mention your favorite features of Homeschool Planet and how long you have been a user.
  • If Homeschool Planet has benefited you in other ways of life (appointments, scheduling, grocery lists, etc.) be sure to tell us about it.
  • If you feel you cannot live without Homeschool Planet, let us know!

Please make this your own. The list above are merely suggestions, we really want you to be authentic and share your heart with us.

After your video is complete, you can submit it here. Please be sure to read through the submission guidelines found on the form and contact us if you have any questions. Contest ends on 2/28/19. The winning entries will be announced on social media and this blog post no later than 3/31/19 as well as contacted via email. Void where prohibited by law.

 

SUBMIT YOUR VIDEO TESTIMONIAL!

Why Staying Organized in Your Homeschool is Important

By | Homeschool Planning | No Comments

When I first started homeschooling I miscalculated my success rate. I was excited about the freedom that homeschooling would afford our family. I envisioned a wrinkle-free environment where my kids would willingly love learning from me, would be enthusiastic to be home, and would not face bullies or disenchanted teachers.

They received a determined mom in the beginning, but 6 months in, I was a momster momniac struggling to get through the day and to put dinner on the table. I realized that no structured order in my home meant utter chaos. Even in the freedom that homeschooling allows, some organization is exactly what we need to succeed and just frankly, not throw in the towel.

I decided that something had to give. I should have known better. As an early education teacher, I knew that every year, the beginning of the year needed to start with a set routine and a set of rules to follow before I even thought about teaching lessons. Why I thought schooling would be different for my own children just boggles my mind now. Well, we live and we learn.

The honest truth is that you can plan to “get organized” and take steps to plan your homeschool, but then the house cleaning flops or dinner doesn’t get done on time. Then what? It is important to realize that at that very moment we decide everything is too much, we also easily forget the very reason why we decided to homeschool in the first place.

In whatever space you find yourself in today, whether it be spending hours on one lesson that should have taken you 15 minutes or your laundry is piling up miles high, some organization will help you tremendously. Taking steps to get organized didn’t help me immediately, and you will see that it won’t have lasting effects either. Let me explain.

Usually, when I find myself out of sorts, I can trace it back to putting my MAIN priority in the back burner. My son is super hyperactive. Even with cutting out red dyes and sugar during the week, along with assuring he gets ample sleep time at night, he still can’t sit still for long periods of time. God love him, he would rather be knee deep in the dirt and playing rugby any day, especially during homeschool.

His reading lessons were taking me all day; it literally had me in tears. I couldn’t attend to his needs and deal with my home at the same time. I had to face the day knowing dinner wasn’t getting ready on time or housework wouldn’t be getting done the way I liked. My son was overwhelmed, I was a momster momniac, and my daughter was being ignored. Why did I think I would be soo good at this homeschool thing?

Oh, that is right! I knew that the Lord would get me through. I trusted, when we first made the homeschool plunge, that this was the Lord’s will and I trusted Him to finish the good work he started. If I knew that was true, then why wasn’t I turning, better yet running to him for help?

In my time with the Lord, I read about God being a God of order. I have talked to people about this plenty of times in the context of order during the assembly of believers. I knew that the Lord was meticulously detailed and exemplified order to us in his good word. I knew it was true for a body of believers but ignored that it might be true in my home as well.

God ‘s Word is everlasting and living water. It truly provides guidance for us in our everyday lives. He showed me that I could apply order to my home and homeschool. There would be blessing in the obedience to follow his word and guidance.

Paul advises the Corinthian church, “Let all things be done decently and in order” (1 Corinthians 14:40). If we stop for a moment to contemplate just how this applies to our life we would see that it would benefit us to bow the knee and ask the Lord to help us bring order into our homes.

God’s creation was perfect, the sun sets and rises without a change. His divine nature is weaved throughout the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. God’s blatant unfolding of order in scriptures lets us know that without it, chaos will soon follow.

A key to getting organized lies with the PLANNING stage. God was a perfect and good planner. God prepared a way for us and purposed us to be his handiwork (Ephesians 2:10). Having an understanding of his plan, along with how he establishes our steps beforehand (Proverbs 16:9), gives us a clear picture of how intentional we should be about organizing our home; the first ministry that was assigned to us.

The Bible as a whole is a great plan of salvation for us all, Ephesians 1:5 -6 tells us that God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.

I understood how it really does bring great pleasure to bless my children and home with a plan that will organize them both. Knowing that our good Father exemplified order for us helps us to submit the chaos to him and to establish an organized home. We know this obedience would please the Lord, and everything else will stem from that.

After realizing that he would be pleased with me seeking him first in my home, my next step was finding a tool to help me. Even the Proverbs 31 women needed help!

Homeschool Planet provides a planner that would help you keep your home schedule and homeschool organized. A few of our most popular features include automatic rescheduling assignments, having your home, school, and work schedules in one place, customizable grading/attendance/reporting, and daily/weekly reminders.

Homeschool Planet is an easy, flexible, full-featured online planner you can use on multiple devices and doesn’t require much effort to learn.

Check out Homeschool Planet to help you calm the chaos 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!