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Science Curriculum

Learn From The Past. Explore The Future.

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Science Curriculum

Learn From The Past. Explore The Future.

Helping your kids learn from the past and explore the future is a tall order sometimes, isn’t it? 

Raise your hand if:

  • Your best ideas come in the shower.
  • Your kids feel like they know they are right, but no one will believe them? 
  • People in your family get grumpy when doing difficult science or math problems? 

Guess what! Your family has something in common with three very famous scientists! 

The Let’s Study Great Scientists, by Captivating Compass is the perfect online ‘curriculum included’ lesson plan on Homeschool Planet to help your family learn from the past and explore the future.

Don’t forget to check out the free offer at the end of this post! 

captivating compass

Use Museums To Study Great Scientists – No Matter Where You Are Or Where You’re Going.

I want to share a story with you. Maybe you will find answers to help eliminate the struggle you may be having with science and field trips in your homeschool.

As a digital nomad, homeschooling family, we travel quite a bit and use the world as our textbook. It is the ‘spine text’ for our homeschool.  But, after quite a few ‘family field trips’ to world-famous museums, I realized we were not well prepared for the level of knowledge and understanding of the people and places that made the museum famous. This surprised me, because we study science, history, geography, and everything else every day. What was the root of this problem?

I was finding that my kids seemed uninterested in the exhibits. Honestly the seem bored, or just walked around like zombies. They didn’t have an accessible and transferable understanding of what they were looking and interacting with. They struggled connecting science to its place in history. From a homeschool academic perspective I was frustrated that we were not meeting our academic goals. As a traveling family, it often felt like a waste of time and money to even go visit some of the museums. 

“Eureka!”

What I finally realized is that they were not so much uninterested, but they were overwhelmed. They lacked focus because they were being bombarded by so much excellent information at the museums, it became a museum and academic overload. They checked out. 

Becoming intentional in our museum visits became my top academic priority. Through research and careful planning, I found the most delightful resources. These became the core of the Let’s Study Great Scientist lesson plans.

Using these science resources before, during or after a museum visit, I found the kids responded with excitement and expectation of what they were going to see and experience on their next field trip. 

They had been given another peg on which to hang new science ideas. It’s exactly what they needed for the next level of deeper understanding of foundational science essentials that would keep them challenged and inspired to keep learning about the world around them.

The Importance of Understanding The Chronology Of Science

Studying the Great Scientists chronologically, by exploring their personal life history, is a remarkable way to study science in-depth. When history & science intersect, the understanding becomes exponential.  Ideas we take for granted now (like gravity, or a heliocentric planetary system), were revolutionary in their time period.  

Expanding on the history, and delving into the personal life of great scientists is the perfect way to learn from the past. Exploring the future becomes the next natural step, especially on science museum field trips, as the ideas of these great scientists are the foundations of continued groundbreaking modern science. 

Newton said it best…

Isaac Newton

Studying the life and works of famous scientists is an enjoyable way to immerse your family in the history, culture and daily living in which these early scientists lived.  Exploring their lives using quotes & copywork is a perfect way to cement all the swirling thoughts about science concepts.

The Isaac Newton Quotes & Copywork FREE Companion Resource

Science curriculum

The Isaac Newton Quotes and Copywork is a companion resource to use alongside your Let’s Study Great Scientists lessons.  This 20+ page download of Isaac Newton Quotes & Copywork includes short activities to create opportunities for discussion and to help cement science facts in a unique and creative way. 

Get your FREE copy of Isaac Newton Quotes & Copywork when you purchase any lesson plan from Captivating Compass that can be uploaded into your Homeschool Planet dashboard. 

Homeschool 101
January 13, 2020

How to Choose the Right Homeschool Science Curriculum

Please enjoy this article written by the author of Science Shepherd, Scott Hardin, MD How to Choose the Right Homeschool Science Curriculum A little over ten years ago, our family…
Science Curriculum Homeschool Planning
January 6, 2020

Learn From The Past. Explore The Future.

Learn From The Past. Explore The Future. Helping your kids learn from the past and explore the future is a tall order sometimes, isn’t it?  Raise your hand if: Your…
Free Printables
October 28, 2019

FREE Science Lab Sheet {for subscribers}

High School Electives Your Kids Will Love

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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.

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Essential Elements of a Homeschool Portfolio

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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!

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Homeschool Planning that Doesn’t Suck the Life Out of You

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Some of us are planners and some of us – not so much. I know some moms, including myself, who love order love to plan out the school year and get it laid all out for goals to tackle and achieve. On the other hand, I have heard some moms calling their planning period the month of dread. I know these moms can use homeschool planning that doesn’t suck the life out of them.

Have you ever felt as if homeschool planning sucks the life out of you every year or every quarter? If this time of year is especially grueling for you, it might be wise to try something new to make things so much easier for yourself.

As much as I love order and planning out goals for our homeschool, I have to admit it stresses me out – without fail – every time. So, I can imagine what someone who doesn’t love the planning seasons feels.

I picture a mom plopped down on the couch with stress written all over her face paralyzed with the fear of failure. This happens to me after the planning period. I buy supplies and get everything all planned out in my Homeschool Planet homeschool planner online, and then I plop down on the couch.

I wonder if all I have set forth for us is even possible. I don’t even know if the first weeks I planned are feasible. I wonder if we are doing too much then I wonder if we are doing too little. I wonder if we will go through the same struggles this year as last year and what do I do if I want to give up?

Then I come to my senses and remember that there are things I do that get me through.  Here are a few things that I keep at the forefront of my homeschool planning to get past it sucking the life out of me:

  1. Remember why you needed to homeschool in the first place.

I remember how many years I wanted to homeschool and my husband was just NOT on board. I have two degrees, and my husband just couldn’t understand why I would want to homeschool when I could be making money in a “real job.” It was tough when my heart was wanting to be with my children as they grow older. We cannot get back these years, we are doing what we feel is best for our home.

  1. Remain flexible and use your homeschool planning as a framework.

Like I said homeschool planning is good for me because I like order and it keeps me in line for the year. I use Homeschool Planet to plan my entire school year, specialized for my son and daughter. It does take me hours of building the framework then it just takes a few clicks on the Homeschool Planet organizer to build the year. The Homeschool Planet planner is super flexible, and you can reschedule assignments and due dates easily without losing the bird’s eye view of what needs to be made up and caught up on. There is like a method to the madness that is flexible enough to fit any crazy lifestyle of a homeschool family. We also don’t have school on Fridays which gives all something to look forward to, and it is nice we have the freedom to do that.

Homeschool Planet’s homeschool organizer and planner has truly taken any type of planning stress away and keeps everything in order for us.

Homeschool Planet’s planner online is a quick and easy planning system. My favorite features of Homeschool Planet’s online planner include:

  • Being able to create your school calendar in minutes utilizing semesters, terms, or quarters with an automatic and instant calculation of the number of school days per term
  • Easily clicking to create classes, assignments, field trips and appointments which are timed or untimed and single or recurring events
  • Adding, editing, or deleting weblinks to assignments for one-click access to online curricula and resources
  • Uploading PDFs to lesson plans for one-click access for your student
  • Creating, saving, and reusing plans with other children in the future
  • The automatic assignment generator is a savior and saves you tons of time
  1. Have an established routine in place for your homeschool.

When children automatically know what they need to do, the day flows smoother. There may be some outliers, maybe when grandma slips in some candy to the kids the night before or if someone is cranky that day. However, a routine schedule helps their stability and normalcy even if things get a little crazy throughout the day. We know if something comes up during the week, Friday is or make-up day and everyone is OK with that because they are prepared for it.

When I remember these three things have saved us year after year, I feel better. I know I can do it. I know I can make it one more year. Public school seems less appealing ad I am excited for the year to come.

What are your reminders to keep you going when you feel like homeschool planning has sucked the life out of you?

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!

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How Homeschooling and Homemaking Can Be Planned out More Efficiently

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The most efficient way to manage your homeschool and homemaking is to get your kids involved. Did you know that researchers in Harvard found that children who were given chores became more independent adults?  I totally believe this. I was pretty strict on my daughter when she was a teen. She had lots of responsibility as I worked full time and she was the oldest of three. It’s just what we had to do. She didn’t like it then, of course. However, things changed after she was out of the home.

One day, out of the blue, she called me from her apartment that she shared with some other college girls. She began to tell me how much she appreciated me giving her chores and making her learn how to do laundry, clean, and cook.

She said her roommates were super messy and even took their laundry to their parents on the weekends, not because their parents wanted to help but because they actually didn’t know how to do laundry. I had a moment of silence and almost cried. See, what we do in training our kids has a lasting effect on their lives.

Although our kids may hate doing chores, assigning your children chores goes way beyond you getting some help around the house (which is awesome too,  by the way). Many kids grow up and have to teach themselves basic life skills they could have easily learned while they were under your care.

If you are wondering if you should give your children chores, the answer is YES. Yes, you want your kids to enjoy their childhood but not giving them responsibilities is a great disservice to them as they grow older. I have read that chores are the best predictor of which kids were more likely to become happy, healthy, and independent adults. Let’s explore why.

Assigning chores to your children can help you plan your homeschooling and homemaking more efficiently.

Here are a few benefits to assigning your children chores:

Chores build confidence.

Kids feel confident when they do chores, especially when you show them how much it means to the family. Whether it’s making their bed or sweeping the floor, you are building your child’s confidence for them to know they are indeed capable of getting the job done.

Chores help with team building.

Kids aren’t just born into a family without responsibility. A family unit is a team. Working together will help your kids understand the value of teamwork and that they are crucial to making the home flow smoothly. Being a good citizen can stem from you giving your child chores This will also encourage participation in their future endeavors. They feel as if they can make a difference, and they can!

Chores help build life skills.

I was reading a comment on a blog where a daughter stated her mom did everything for her and her brothers. However, when she got older she had to learn life skills on her own. She said she is definitely giving her kids chores because not having them has negatively impacted her as an adult. One of the most evident causes of over-indulgence of adults is parents doing too much for them as kids. You want your kids to function well in the outside world, don’t you? Then equip them with what they need to survive out there. It starts with self-care, responsibility, and learning to do minimal tasks like iron, cook, and clean; all of which can be taught by assigning them chores.

Chores can help build your child’s self-esteem.

When your child completes a chore, it gives you the opportunity to praise them for a job well done. They can be struggling in a subject or not doing too well at a sport they love, but even in little things like contributing to the home can give them a sense of feeling appreciated. I honestly, love to notice one of my children’s chores done well. I make sure they know how much I appreciate it. They love to help mom and know that mom appreciates their help.

If you don’t assign your kids chores just yet, incorporating them into your homeschool day can be the best way to introduce them to your kids. It truly is our job to prepare our kids for life. We have so many opportunities to include our kids into taking care of the home that it would be wise for us to plan it out.

Homeschool Planet has a built-in option for you to make sure your child can incorporate chores into their homeschool day. It is quite useful and helps kids to know that chores aren’t just another thing to do but are part of what they do during the day. Chore time can be counted as school time which may shift your child’s perspective some.

Homeschool Planet offers a chore and household organizer that can be tailored for each of your student’s calendar. When your child logs in, they will be able to see their weekly or even daily schedule and what chores you have assigned them for that week or day. Making chores a part of their daily routine will help you manage your homeschool and homemaking easily.

It may not be easy at first to get your children to want or to even enjoy doing chores but it is worth every effort to prepare them for life.

I wanted to share a few tips they may help you include chores to better manage your homeschooling and homemaking plan:

  1. Use Homeschool Planet to organize your homeschool and your homemaking schedule all in one place.
  2. Count chore time as school time so that your child will not see homemaking as something they dread but as something they contribute to.
  3. Choose age-appropriate chores.
  4. Set a certain time for your family to complete chores during the day.
  5. Make sure to show your family how much you appreciate their contribution to homemaking.
  6. Try to also do your chores at the same time as your kids. Work alongside them, it will really help motivate them and YOU to make it part of your daily routine.
  7. If at all possible, try to make homemaking fun. Make it a race or give awards for weekly accomplishments both in homeschool and homemaking.

There is definitely a way to make Homeschooling and Homemaking Planned out More Efficiently. It takes some effort and it takes involving kids no matter what their age. Being efficient in your homeschool and homemaking takes the whole family. Plan out your homeschool and homemaking schedule with Homeschool Planet’s organizer and take the stress out of trying to handle it all on your own.

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!

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Easy Homeschool Portfolios with Homeschool Planet

By | Homeschool Planning | No Comments

I am so grateful we still have the right to homeschool in every state in America (and in other countries like Canada and Australia).  Although we can freely homeschool, there are some parameters we need to adhere to that vary from state to state or country to country for that matter. No matter what state or country in which you live, an amazing tool to capture your child’s education is a homeschool portfolio. You can easily create an all-encompassing homeschool portfolio for each of your children with Homeschool Planet’s digital homeschool planner online.

If you are in the U.S., each state has developed its own legal structure for home education. One state’s homeschooling requirements and laws may look completely different from another. It would be beneficial for you to take a glance over at the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) website for insight and laws for each state. Some states don’t even have reporting requirements which is amazing! Yet it leaves you with a decision of whether to keep a homeschool portfolio or not.

If you ask most veteran homeschoolers, they would tell you that keeping stacks of documents and physical files containing your child’s work over the years is just not efficient. It is, however, wise to keep a digital homeschool portfolio of your child’s work in the event you ever need proof of progress — for whatever reason. Even some youth sports teams require a record of progress to be allowed to play or participate.

What do you do, as a homeschool family, if you have nothing to show in regards to your child’s academic progress? It isn’t hard to do, but Homeschool Planet makes it even easier. Whether your state has strict reporting laws or doesn’t have any at all, Homeschool Planet provides an easy portfolio with everything you need in one place.

Let’s start with a few items that need to be included in most reportable homeschool portfolios:

• Transcripts of grades
• Photos and videos taken
• Reading Logs
• Field Trip Logs (and written documents of kids after field trip)
• Lesson Plans
• Attendance records
• Artwork
• Assignments
• Community Service hours
• Curriculum used
• Work samples

Having to keep a record of all this can be truly overwhelming. Yet, Homeschool Planet has a means to gather all this information, all in one place, all throughout the year. Homeschool Planet has the power of the computer with the convenience of paper. Homeschool Planet is intrinsically designed to make homeschool organization and accountability easy, mobile, and flexible for the whole family.

Homeschool Planet is a household organization and homeschool management tool that truly can fit any homeschool approach your family follows (i.e. Montessori, Charlotte Mason, strict curriculum based, etc.). Even if you take a more naturalistic or organic approach to homeschooling, keeping a homeschool portfolio through Homeschool Planet is a perfect way to log in all your children has learned to fulfill your state requirements no matter what your teaching style.

Homeschool Planet has the ability to produce all the following criteria easily for a portfolio to use either for your own use of record management or to satisfy any state requirement record.

Here are some Homeschool Planet features that can go into your homeschool portfolio or will help make your homeschool portfolio complete:

  • Printable daily or weekly assignment and activity checklist
  • Customizable, professional Report Cards and Transcripts to print or save to a PDF
    Note: Transcripts are fully customizable with spots for activities, honors, and standardized test scores. Enter previous information for a complete picture and choose the scales and weights for your GPA.
  • Printable completed or uncompleted assignment and activity lists
  • Printable professional reports of Class hours for both Core and non-Core subjects
  • Color and black & white economy printing
  • Extensive reports to help you manage grades, attendance, activities, and more
  • A filter system to create reports that include exactly what you need, and only what you need with Homeschool
  • Planet’s comprehensive and customizable reporting capabilities
  • Grade Reports (summary or detail)
  • Capability to compile all Class Notes
  • Tracking your books and resources
  • Track and report class hours (includes a convenient clock icon that lets you see exactly which items you are tracking)
  • Automatically computes percentages of grade entries
  • Group individual classes together for a single grade. For example group Spelling, Literature, and Grammar classes together for a single Language Arts grade.

If your state requires you to have a portfolio evaluation, Homeschool Planet takes the fear completely out of that process. You can print all the documents you need right out of Homeschool Planet, should you need hard copies for your evaluation. The print-outs all fit nicely into a 3-ring binder, file box, or accordion folder. You truly do not have to worry about putting together a portfolio last minute, since Homeschool Planet keeps all you need in one place for you. Even if you need a portfolio right where you are in the homeschool year, it is no problem to have one readily available right in Homeschool Planet with just a few clicks.

Some states give parents a form to fill out and submit. However, in many areas, portfolios are recommended and often even requested for college admission. Homeschool Planet’s online homeschool planner delivers all you need to easily make a homeschool portfolio for one or all of your children in no time at all.

 

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!

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Organizing Your Family Schedules all in One Place

By | Homeschool Planning | No Comments

I think that moms should get a degree in juggling. We juggle home life, mom life, being a wife, and for some of us working from home; we should be considered part of a circus juggling act. Do you ever wonder how we manage to do it? Sometimes it’s just too much and we let a ball drop, or two. Keeping track of all your family members, especially as the kids get older, can seem like a winless battle. Wouldn’t it be nice to organize your family schedules all in one place?

As an adult, I have always been really organized. Order in my life brought me joy. Things were always so crazy around me that I liked to come home to peace and cleanliness—and enjoyed a neat desk. Once I finally was able to work from home and homeschool, things pretty much were flipped upside down. It was a shocker for me. Why weren’t things perfect like I imagined they would be?

I thought things would be amazing once I was able to stay home with my kids, but staying home opened up the door to more responsibility and more time to do more. It was tough. People came out of the woodworks asking if I could take them places or babysit their kids, we had doctor’s appointments, chores, grocery shopping, co-op, and I was torn in all different types of directions.

Keeping our family’s schedule straight can feel impossible at times, it seemed that way for me for a while. We, as busy families, could use a tool that has everything we need, when we need it and all in one place. I found one that works perfectly for my family and I know it can do the same for yours.

Homeschool Planet’s online planner can manage your home, school, and work schedules and—it’s also available 24/7/365. Once I discovered all I could do with Homeschool Planet to organize my day, weeks, month, and year, I was hooked.  I use a paper planner for meeting notes and to jot down ideas for my freelance business, but Homeschool Planet’s planner online is what I use to schedule my work appointments, deadlines, homeschool assignments, and everything else with my home.

You can access Homeschool Planet from any smart device, making it easily accessible and adjustable for busy days. At the beginning of the year you can schedule the whole framework for your next 365 days, then adjust it for your children’s classes, assignments, chores, field trips, sports practice, doctor appointments, and music classes all in ONE convenient location.

Although Homeschool Planet’s online planner can be accessed all online, each family member has a separate login where you choose what they can view and edit. We often use the Mobile Version on our phones to know our plans for the day and we can easily organize our day to ensure we accomplish everything.

After I have chosen my curriculum for the year and done research on what I want my kids to learn, I can easily create our school calendar year in only minutes.

Homeschool Planet’s Ultimate Calendaring System can hold your entire family’s activities while letting you view all your kid’s calendars simultaneously. You can also select to see only a couple schedules at a time or one student schedule at a time. The flexibility of Homeschool Planet’s calendaring system allows you to efficiently organize your students’ schedule, have an overview of what it looks like in the week (day or month as well)  in order to plan life accordingly.

I now know that if I try to keep on top of everyone’s schedule, I will fail at some point or I will stress myself out in the process. That is why I rely heavily on Homeschool Planet’s ability to communicate and share information between our family members. Each child can be sent assignment reminders by email or text to independently keep on track of their learning. You can even message your kids or husband reminders of chores or items they can pick up from the grocery store right from the Homeschool Planet’s platform.

Homeschool Planet changed our lives in such a functioning and productive way.

I thought I was going to lose it for a moment a few years back, but Homeschool Planet was able to keep my head above water and save me so much time to focus on work and homemaking.

I no longer have to follow up with my children on not doing their required assignments. They clearly know what is due and when it is due. Homeschool Planet helped my life get back into order and operating in an organized manner. I love that my Google Calendar syncs to my Homeschool Planet calendar since sometimes my appointments may coincide with co-op or my scheduled chore days. I can easily adjust and reschedule directly from the site.

Organizing my life on Homeschool Planet has been a game changer for my family in work, school, and home. I am able to see what our schedules look like as a whole, schedule in time for cleaning (for everyone), and get the flow of working at home and homeschooling in order once and for all. I am back in my happy place of some type of order in the home.

Life still isn’t perfect, in fact, it still can get slightly chaotic, but we have an organizing system that never lets us steer too far off the path. Organizing our whole family’s schedules all in one place has brought us closer together and more connected. Homeschool Planet’s organizational systems can help you do the same.

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!

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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!

Homeschool Planet The Big Picture button

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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Homeschool Planet How to Stay on Track button

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!

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