was successfully added to your cart.

Cart

Category

Homeschool Planning

Homeschool Planet Summer Activities for kids button

5 Summer Science Activities Your Kids Will Love

By | Homeschool Planning | No Comments

Summer is the very best time of year to try out some new science activities. Going outside is a must, so experimenting with some fun science activities is one of the best ways to get some learning in during the summertime. Explore these 5 summer science activities your kids will love – and you will love that they are actually learning.

Some families homeschool year-round with a few breaks throughout the year. Others take a summer break or sporadic breaks for vacations or around specific events. Homeschooling allows us the freedom to be sporadic, to adjust, and to do what works well for our families.

Whatever school year you choose to have, summertime seems to be a period when your students can do more outside. It is just the perfect time to do some goofy, funky, let’s-get-dirty homeschool science activities outdoors.

What is great about science activities, especially during the summer, is that they can incorporate other subjects like writing, and nature studies which make for fun learning that defeats the summer slide.

For those who don’t know, the summer slide is the phrase used to describe a slide backward many kids make in educational skills during the summer. Encouraging your child to dedicate time to summertime learning, with a splash of fun and laughter in it, brings educational benefits and lasting memories. Especially when returning to a regular schedule after the break.

Help your kids experience a summer full of fun activities they will enjoy! These 5 summer science activities your kids will love are a great way to start:

  1. Ocean currents science experiments

Spark curiosity in kids to find out more about ocean currents, like the East Australian Current, and how they are formed. This ocean currents science experiment is a fun way to see currents form right before your child’s eyes.

  1. Raise a native butterfly in your backyard

Head outside and learn how to raise a few native butterflies from the caterpillars in your very own backyard.

  1. Make your own Mentos geyser

Is a childhood, really a childhood without making a Mentos/soda explosion? I think not. The best thing about this experiment is that scientists aren’t exactly sure what causes the explosion. This leaves room for hypothesis and research for your kids.

  1. Cold chemical reactions exploration

Kids can explore chilly science experiments on a warm summer day. This makes a fun way to cool down and learn about science while playing. Kids will love this.

  1. Water science: water pump sprinkler

Learn about centrifugal force while building this simple pump. It will help kids understand machines such as washing machines and vacuums.

Homeschool Planet holds Lesson Plans, and some curriculum for, the following science programs which incorporate fun science activities your kids will love:

Nancy Larson Science This is a complete hands-on elementary science curriculum with challenging content that engages elementary-age students and is easy to teach. This curriculum works with lessons in a logical sequence, building vocabulary, making language arts connections, and review/assessments.

Apologia Elementary Science Apologia’s Elementary Science is a creation-based science curriculum taught with a Christian worldview. Apologia develops curriculum to help families cultivate a biblically sound approach to all thought and experience.

Apologia Science 7th-12th Grade – Apologia’s Science 7th – 12th grade is a creation-based science curriculum taught with a Christian worldview. Apologia develops curriculum to help families cultivate a biblically sound approach to all thought and experience.

Berean Builders – Berean Builders is a hands-on, multilevel elementary science series that introduces scientific concepts using history as its guide. Because each lesson is built around an activity or experiment, it is engaging for all K-6 students. In each Berean Builder course, students are reminded of the Creator who fashioned the marvels they are studying.

The Good and the Beautiful Science – The Good and The Beautiful resource aims to teach advanced academics while kids learn wholesome, robust literature with easy to follow, low prep, and low price high-quality curriculum. The Good and The Beautiful Science units are faith-based but focus on only fundamental Bible principles, allowing all Christians to use the units and add in their specific beliefs along the way.

Supercharged e-Science – The Supercharged e-Science Curriculum is self-guiding, so your kids can do it on their own. It is also very hands-on, so they are engaged in exciting lessons doing real science as real scientists do in the lab. Your kids will learn more science AND enjoy it more in 2 months than they would from a typical year of “traditional” science education.

Birds in Our Backyard – Introduce your children to the wonderful world of birds in their back yards and give them a greater understanding of our environment in the process. They will have fun, connect with the natural world, and make many fascinating discoveries.

BJU Press Science – With the BJU Press Science curriculum, your children will learn to explore God’s creation, investigations of our universe, the structure and inhabitants of the earth, along with the mechanisms of cells and atomic reactions.

LIFEPAC Science – With LIFEPAC Science, your students will develop observational skills as they study the created physical universe. There are four intriguing significant strands of this particular curriculum which include Life Science (plants and animals, human anatomy and personal care, biology), Space and Earth Science (geology, weather, space), Physical Science (chemistry, physics), and the nature of science (scientific method, experimentation, technology).

The Magic School Bus – The Magic School Bus is an educational resource full of science facts alongside fun, engaging, and entertaining lessons. It is a great hands-on learning and educational science kit for boys and girls that encourage STEM learning for ages 5+.

Rod and Staff Science – Rod and Staff Science curriculum provides a robust and solid foundation to science topics and concepts. The material is presented in story form, describing science concepts and facts in the context of a rural community with a Christian point of view. Experiments are simple and consist of materials you can easily find around your home.

Thinkwell Science – Thinkwell core curriculum subject areas taught via video-based learning materials. They give educators and students all the tools, technology, and content they need to succeed.

Study.com Science – Study.com has engaging self-paced online science courses in biology, chemistry, physics, environmental science, and more. The program helps students study for exams, earn college credit, or boost your grades.

Have you figured out what science curriculum you will use next school year? Are you trying out any cool science experiments this summer? Drop some science activity links in the comments section to share with other homeschooling families.

 

 

Homeschool Planet Unit Studies button

How Unit Studies Can Enhance Your Homeschool

By | Homeschool Planning | No Comments

The core subjects in homeschooling are a given. Math. Science. Reading. History. We know we have to teach them. Unit studies can definitely break up the monotony in your homeschool. Aside from changing up the normality of your instruction, unit studies can also enrich your child’s education. Learn how unit studies can enhance your homeschool and make things a little more interesting for the kids.

A unit study is also called a thematic study. This type of instruction derives from choosing a topic or a theme, then designing a learning experience around that topic or theme.

Unit studies allow you and your students to think outside the box to find ways to tie different subjects together. What is interesting about unit studies is that they are built in the same manner that our brains are built to work. Like unit studies make connections with other subjects to build on a child’s knowledge base like a web., so our brains work to build connections between the information that we learn also like a web.

Much of how students learn is by way of building links between something they already know, to something new. We often don’t even realize how the brain is making the connections, but it is. When a child first learns how to write letters, it is because they first knew how to build a line, how to hold a pencil in their hand, and have seen it done before.

In using unit studies, many subjects are pulled together to create connections that make it easier for children to internalize and remember. Unit studies help students learn in a way that can help them in real life situations and problem-solving skills.

Research has shown that unit studies allow students to retain 45% more information than by using a traditional learning approach alone. A conventional approach to teaching is definitely necessary. Core subjects are needed, but a unit study weaved into your homeschool can truly bring many benefits.

Unit studies can enhance your homeschool by teaching your children how to work together.

Whether you have two kids or many, unit studies, allow for them to work together effectively. Unit studies work well for multiple-child, multiple-age learning in the homeschool setting. A unit study can get your older kids working with the younger kids, and younger kids will learn from what the older ones are sharing.

Young children can draw pictures, while older kids can write a story. There are many films that families can watch together to build a unit study around. Kids will practice taking turns, listening to each other, and even work projects together and present them to you together.

Unit studies can enhance your homeschool by teaching for more in-depth knowledge.

Although you may use textbooks and workbooks now and again, they tend to focus on specified information. I use them for some subjects myself throughout the year. Learning facts about a subject on the surface is way different than learning them deep enough to bring about knowledge that lasts. Learning Algebraic Equations can get pretty dry and challenging. Learning about where it came from, why we learn it, and child geniuses who “get” it, can build a connection to motivate a student to learn the subject more freely.

Unit studies can enhance your homeschool by teaching what your child is interested in.

When a child shows interest in a topic, and you can build on that topic through all types of subjects, your child is more likely to be intrigued by the lessons. If your children are taking music lessons and love it, then that is a sure fire way to utilize a unit study.

Your child can write an essay about the history of the instrument. They can explore the areas in the globe that is known for that instrument. You can study the music, search for math problems that use instruments as an example, read and do book reports of a famous artist who use the instrument, and explore how they are made for a science project.

Learning through unit studies can transition our kids to a mindset that thinks broadly about a subject instead of narrowly. Seeking connections to find solutions is a skill that many young students aren’t being challenged to explore.

Homeschool Planet has well over 100 lesson plans for all types of curriculum. They also now are carrying more and more types of exciting curriculum for home education along with the customized lesson plans.

Homeschool Planet holds unit studies with customized Lesson Plans for you to use in your homeschool. Here are a few you will love:

Clever Dragons

Clever Dragons is a learn-and-play platform for young boys. A team of educational experts, including teachers, academics, and homeschooling parents, developed the “learn with fun” concept of Clever Dragons.

Kids will learn with watching fun videos that teach everything from Math to Science to Spanish!

Homeschool Planet online lesson plans are customized for the following:

Clever Dragons Grades K-1  For Grades K – 1

Clever Dragons Grades 2-3  For Grades 2 – 3

Clever Dragons Grades 4-5  For Grades 4 – 5

Always Ice Cream

Learning can be super fun with Always Ice Cream. Always Ice Cream is a learn-and-play platform for young girls. A team of educational experts, including teachers, academics, and homeschooling parents, developed the “learn with fun” concept of Always Ice Cream.

Kids will learn with watching fun videos that teach everything from Math to Science to Spanish! Watch fun videos that teach everything from Math to Science to Spanish!

Your student can do fun things like running their own shop, design clothes, furniture, and artwork.

Homeschool Planet online lesson plans are customized for the following:

Always Ice Cream Grades K-1  For Grades K – 1

Always Ice Cream Grades 2-3  For Grades 2 – 3

Always Ice Cream Grades 4-5  For Grades 4 – 5

Homeschool Adventure- Bible Unit Study, Walking with the Waodani Lesson Plans AND Curriculum!

Walking with the Waodani is a Homeschool Adventure Bible unit study that will introduce your family to some of the most amazing people and places, meals and markets, animals and agriculture, and worlds and worldviews of the country of Ecuador — as experienced through the eyes of a homeschool graduate.

Homeschool Planet online lesson plans are customized for the Walking with the Waodani – Adventures in Ecuador  For Grades 6 – 12.

When kids take interest in something and you build lessons around that interest, their motivation will skyrocket. Knowing the ins and outs of a topic can broaden a child’s knowledge base for deep and lasting understanding. Getting your children to work together in learning builds strong relationships and also broadens the knowledge base through information sharing. Each of these can enhance any homeschool exponentially.

Will you be using unit studies this year in your homeschool? Are there any unit study topics you want to share or have questions about?

Homeschool Planet Charlotte Mason Methods Blogspot button

4 Components of the Charlotte Mason Method

By | Homeschool Planning | No Comments

Charlotte Mason described her approach to education as, “… an Atmosphere, a Discipline, and a Life.”  This quote, in and of itself, is the basis by which all Charlotte Mason stylistic teaching has derived. Whether you are a new homeschooling family or you are looking for new approaches to homeschooling, it is worth exploring these 4 components of the Charlotte Mason method.

Charlotte Mason’s style of education promotes a focus on the training of attention and habits. This typically included letting children read loads of great literature, being in the natural world, and encouraging critical thinking in students.

This method of educating children is rich in the natural course of learning and thinking. It is intriguing in so many ways, some of which include short lessons to keep a child’s attention on the topic, and nature studies as to spend much time outdoors discovering the world around them.

Children who learn the Charlotte Mason way holistically absorb information, making a well-rounded student. There are many aspects to this approach which help the whole child in becoming an independent thinker and productive adult. These are just a few components that help make this method effective.

4 Components of the Charlotte Mason Method

Living Books

Charlotte’s method incorporates living books into your child’s education by an author who has a passion for his topic, making the story “come alive.” No textbooks are allowed in the Charlotte Mason approach but instead, the style focuses on first-hand experience, autobiographies, biographies, classical writings, scriptures, and poetry for children to glean from.

Copywork

Charlotte Mason carefully selected copywork that created good thoughts to meditate on and fostering ideas. Most sources of copywork should be found in the living books that the child was currently reading, scripture, poetry, and quotes.

Narration

In this sense, narration includes the way by which you realize a child has learned. When a child can retell what they heard or read, the information has successfully been stored in their memory and becomes their own. Narrating what they have learned from each subject is found to be telling of comprehension and knowledge acquired.

Art and Music Appreciation

Charlotte Mason encouraged students to study one composer per term to learn about their history, life, and artwork. She believed that studying art, music, and the ones who created them, would foster a balanced education and a well-rounded child.

A Charlotte Mason style of homeschooling lends itself well to use Homeschool Planet’s homeschool planner as a homeschool organizer and homeschool record keeping tool. For instance, using living books as the primary source of text in reading can get challenging. Keeping records on this volume of text can be taxing for busy families.

With a reading list and scheduling widget, Homeschool Planet easily organizes your child’s reading schedule. It can capture how many pages each child needs to read a day to be done by a specific date. Instead of you having to track every book, every page, and chapter, Homeschool Planet can be customized so that your child knows exactly where they need to be and when.

All you have to do is plug in the number of pages on the reading log, and by what date your child needs to complete the book and… Viola!

To ensure short lessons, as recommended by Charlotte Mason, you can set timed lessons on the Homeschool Planet homeschool planner online to ensure kids never go too long or get distracted.

Homeschool Planet’s homeschool planner online keeps some organization to your child’s education while allowing the freedom for you to choose precisely what your child needs to learn and activities for them to do.

The homeschool organizer is perfect for busy families and encourages your child in accountability, time management, and independent learning – perfect for a Charlotte Mason style homeschool education.

If you are a Charlotte Mason homeschool family, then check out the Homeschool Planet lesson plans for The Good and The Beautiful curriculum.

The creators of the curriculum intensely studied many different philosophies for years and compiled what they felt were the best elements from several different theories, pulling mainly from Charlotte Mason.

The Good and The Beautiful resource aims to teach advanced academics while kids learn wholesome, robust literature with easy to follow, low prep, and offers crazy low prices for the highest quality curriculum.

You can explore the Homeschool Planet customized lesson plans for The Good and the Beautiful curriculum here:

The Good and The Beautiful History

The Good and The Beautiful Science

The Good and The Beautiful Penmanship

The Good and The Beautiful Language Arts

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 Why Art is Important in your Homeschool Blogspot button

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!

Homeschool Planet History Curriculum Choices Blogspot button

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!

Homeschool Planet Math Curriculum Choices Blogspot button

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!

Homeschool Planet Planning that doesn't suck the life out of you Blogspot button

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

By | Homeschool Planning | No Comments

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!

Homeschool Planet Planning more Efficiently Blogspot button

How Homeschooling and Homemaking Can Be Planned out More Efficiently

By | Homeschool Planning | No Comments

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!

Homeschool Planet Making Lesson Planning Simple button

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!

<