Video Tutorials

Getting Started

Watch the video or click the plus sign for a brief written synopsis on how to use Homeschool Planet’s top features!
You are going to love online homeschool planning with your new Homeschool Planet account!!!

A Brief Overview (7:36)

Watch a short video describing the features and capabilities of Homeschool Planet.  This is the video that appears when you sign into your planner the very first time.

A Brief Overview

The heart of Homeschool Planet is the calendar. From here you can manage your home life and homeschool schedule together. View your schedule in various ways a day at a time, a week at a time, or a month at a time. You can navigate the months forward and backward by using the arrow keys on either side of the month, or select a specific month/year to display by clicking on the month name. The planner view shows your schedules as a list perfect for printing.

Choose to show or hide the weekends by clicking the white box with the “S” on either side of the days of the week. You can even choose whether they show on the left or the right by going to settings>general>time and date.

Schedule classes and other activities by clicking on the calendar. So many options exist with Homeschool Planet:

  • Choose a subject from the standard list or customize your own class title.
  • Assign classes to one student or several students under the “for whom” box and manage assignments both jointly and individually.
  • Choose from a wide variety of scheduling options under the “when” tab, schedule events for a particular time, or to occur at no particular time.
  • You may even choose a custom schedule, with a class scheduled for different times on different days.

The lesson plan lets you repeat assignments that repeat every day using the “Every class day, do this…” tab and individual assignments that you implement one at a time with a much text as you like. Homeschool Planet can automatically create a numbered series of assignments for you by clicking the “more options” button. Using a program with web content?  Add clickable weblinks to assignments for easy access to online materials. On the Notes tab you can add notes and chose whether they are visible to students, yourself,  or both!

Perhaps the most helpful feature of Homeschool Planet is the ease in which you can rearrange your lesson plan. Drag and drop assignments or use the tools in the More menu to combine different days lessons, split some lessons off to the next day, or shift them out by several days. Remove days from the schedule when plans change and add them back when they change again. If there are multiple students in the class each can progress at his or her own place, even on shared assignments.

The grading feature lets you assign grades to your student’s assignments, collect those grades into customizable categories, and then weight the contribution each of those categories to the final grade determined by a customizable grading scale. You can choose different categories and weights for each class. If you want to combine the final grades of several classes such as Spelling, Vocabulary, and Composition into a single final grade for a subject area such as Language Arts you can group classes together for grading. On the calendar mark off completed assignments with check boxes.

Each morning the rescheduling helper checks your schedule and shows you any assignments from previous days that were not marked as complete. You can check them off as complete or have the helper carry those assignments forward and automatically adjust the rest of your schedule to accommodate the change. You can also call up the rescheduling helper on demand by using the Helper tab at the top of the calendar, and have it include today’s assignments too, if you like to do your rescheduling at the end of the day.

To make managing your classes even easier you can set up your school year under the settings tab by choosing school years. Choose the dates and days that you normally hold classes and add holidays easily from a list. You can further customize by removing those days you don’t wish to do school and choosing whether the holiday is a day off from school. A convenient counter shows you how many school days your have selected for the year. Mark individual days off for vacation or sick days and Homeschool Planet will offer to adjust your schedule automatically.

Do you have children that respond well to bright stimulating color? Or do you like to save ink and print in simple black and white? Choose your preference and then print your schedule in color or economy black and white, by using the print tab.

Display a single student’s calendar by choosing the tab “show calendars for” and you can print custom schedules for each child.

In the family profiles you can add and crop a photo of each person if you would like. Enter a cell phone for someone and you can send them reminders by text. Enter an email address and not only can you send them messages and reminders by email but you can choose to have a daily digest and a weekly digest sent to them. The digests are emails that contain a summary for each person’s daily or weekly calendar. The digest we send to you, if you choose to receive one, will contain everyone’s calendar.

Each student can have his/her own password and login. When they login using their password they will see a limited version of Homeschool Planet which gives them permissions to view, edit, see or assign grades, and make changes as you have specified for each person.

Track attendance for each student too! A summary of the student’s attendance is always in their profile. You can update the record there.  You will also see a checked box each day on the calendar with your student’s name, so you can easily mark attendance as you go.

Around the edges of the calendar are areas for widgets, which are small windows that expand the power of Homeschool Planet. You can choose from several widgets, including daily quotes, multiple to do lists, multiple shopping lists, and a convenient look up widget that lets you search simultaneously on multiple reference sites for information, products, movies, books, even recipes. Add as many widgets as you want and resize and rearrange them as you see fit.

This has just brushed the surface of Homeschool Planet. There are even more features available and we are continually improving and expanding on its capabilities.

First Steps (2:16)

Learn about a few recommended first steps you should take with your new subscription to Homeschool Planet.

First Steps

  1. Click on the calendar.
  2. If you prefer to have your lessons and activities at a specific time each day, click on the bottom portion of the schedule where the times are.
  3. If you prefer to have your lessons in a certain order but not at a set time, click on the top box below the days of the week.

Either way you will see a prompt asking you to set up your school year.

  1. Choose- OK, let me set up schedule in the dialog box that appears.
  2. You will be directed to the settings page.
  3. Choose start and end dates for your school year and the days you usually have classes.
  4. Add holidays you want from the pull down list.
  5. Pick days to remove for vacations or other days off by clicking on dates.
  6. In the create a class screen you will set up your subject, student and when the class will be scheduled.
  7. In your lesson plan for the class, you can schedule what assignments and activities you want to plan for each day.

Planning your school year is important, because it gives Homeschool Planet the information it needs to reschedule your days automatically when needed. Homeschool Planet will check each morning and see if there are unfinished assignments that need to be rescheduled.

Lesson Plan Overview (4:31)

This video gives an overview of Homeschool Planet with special emphasis on using lesson plans.  We have another video (below) that just focuses on using lesson plans.

Lesson Plan Overview 

With Homeschool Planet you can manage your homeschooling and your homelife together on one calendar. You schedule classes throughout the year on days you normally teach them and schedule individual assignments with them.  Each class is associated with a subject of your choosing and can be scheduled for a single student or for multiple students. For example, arithmetic is scheduled five days and history is scheduled for three days, and it is shared by multiple students and language arts is scheduled for a single student. Along with your classes you can schedule doctor appointments, sports practices, and all the other events you need to keep tabs on. Homeschool Planet is remarkably flexible!

Perhaps the best part of Homeschool Plant is how easily you can rearrange your schedule when life does not go according to plan. The homeschool helper checks everyday for overdue assignments and lets you easily reschedule them by adjusting the rest of your schedule automatically. And you can edit your classes anytime moving things forward, back, and rearranging them as needed with the click of a button.

When planning your school year, one of the most difficult and time-consuming tasks can be choosing which topics to cover, what assignments to assign, and the schedule for all of it.  That is where Homeschool Planet Official Lesson Plans come in. If you have acquired one of the Homeschool Planet Official Lesson Plans you will find it under the Lesson Plan tab from the pull-down tab on the left hand side. Lesson plans contain the schedule of assignments for a curriculum along with links to associated resources and grading recommendations. Use a homeschool lesson plan to schedule a new class on your calendar based on that information by selecting the “apply this lesson plan” link. You will answer a series of questions to customize the lesson plan to your needs. If you are just starting out with Homeschool Planet it is best to set up your school year as the first step, which will save you time when scheduling classes and will also enable the attendance tracker and grading features.

To set up your school year go to settings, school year, choose the first and last days of the year, and the days of the week on which you normally hold school. You can add holidays from the list and add and remove individual days by clicking on them.  If you aren’t exactly sure when your school year will be don’t worry you can come back and change the information at any time. When you got it the way you want, choose save.

Next, select subject for the class. You can choose “add a subject link” if your subject is not listed. You are free to use whatever subjects you feel fit your homeschool needs best.

Now, you will choose the student you want to assign this class to. Select that student. If you are just getting started with Homeschool Planet you can add your students by the “add a family member” link.

Next, choose the dates and times on which you want this class to run. You can override previously chosen days if you wish. You also can choose when you want the class to run. You can choose a specific time or leave it as no particular time if you schedule is more flexible.

Some lesson plans have suggestions for grading set up for class. You can choose whether or not you would like to use it.

Homeschool Planet then builds your new class from the lesson plan. When you click ok your newly added class will show up on your calendar. It will now function as any other class. If you edit the class you will see all the assignments have been laid out for you with all the resources and grading information you need for the class.

The Homeschool Planet Lesson Plan Marketplace is growing every week. Let us know what plans you want to see next.

The Basics

Classes (4:07)

Watch the video above or follow these steps to add classes and assignments to your calendar:

Getting Started With Classes

 

  1. Click on the calendar on the day and time you want to begin the schedule for the class,
      Or, click on the day in the all-day section at the top.
  2. Choose “Class” in the dialog that appears.
  3. Select the subject for the class from the Subject menu.
  4. Choose the student or students who will participate in the class in the For Whom menu.
      (Don’t include yourself – you’ll still see all the classes on your calendar).

Choosing the Schedule

The default schedule for classes is once per week, on whichever day you clicked to begin. The Starting date, and the start and end times, are also taken from your initial click. If you clicked in the all-day section at the top, the class will be set to have “No particular time”. The class is initially set to have no end date.

  1. To change how often the class occurs, choose an option from the When menu.
  2. To change the Starting date, click on the date field and select a new date from the calendar that pops up.
  3. To change the start or end time, click on the clock icon next to the time, and choose the new time from the pop-up.
    • If you change the start time, the end time will automatically update to keep the same duration for the class.
    • Changing the end time will allow you to change the duration of the class.
    • If you choose an end time earlier than the start time, the field will be shown in red, and you will be unable to Save your work until you choose a new time.
  4. To choose an end date for the class, click on the Until field, and select a date from the calendar that pops up.
      You don’t need to choose an end date now. You can edit the class later and choose an end date.

Entering Assignments

  1. There is a row for each day on which the class is scheduled in which you can enter an assignment for that day.
  2. To add more assignments to a day, choose “Add another assignment to this day” from the “More…” menu.
  3. The top section is for recurring assignments. Assignments entered here will appear every class day.
  4. You can hide the recurring assignments from the list by unchecking the “Show recurring items” checkbox.
      (the recurring items will still appear on the calendar)
  5. Rearrange assignments by dragging and dropping them.

Multiple Students

When you have more than one student in a class, some additional features are available.

  1. Assignments entered on the Shared Assignments panel will be assigned to all students.
  2. Assignments entered on an individual student’s panel will be assigned to only that student.
  3. The shared assignments are also displayed on each student’s panel, marked by a special icon.
      You can hide them by unchecking the “Show shared items” checkbox.
  4. You can edit the text for a shared item on a student’s individual panel and the text will be unchanged for the other students.
  5. You can drag and drop shared items on a student’s panel. The assignment will remain on the original date for the other students.
      Shared assignments that have been rescheduled for a student will have a red exclamation point over the icon.

Assignments (9:25)

Watch the video above (9:25 minutes) to learn about the features for creating and managing your class assignments in Homeschool Planet.

Assignments

This will explain how to add assignments to your classes in Homeschool Planet and explain the features available for managing and updating your assignment schedule.

To add assignments to a class first create or edit a class. The assignments for the class are listed in the lesson plan section at the bottom. To add an assignment for a particular date simply click in the box for that date and start typing. You can add as much text as you want in multiple lines if necessary. To start a new line just push the enter key. You can add more than one assignment each day also, choose “add another assignment to this date” from the More menu, for your convenience you can also press control/enter by holding down the control key and pressing enter after typing in one assignment, to automatically add another assignment for that day.

You can also attach web links and other resources to an assignment from the More menu for the assignment choose “add a web link” or “assign a resource”. Watch/read the tutorial “Getting Started: Resources” for more details about this resource.

Although Homeschool Planet sends everyone you select a daily digest each day with a summary of the days schedule sometimes you need a separate reminder for a particular assignment. You can add one through the more menu item “add a reminder”. You can send the reminder to anyone in your family, not just one of the students. If you want to add an additional message click the add a message link and type the message link and type the message into the box. Additional reminders can be added with the add another reminder link and reminders can be removed with the red X. Once you have entered your resources or reminders you can hide them by clicking the close icon. Of course, you can view them again by clicking the icon again.

It is up to you how far ahead you want to schedule your assignments, a day, a week, or a year. Or if you’d like simply use the assignment list as a record of what you did each day. One very important thing to know it that the lesson plan section displays only a limited range for the dates of your class. Initially, the range for one week in the past to a couple of weeks in the future are shown. You can change that range by clicking on the from/through and choosing a new one from the pop up. Note this only controls what part of the class is displayed in the lesson plan section.

To change the actual schedule of the class chose “Change schedule” link in the top section. The box labeled “containing” limits the list to showing only the assignments which contain the text you entered. This can help you locate a particular assignment or can be use with the “edit” option to make changes at once to multiple assignments.

Click the edit link and use the from/to and containing fields to select the assignments you want to change. The check boxes on the left allow you to further limit which assignments are affected. When the right set of assignments is listed and checked use the find/replace options to change the wording with all of them. Or use the “delete selected items” button to delete them all.

At the top of the assignments are controls for creating a series of assignments all at once. In it’s simplest use you can enter an assignment that you want completed on every day of the class and click the add button. That exact text will be repeated on each day of the class for the rest of the school year. If you select more options, you have more choices for generating assignments. First you choose the situation that best describes the assignments you want to add.  For example, the first option “I want to repeat the same assignment over a range of dates” you will be able to change the day on which the new assignment will begin and end. If you prefer you can choose a beginning date and the number of school days and Homeschool Planet will figure out the ending date for you. You can change the number of assignments you want on each day. You can have the assignments for ever other day by entering a 1 in the “How many school days you want to skip in between assignments (if any)”. Of course, entering a 2 would skip 2 days so you have assignments every 3rd day and so on. You can also choose to exclude specific days. For example, if you have a vocabulary quiz every Friday you might want a study vocabulary assignment everyday except Friday. Notice that as you make changes to these values Homeschool Planet automatically updates the ending date or number of school days to match. If you entered the end date Homeschool Planet adjusts the number of days. If you entered the number of days Homeschool Planet adjusts the end date. If you have chosen the number of days but then your other choices would make the assignment span past the last date of the class, the number of school days will be highlighted to alert you that they won’t all fit. Once you have the setting that you want chose the next button at the bottom.

This next screen will allow you to enter the description of your assignments. It works just like the rows of the lesson plan including the ability to add resources from the More menu. As you make changes you will see a preview of what will be created at the bottom of the window. When the preview looks correct choose ok to have them added to your lesson plan.

The other choices in the assignment generator let you automatically number assignments or distribute long reading evenly over several days and more.

You can update your schedule in many ways. The easiest is just to drag assignments to a new date. You can also reorder assignments within a day if you want. This method leaves all the other assignments unchanged.

Other schedule changes are available through the More menu on the right. The most common choice is “split here and shift assignments down”. That moves the chosen assignments and any that follow to be one day later in the schedule. Assignments on the following days are also shifted to make room. If you need to move your schedule out much more that one day you can choose “shift entire schedule out from this day forward” and select another day in the further. The assignments from the original date are moved to the new date and everything after is shifted forward to follow.

Sometimes you want to move assignments earlier like when your student gets ahead on his/her work. You can use “merge this day with the previous one and shift following assignment up” selection to move assignments. It moves all the assignments on the selected day to the previous class day, and then shifts all the following assignments earlier by one day as well.

Sometimes after shifting your schedule around and moving things back and forth you find that there are gaps in your schedule. An easy way to fix that is “eliminate gaps in the schedule from this day forward” that moves all the assignments that follow forward as necessary to make sure there are not days with out assignments. Assignments that were together on a single day will remain together after that move.

Shared assignments~ When two or more students share a class, you can create assignments under the shared assignments tab which will list the assignments for all the students in the class. You will see the assignments under each students tab. It will be identified by a share assignment icon. You can also enter an assignment for one student under the student tab. Since students don’t always work at the same pace you have two way of changing shared assignments. Changes made on the shared assignments tab effect all students. If you make the change on the student’s individual tabs though only that student’s assignments are changed. The shared icon will change to an out of sync icon, so you know your students are on different schedules now.

Grading (3:40)

Watch the video above (3:40 minutes) for an overview of Homeschool Planet’s grading features.  A more detailed video can be found in the “Advanced” section below.

Grading, Part 1

1. After you have created a class click on the grading tab.
2. Click on the set up grading tab.
* Choose the grading scale you would like to use.
* Place a check mark next to the categories you would like to use. You can edit the categories if need be by selecting the add/edit categories.
* For each category you checked, enter the percent (0-100), that category contributes to the final grade of the class. Example: Homework (30), Test (70)
* Make sure the percentage equals 100 %.
* Then select ok.
3. Once you select ok, you will see that there is a new category on the Lesson plan under assignments. In addition to seeing the categories that you created you will see one that says not graded, you will use that for activities that need to be checked off but not graded.

Attendance (1:36)

Watch the video above (1:36 minutes) or follow these instructions:

Attendance

  1. To enable attendance tracking for a student, first open that student’s profile (see How To: Edit a Student’s Profile).
  2. Next, select the “Attendance” tab on the left:
  3. On the attendance tab, check the “Track attendance” box

The controls for recording attendance will appear. There is one section for each school year you have set up (new sections will be added automatically as you create new school years in the future). At the top of each section is a summary of the attendance for the school year. The first column shows the number of school days elapsed so far, and how many of those were marked as present or as absent. The second column shows the number of school days remaining, and the third column shows the totals of the first two columns.

Below the table is a calendar showing all the days in your school year. To save you time, Homeschool Planet automatically marks students as present each day. To mark your student as absent on a particular day, just click on that day to turn the green check to a red X.

You can use the “Print” button, to the right, to print a copy of the summary table for your records.

Once you set up attendance tracking for a student, you will find that Homeschool Planet puts a checkbox on the calendar to make it convenient to mark attendance each day. There is also a small calendar icon to the left of your student’s name; clicking that icon brings you directly to the Attendance tab for that student.

Resources (3:12)

Watch the video above to learn about the features for creating and using resources (e.g., textbooks, websites, etc.) in Homeschool Planet.

Resources

  1. Record the resources used for a class, by choosing Resources from the menu on the left.
  2. Add a resource by clicking the Add resource button.
  3. Choose what type of resource you want to use. Each resource type allows you to add the information relevant for that type of resource. The required fields are marked with an asterisk. Enter as many or as few as you would like.
  4. For books, Homeschool Planet will fill in the information when you enter in the ISBN number and choose the Look up ISBN button. Once the information is loaded you can edit it as you like.
  5. Press Save.
  6. The list of resources can be sorted and grouped different ways using the button to the right of the resources tab.
  7. You can also search for a resource using the search field.
  8. You can edit or delete a resource using the edit/delete buttons on the right.
  9. The plus buttons next to the Titles gives all the information about the resource that you entered.
  10. When you no longer need a resource you can edit it and mark it as archived. This will hide it from your resource list but, keep it in your planner for your records. You can click on the Show archived resource box anytime you need to access your resource.
  11. When creating or editing a class you can use the resource tab to add resources used by the class. Each resource assigned to the class will be displayed in the calendar everyday the class appears.
  12. You can limit how long the resource appears by changing the from and to dates. Or you can choose not to display it on the calendar at all. If you change your mind you can remove the resource from the class with the red x.
  13. If there is a resource that is for a specific assignment you can add it by picking the add a resource from the More menu. This resource will be displayed below the assignment on just the one day the assignment appears.
  14. One resource that you might use often is a website. You choose web site option in the resource type. It will automatically check the archive button so it will not show up on the resource list or another assignment.
  15. To print a list of the resources, go back to the resource page and click the print button.
  16. You can make some layout choices using the controls on the left. When it looks the way you want it, hit print.

Lesson Plans (2:57)

Watch the video above to learn how to apply lesson plans to your schedule and use them.

Lesson Plans

  1. If you acquired one of the official Homeschool Planet Lesson Plans, you will find it in the Lesson Plans on the pull-down menu on the left side.
  2. You can use it by clicking on the Apply this lesson.
  3. You will select the subject for this class. You can use the add a subject link if the subject you want to use is not listed.
  4. Choose the students who will use this class. Hit next.
  5. Choose the dates and times you want this class to run. Homeschool Planet will warn you if there are not enough school days to fit the assignments in the lesson plans. You will be given options on how to schedule the assignments. Click next.
  6. Some lesson plans have suggested grading. If you are not using Homeschool Planet to track your grades we suggest you choose no. Otherwise we suggest that you use accepted the suggested grading.
  7. You can make changes to your grading once the class in on your calendar, and that is easier that trying to set up grading here.
  8. Homeschool Planet then builds your new lesson plans , when you press ok it shows you your new class on that you can treat just like any other class. If you edit the class you will see that all the assignments, resources, and grading information that you will need.

Family Profiles (1:58)

Watch the video above to learn how to set up profiles for each of your family members in Homeschool Planet.

Family Profile

You can add or update profiles for family members by clicking on the My Family link on the left side of the page.

To add another family member click the add icon and you will receive a blank profile, the only requirement is that you add a first name to the profile. But, you can add additional information to allow different features for each family member.

For example, if you choose to add an email for a family member you can choose if they receive a daily or weekly digest. The digest will show a daily or weekly summary of assignments. You can also send them emails within Homeschool Planet using the messaging widget or schedule reminders from your calendar to be sent to them by email. You can also enter their cell number to sent text messaging reminders directly from the widget.

You can upload a picture for each student and the photo will display under the home page under the My Family link. You can crop the photo and even change the order of your students by dragging and dropping the photos. If you make a mistake and add an extra student you can click on the x at the top of profile’s icon and delete it.

There are two other tabs under the My Family link, attendance and login. You can learn more about these by watch the tutorials How to Track Attendance and How to Create Logins for Your Students.

Student Logins (1:43)

Watch the video above, or follow these steps:

Student Logins

  1. Edit the student’s profile, by clicking on his or her picture in the “My Family” panel and choosing “Edit Profile”.
  2. Select the “Login” tab, on the left side of the profile window.
  3. Make sure that the “Allow this student to log in” box is checked.
  4. Enter a unique password for this student in the Password field.
  5. Initially, students are allowed only to view their own calendar (and to mark assignments as completed).  You can allow them to edit their own calendar, and to see or edit other students’ calendars, by checking the appropriate boxes at the bottom of the Login tab.
  6. Also initially, students have access to the “widgets” feature, allowing them to select and configure any widgets they choose.  You can disable the widgets from the student’s login by unchecking the “Allow this student to see and update widgets” box.

Searching (2:24)

To search for classes, assignments, or activities on your calendar use your search key on the top right of your calendar page and simply type in the word or phrase you are looking for.

Searching

  1. If any word or phrase matches on the current date it will be highlighted on your calendar and the rest will be dimmed. You may have to scroll down to see any matches on your calendar. Back in your search box you can use the left or right arrows to see the next date on which there is a match.
  2. You can end the search by clicking anywhere on the page that is not the search results.
  3. If you click in the search box again your previous search will be restored. If you want to search for something else you can begin typing and it will replace what was previously there.

You can also choose advance search/list results. This will take you to the search screen which you can also get to from the pull down tab on the left. The current list results will be listed at the bottom.

  1. The classes/activities list has that have your search terms in the descriptions and date or dates on which they are scheduled.
  2. The assignments list show the assignments in which the search terms exist as well as the class holding the assignment and the date of the assignment.
  3. The resources lists shows the resource with the search term along with the date or dates and the classes using them.
  4. Clicking on any dates on any list will take you to the calendar page for the date and open the detail window for the relevant class. You can return to the search results by closing the search window at the top left.
  5. Clicking on any class name will open the class in the edit class window.
  6. You can also search by student name, subject, or category.

Advanced

Grading, Part 2 (6:11)

Take a deeper dive into Homeschool Planet’s flexible and powerful grading features.

Grading, Part 2  

This will give you a more detailed view of the grading feature. We recommend that you first watch/read the basic tutorial named Grading, Part 1.

In Homeschool Planet assignment grades are organized into grading categories. For each class you can choose which categories to include and how to weight them to produce a final grade for the class. The grading categories are configured from the setting in the grading tab. Homeschool Planet comes with a handful of built in grading categories but you can change them and add others to suit your needs. The list should include all the categories you might use for any of your classes. Later for each class you can use which of these are relevant for that class. You don’t have to figure all this out at the beginning you can add more categories later as you are setting up your classes.

There are three grading scales in Homeschool Planet, standard letter grades, standard grades with plus or minus, and pass/no credit. You can choose between the three separately for each class. Under the scales tab you can choose how you want percentage translated into letter grades for your classes for each of the three scales. For example, if you choose 90 for an A a percentage 90 or above will be an A grades 80-89 would be a B., etc. If you change the 90 to a 92, 92 and above would be an A, 80-91 would be a B.

Grading is not enabled for a newly created class until you go to the grading tab for the class and you select “set up grading”. You will see a list of grading categories. Check the ones you want to use for this class. Each category will contribute a percentage to a final grade of the class. Enter your percentage in boxes of categories you checked, they must add up to 100 percent.

Once grading is set up a category column will appear next to your assignments. For any assignment that requires grading change the selection from not graded to the appropriate category.

It is sometimes convenient for scheduling to split a single subject into multiple classes, but still produce a single grade for that subject. For example, you might follow several curricula for math each at a different time of day or different days, but you still want one grade for math. To accomplish that use the grouping tab when setting up grading on any one of the classes. Choose the “create a new group” button and select the classes you would like to group together. Note that all the classes that you group together must use the same grading categories and percentages. For grading purposes their assignments are treated as if there were all in one big list.

Some people might prefer to think of each individual class in the group as having its own categories and percentages. And then want another set of percentages of combine the classes together for a grade. To do that in Homeschool Planet you will need to mere the two kinds of percentages together. To combing 2 math classes, Logic and Algebra 1, they can each have their own categories and percentages then the desired grade for math is to be 30% Logic and 70% Algebra 1. To get the same effect in Homeschool Planet we use a common set of grading categories and combine the percentages. For example, for the Logic, homework is worth 50% of the contribution with the Logic class weight 30% weight results in a 15% value under the new Logic Homework category because 15% is 30% of 50%.

One final note on grading, any changes you make to the grading set up applies to everything in that class. Even old assignments from possible previous school years. If you have unfinished assignments that you want to carry over from one year to the next use the copy feature to create a new class for the new year. It will give the option to copy just the unfinished assignments.

Once you have set up grading for a class there are three ways to enter grades for assignments. Each day the Homeschool Planet grading helper will list all the completed assignments waiting to be graded. You can type a grade into the box or you can click on the icon to enter the choser, where you can select the grade you want with a click. You can have Homeschool Planet calculate the grade by entering the total number of correct answers and total number of answers in the fields at the bottom and select calculate. Homeschool Planet records your exact entry and converts it to a percentage shown in the grading helper for use in calculating the grades of the class.

You can call up the grading helper anytime from the Helper menu at the top. You can also enter grades for a single day’s assignments by clicking grades link on the calendar. That also launches the grading helper but restricts the list to that class on that day. You can see and change all the grades for a particular class by editing the class and going to the grade tab again. At the bottom is a list of assignments whose due dates have passed. Initially the list shows only those assignments awaiting grades. But, you can change that by unchecking the box “show only ungraded assignments”.

Sharing Calendars (1:59)

Sharing Calendars with Other Applications Using Share in

Share in allows you to display a calendar from another internet calendar application such as Google Calendar or Apple iCal on your Homeschool Planet calendar. You can add many such calendars and for each you can choose which students will see that calendar when the student logs in. Before you begin this process you will need to find the internet address for the calendar you wish to add to Homeschool Planet. Look for the instructions title “Finding the Share in Address” specific to your calendar application on the Homeschool Planet help site.

To display events from another calendar inside Homeschool Planet follow these steps-

  1. Under the settings menu choose share.
  2. Select Share in tab if it is not already selected.
  3. Click on display scheduled events from another calendar in Homeschool Planet.
  4. Enter a name for the calendar in the name for this internet calendar field. You can choose anything you want. Homeschool Planet will display this name to you when referring to this calendar.
  5. Enter the address for this calendar for the URL for this internet calendar.
  6. Choose a color for this calendar. All events from this internet calendar will be displayed in that color with no highlighting and with square corners to make them easy to identify.
  7. Choose which students will be allowed to see this calendar when they log in. Only the students for whom you have enabled log-in in their student profile will be shown on this list.
  8. Choose save.

The events from this internet calendar will be displayed on your Homeschool Planet calendar. The information is updated periodically throughout the day and each time you log in to Homeschool Planet. It may take several minutes for a Google calendar to appear as Google updates when it decides to update! Please give the calendar the time to load.

Sharing with Google (1:01)

This video shows you how to find the URL you need to display yours or someone elses Google calendar in your Homeschool Planet calendar.

Finding the Share-in address with Google

To Share and display your Google calendar events in Homeschool Planet you must first find and copy the address that Google provides for this purpose.

  1. To find it- first visit your Google calendar page. In the left column locate the calendar you want to display in Homeschool Planet.
  2. Click on the menu icon.
  3. From menu, choose calendar settings.
  4. On the settings page look down the left column past the calendar address section to the section labeled private address- That is the one you need.
  5. Click on the green button labeled iCal.
  6. The pop up window has the address you need.
  7. Copy it by highlighting it with your mouse and using the browser’s copy function.
  8. You will now be able to paste that address into the bower’s URL for this internet calendar in Homeschool Planet’s share in feature.
  9. Hit save.

Deleting Days (2:16)

What do you do when life happens and you can’t teach your class on a given day?  Watch this video to learn severals ways you can reschedule that class with just a few clicks.

Deleting Days

When you have a class or activity that repeats such as a history class that occurs every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday- occasionally you might want to move a single day of the class, leaving the rest of the schedule unchanged. Suppose you want to remove a class from the schedule you can edit the class, find that date on the list of dates, and then in the More menu (right hand side) for any of the assignments choose “Remove this date from the schedule”. You can either eliminate the date or shift all the assignments down by one day to accommodate the change. Back on the calendar you will see that the class has been removed.

Should you want to restore it you can edit the class again from one of the remaining days. You will use the More menu on the date that you want to have restored and choose “Restore this date to the schedule”. Note that in this case the assignments are not moved. We leave it up to you to decide if you want to move assignments to earlier dates. To do so you will go to an assignment on the next day and in the More menu choose “Merge this day with the previous one, and shift assignments up”. You are given the choice whether to move all assignments for all students or only shared assignments. Normally you would choose all assignments. Make sure to click ‘’Save”.

There is another convenient way to remove a class from a single day, you can click on the class day you want to eliminate, you will then choose delete, a dialogue box appears with the options deleting class entirely (every day), for deleting in for future days (every day going forward), or the choice deleting just this day. This has the same effect on the class and assignment schedule as the other method.

The Lookup Widget (0:53)

Our Lookup Widget is a convenient way to simultaneously search a number of Internet resources for information on a particular subject. Studying Abraham Lincoln?  Use the Lookup Widget to simultaneously search Wikipedia, Amazon, and Google for information on Abraham Lincoln.

The Lookup Widget 

The Lookup Widget combines search results for multiple websites in one convenient location. To start-add a new widget to the widget area and select lookup from the pull-down menu.

Click “where do you want to search” to choose which results you would like to include. Results with sites marked with the square/arrow and pointing finger symbol are opened in a new browser tab. But most results appear right here in the widget.

Some sites like dictionary/thesaurus have additional search options. Say you wanted to look up a word using a dictionary and Wikipedia- simply check dictionary and Wikipedia from the list and type the word in the search box. Click the search button and the results will be displayed below.

You can maximize a widget and collapse an individual group of results. Click on a result to visit the originating site.