The Homeschool Buyers Co-op has been bringing discounted quality products to homeschoolers for more than 10 years. The business is run by a homeschool family that understands the purchasing power of the homeschool community. It is free to subscribe to the co-op and some of the benefits participants receive are access to great deals on products; free resources; SmartPoints that may be used toward future group purchases and an online planner, Homeschool Planet.
Homeschool Planet is promoted as being “everything you need to organize your home and your home school,”which for any homeschooler can be a valuable tool. If you are a homeschooler with a business, the planner may also work well with organizing that part of your life.
There are many features of Homeschool Planet, but some of the ones I really love are the following:
Ability to create a schedule for multiple family members.
Ability for any family member to access online.
Ability to easily shift incomplete items on the schedule.
Information in the planner can be e-mailed or texted.
Daily Digest e-mail sent to me about the day I have planned, which I may print for my convenience.
Let me say something before I continue. I am a “paper-girl” planner. I usually create my schedules using a table with rows and columns. I have tried other offline and online planners and my method has always been the most efficient. A planner is proprietary and does not fit the lifestyle of every individual. With my personal planner, I have been able to design it to work for me. I have to admit, Homeschool Planet has inspired me to move my planning online.
As our school moves toward a new year and our lives get busier, planning and scheduling really needs to be easy for me. I need simplicity in understanding and detail when it comes to creating assignments. Homeschool Planet allowed me to do both.
I think with any planner, the most time consuming activity is getting started with entering your data. It did take me some time, but it was easy to do. Over the past month, I have done a dry-run of our new school year including daily assignments for my children. At times, I have created more items for them to do, then they have had time for in a summer day. I try to plan at least through two weeks worth of assignments.
Being able to easily move things around online without having to move each item as I do when using paper is tremendous. You see, we often have days when I may overschedule, but the work still needs to be completed. In the past, completing the work has not been a problem, but moving the assignments around on my paper schedule was a problem, because it wasted a lot of time. I was basically creating a brand new schedule, every day that happened.
My children do use online programs for some of their school work. I was able to not only include their access information to use the program, but include a hyperlink for them to launch the program through Homeschool Planet. You can include links to online locations in their work assignments. I will have to say, that is a cool feature.
When I am out, I usually do not carry my physical planner with me. I am infamous for scheduling appointments, just to make sure I do not forget to make them, and then return home and have to make appointment changes, because they may conflict with another previously scheduled event. Being able to access my planner from my iPhone and see my calendar enabled me to make an appointment while away from home and be assured it was not conflicting with anything I already planned. When I returned home, I did not have to spend extra time updating my calendar with events for future days/weeks.
Along with assignments for school and life, I have projects I must complete for the work I do. Being able to include those deadlines in the planner kept everything regarding my life in one place. Juggling many pieces of paper with all of my schedules is no longer necessary. If I have the need to touch paper, I can easily print the Daily Digest that is e-mailed to me every morning with a list of all of everything I have planned for the day. I get the online convenience and may have my paper too!
I will have a high school student in the fall and he loves electronic everything. I can already see how Homeschool Planet will definitely be a benefit and will work well for my family. The independent skills it provides for your child to manage their schedule is a benefit for them as they grow in their independence.
Right now, I simply use Homeschool Planet for my convenience of planning our days, but look forward to incorporating it into all of our lives.
Another item from the Homeschool Buyers Co-op I had an opportunity to review is the All About Spelling Grade 1 lesson plan from the new Lesson Plan Marketplace. The marketplace currently has lesson plans for noted homeschool curricula companies in the subject areas of Bible, art and music, history, language arts, science and more. You can spend the time creating your own lesson plan or grab one that has already been carefully planned and available through the Lesson Plan Marketplace.
Homeschool Planet is available for $65 for a one year subscription or for $6.95 a month. You may also try Homeschool Planet free for 30 days if you would like to see if the planner will work well for your family before purchasing. If you sign up for a free one-month trial of Homeschool Planet during the month of June, you will receive a free lesson plan from the Lesson Plan Marketplace.
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