As I mentioned in February, I’m slowly transitioning to a paperless system for my organization needs so as to hopefully, over time, create less clutter and save time. So, when asked to review Homeschool Planet, I decided that maybe this was my time to take the big leap into digitally organizing my homeschool plans.
However, I had three important questions waning at the back of my mind that I wanted to know the answer to BEFORE I agreed to review this online homeschool planner, because as I always share with you, I only review products that my family finds useful. If it wasn’t going to be useful to me or if it was something that I would honestly not use after a review, I didn’t want to review it. What were my three questions?
- Would it meet my needs more efficiently?
- Is it the best online planner available for the cost?
- Is it worth the cost?
Well obviously, if I’m sharing this review, then you know that the above questions were answered in the affirmative. But, before I leave it at that, let me tell you a little bit about what I was looking for, and then you can determine for yourself if Homeschool Planet might be a good fit for your homeschool too.
My Planning Style
To begin, I like to plan a year in advance so when a new day arrives we can get up and go. With this plan of action my children are not relying on me to complete lesson plans the day or week before. I also like knowing exactly what our goals are to complete the year before it ever begins. Thus, when choosing a homeschool planner, having a mass assignment entry and auto-assignment bump feature was very important.
I also want to teach my daughters to become more independent with their school work as they get older. Since both girls have iPods, it would be nice if the online planner had a student log-in portal or app so that the girls could access their daily assignment checklist on a mobile device without having to use one of my devices. This would also save us the time and money it took to print daily checklists.
Finally, I wanted to be able to have a multiple student assignment scheduler so that I could assign family assignments once instead of over and over again for each child. After all, one of the reasons I’m wanting to go digital is to SAVE TIME, and a multiple student scheduler would greatly help with this.
And, wouldn’t you know it–Homeschool Planet allows me to do all of these and more.
7 More Highlights of Homeschool Planet
In addition to meeting the above needs, once I delved into the Homeschool Planet, I discovered several gems that were icing on the cake in regards to an online homeschool planner.
- You can sync your Google Calendar in Homeschool Planet so that you can see both your homeschool assignments AND your day’s activities in ONE window.
- Assignments are color coded. Nothing attracts my girls to wanting to do school more than lots of color. In addition, it sure makes explaining assignments to a new or non-reader much easier. “Let’s do the green assignment first.”
- You can keep track of attendance, grades, AND assignments on ONE website. Some online planners allow you to do one or two of these tasks but few actually allow you to do all of these in one place for which I am very thankful.
- You can view the calendar in a daily, weekly or monthly view. Believe it or not, very few online planners actually offer all of these options, and I personally love my monthly view for getting the big picture.
- You can personalize each person’s profile with a profile pic. I know this isn’t much, but there is just something said for seeing my little girls’ pictures while I’m planning for them. It makes it easier for them to choose their own profile too.
- You can select your school days with a simple click of a button. Homeschool Planet’s school year calendar was by far my favorite when it came to determining our school year for 2015-2016. You could see the entire year at a glance and select or un-select certain days with just the click of a button.
- You can personalize your dashboard experience to include everything from to-do and shopping lists (which you can text or email yourself later) to weather updates and even daily Bible verses. It’s the little things like this that make this planner stand out from the rest.
So Which is the Best Online Homeschool Planner for you?
In short, it depends on what features matter most to you. For my planning style and our needs, Homeschool Planet won hands down. But, if access via multiple devices, a student portal, and a multi-student planner ARE NOT important to you then you may find another planner that fits your needs better.
For details on my complete online homeschool planner search as well as a comparison chart to better help you determine which online planner is best for you, check out this Online Planner Infograph.
Yes, there is no perfect planner out there, but with all the different options available, you are bound to get pretty close with Homeschool Planet. Try out their free 30 day trial (see detail #1–no credit card is required) to see what I mean. Happy planning!