Monday

Online Homeschool Planning: Pinterest and Homeschool Planet

Technology to Help Plan and Prep Your Homeschool

This post contains affiliate links. I appreciate your support of my blog. See full legal disclosure here. I received a subscription to Homeschool Planet for free, and I'm being compensated for my time to write this review. All of my opinions are my own as I am not required to write a positive review.

Homeschooling in the 21st century is an exciting time. With the advent of technology, home education is becoming more accessible to the masses and easier than ever for those of us already homeschooling.  I’m starting a new series about how to use technology to help you, the homeschool parent, prepare and plan your homeschool.


I love using technology especially when it comes to planning. I use Pinterest to do my big picture planning and recently started using Homeschool Planet as my detailed, daily planner.

Using Pinterest for Homeschool Planning
While Pinterest is best known as a place to find home improvement projects and recipes, it is a perfect place to use as homeschool planning as well. I didn’t start out using Pinterest this way, but as I began to pin more and more homeschool related things, I soon realized that it was the solution to help me remember those random book recommendations that other homeschoolers suggested, curriculum that looked really cool to use one day, or blog posts that inspired and helped me. Here are three tips to help maximize Pinterest’s potential when planning your homeschool year:

1. Be specific with your boards. I break my homeschool boards down into narrow categories. For example, science is broken down into specific topics such as chemistry, botany, astronomy, etc. History is divided into specific time periods and subject matter. This allows me to quickly find things that fit exactly with our homeschool studies for the year without having to scroll through 100 different pins on one general science board. When I began planning and need a specific book, activity, or video, the first place I check are my Pinterest boards for ideas {sneak a peek at how my Pinterest boards are organized}.

2. Think about the future. I quickly realized that Pinterest was great for planning far into the future. Even though my oldest is just entering the middle grades, I still pin things that look interesting for high school, and when my oldest was in lower elementary, I was pinning things for upper elementary and middle school. I have discovered this was invaluable because once Grace hit the middle grades, I already had curriculum, books, activities, etc. already waiting. If I’d tried to remember all of that, I would have failed miserably.

3. Maximize the description box. I recently started making the description box on each of my homeschool pins much more user friendly for planning. I now try to include grade levels, ages, or reading levels for any curriculum or books that I pin. For example, I recently pinned a creative writing book I am thinking about possibly using for Grace in the near future. When I pinned it, I added in the description that it was intended for grades 3 and up. Now I can tell with one glance exactly which grades the book can be used, without clicking on the pin. By doing this one simple act, it has really made my planning time much shorter.

Using Homeschool Planet for Planning
While I prefer doing my initial planning on paper, once I get a final plan I prefer to use an online planner because it’s so easy and simple. I’ve tried a handful of different online planners, but there are definitely some huge benefits for our family that are found in Homeschool Planet.

1. It allows me to input shared classes. So this just might be my favorite feature of Homeschool Planet! Instead of having to enter the same class separately for each of my kids, I can enter it once and tell the program that both girls will be doing the class. Then in the assignments I can differentiate anything I need the girls to do separately. This is super helpful since we combine for science, history, and geography. I only have to type things once and with a click of a button it shows up on both girls’ assignment sheets.

2. I can use it on my tablet. While not all the features are available for the mobile version, the most important part is available: our schedule. I can open Homeschool Planet on my tablet and instantly know exactly what is assigned for each child in our homeschool. This makes life so convenient for me since I don’t need a print out to keep up with everything. School can go with us anywhere we go and with Grace being involved in some outsourced classes this year, I know that having Homeschool Planet at my fingertips will be super helpful.


3. I can schedule their chores. Not only does Homeschool Planet keep our school work organized, but it also lets me add each child’s chores to their daily list as well. This makes our chore system super easy to implement since I have no need for any extra cute charts or printables. One sheet of paper contains it all, from school work to their responsibilities around the home.

4. I can customize exactly what I want it to do. Utilizing all the features of Homeschool Planet allows me to create shopping lists, family appointment calendars, book lists, to do lists, etc. all in one place. While I don’t use every feature they have, I do use a lot of them. It makes things so handy to have everything all in one digital place, so when I need to run errands, I’ve got all of the information I need at my fingertips. No more having 10 pieces of paper to keep track of or a big binder to carry around of a paper planner.

5. It saves me TONS of time. So I'm kind of known among my friends and fellow homeschoolers for my intense planning method of pre-planning our entire year. Thank goodness for Homeschool Planet because it saves me hours when I'm ready to input everything for our year. It does all the work for me at one click of a button. It can repeat assignments. It can divide long term assignments. It can manipulate your plans almost any way you wish. As an example, when I input an entire year's worth of work for both of my girls this year, it only took me one hour. Love it!


By using Pinterest and Homeschool Planet, you can easily use technology to plan for a year of homeschooling. If you don’t have a Pinterest account already, go sign up! If you want to try Homeschool Planet, Homeschool Buyers Co-op offers a 30 day FREE trial so you can see how awesome digital planning can be! And while you are there, sign up with the co-op for great group buys exclusively for homeschoolers!

How do you use technology to plan your homeschool?
Chelli

2 comments:

  1. I'm thankful for your recommendation of Homeschool Planet. I decided to get the free trial, and I like it so far. I can't say, however, that I've been able to input all of our plans for the year in an hour. My fingers don't go that fast! But I do like the flexibility of it and I'm glad I'll have daily printed sheets of the kids' assignments.

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