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Monday, July 13, 2015

Homeschool Planet - Review

My latest entry into the on-line planner world came courtesy of Homeschool Buyers Co-Op.

It was called Homeschool Planet.

It is a full service life planner that is on-line and can be used for your homeschool planning/lessons AND your regular life....stuff.

Now that I have turned into this older lady that is (occasionally) bewitched, bothered and bewildered by technology, I have not been a big fan of on-line planners.  I prefer paper planners.  I know, I know....old lady alert.

I am sure my affinity for paper planners comes from the fact that I do not have a smart phone that can hook everything in my life together and be carried with me all the time.

But, it is what it is.  I am not planning to get a smart phone anytime soon.  My little slider keyboard phone works just fine for me.

So, with all that said.   I still prefer paper planners, but Homeschool Planet did tempt me a bit with its breadth and simplicity...if that makes sense.

It has the capability to be a very thorough and all inclusive of the stuff going on in all 8 of our lives.  The stuff that gets a little jumbled up sometimes in my paper family calendar.  When we have written something in pen and then it gets changed, or someone's work schedule gets changed, so then we end up with arrows and scribbles crossing things out.

I loved the capability for each person to have their own color-coded stuff in the calendar.  I could even create the event/appointment and then click "All" if it was a family activity or just click individuals or even two of them for "Rainman" and "A-girl" when they had a golf lesson.

I liked that I was able to personalize my home/landing page with quotes, Bible verses, local weather information.  My favorite item on my side bar will not surprise any of you that know was the To Do list.

I LOVE a good To Do List, don't I?  I could type in all the phone calls I needed to make, the appointments that needed to be scheduled, and the chore changes that I had been thinking about.  The good news is that they were all in one place that wouldn't get lost in the shuffle amidst the clutter on my side table (where my papers normally go).

Since this was summer, I didn't get to use the homeschool planning part of this product, but I did take a look around and can see where it would come in pretty handy for quite a few aspects of our record keeping.

You can actually schedule lessons right in this planner, so their "stuff" is all in one place too.  And, as is prone to happen in homeschooling, things can get adjusted and changed to new days with just a few clicks of a button. (Again, the beauty of not crossing things out and drawing arrows to new due dates, etc.)

You can make things recurring with just a simple choice when you create it.  You can keep track of attendance.  You can keep track of grades.  Again...all in the same spot as you keep track of family doctor's appointment, your grocery list, and when the out of town company is coming.

You can also generate various reports from your Homeschool Planet planner.  Things like:  assignment lists, class notes, grades, class hours.

You can enable grading within the planner and then there is a Grading Helper available within the program that will help you keep track of what is waiting for grading (because yes, we homeschoolers do give grades, but we do sometimes forget).

You can even preschedule reminder message to be sent out that are connected to events or lesson assignments.  If you were a higher tech person than me, can you see how that would be a tempting option?!?

Where this planner tempted me the most was with its capability to print daily or weekly summaries so you can have a physical copy of what you have coming up.  I absolutely LOVE the fact that they give you the option of "economy" or "color" before you send it to your printer.  While I do love the color coding options for each individual person, colored ink is expensive, you know?

Here is a little video that gives you an overview of how you can customize this planner and make it work for you.....with the unique quirks and needs of your family.

Here is the good news for you higher tech people than me, you can try the planner for a 30 day free trial.  So, you can dig around inside the depths of this planner yourself and see how easy it is to connect all the aspects of your lives.  If you do decide to move forward with Homeschool Planet, you get a yearly subscription for $6.95/month.

Did I love Homeschool Planet?  Sort of.  As much as low tech/paper me can like an on-line planner.  So, I definitely recommend this one because I know I am weird and strange with my paper desires.

Want to know what the more tech savvy TOS Reviewers thought of Homeschool Planet?  Me too.  Emoji  So, go ahead and take a look and see what they thought!