Friday, June 23, 2017

REVIEW: Homeschool Planet by Homeschool Buyers Co-op

It was my pleasure to get to review Homeschool Planet by Homeschool Buyers Co-op once again!


WHAT IS IT?

Homeschool Planet is an online digital planner that allows you to track a variety of needs for your home and homeschool. 

You can set up schedules and lesson plans for all of your homeschool students, shopping lists, chores, to-do lists, and so much more!  And it also integrates automatically with Google Calendar, so your other appointments and events will show up in your schedule, if desired. 

Homeschool Planet also offers pre-made lesson plans for many popular homeschooling vendors to match up with products you might have purchased through one of their group buys, or for products you may already own.  Right now through the month of June, Homeschool Buyers Co-op is offering a free lesson plan of your choice when you subscribe to Homeschool Planet!

You can purchase an annual subscription to Homeschool Planet for just $65/year, or subscribe monthly for $6.95/month.


OUR EXPERIENCE:

Homeschool Planet has been such a lifesaver for me!  I’ve actually been using it for a couple of years now, and I honestly wouldn’t want to be without it now!  It’s worth every penny to me. 

It not only manages my kids’ school assignments and schedules, but it also helps me keep track of my shopping lists, appointments, and household chores!  I can store multiple shopping lists by store name, and when I’m out, I can send a text to a special number, and Homeschool Planet will text me back with my shopping lists!  How great is that?

I can also choose from widgets I’d like to view in the sidebar and bottom section of the screen, like the daily weather, a daily bible verse, or a to-do list.  It’s so easy to customize it to show me just what I want to see!

I was able to set up separate logins for each of my kids so that when they sign in each day, they can only see the information I’ve set up for them to view.  Their daily schedule of assignments that I’ve entered comes up automatically, and they can click the check boxes as they complete their work.  A green box means it’s finished, a yellow box means they did some of the work but haven’t completed the assignment fully, and a red box means the assignment is overdue.  Homeschool Planet also allows me to automatically reschedule overdue or incomplete assignments from previous days so it shows up on the current day or the next scheduled school day’s assignment list.  That is really convenient for days when we get behind so we don’t lose track of where we are or overlook completing something!

With Homeschool Planet, it’s also easy to move things around, fill in gaps in the schedule, or to automatically schedule assignments over a specified time period.  This year, I was able to schedule out the entire school year for every subject for both kids in just a couple of days!  And with the help of the pre-made lesson plans available in the Lesson Plan Marketplace, I was able to get very detailed links included that go right to their assignments and activities, helpful resources, etc.  For my free lesson plan, I selected Fix-It Grammar books from IEW, and not only did it have full and complete lesson plans and helpful links to dictionary entries and other resources, but it actually had instructional videos for me as the teacher, as well as full pages of the student workbook content which the student can view or even print!  I was simply amazed at what a valuable resource that was.  imageI was so impressed that it gave me so much more than simply “do lesson 1, page 6” as I expected that I immediately went and purchased a lesson plan for the Wordly Wise 3000 online subscription that we already had through Homeschool Buyers Co-op.  It plugged in direct links to each daily assignment rather than the kids having to go to the website and log in and manually select the day’s assignment.  And at roughly $5-$15 per lesson plan (which can be used for multiple students and stays in your account for future use), it’s a great value and a wonderful time-saver when you’re setting up your school schedules!

I could go on and on about Homeschool Planet.  It truly manages my lif20170623_111543e, but it manages my homeschool like nothing else!  It takes the huge task of scheduling for the whole school year and turns it into a simple and fast process that’s so easy to use!  This year, I was in the middle of moving cross-country from VA to TX, and I was way behind in setting up our new school year, which we literally needed to begin on the first day in our new home.  What could have been a disaster was something I was able to quickly squeeze in at the last minute as we were packing up our house, and knowing I would not have internet access right away at our destination, I was able to print out the kids’ schedules for the first week and pack them in a folder for our trip.  That was so convenient!

Of all the tools for homeschooling, this one is at the top of my list.  And if you have children of varying ages who will be using the same curriculum over time, you can save their schedule as a lesson plan so you can access it again in the future for another student without having to type it all out again.  Brilliant!  I sure wish I’d had this amazing resource when I was first starting out in homeschooling 14 years ago. 

And before Homeschool Planet came along, I’d always used paper schedules that I’d typed in a word processor.  I’d tried many types of computer-based or online planners before, but I found them to be too time-consuming and not worth the extra effort.  They were either too complicated or involved too many steps, or they simply didn’t have the features I really needed and wanted in a planner.  Not so with Homeschool Planet!  From the first time I tried it, I found it to be completely intuitive, and it had all the features I’d ever wanted in an online planner.  I was sold!  Give it a try for yourself with their 30-day free trial, and I’ll bet you’ll be sold, too.

Keep in mind, too, that Homeschool Planet adds new features and improvements all the time.  There’s a button in the program that allows you to send your feedback and suggestions to Homeschool Buyers Co-op.  They really do listen!  I’ve gone back and forth with them many times on ideas for features I wish it had, and they’ve implemented many of them over time.  I really like that they are always trying to make an already great program even better!

Check out what other Crew members have to say about Homeschool Planet by clicking the banner below.