One thing that I know homeschool moms struggle with is planning and getting organized. I’m a weirdo that enjoys writing lessons plans and organizing supplies and all that. I know not everyone feels that way. I’m also a fan of keeping things as simple as I can and getting the most for my time and money. I imagine that many of you feel the same way. I know first hand how important this is for single homeschooling moms as well.
This post is sponsored by Homeschool Planet
Things I look for in an Online Homeschool Planner
1. Works for Multiple Age Planning
I’m a huge fan of multi-age curriculum for families of 2 or more. It’s a great way to teach subjects together and also to save money on curriculum over the years. When I’m looking for a planner I need something that works for all of my children. I don’t want to have to buy a new planner for each child.
I really prefer to save lesson plans so that I can pull them back out for a younger sibling. It’s nice not to have to start from scratch every time that you study Westward Expansion with a child. If I can just pull out an old planner and see what activities or books were used that saves me a little time and patience.
Having all of our plans in one place also helps me create student checklists for my children as they get older. It’s my goal for my boys to become independent learners. An important part of that is being responsible for their own work.
2. Plan the entire year
Remember how I said I LOVE planning? When I sit down to work on lesson plans I typically plan for an entire school year. It’s a lot of time on the front end but it really saves me time in the long run.
For year long planning I need something that will allow me to plan but also give me some flexibility. I don’t put dates on my lesson plans and I don’t plan every single subject. Subjects like math, reading and spelling I fill in as we go along. I let my boys work at their own pace and it’s easier to just fill in what we did that week instead of trying to predict how fast (or slow) they are going to work.
Being able to edit my plans without having to start over is a sanity saver. If we get sick or end up on a rabbit trail I like being able to just move assignments around. Having a place to keep supply lists, project ideas and field trips is also super helpful.
3. Keep dad in the loop
Sharing a calendar or lesson plans is a great way to keep dad in the loop. As a single mom it’s important that dad knows (or at least has the option of knowing) what the kids are working on during the week. This can be a big help when dad isn’t so sure about homeschooling.
If you are married it can also be a great way to keep the Principal updated on the student’s progress. Maybe there’s a topic coming up that Dad is really passionate about. He can maybe work with the kids when he is home or plan to take a day off for field trips and special projects.
4. Maintaining a Homeschool Portfolio
In our state, we have the option of keeping a homeschool portfolio or standardized testing each year. I prefer the option of keeping a portfolio. Having a really good homeschool planner is a great way to get a jump on a portfolio.
It helps me to keep track of the different activities and topics that we are studying. This way I can remember to take a picture for our portfolio when we go on a field trip. Or have a plan of what activities or notebooking pages I want to include throughout the year. And if I end up waiting until the last minute I have a good record of what we have done so I’m not depending on my memory to recreate the year.
Homeschool Planet meets every single one of my requirements. Here’s a short video with a fantastic overview of how the online homeschool planning software works: