Some people think I am super organized. I have no idea why because I always feel completely disorganized.
About 9 PM nightly I start remembering all the things I forgot to do, whether it be work or home school. Sometimes we are home schooling at 9 PM when I realized we completely skipped English or some other subject that day; sometimes we can slip it in the next day, but other times we work on it at that time so we don’t fall behind. Not my ideal way of home schooling, but it helps keep us on track. I do have to admit some of our best schooling is sometimes at night, but I don’t like feeling we are “squeezing in” school work.
I have been on the search for the “perfect” planner and have been completely convinced despite my collection of planners, calendars and chore charts that it just doesn’t exist so I decided to make my own. Nada and I have been working on a paper planner. In my scouring of the Internet to make sure I included all those necessities I wanted in one planner but could never find I came across an online calendar at homeschoolplanet.com. The more I checked out their online calendar the more I was intrigued. Since I could try the calendar for free, yes I said for FREE, for 30 days and see if it works I dived right in for my trial run. First you join the Homeschool Buyers Co-op for free, sign in and sign up for your free 30 days trial. I sat down and planned 30 days out…. Never before have I planned a full 30 days out. The first week scheduled on the calendar I was in a conference Monday through Friday leaving before 7 AM and getting home after 7 PM. I thought this is never going to work and I am going to have to reschedule the whole week.
I was SHOCKED.
The first day on my way home when I spoke to my daughter she told me how she followed everything on the calendar and had finished all her work by lunch. The rest of the week was pretty much the same. All I had to do when I arrived home was check her work. During the weeks that I have little time to assist my daughter I do not schedule any major new concepts…she does mostly review work ). She had been asking for more independence in planning out her day and thanks to homeschoolingplanet.com we were able to make this happen. To boot I could go online at any time and see what my daughter had completed. If you schedule a lesson plan there is a box that you check off when it is completed. She also liked that she was able to check off her work when it was completed; it made her feel accomplished.
The weight of planning her daily routine every day or every few days being lifted was amazing. This was the first month I was not totally stressed about her school calendar.
I have been feeling a little behind the eight ball with planning the school year and couldn’t wait to sit down again and plan out the school year. We have decided to try six weeks on and one week off this year, however, we have had to make some adjustments since we are going away for almost 2 weeks and on this trip home schooling will be at a minimal; the trip itself is the education. I have used the calendar to plan part of our schedule. When I was scheduling I made a mistake and scheduled during our trip, but thanks to the ease of the calendar I was able to shift the entire schedule ahead two weeks with the click of a button. I did not have to re-enter each lesson again. This program gives you the option of picking which days you want to schedule something and the frequency of the event; no need to input the same thing 20 times. You also are able to color coordinate class, activities, hobbies and assign separate classes, activities and hobbies per family member. On top of all of that you can add a website to the assignment and then the link is right there for your use. I added videos I found on YouTube I wanted my daughter to watch, now all she has to do is just click on the link and the movie is there instead of her trying to find the site herself.
Extras provided are a To Do List, Weather and Shopping List. I cannot emphasize the ease in scheduling; the learning curve is minimal. We are still working on a hand held planner as I am old school, I like to hold my books to read too, but I am also hooked on the online planner.
There are some other options on there I have not even explored yet and some I won’t likely use, such as the grading recorder and attendance tracker, but it is there for those of you who want to review it.
Just an aside, I know this is labeled homeschool planner, but even for parents with kids in school this can help keep their assignments and after-school activities straight and for you to track their grades to make sure you don’t need to intervene or assist with schoolwork before they teacher notifies you they are behind.
I have not found a negative yet with the calendar and we have been using it for about 2 months. I am truly happy with the calendar.
Disclaimer: I was provided a free year usage of the calendar for this review however, I would have used the calendar without or without the Freebie.