Back in January, I went on a blogging retreat with a bunch of homeschooling Moms. We were comparing different organizational tools we were using for blogging and I mentioned how I was thinking of using Asana for homeschooling because I could have reminders emailed to my kids, and it had a cool calendar function. Well, Crystal said, “If that’s what you want, you need to look at Homeschool Planet*, because not only does it do that, but it has a grade book function for homeschool record keeping.”
Well, right then and there I said, “I’m giving it a try when I get home.” Shortly thereafter I got an email for a homeschooling survey that included a free month of Homeschool Planet, and I said, “SCORE! Now not only do I get to try it, but I can try it for free!”
(This post is sponsored by Homeschool Planet, to be honest, I already subscribed, see the story up above, and I was already writing this post, so total win-win, and the Homeschool Planet links are affiliate links).
Why Homeschool Planet is a total win for me
This year I decided it was finally time to keep “real grades.” In elementary school, I taught to mastery, and if the kids didn’t do the project right I just made them keep redoing it until they got it right. Now in junior high, I still make them fix it, but I keep grades, and they get a lower grade if they have to redo the work, not complete credit for the corrected work.
I was all set to create a Google sheet for all of my homeschool record keeping and it was going to be amazing! I was going to put in the formulas I learned way back in high school for averaging the grades. I was really dragging my feet, so much so that I hadn’t really gotten a good set up and it was January.
In case you don’t realize, that is halfway through the school year. I had a huge stack of grades to record, and I’m pretty sure I’d lost a few projects somewhere. Not to mention not keeping track of what all was going on.
Enter the awesomeness of Homeschool Planet and their grading system
When you create a class for Homeschool Planet you can create a grade book for that class. In that grade book, you can decide the weight of each assignment.
I grade the kids’ notes. It’s partially their handwriting grade, and partially it’s my way of making sure they know what they just read. However, I don’t want that to be a big part of their grade. I put that at 10%.
Weekly quizzes are a bit more important. I set them at 20%. We had some occasional daily work I gave them, quick writing assignments, or some of our funschooling projects. I set those at 20% also. I’m at 50% now, so what is the other 50%?
I split it evenly between BIG projects and tests. They’re both worth 25%. Or that’s how I set up my history last year, this time I’m just doing an even 33% split between 3 categories.
Now I just set the assignments, I say what type of assignment it is, and at the end of the day I can go in and write my grades down.
I’m still working on daily writing grades down. I”ll confess I more often than not enter all the grades on Sunday night as I work out the classes for the next week.
I can also set it up to track hours, so if you’re in a state that requires you to complete a certain number of hours in a course, problem solved. I use it for Princess’ American Heritage Girl service hours. Last year she got over 75 hours of service, and I wasn’t particularly good at following it all, but because of Homeschool Planet, I just entered it into the planner, and it totaled it all up for me. I also add in all of the other random things going on in our lives, this is part of my theory of not double-booking myself.
Two more awesome items from Homeschool Planet I love
First, let’s say you forget to do an assignment, or the day got away from you. The next day when you log into Homeschool Planet you’ll be faced by this screen. You can decide for each individual item what you want to do with it, do you want to mark it complete, move it to the next class time period, what’s the plan?
You can set it up to email people what they are going to do for the day. So, each day the kids and I get an email from Homeschool Planet with a “What’s going on today.” This lets them know what to complete that day, OR if they’re feeling ambitious, they can complete more than one day’s worth of material.
I’ll admit my kids rarely feel super ambitious.
Other fun goodies Homeschool Planet has I haven’t tried yet
As I was perusing their website because apparently, that’s what I do in my free time, I look at homeschool websites.
Actually, it is, I like to research new homeschool stuff.
But they’ve got add-ons you for Homeschool Planet. Courses for all sorts of things. My friend Crystal who told me all about Homeschool Planet recently had one of her ebooks turned into a class for Homeschool Planet.
If I was using Mystery of History this year, I could pick up a lesson plan for it. Sadly, they don’t have one for my Texas history curriculum (but since I think it’s intended for public school, that’s not surprising).
Oooooohhhhh, I just saw they have a lesson plan for Teaching Textbooks, which is my plan to use next year.
Life just got easier….. Yeah, I switched math curriculum plans for next year, but it’s still super easy because it’s all online (more on Friday).
By the by, I was looking around on their Instagram and saw Cover Story is on sale there for 10% off, and yes I bought Cover Story from Homeschool Buyer’s Co-op last year. And if you need a laugh, there’s a funny e-card board on their Pinterest account.
Have I convinced you of how incredibly awesome Homeschool Planet is yet?
If not then you should try out your own free month of Homeschool Planet, and see if you get addicted too.
Want some more homeschool organization?
This is an area I’m constantly working on, and I’m always learning more. The big thing, get rid of stuff…. Simplify.