Friday, November 21, 2014

Resource Review: Homeschool Planet

I've had a number of years in teaching - both in classroom, and at home. Granted, not a lot of years, but still.  I'm used to having a planner.  A simple two-page spread showing each subject across all five days, so I know what I'm covering in each subject for the week. Unfortunately, that doesn't translate as well to our homeschool, where only four of our twelve subjects occur on all four of our school days. As a minor note, holy COW, we do twelve subjects in a week?!?  But, I digress.

I spent months looking for a new planner.  One that would work better with our varying school days, and allow me easy rescheduling if we have things like the first half of November - Mad Natter and I being horribly ill. I tried printed planners, and found one that worked fairly well for me, but it didn't have the ease-of-rescheduling that I wanted. Entirely too much erasing, and usually rewriting - which sounds like something minor, but when you're dealing with a child who does two weeks worth of work in one week, it gets to be a lot of writing.  I looked at Skedtrak, and it wound up not really catching my interest.  At all.

Then, in a fit of restless boredom, I was wandering through Homeschool Buyers Co-op, and found their Homeschool Planet planner.  It was customizable, browser based, and had a thirty day free trial, so I figured what the hell.  I signed up.  It really was very pretty. I could change the background from pink, and customize the sidebar to tell me what my local weather was, as well as an inspirational quote - which allowed me to choose religious or secular. I could color code each class, choose each day and time, if there should be a time at all, and not only co
uld I type in planned activities, I could move them around click-and-drag style. I can mark them completed, or I can push them ahead to another day.

I love this program.  I plan my school year, setting our holidays ahead of time, and I'm able to put in as much or as little planning as I want to at any given time.  I'm able to pull the site up on my nook as well as an eeePC, which means I can get into the program at any time, and I can print off the days one by one to use as a guide for each day at the school table.  It works exceptionally well with our workboxes, allowing me to set the days up ahead of time, and get the boxes filled up before lunch of the day we'd just finished.  It's pricey, that's a given. But, it cost less than printing out the lovely paper planner did, and it is so very worth it.

Honestly, there are a lot of planners out there. And everyone will love something different, it's just the way of things. But me?  I love this planner.  And I'm actually excited to renew my subscription.