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RTB
05-15-2015, 12:28 AM
Talk to me about planners.

I'm not a super plan in advance homeschooler. I have a general idea of what needs to get done over the year, but I only write my plans out a week at a time. However now that my DS is getting older, his HS to-do-list is getting more complicated, and a pain to write out. So, I think it is time to move to something more organized - something computer based.

New Mexico does not have any requirements other than attend 180 days - so I don't need anything extremely detailed. But if something is generally good, I'm willing to ignore features I don't need. I do want something I can print out and hand to him so he knows what he needs to work on with me, and what he can do on his own.

I know there are online options - anyone using anything in particular? If you use your own spreadsheet - how do you organize it?

Thanks!

Luv2HS
05-15-2015, 06:32 AM
Hmmm...I've heard people like Homeschool Tracker, but, have not used it myself. In Excel, I suppose you could have as simple or comlicated a system as you wanted. We are not h.s. level yet, but, I imagine I will be in your shoes when the time comes. Maybe rows for each week with a column for each subject? In the subject cell you could type CH1-Chemistry (I only used that as an example). And, he could highlight or check off as he completes his work? Or you could do a workbook for each month, if, you wanted more detail?
I have no clue if this was helpful but thought I'd pipe in. Let us know if you come across something really cool.

alexsmom
05-15-2015, 11:21 AM
Im still testing an app called myHomework. (Testing as in, see if it works for me.) It will sync to multiple devices, and lets one upload documents attached to each *assignment*. And sort by subject, date due, completed, etc. And is only a couple of dollars for the upgraded version (no ads and can multi-device and upload).
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Other than that, we use the DayTimer FamilyPlus Planner, where all assignments are written down for the week, and we both refer to that as we go along. Its not digital, but it works *well enough*. (This is our second year of it.) Im finding I sometimes need more space, especially as DS Is verging into more independent work.
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For my reporting and sanity, I need to know when we did each activity, and be able to pull it up by subject. I also wanted something that allowed me to assign things for the weekend (we school Sun - Thurs).

groovymom2000
05-15-2015, 04:11 PM
I've been using Scholaric Scholaric | Easy Online Homeschool Planning (http://www.scholaric.com/marketing) for about 2.5 years now. I really like it, even though I don't necessarily use all of it's features. I like that I can set up a lesson to repeat (Grammar lesson 1,2,3) without having to type it in all of the time. It does grades, and I can bump a day's lessons later if I need to. It will also print out the plans by the week or the day. I usually print them out for my kids by the week, and they mark off what they have completed. At the end of the week, I print out the completed plans, with the grades for the assignments, and that is my printed lesson plan that I keep for each kid. It is only online, which sometimes is a pain, but it also works on the ipad via safari, so it balances out for me. It truly has been the only thing to keep me organized and on track now that my older one is hitting high school stuff. I was finished when they were this year-just had to add in the grades for the subjects that I didn't teach and I was done!

HawaiiGeek
05-15-2015, 06:06 PM
I tried scholaric and homeschool planet both for free trial. They didn't work for me, but because I really need to write it down old school. At least there are free trials so you can try it out. Good luck and let us know if you find something really great, because I am always looking for something too.

alexsmom
05-15-2015, 07:15 PM
I tried scholaric and homeschool planet both for free trial. They didn't work for me, but because I really need to write it down old school. At least there are free trials so you can try it out. Good luck and let us know if you find something really great, because I am always looking for something too.

Me too! For us, just writing it down seems to work best, but I feel like Im running out of room on my paper planner. And to organize / plan with multiples? Im hoping someone here has the superduperest planner ever! And its nearly free! ;) (While we are dreaming.)

mamakven
05-16-2015, 02:01 AM
I use the Erin condren teachers planner and really like it

crunchynerd
05-16-2015, 10:06 PM
Since I have nothing else to keep track of but my intentions toward chores (haha) and the very occasional planned social outing, I just use a regular Blue Sky week-at-a-spread planner, and I like the "Academic year" ones that go from July to June instead of January to December.

However, my favorite in the world, that I couldn't improve on, was one that was 8X11 inches when closed, and opened on the 8 inch end for a wide spread with Mon-Thu on the left hand, with a column for each day, and Fri, Sat, Sun and a column for Notes, on the right hand side. LOVE that planner, and I fear they aren't going to make that style this year.

All I saw at the store were the more traditional week-per-view ones, with half as much space on Sat and Sun and either no space for other notes, or very little. Groan. I guess if that's all they have, those will do.

Each week, I just make my loose plan, with chores/errands on one end of the day, and basics of the studies on the other, for homeschooling.

Every time I have tried to make a tight schedule, it has failed abysmally. Loose works best for us.

demotedgoddess
05-17-2015, 09:16 AM
I have a funny feeling that I'll have to build my own planner using several others as inspiration. Georgia doesn't have any real tracking or assessment requirements (they're in the law, but they're to be done by parents just to be retained for so many years *shrug*) and we're still elementary age. But, I'd like to have the whole tracking and planning thing down before high school. I'm a little hesitant to pay for a digital planner/tracker and I'm not even sure why. Maybe concerns about longevity of the product? It does me no good to find the perfect planner only to have the service stopped after a year or two.

alexsmom
05-17-2015, 11:26 AM
Crunchynerd inspired me to look more, for what she describes.... and I found this on Etsy!
https://www.etsy.com/listing/129488961/2015-family-planner?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=shopping_us_mid-paper_goods_and_party_supplies-paper-other&utm_custom1=5b371082-c769-8608-030d-00003b7df007&kpid=129488961&gclid=CMX7k-b8yMUCFYWVfgodkS0A7w

You can customize your *categories* as well as the front cover. :)

RTB
05-17-2015, 09:35 PM
Thanks all!

Yes I tried a few online ones, and maybe it is a learning curve, but they seem to take a bit of time for me to set up. I'm using the one thru the Buyers Coop right now, but it is really expensive, so. . .

I'm gonna keep doing it for the 30 day free trial just to see if it gets easier.

Yes, I too feel like I'm running out of room on the paper planner. Hence the need to move to computer.

HawaiiGeek
05-17-2015, 11:35 PM
I thought I was just stupid, but I couldn't figure out an easy way to use those on-line planners - it seemed like it was way more work than worth it. Rebecca - How is it going with 2? Bringing my social butterfly home shortly and wondering if you have any words of advice. BTW I just bought the Erin Condren teacher's planner. It was pricey, but I really like it so far. I'm still trying to figure out my curriculum for next year so haven't really put anything in it, but there is a lot of space for writing. Her website is really thorough with pictures/videos etc.

Starkspack
05-18-2015, 07:54 AM
Crunchynerd inspired me to look more, for what she describes.... and I found this on Etsy!
https://www.etsy.com/listing/129488961/2015-family-planner?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=shopping_us_mid-paper_goods_and_party_supplies-paper-other&utm_custom1=5b371082-c769-8608-030d-00003b7df007&kpid=129488961&gclid=CMX7k-b8yMUCFYWVfgodkS0A7w

You can customize your *categories* as well as the front cover. :) OOOOh, so purdy! Good find!

I use a regular weekly/monthly planner that I get from Office Depot. The spaces for Sat/Sun on the weekly part are only slightly smaller, so it is workable. (That is a pet peeve of mine, since our schooldays are mostly Wed/Fri/Sat/Sun. I use this more as a journal of work completed than as a planner, per se.

For planning, I have an Excel spreadsheet with the weeks across the top, and the subjects down the left side. I can loosely (agreed - loose is better) outline the arc of each subject, and then every week after we complete the week, I go in there and update what we did and how that impacts the following weeks. I like this system because it allows me to see that hey, in 3 weeks we have a week off for <blank> and it motivates DD and me to get x, y, and z done before that break.

I used to try to fill in actual assignments each week, such as "spelling p. 126-127" and so forth. Now I just do that a week at a time. Since DH is doing more schooling on Mon/Tues/Thurs for me (and thus lightens or eliminates some of MY school days), I have started transferring the daily work goals to a spiral notebook with check off boxes. He writes in how many minutes were spent on each subject and DD checks off the box when it is completed. This way, he doesn't mess with my spreadsheet. Because then I'd have to kill him. :p

I know this seems like a lot of tracking, but so far it works for us. At the end of the day, I can review what DH did with DD, transfer it into my weekly/monthly planner, and then create the plan for the next school day. Besides, I'm a total statistics and tracking nerd. So there's that.

crunchynerd
05-18-2015, 08:00 AM
Crunchynerd inspired me to look more, for what she describes.... and I found this on Etsy!
https://www.etsy.com/listing/129488961/2015-family-planner?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=shopping_us_mid-paper_goods_and_party_supplies-paper-other&utm_custom1=5b371082-c769-8608-030d-00003b7df007&kpid=129488961&gclid=CMX7k-b8yMUCFYWVfgodkS0A7w

You can customize your *categories* as well as the front cover. :)

Thanks, Alexsmom! Perfect, and I want one too!

demotedgoddess
05-18-2015, 08:15 AM
I looked through many many planners last night and at least got ideas for when I decide to go all Martha Stewart and just make my own. I want so badly to just use a digital tracker, but I'm a scribble person and am more likely to use a hard copy. So, I need to have the paper version. And I'm a bit of a perfectionist control freak when it comes to tracking anything that the printables and such just aren't ever exactly what I think I need. Sooooo...

alexsmom
05-18-2015, 11:08 AM
I start my school week on Sunday, so I have that *weekends arent big enough* problem in regular planners, too. Academic planners are right out. I even looked in amazon.co.uk for weekly planners starting on Sundays. Hah! No such thing, apparently.

I think I am going to try the etsy planner - I saw I could add checklist pages, which will suit me fine for DS3s schooly activities and SLP/OT *homework*.
I just hope theres enough space to write that weeks assignments down!

alexsmom
05-18-2015, 11:09 AM
@demotedgoddess - there was a planner thread here a couple years ago when the person made a customized planner, it may give you some hints. Maybe a search for planner or organizer in the archives?

demotedgoddess
05-18-2015, 12:07 PM
Oh! Awesome! Thank you!

RTB
05-26-2015, 09:07 PM
Yes I'm a scribble person too. I also don't like having my computer open all the time - mainly because it sucks me into wasting too much time on nothing. I like the etsy planner too. I may just end up sticking with my own homemade planner that I write long hand on. It is so much faster than entering everything online is. Thanks everyone!

Hawaiigeek - things have gone surprisingly well with DD (also a social butterfly), better than I expected. She actually enjoys homeschooling now. So that is good!

HawaiiGeek
05-26-2015, 09:40 PM
Rebecca: so good to hear. Thanks for the update.

Mum2rc
05-27-2015, 01:10 PM
I found this free one to print, I might try it this year....
https://surthrivalparenting.wordpress.com/2015/05/22/a-free-planner-for-you-to-print-and-share/

Luv2HS
06-02-2015, 06:14 AM
I found this free one to print, I might try it this year....
https://surthrivalparenting.wordpress.com/2015/05/22/a-free-planner-for-you-to-print-and-share/

Oh, that looks really good:). Thank you for sharing.

rwilkenfeld
06-03-2015, 01:15 AM
I use homeschool skedtrack. Homeschool Skedtrack - Online Lesson Planner, Scheduler, and Tracker (http://www.homeschoolskedtrack.com/HomeSchool/displayLogin.do)

It's free, sort of a pain to set up, but easy to use once you have it set up. At this point, we track more for personal organizational purposes than official reasons, but since we have officially moved into things considered school-y, I want a good record of what she's accomplished in case it's needed later. I'd hate for her to have to repeat what she already has done/understands.

I also like paper planning, and on a week-to-week basis, I usually hand write our goals/projects. But it's nice to have the whole year/term at a glance.

ScienceGeek
06-03-2015, 11:23 AM
I struggle with the planning as well. Have tried just about all the online/electronic planners and I agree, pain in the a$$ to use. I used homeschool minder this year to just keep track of a few classes for my high schooler and the other kids in the science class because I actually gave homework, etc. It was also a nice way to print out a 'to do' sheet for each week, but it was hard to keep it up to date and he stopped looking at it. Not sure if I'l bother to keep it up.

But for tracking what we DO after the fact, I'm very set in my ways. I use Circus Ponies Notebook on my mac and iPad. They sync together so I can write in my 'notebook' on my iPad, go to my computer and there it is - it uses dropbox for this feather. Notebook looks just like a three ring binder but its digital. I have a divider for each month and then a page for each subject. One each page I have three heading: Both, DS1, DS2 - so if its something both boys did I put it under both, if only one of them did it (like piano lesson) it goes under their name.
We homeschool through a charter so every month I dump that month's section into a pdf and email to our education specialist. I don't do this for them, started doing this before we joined charter, I just like to keep track of what we do. I don't write a lot: AoPs Ch 12 triangles (Art of Problem solving), etc. But for things like science I'l write down what videos we watched on youtube and describe the lab we did.

IN the back of the notebook I have a page each for swim and piano lessons where I keep track of when we went and when I paid. One page per kid for books they read (and that we read together).

Its not really conducive to keeping tracks grades, but it certainly shows what we do. I also like that I can flip through a month and see that, wow we did a lot of science, but no language arts! opps! And try to do something to put down on that page.

Free Thinker
06-03-2015, 12:44 PM
Mine is super-low-tech and cheap- spiral notebooks! I write down a general list of what I want to accomplish in the week for each kid in one notebook per kid- it looks something like this:

Math- Lessons 99, 100, Inv. 10, Test
Wordly Wise- Chapter 20 - ABCD
Read Aloud- Pippi Longstocking
Apples and Pears- Levels 60, 61, and 62
History- Greeks (yes, this is ALL I write in this book)

Ect. I list all the books/subjects, core at the top, with a subtotal, and electives at the bottom w/ subtotal. It takes up one page of paper per week and is very brief. This is for my record-keeping, and it gives me an overall goals list for the week. Then, for the older kids, I make a checklist each night in their notebook. It has the date, and then little boxes next to each thing I want them to do. They check it off as they go. It's much more detailed, but still not too wordy. The week takes up usally a 2 page spread in the notebook. It looks like this (boxes to the left of each line) :

Math Lesson 99
Wordly Wise - read over the words w/ me, and do Part A
Piano
Greeks- read the next 2 sections and write a summary
Apples and Pears

I don't list things I plan to do together, like if we are watching a video, or if I am going to teach a lesson on the Greeks.

I also do not have checklists for the 1st graders. I tried it, but they are not mature enough to keep up yet. If it were left up to them, they would sit there for an hour, and have nothing to show for it besides lots of laughing ;) I have found that I have to be right beside them, or keep them in my sight, for them to stay on task. This is all my state requires, a total of hours and days in school, so that's all I keep track of. At first I was trying to write down everything we did- math flashcards, writing spelling words on white boards, phonogram games, ect., but then I realized I was stressing myself out for no reason. A friend of mine who HS gave me the idea of writing the absolute barest outline of what I was doing, I don't have to include HOW I am teaching whatever concept, I just need to have down the topic of what we studied, KWIM? I plan stuff out week by week, and the checklists daily. On Friday I total up everyone's weekly hours, and then write out the plan for the next week. Every night I make the checklists, it takes maybe 10 minutes to do two.

quabbin
06-03-2015, 02:10 PM
I like to just use a spreadsheet (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1X5TN88bmKquiG7b6JPyBlQ9KK5i3mIGqZL-TPLDKIy8/edit?pli=1#gid=4). Each row is a week; each column is a subject. I set up my dates before the year starts, leaving a couple of weeks open, and fill in each subject as I have time.

darkelf
06-04-2015, 08:17 PM
I use Skedtrack and A a well planned day. Christian, but I just rip out the parts I don't want.

I found a different planner I liked better but the plastic spiral was too short and it unraveled and I didn't use it.

RTB
06-05-2015, 08:05 PM
Thanks for all the input. It is good to see what everyone else is doing.

mandared
06-06-2015, 10:23 AM
After reading the responses and looking on youtube, I am considering either the well planned day or the erin condren teacher planner. I love the colorfulness of the erin condren one...oh and the functionality haha. Like someone above mentioned, the well planned day is not secular so some may want to do some modifications to it. I think some may say that i don't need a planner for my 4 yr olds school, but i am not the most organized and like having it planned out where i can see the progress (other than seeing it in my son) and see what has been covered.

RTB
06-06-2015, 10:28 AM
Mandared - What did you find on youtube? Anything good?

If you want to use a planner for your kiddo (no matter the age) then you should :)

mandared
06-06-2015, 10:34 AM
I will have to go back and see if i can find the particular videos i watched, but I watched a few by just searching for erin condren teacher planner for homeschool. Same thing for the well planned day. I think the best was probably the one i watched that the EC staff commented on regarding the changes she made to the sections in the planner if they were more geared for public school teachers. They were commending her on the job she did with it. Are we able to post links here? I think i saw some posted. I will try and go back and find it for you and post it if its allowed. :)

ETA: Thank you! I hadn't thought about using one until i saw this post the other day , but i really think it will help me be more organized and know what is going on day to day so things don't just feel jumbled. :)

mandared
06-17-2015, 05:44 PM
I just came back and saw that you liked this. Did you want me to link them for you? ;)

RTB
06-17-2015, 06:05 PM
No, thank you though. I picked the one of etsy. I'll give that a go for a year.

Luv2HS
06-18-2015, 07:03 AM
I like to just use a spreadsheet (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1X5TN88bmKquiG7b6JPyBlQ9KK5i3mIGqZL-TPLDKIy8/edit?pli=1#gid=4). Each row is a week; each column is a subject. I set up my dates before the year starts, leaving a couple of weeks open, and fill in each subject as I have time.

Wow, I just took a look at your spreadsheet. That is really detailed. Great job!

lakshmi
06-19-2015, 02:53 PM
I love HOMeschool Skedtrack for the record keeping part. But I use a teacher planner. Mead Teachers Plan Book 8 12 x 11 Assorted Colors No Color Choice by Office Depot & OfficeMax (http://www.officedepot.com/a/products/361171/Mead-Teachers-Plan-Book-8-12/;jsessionid=0000S6J2x23V9kGug27qsWESHUj:17h4h7bfo? cm_mmc=PLA-_-Google-_-Calendars_Planners-_-361171-VQ6-42102215276-VQ16c-VQ17-pla_with_promotion-VQ18-online-VQ19-361171-VQ20-76274764676-VQ21-)

It has been the easiest for me. I also use a 9 week spread sheet to sketch out the goals. (i've yet to meet them.)

I've found doing the planning on Friday after the week is over to be the best for me. Then I forget about it until Monday.. :)

I've CONSIDERED.... bullet journals, and my current one that I am curious about using is.. Passion Planner (http://www.passionplanner.com)

alexsmom
06-19-2015, 04:36 PM
Oooh I ordered an Etsy one, also, but I like how the Passion Planner starts each week on a Sunday (we school Sun-Thurs, and its so much easier if the week's worth of work was on one page!)

(Sunday also being the reason most teacher planners dont work for me - Lakeshore Learning hands out nice free planners every summer, but they assume M-F schedule.)

LKnomad
06-19-2015, 06:48 PM
Hmmm all these planners seem to be for adults tracking their kids. Any that might work well for teens tracking themselves. I do like that Etsy one, I think the student planner would work. Any other good student planners - online or off, rather than teacher planners?

alexsmom
06-19-2015, 07:52 PM
My two favorites are still the myhomework app and the etsy one. There are dozens of student planner apps (I tried nearly all of the ones that you can do *lite* version for free). Myhomework has the most flexibility and letting you adjust things on the fly, plus all sorts of notification options.

And theres another etsy one, without all the insert options that the other has, but it is a bit larger 8.5x11.
https://www.etsy.com/listing/232496255/12-month-family-planner-fp27?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=family%20planner&ref=sc_gallery_3&plkey=a339f2fb3cc907d8393317317e4016ff8ae5be32:232 496255

I think theyre all fine for planning (parent) or implementing (student).

RTB
06-22-2015, 07:39 PM
I got the Etsy one for students. I had previously kept the school plans in a planner for me, but as they get older, I found myself rewriting my short hand on some paper for them to read. I need to be able to just hand them a list of what needs to get done (with me and on their own).

I keep my homeschool brain in a 3 ring binder. Which is basically my general idea of what needs to get done over the year and how I'm gonna do it. Nothing in stone though, because stuff happens and things change. I really only have concrete written plans for a week or two in advance.

Sammish
06-23-2015, 11:26 AM
Hmmm all these planners seem to be for adults tracking their kids. Any that might work well for teens tracking themselves. I do like that Etsy one, I think the student planner would work. Any other good student planners - online or off, rather than teacher planners?

I feel like I mention these planners all the time, but... A Place in Place (http://www.aplaninplace.net/) has very neat (I think) student planners. Here's (http://www.aplaninplace.net/helpful-information/weekly-schedule-page-student-edition/) a look at the weekly schedule sheets for the student planners, and they are very customizeable. You pick which sections/rows/columns you want, and what you want them to say. I'm using the teacher's planner this year, and it's worked out really well for me, because I am apparently incredibly picky. :)

RTB
06-23-2015, 11:56 AM
Ooo those (A Plan in Place) look great too! Thanks.

LKnomad
06-23-2015, 06:48 PM
Thanks Sammish!

A Plan in Place even works with California Charter Schools! Love it!!!

Starkspack
06-23-2015, 10:39 PM
I like to just use a spreadsheet (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1X5TN88bmKquiG7b6JPyBlQ9KK5i3mIGqZL-TPLDKIy8/edit?pli=1#gid=4). Each row is a week; each column is a subject. I set up my dates before the year starts, leaving a couple of weeks open, and fill in each subject as I have time. Hi Quabbin, my spreadsheet is very similar to yours, but yours has inspired me to up the ante!! Thanks for sharing!

Mariam
06-24-2015, 02:59 PM
In case anyone has missed it the editors of SHS have posted a weekly planner to the website:


The Secular Homeschool Community - Your Free Weekly Homeschool Planner from SecularHomeschool.com (http://www.secularhomeschool.com/content/1315-your-free-weekly-homeschool-planner-secularhomeschool-com/)

IEF
06-24-2015, 04:39 PM
In case anyone has missed it the editors of SHS have posted a weekly planner to the website:


The Secular Homeschool Community - Your Free Weekly Homeschool Planner from SecularHomeschool.com (http://www.secularhomeschool.com/content/1315-your-free-weekly-homeschool-planner-secularhomeschool-com/)


Just FYI:

Google is not what it seems (https://wikileaks.org/google-is-not-what-it-seems/)

I use a LibreOffice (https://www.libreoffice.org/) document. Insert>Table with a row for each chunk of time and a column for each subject or vice versa. I have two subfolders on my hard drive called "plans" and "realities" and do a fair amount of copying, pasting, dragging, and dropping.

Before that, I drew check marks, circles, and arrows on my paper planner to indicate when planned projects were completed, completed early, or continued to the next day.