I was compensated for the time spent writing this post by the Homeschool Buyer’s Co-op. All opinions are my own.
Since we’re eclectic homeschoolers, planning is a must; otherwise we tend to forget what we are doing.
I used to use either notebook paper with our daily goals written down each day or a sticky note system, but these never worked well because I kept losing the papers or a child would spill coffee on them.
Once I had a smartphone, however, I moved much of our homeschool planning to online homeschool organizers. Saving something virtually means we always have it on-hand. I prefer to use homeschool schedules I can access from my phone as I don’t like to take my computer to the table while I’m teaching.
4 Online Homeschool Planners to Try for Modern Homeschool Planning
Although not all of the apps listed below are designed for homeschoolers, I’ve found them to be effective at keeping track of our daily, weekly, and monthly goals for homeschooling.
We have android phones, which means we don’t have access to many of the planning apps (surprisingly enough). One of my favorite things about Cozi is that it does work with android phones. It is also free (with the option to upgrade), which is a huge plus.
Cozi offers a glorified sticky-note list that categorizes bullets into various categories (such as by family member, school subject, or whether it is an appointment or home task). My favorite thing about this app is that you can share schedules across multiple users, so everyone can keep track individually. This would work really well for older children who have their own smart phone.
My kids don’t have cell phones, so this system isn’t ideal for us.
When my phone forced me to switch to a new note system by eliminating the basic note system I was using, I had to switch to Google Keep.
My favorite thing about Google Keep is that it is pretty. It uses a more image-based organization system that is almost fun to use. It also supports audio reminders, which is great for using in the car.
Google Keep isn’t designed for homeschooling, obviously, which means that keeping track of all assignment and scheduling has to be done completely by hand, which does get a little old and confusing at times.
If you can think to do it, it’s there. Homeschool Planet is specifically designed for homeschooling families, but it also works as a total-family planner rather than simply an assignment schedule.
Since it’s the summer, I’m using it to keep track of Monkey’s summer reading, her summer camps, and our weekend activities.
One of the best things about this planner is that it makes you mark assignments as completed. You can choose to mark them as completed or move the assignment forward, which I find motivational. None of the other planners I’ve tried are quite this persistent about making sure you complete assignments.
Homeschool Planet is computer-based, but you have the option to synch the assignments with your Google calendar, which I found to be helpful for day-to-day activities (particularly while away from home!). I’ve been setting up our assignments a month in advance and then using Google calendar on my phone to check assignments every day.
We only have Monkey in school right now, but I can see this program being extremely helpful for families with multiple children in school. And if you’re a more paper-oriented person, you can even print the schedule.
Homeschool Planet isn’t free, but you can try it free for 30 days to see if it is worth the $65 yearly subscription cost (which is only $5.41 per month) for your family.
I’ve used Evernote in the past mostly for work, but I can see it being valuable for homeschooling families with older children. The best thing about Evernote is that you can create a project timeline and create tasks lists. Evernote would be extremely helpful for older students to keep track of co-op projects, science fair projects, and more complex assignments. You could also be part of the collaborative team and send friendly project reminders. 🙂
Evernote has both free and paid plans.
Homeschool Planning Taken Up a Notch with Homeschool Planning Software
I love paper planners as much as the next person, but I also hate clutter. This makes portable, online and phone-based planners work best for our family. I love all of the planners on this list for various reasons, but Homeschool Planet is my favorite, simply because it is designed for homeschool families. It offers a lot of features that no other online planner that I have seen offers.
Families with multiple kids in school will particularly benefit from the use of a planner like Homeschool Planet or the other planners on this list.
Do you use a homeschool planner? Are you a paper person or have you moved to the digital age?
Join the Homeschooling 101 group for more hands-on teaching ideas!