Homeschooling is an Awesome Adventure
With any adventure, it helps to have a good map and guide. As a second-time-around homeschool mom, I’ve used lots of tools for keeping track of grades and plans. We’ve used all sorts of logs, calendars, printed notebook pages, etc. What’s needed is some sort of all-in-one homeschool planner and grade book. The thing that I found works best for us is digital. Being able to file all the work digitally saves us tons of sorting time and retrieval is a snap. Organizational skills are key to homeschooling.
How I Use Free Digital Resources
Just to give you an idea of how we use digital resources, I create a schedule in Google Calendar that my son uses each day to get his assignments. I plan out a week and schedule each class time right in the Calendar app. He is able to access the calendar on his own so there is no need to ask, “What am I supposed to do now?” He can see it spelled out on the calendar.
We use Google Drive to store his work. He created a folder for each course and sub-folders for his work. There are sub-folders for tests, assignments, completed assignments, quizzes, completed quizzes, etc. I can reference a pdf in Drive on the Calendar for the quiz he should take. By clicking on the quiz in its folder, I get a link to that exact quiz to put in the Calendar description. The hyperlink is found in the top search bar of the browser. Just Copy & Paste. All he has to do then is click the link and take the quiz. He opens the quiz in DocHub, a free app in Google Drive. Once the quiz is completed he just downloads back to Google Drive folder and saves it in Completed Quizzes. I can review his work by accessing Drive. Having all the documents saved in Drive also is handy for showing examples of his work should it be required by his school, colleges, or government officials. We set up a Google account specifically for this purpose so only schoolwork is sent to the email and Drive folders.
I Needed A Digital Planner and Grade Book
So I told you all that to make a point. Digital is the way to go if you have the option. There are tons of printable grade books and planners. available online. I needed something digital and could not find exactly what I needed on any platform. Being a course creator and website developer, I knew I needed to just make my own customizable all-in-one homeschool planner and grade book. With that approach, I could cut down a lot of the repetitive functions. I wanted to avoid re-writing everything when our plans changed. Being digital, I can easily move things around without erasing or tearing out whole pages of a printed book. Been there, done that, don’t like it!
The All-In-One Homeschool Planner & GradeBook
I created an Excel workbook to use along with our digital approach. With a Summary Report Card dashboard, I can see all the grades earned for each course on the front page. Inputting the student name and school year on the front page instantly fills the other pages in the workbook. There is a year-to-date overall grade average with the earned credits report card on the summary page. This grade average updates as often as grades are added to a Course page. On the Summary Report Card sheet is another Report Card and it can be broken down into the reporting period required by your school. We use a monthly and quarterly reporting method at our school. Yes, the grades can be weighted, if you choose. The course sheets can be individually weighted, as well. Using a Pivot Table in Excel, I was able to create dropdowns to sort by dates and still get grade averages. This was the main reason I had to create the grade book myself. I could not find weighted and unweighted with monthly grading options and year-to-date overall average all-in-one homeschool planner and grade book.
I Went Ahead and Made It Even Better
I added the Reading Book List, Activities, and Field Trips sheets. Plus, I added an Attendance sheet that calculates days and hours attended. Our state requires 900 hours and 180 days per school year. Counting all that up each month and every quarter was getting to be a hassle. Now I can just plug in the hours spent per day and the sheet does the rest. Oh yeah, it even adds the totals to the Summary Report Card dashboard, as well. This will make planning out holidays and off days a bit easier. It’s a really cool function.
The Powerful Pivot Table Saves The Day
There are extra course pages, twelve in all. Of course, you can add more, but I doubt you need any. Seven are plenty per year for my high schooler, but every homeschool is different, so this gives more options. That powerful Pivot Table I mentioned previously is located on each Course sheet. That means every course can be averaged individually and according to the dates you need. Just transfer the grade to the customizable Report Card and it auto-populates on the Summary Report Card sheet.
A Model to Follow Often Helps Us Get Started
Does your school require a Curriculum Plan? Ours does and it can be a bit confusing how one is supposed to fill it in. I’ve included a sheet for that too. Plus, the workbook purchase includes a sample of our first few weeks of 2020-2021 school year. Oftentimes, it is easier to follow the examples of others than try to forge out on our own. So, I hope the sample workbook will be of assistance as you plan your homeschool adventure.
Homeschool Families Come In All Shapes and Sizes
This All-In-One Homeschool Planner and GradeBook can be used for your entire family. You will download and pay for one copy. Save it as a template. Then save a copy for each child. One planner per child keeps it clean and easy to access grades. Plus you can assign different lessons per child in their own planner.
Still, need a bit more information? How about a little longer video? You’ve got it.
- Homeschool Planner and Gradebook Template for Excel
- A sample copy of Homeschool Planner and Gradebook with examples of use
- Summary Report Card Sheet includes Average Annual Grades, Attendance Days and Hours, Plus Date Range Grades Report Card
- Input once to auto-populate many fields reducing repetitive data entry
- Option to use a weighted and/or unweighted grading system
- Abundant course pages for maximum flexibility
- Curriculum Plan to show on one page the Approach, Measurement, and Materials for each Subject and Course Name
- Attendance Record makes keeping up with days and hours so simple you won’t dread monthly reporting any longer
- Reading Book List, Field Trips and Extra-curricular Activities Log are all helpful to track various important areas of education
- Pivot Tables on each course sheet allow for filtering dates to pinpoint exact timeframe for your grading reports
While I can’t offer a refund on the spreadsheet, I can offer help. If you find issues with formulas, first try going back to the template you saved on your download. If the template demonstrates the same issue, email me at email@example.com. I will promptly look into the issue and try to offer a fix. While I attempt to think of all scenarios, homeschooling is so diverse it is almost impossible for me to be able to foresee all the scenarios one might face. I’m happy to try, though. If you just need some reassurance or a little extra one-on-one help, you can always contact me for a Zoom meeting. Here’s my calendar.
Excel files with .xlsx extension (compatible for Excel 2007-2016) called AllInOneHomeschoolPlannertemplate.xlsx and AllInOneHomeschoolPlannersample.xlsx save a copy in a folder on your computer. It was specifically created for my high schooler, but can be used for any age group. It is not locked and is customizable to fit your style and needs. While I do not offer a Google Sheets copy at present, if you are experienced in that app, feel free to save the file there, and adjust as needed. Only one purchase is necessary for all your students. Save the template and rename it as appropriate for your family.
You will need Microsoft Office Excel installed on your computer, as well as a basic understanding of how the program works. OR Save to Google Drive and open in Google Sheets. Some of the functions will need tweaking in Google Sheets, so use that option only if you have experience in the app. The template was created in Office 365, which has an .xlsx extension.
© SOUTHERN MOM FLAIR – All template designs are for personal use only and may not be resold or redistributed under any circumstances.
A little about Vicki
As a wife, mother, and business owner, I stay pretty busy. So, when I told my husband I wanted to homeschool our youngest son a few years back, he was understandably concerned I would become too stressed-out for my own good.
Well, this is not my first homeschool rodeo. We homeschooled our two older kids, who are now well-adjusted and very successful adults. Michael is about 20 years younger than his brother. We are not newbies!
We use an unschooling Christian perspective in our home. Less structure, more learning the fun way, and based on biblical principles. It works for us.
Important: Information in this document does not constitute tax or legal advice and must not be used as such. If you have tax or legal questions, please contact your professional adviser. Any course offered here is simply to demonstrate how to use the accounting software or spreadsheets.
© Southern Mom Flair - All template designs and courses are for your personal business use only and may not be resold or redistributed under any circumstances.