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RenaInTexas

Google Classroom for Homeschool Lesson Planning (XPost)

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I posted this in General, but it didn't get many responses. Decided to post here because high schooling moms are more likely to be using a resource like this.

Anyone use google classroom to manage their homeschool lesson planning.

I am testing it right now with one of our classes, but I would love to hear the experience of others. How do you use it? Any lessons learned or wisdom gained? Any shortcomings to be aware of?

I am looking to replace my current spreadsheet system with Google Classrooms because it is free and more flexible than my spreadsheets (so I think). I am not interested in replacing the spreadsheet with a paid option at this time.

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If you are having your kids access it instead of you, it would make sense.  And it would help them learn now to use the computer to check assignments which is part of almost all classrooms nowadays anyway. ?

My dd has it with one of her co-op classes, and it's working great.  The kids get an email when new assignments are posted, and they can use it to communicate, ask questions, and have discussions.

 

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We started using Google classroom this year as part of an effort to go more paperless due to our international move.  The girls now have their own laptops as well. 

The good:  They actually like receiving email updates from Google classroom on new assignments or updates to assignments.  They also like having the ebooks/ efiles and links embedded within the assignment.   Google classroom also connects into CK12 which we use for science videos and pre-reads and connects into Common Lit.  No more Mom, where's this file or link? 

From a time management standpoint, the best part is that the assignments can be viewed on their phone calendars so that they can see their daily commitments and activities all at the same time.  They don't get to go to their sports practices and games until their schoolwork is done, so that keeps them highly motivated and responsible for their own time management.   

The cumbersome:  I was trying to schedule assignments a month at a time so that they can plan out their own workloads.  But it became very problematic when we wanted to go off on a bunny trail or if they need to do some extra assignments to master a concept.   For example, I haven't figured out how to do a bulk change of due dates for their math assignments (which is very easily done on an excel worksheet).  Right now, I need to click on each assignment, one at a time, to manually change the due date.  This was extremely painful for a month of daily math assignments!   To get around this, I started adding a flex day every 2 weeks (Fridays) so that if they do fall behind, I only need to change the due dates for a shorter period of time.  On the upside, if they do finish as expected, we use the flex day for more reading, museum visits, and special projects.  In addition, I've added a special projects week in between the semesters that we use for bunny trails and special projects (and for me to update my excel spreadsheet and update the plan for the next term - lol).

HTH

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I am using it with two co-op classes, but I can't imagine getting a lot of benefit from it at home. 

I use Evernote to make weekly assignment lists that ds can check off as he goes. I can input links where needed. It can be accessed from my computer and the laptop he uses. The free version only allows 2 devices, though. 

 

 

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On 11/10/2018 at 3:51 AM, nhtwins said:

The cumbersome:  I was trying to schedule assignments a month at a time so that they can plan out their own workloads.  But it became very problematic when we wanted to go off on a bunny trail or if they need to do some extra assignments to master a concept.   For example, I haven't figured out how to do a bulk change of due dates for their math assignments (which is very easily done on an excel worksheet).  Right now, I need to click on each assignment, one at a time, to manually change the due date.  This was extremely painful for a month of daily math assignments!   

 

 

Do you see any problems if I do not assign a due date. In my pilot class, I have not assigned due dates because we do the next thing. As they get older, I will want to give due dates, so this is something to keep in mind. I like your workaround. 

Thank you for sharing your experience. I really want to convert to Google Classrooms, but I am nervous about jumping in with two feet only to find some quirk that causes it all to fall apart. So if anyone has more experience, please share. I guess all I have to lose is time since the product is free. And I like that it can track grades.

I use Evernote and OneNote for other things, but I am looking for something that more resembles a learning management system (and free!).

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On 11/10/2018 at 12:55 PM, mom31257 said:

I am using it with two co-op classes, but I can't imagine getting a lot of benefit from it at home. 

I use Evernote to make weekly assignment lists that ds can check off as he goes. I can input links where needed. It can be accessed from my computer and the laptop he uses. The free version only allows 2 devices, though. 

 

 

I find it incredibly useful at home. But I have two dysgraphics and they type all of their school work. With Google Classroom I can upload their science tests from their outside teacher, and they can type the responses right into the document. I can also upload anything I want them to read or complete for history and English. I use it daily in our homeschool, so I think it just depends on your teaching style. It has allowed my boys to be far more productive and work on grade level without their handwriting issues getting in the way.

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We're using it mostly because it integrates with Study.com, all the other Google tools. I maintain a master full-year schedule in Google docs and then every week I enter her weekly schedule into Google Classroom. It's how I've worked around the frustration of not being able to easily move things around. 

I have a list of things I'd like to change, but it's working well for DD so we're sticking with it. Let me know if you have specific questions because I feel like we're really using it to its fullest extent now.

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16 hours ago, RenaInTexas said:

 

Do you see any problems if I do not assign a due date. In my pilot class, I have not assigned due dates because we do the next thing. As they get older, I will want to give due dates, so this is something to keep in mind. I like your workaround. 

Thank you for sharing your experience. I really want to convert to Google Classrooms, but I am nervous about jumping in with two feet only to find some quirk that causes it all to fall apart. So if anyone has more experience, please share. I guess all I have to lose is time since the product is free. And I like that it can track grades.

I use Evernote and OneNote for other things, but I am looking for something that more resembles a learning management system (and free!).

 

There is an option to not assign a due date (or to unassign a due date).   As for whether it's worth jumping into, maybe do a mock trial (without the kids) to see if you like it.  Deferring to others who have more experience ? 

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On 11/12/2018 at 6:27 PM, deerforest said:

I have a list of things I'd like to change, but it's working well for DD so we're sticking with it. Let me know if you have specific questions because I feel like we're really using it to its fullest extent now.

 

Thanks, I do have some specific questions (based on responses here):

If my student finishes part of a lesson, how easy will it be for him to find where he stopped and pick up from there? Are there checkboxes he could use or would he have to remember? This is assuming no due date was entered.

If I do enter a due date, what happens after that date has passed? Is the assignment still accessible to the student? I could see a scenario where I assign due dates in order to set a pace for the course and then use those due dates to determine how 'off pace' we are. In this case, he may work ahead of pace or behind pace. There may be a point where he can catch back up to the original pace. 

Can the students give an audio or video response to an assignment? 

These are all I can think of now. Thank you (all) so much for your willingness to share your experience with this product.

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On 11/14/2018 at 8:26 AM, RenaInTexas said:

Thanks, I do have some specific questions (based on responses here):

If my student finishes part of a lesson, how easy will it be for him to find where he stopped and pick up from there? Are there checkboxes he could use or would he have to remember? This is assuming no due date was entered.

If I do enter a due date, what happens after that date has passed? Is the assignment still accessible to the student? I could see a scenario where I assign due dates in order to set a pace for the course and then use those due dates to determine how 'off pace' we are. In this case, he may work ahead of pace or behind pace. There may be a point where he can catch back up to the original pace. 

Can the students give an audio or video response to an assignment? 

These are all I can think of now. Thank you (all) so much for your willingness to share your experience with this product.

 

Students and teachers both have a "To Do" list, but it's not very sophisticated. They can either mark that they've completed the lesson or not. So, as long as he hasn't marked it as completed, he'll still see it on the list. There are different sections on it -- Missing, No Due Date, Due Today, Tomorrow, Date. It's very basic. One thing I hate is that it doesn't let me do repeating things. Say I wanted her to start reading a book on x day and just wanted to remind her to keep reading a bit every day until the due date...can't do that. 

The assignment is still accessible to the student and shows up in the "Missing" section at the top. When they complete those tasks, it reports that they submitted an item late. I suppose that matters to teachers.

They can attach anything to their responses. One of the main reasons we decided to use Classroom was because my daughter liked using Google docs for her work. That stuff is all integrated really nicely with Classroom. But, they can also attach files, link to URLs, etc. So, if they had an audio or video file, it would just be uploaded to Google drive first and then can be attached to the assignment.

I honestly wouldn't use this for long-term planning. It's not easy to move things around or change dates. It's very basic and works very well for weekly assignments, especially because it integrates well with other Google tools and Study.com, but I can't imagine keeping track of anything more than a week's worth of assignments here. I have my full-year plans documented elsewhere.

 

Edited by deerforest
removed image and reference to it -- don't like to keep personal photos on public forums for long!
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