This page addresses the decision points regarding which one of the three V Planners that you should use. The decision is not a hard one, but I want to make sure that you have the information that will lead you to the best decision. And, as always, when setting up a V Planner for the new school year, please use the latest V Planner.
Will you use V Planner's grades record system? Often, the homeschooler already has a system for grade records and does not want to or need to change and if this is the case, then please do not change your system. If this is not the case, you should read about V Planner's grades record system limitations before deciding.
If your answer is no, then use the Lesson Planner.
If your answer is yes, then use either the V Planner or the High School V Planner.
Are you using V Planner for its google calendar import function? All of my current V Planners include the Google Calendar function and using it is optional, so this will take you back to Question #1.
If your answer is yes or no to the google calendar function, AND you are not planning to use the grades record system, then use the Lesson Planner.
If your answer is yes or no to the google calendar function AND yes to the grades record system, then use either the V Planner or the High School V Planner.
As you can see from the two questions above, which V Planner that you should use depends on whether or not you are going to use the grades record system, so I should talk about it for a moment.
Daily Scores: Each subject sheet, also called S-Sheet, has 4 columns for scores and one column for points; points that can be added or subtracted. Each grading column may have a weight value assigned to it. The weight value can vary for each grading term. If you do not weigh grades, then use only one grading column and give it a weight value of 100%. In summary, you have 4 possible daily grade weight values per term and, three paragraphs down, I will discuss the grade system deal-breaker.
Two Special Scores per Term: In addition to the daily grading system and the 4 possible grade weight values, each grading term includes 2 places for items of importance that can have a weight value. These two items "of Importance" will weigh against the entire total score of a grading term and would obviously be used for something like a term test and a very special term project.
Semester Scores and Year-end Score: You can enter semester scores, one for the first semester and one for the second semester. The semester scores may be given a weight value which will weigh against the entire semester grade average. The same is true of the year-end score except that it will weigh against the entire class average for the year.
Back to the 4 Columns of Daily Scores and The Deal Breaker
As mentioned above each of the 4 daily score columns can have a value assigned to it so that the scores entered into the column will be "weighed." Let's say that you normally weigh grades (or that you never weigh grades) and you never have more than four levels in this weighing system for daily work. If this is true, then you can use the V Planner's grades record system. However, if you add a fifth or sixth value to calculate daily grades for a class, then perhaps you should not use V Planner's grades record system. Instead, you should stay with your current system and use the Lesson Planner.
V Planner is a spreadsheet and you think it is hard to use. I used to run from spreadsheets, but now I think they are wonderful tools. If you have never used a V Planner and just glancing at it makes you want to run in the other direction, then please use the Lesson Planner instead. Either V Planner is a useful tool and the Lesson Planner is a V Planner, but it doesn't have the grades record system and it is much easier to set up. If not using the grades record system is okay with you, then go for the Lesson Planner; otherwise use the V Planner in its entirety and follow my setup instructions carefully.
If you just want to manage lesson plans and you don't mind losing the grades record system, then use the Lesson Planner.
Use the V Planner that you want to use based on whether or not you will use the grades record system.
I've been asked questions about using this planner, so let's address them here.
It is a Four Year Planner: To me the High School V Planner is the scariest V Planner. Why is that, Donna? You might ask. I'll tell you why - High School V Planner is a FOUR YEAR PLANNER. That's in all caps because it is an important thing to know. This file, this ONE file, is to be used for four years. A lot can happen in four years ... maybe your hard drive will die and you didn't make back-ups. Okay that is the worst thing I can think of, so let's move on.
Grades 9-12: High School V Planner is designed for grades 9 - 12. It is not designed for grades earlier than that, not 8th grade, not 7th grade, not 6th grade ... and so forth. If you decide to use it for earlier grades, I cannot stop you, but I also will not help you if you use if for earlier grades and something weird happens. That said, it might be okay to use High School V Planner for one student in any grade, but I will not say that is ideal. Grades 9th - 12th are hard coded into the Data worksheet and you should be very careful when unlocking the Data worksheet to overwrite the school grade.
More information regarding One Student: The only way to use High School V Planner is to use it for one student and only one student. It is designed for one student. If you use it for two students or more, things will not work properly. Trust me, I made the planner.
What about One 6th, or One 7th, or One 8th grader? I can see those ideas swimming in your head. Okay, if you have ONE student and you don't want to use the regular V Planner because it is made for up to 4 students, then sure, use the High School V Planner, BUT everything I stated above remains true. It would be better to HIDE the unused worksheets in V Planner than to use the High School V Planner for a student in elementary school, but that is just my opinion. There is one last thing that I would like to add before closing - If you ignored my advice, and that's okay, then know this - When your student starts 9th grade, you will have to start a fresh High School V Planner in order to compile a complete 4-year high school record in the V Planner's various worksheets.
You Do Not Plan to Use the Grades Record System: If you are not going to use the grades record system in High School V Planner, then don't use the High School V Planner. Use the Lesson Planner instead! Seriously, the grades record system is a big system that adds overhead. Use High School V Planner ONLY if you plan on using the grades record system. However, maybe you want to use some of the other High School V Planner special worksheets that are not related to grades. Maybe the Plan worksheet looks appealing to you; maybe you want to have the records that are present in the Table. My advice would be to go ahead and use High School V Planner if you really want these perks and then use the semester score cells at or around N77 to enter a grade record rather than using the grade columns. Additionally, you can set up the grade term calculators and use the special score boxes that are in each calculator to enter term grades.
So, I hope that clears up all the questions of when to use High School V Planner and when not to use it.