Below are the steps to setting up High School V Planner. I might elaborate on some items or I might link to a page that has more information.
When you open the planner for the first time, you should be at a worksheet called About. About displays some general information and if you scroll down, some tips how not to break the planner. Please read about how not to break the planner because the High School planner is a 4-year planner and you should be very interested in not breaking it during those 4 years.
At the top of the About worksheet are some links and information about two important items in the High School V Planner. I will briefly go over those two things here.
FIRST- The Category List – What are categories?
The high school v planner uses categories. If you don’t know what I mean by “categories” please visit this web page at donnayoung.org -> http://donnayoung.org/forms/help/high-school-requirements.htm and view the two tables. You’ll see the heading “Category / Subject” and the list under the heading should show you what I mean by categories. You can find what your categories are by viewing the list of state required credits for high school graduation. Some states list the categories in a nice and tidy list and some bury it in legalize. Please don’t ask me what your state requires, you will have to find that out yourself, but I can supply some links to get you started. See – http://donnayoung.org/forms/help/high-school-requirements-state-links.htm
The Category List – Points about the category list
- Edit the list before setting up classes in the Data# worksheets
- The categories are listed at the Lists worksheet
- Most of the list may be edited
- The list can hold up to 10 “category / subjects”
- The Plan worksheet will pick up the top 8 categories in the list and everything else will be under “Electives”
Why Should You Use Course Categories
See this article – Course Categories
The Grade Scales
It is important for you to know that the first grade scale, GS 1, is the default grade scale. It is default because it is the grade scale that is selected throughout the V Planner. I suggest that you visit the worksheet GS-QP and edit the first grade scale so that it matches your grade scale and then return to the About worksheet. How to edit the grade scales is written on the GS-QP worksheet and you can also read about editing the grade scale here – http://donnayoung.org/homeschool-vplanner/set-up/gs-qp.
The link that you should click on after checking the Course Category List and the Grade Scales is Data. If you have already opened the planner and looked around and you have sort of lost the About worksheet, don’t worry, go to the first worksheet that it in the planner. It is called Today. The Today worksheet has a link to every important-to-you worksheet that is in the planner.
Go to Data
- Fill in your nickname or first name, don’t type your last name
- Enter the month and day of your birthday, such as 5/28
- Optional- Enter parent(s) name, first and last
- Optional- enter street address
- Optional- enter city, state zip code
- Optional- enter your school name
- Optional- enter your phone number
- Optional- this field is not used
- Enter the date for the PERSONAL Calendar worksheet
Additionally, change the word “To Do” to something else or leave it as is. “To Do” will show up on some of the lesson planners where dated calendar items are displayed.
- Student Information-
I. Here you will enter the First Name of the one student who is using the planner.
II. Optional- Enter each student’s last name.
III. Optional- Enter each student’s birth date.
IV. The student’s school grade is already entered. Do Not Change It!
- Classes Taken Away from Home
At this table enter the places where your child will take a class or two or more. The list supports 8 different places and this is for all 4 years; please keep that in mind. Once a location is set and has been selected at a Data# worksheet, then do not remove the location at any point the planner is in use. The only reason that a location should be removed is – You don’t want the place to become a record on the transcript.
A. Enter a class location
B. Choose a character number which will become the key on the transcripts. Note: If the keys are unsatisfactory, they may be edited at the Lists worksheet and if editing is necessary; Edit the Keys First, before selecting the Character Number.
- Credits earned before high school – There are 12 places for this. To fill, enter the information as noted by the headings on the table. If the items in the table confuse you, then come back to this later. After using the V Planner for a while, you will know what all of this stuff is.
- A table of where to go next. Chances are you will have to go to one of more of these worksheets next- Data1, Data2, Data3, Data4. Pick one and go there. If the student has already completed any of the grades 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th, you may still go to those certain data# sheets and set up classes so that the classes will appear on the 4-year transcript.
That is all for the Data Worksheet
Go to Data1
Next you will fill in the numbered Data worksheets for each school year or just for the current school year. I will give instructions for Data1. Instructions for Data1, Data2, Data3, Data4 are the same.
At any one of the worksheets named Data1, Data2, Data3, Data4
(The items are not numbered on the worksheet)
- Will this student use credits? Answer yes or no.
- Will you need to count minutes spent in class? Answer yes or no.
- Standardized Test Information – skip this because it is not part of setting up the planner. You can return to this to enter information if your child takes a standardized test.
- The student’s school grade should appear in the next highlighted box. If the box is empty, or if it is incorrect, please go back to Data and make necessary changes.
- Enter the date of the first day of school.
- Select how many grading terms this student will have. The choices are 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.
- Select which term starts the 2nd semester. The choices are 2, 3, 4. This selection determines which class averages are placed during the 1st semester and the 2nd semester.
- CLASSES – FOR EACH of the FIRST SIX CLASSES
- Formal Class Name ( Algebra 1, English 1, Biology 1, etc.)
- If using credits, enter the credit; if not using credits, leave blank.
- Select the course category – this is optional, but I strongly recommend that you do this.
- Short Class Name – is automatic, but make sure that each short class name is unique. (this is important). The length of the short class name can be changed by entering a different number in the orange box that is under the 6th class. More info on the formal and short class names
- Where was this class taken? If Using, select the class location from the drop-down list.
- FOR CLASSES using the SPLIT S-SHEETS (7-10)
1. Choose FULL, SPLIT, or NONE from the drop-down that is under the S-SHEET link. You will need to know what these settings mean-Full means that the s-sheet will be used for a full-year class. When choosing this, only fill the row next to the s-sheet link, don’t fill row next to the word “Full”
Split means that the s-sheet will be used for semester classes, either the 1st semester or the 2nd semester or both semesters with a different class in each one. [How to use a split s-sheet only for the second semester]
None means that the s-sheet will not be used.
Now that you know what this means, proceed filling in class names, and if used, credits and location.
- Before we leave the classes that are for S-Sheets 1-10, PLEASE make sure that each short class name is not like the others. I added an error notice that should tell you if any class names are alike.
- OTHER COURSES – the bottom part of the Classes section allows you to enter up to 6 classes that will not need an S-Sheet. This could be classes that are taken outside the home or classes that simply do not need an s-sheet. To fill in those classes do the following-
- Choose the school term for each class – The choices are Full Year, 1st Semester, 2nd Semester – this is important for placing the grades on the reports.
- Enter the class name
- If using, enter the credit
- Select the category.
- If using, select the location of the class from the drop-down list
- THE BOOKS FOR CLASSES with S-SHEETS – See Books
Fill this in, or skip this for now. Additionally, you may return to this section to add books throughout the year or unselect/select the main books. There are places for up to 100 books.
How to enter the books, go to the first table on the left-
- Column A- Select Main1, Main2, Main3, OR leave this blank.
Main1, Main2, Main3 causes the book titles to appear on the S-SHEETS.
- Column B – Select the class name.
- Column C – Type the title of the book/material
- Column A- Select Main1, Main2, Main3, OR leave this blank.
- THE BOOKS FOR a READING LIST – Fill this in, or skip this for now.
At around row 114 is a table that is reserved for books that are not connected to the classes, or if you ran out of room for class books, the overflow may be entered here. Entering books is simple-
In column H enter the book, and optionally the author- one per row. It’s best to not skip rows.
- THE BOOKS FOR OTHER COURSES – Fill this in, or skip this for now At around row 150 are several tables reserved for the classes for “Other Courses”. The tables are marked so that you will know which table is for which calls. To fill then, enter the book/material title.
That is all for Data# Worksheets. I have provided a table on each Data# worksheet that will tell you which Data# worksheets should be set up or checked. Also, be sure that the current Data# worksheet is error free – the worksheet will “tell” you if you need to fix mistakes. You do not have to set up the data worksheets for the remaining future high school years, but the completed high school years, if any, should be set up.
Do not go to the next step until the Data# worksheet is filled at least through number 12 in the list above. Thank you.
Next the “school calendar” must be established. Each high school year has a calendar.
Go to the Days Worksheet
When it is okay to set up the school calendar at the Days worksheet, the Data# sheets will tell you.
Days worksheet is a long worksheet that is full of dates. Each year has a section and it should be clearly marked.
- In the column under the word Total, type an x (lowercase or uppercase) next to each planned school date. Tip- “x” ALL of the planned school dates for the entire school year – this makes setting up the rest of the planner go more smoothly.
- You do not have to set up future years at this time.
That is all for the Days worksheet.
Go to the Terms Worksheet
Here you will set the beginning dates for each grading term. The number of grading terms were set at the Data# worksheets for each student. At the Terms worksheet, the selected term numbers will appear next to a white cell.
- At each white cell that is to the right of a term number (2-6) select a date from the very long drop-down list. The date will become the start date for the term. If there is NO NUMBER to the left of the white cell, do not select a date! If there should be numbers, then go back to Data(1,2,3,4) and double-check your answer at cells C25 and C26. [Video]
- Do this for each year that you are setting up. Note: If you did not set up all four the calendars at Days, then you cannot set up all four groups of term dates.
That is all for the Terms Worksheet
Now it is time to set up S-Sheets
The s-sheets are “subject sheets” and there you will set up the term grade calculators and enter lesson plans. Later, when using the planner, you will manage the lesson plans and enter scores.
Go to S1
EITHER set up lesson plans OR set up the term grade calculators. Either one can be done first. IF you know how you want to sort/label/weigh the grades for each class, then go ahead and set up the term grade calculators.
First I will walk you through the setup for a Term Grade Calculator. Instructions for all of them are the same.
- FIRST Make sure that you SHOULD set up the calculator. You’ll know because it will tell you to set it up. The clues – the calculator (the blue thing) will have a TERM NUMBER and it will say Set-up in two different places
- Now that you know WHICH calculators to set up. Here is how to do it.
- Decide if this class will have different values (weights) for the student’s work. The calculators support up to four different values. If I’ve lost some of you with this comment, please visit this page because it goes over grade calculators in detail- http://donnayoung.org/homeschool-vplanner/s-sheets/term-grade-calculators.
- In the row that is next to the word Term – enter the values. The values are percentages and when all are added, they must equal 100%. Don’t worry, the calculator will stop telling you the value is wrong once they are right.
- Type a Word – Under each value you may type a word that describes the part of the class that the value is for. That sounded confusing so I will give an example. Let’s say that you have three values – 20%, 30%, and 50%. You must have had some reason for that – let us say the 20% is for graded daily work. SO under 20%, you could type Work or Daily, but not both. If 30% is for quizzes, then under 30%, type Quiz. If 50% is for tests, then under 50% type Test.
- There are places for two SPECIAL scores and, in most cases, those are not part of set-up. If you want to know how to use them go to http://donnayoung.org/homeschool-vplanner/s-sheets/term-grade-calculators.
- Set up each grade calculator that says “Set Up.”
On the split s-sheets (7-10), you will have to scroll down to see the calculators that are used for the 2nd semester.
That is all there is to setting up a Term Grade Calculator. While there is some thought that goes into how a class is graded, the graders are easy to set up.
Still at S1
Entering lesson plans in the V Planner is rather straight forward, but at the same time, it’s a little sticky. To help you decide just how you want to do this I will give you a list of things to consider. [also, see the video on this page]
- Before adding lesson plans KNOW and Understand the following – Each lesson plan ROW = ONE DAY . The row includes the date, the plans, and the scores and the items in the row stick together like glue. Well except for the date – the date can be “bumped”. What this means is the items shown in the image below STICK TOGETHER, NO MATTER WHAT.
The sticky items are – Column 1, Column 2, Column 3, the scores, the points, and the time. These items cannot be separated unless you physically remove them. (DO NOT drag or cut items in the V planner.) Knowing what sticks together should help you “sequence” parts of the class. What I am trying to say is this – It is important to know that the items in Columns 2 and 3 cannot be separated from Column 1 when bumping dates (DS) or numbering plans (NS). Keep that in mind when using the 2 extra columns. One last thing to consider is that the 3rd lesson plan column “Column 3” may be used for something special such as teacher’s notes. Lesson planner AUC3 will display only the items from Column 3.
- Adding Lesson Plans– The basic way to enter lesson plans is to enter each lesson plan one at a time row after row. When entering lesson plans, ignore the dates in yellow column because those can be changed with Bump. There are other ways to enter lesson plans, such as pasting the plans from a file, but there are things to know about that before attempting it.
Read more about entering lesson plans at http://donnayoung.org/homeschool-vplanner/s-sheets/lesson-plans
Enter lesson plans in each S-Sheet that needs lesson plans. All lesson plans do not have to be entered, but enter some to get started.
Go to the GS-QP Worksheet – The Grade Scales
V Planner supports 3 different grade scales and the most important thing to know is that the first grade scale – GS 1 – is the default grade scale. Take my word for it, this is useful information. At GS-QP do the following-
- View GS 1 and ask yourself – Is this like my grade scale? If it is GREAT, you are done, but if it isn’t you will have to alter it to match your grade scale.
TO CHANGE GS 1-
1. Either change the spread number OR
2. Type the correct numbers in row 1 (this choice is easier).
- Next ask yourself – Will I need to use a different grade scale for a few classes? If so, view the other two grade scales to see if any match. If one does, remember which one it is and then select it in the places where the grade scale is selected (at S-Sheets and Other Courses). If no grade scales match the second one that you need to use, change it as described above.
- IMPORTANT – once the grade scales are established and in use, don’t go back to GS-QP to change them unless you need to fix a mistake. The 3 grade scales must be used for all four years of high school — This is very important to know, don’t be nit-picking the grade scales, YOU ONLY HAVE THREE for all 4 years of high school!
Go to the Other Courses
If your child has classes for “Other Courses” then go to the Other Courses worksheet and finish setting up those classes. To do that —
- Column B – Choose a grade scale
- Column R – Make sure the QP scale is correct – this is important only if the class is earning credit. Default is GPA, which represents the standard 4.0 scale.
Loose Ends and other Little Things
At S-Sheets there are several settings to make at this time and they are-
- Cell V6 – Set the Grade Scale – default is GS 1
- Cell V7 – At the split s-sheets (7-10) and if using 2nd semester as a stand alone class – Set the Grade Scale – default is GS 1
- Cell L6 – Set the extra point value – default is 0.01
That should cover everything for setting up the High School V Planner. Write me to let me know if I missed something.