Below are the steps to setting up V Planner V4+. Setup instructions for High School V Planner are on a different page.
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 about how not to break the planner. At the top of the About worksheet are some links. The link that you should click on first 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 worksheet in the planner.
Go to Data
At the worksheet named 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 each student that is using the planner.
II. Optional- Enter each student’s last name.
III. Optional- Enter each student’s birth date.
IV. Enter each student’s school grade.
That is all for the Data Worksheet
Go to Data1
Next you will fill in the numbered Data worksheets for each student. I will give instructions for Data1, and when you are finished with Data1, fill in the other Data# worksheets for your children. You will know if you should fill in the worksheet by the student’s name at the top of the worksheet. Instructions for Data1, Data2, Data3, Data4 are the same.
At any one of these worksheets- Data1, Data2, Data3, Data4
- 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 for this student.
- Select how many grading terms this student will have. The choices are 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. [What are Grading Terms]
- 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 –
Class Location is Optional- If some classes are taken somewhere other than home –
1. If your child takes a class outside of the home, say a co-op for instance, the name of the place may be entered into a table.
2. To the left of the location name, select a number (CHAR number) to create a key for the reports. (Where the CHAR numbers come from-> see #4)
- FOR EACH of the FIRST SIX CLASSES (s-sheets 1-6)
1. Formal Class Name (Math or Algebra 1, etc.) [Read more about Class Names]
2. If using credits, enter the credit; if not using credits, or if this class does not earn a credit, leave blank.
3. 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.
4. 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, enter one class in the row next to the s-sheet link; don’t enter a class in the row next to the word “Full”
Split means that the s-sheet will be used for semester-length classes, either the 1st semester or the 2nd semester or both semesters with a different class in each one. More info on Using Split S-Sheet for 2nd 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.
- OTHER COURSES – the bottom part of the classes section allows you to enter up to 6 classes that will not need an S-Sheet. These could be classes that are taken outside the home or classes that simply do not need an s-sheet. To enter classes for “Other Courses” do the following-
1. Choose the school term for each class – The choices are Full Year, 1st Semester, 2nd Semester – this is important for placing the grades in the proper places on the reports.
2. Enter the class name
3. If using, enter the credit
4. If using, select the location of the class from the drop-down list
- Be sure that you do not forget to go to the Other Courses worksheet to complete the setup for these particular classes.
- 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-
1. Column A- Select Main1, Main2, Main3, OR leave this blank.
Main1, Main2, Main3 causes the book titles to appear on the S-SHEETS.
2. Column B – Select the class name.
3. Column C – Type the title of the book/material
- 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-
1. 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.
If you have filled all of your children’s Data# worksheets then 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.
Do not go to the next step until the all of your children’s Data# worksheets are filled through number 12 in the list above. Thank you.
Next the “school calendar” must be established. Each child has a calendar and that means that you will create this school calendar for each child.
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 if full of dates. Each child 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 school date.
- “X” ALL of the planned school dates for the entire school year – this makes setting up the rest of the planner go more smoothly.
- Do this for each child that is using the V Planner!
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. The selected term numbers will appear next to a white cell.
1. 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!
Do this for each student.
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 enter lesson plans OR set up the term grade calculators. Either one can be done first. IF you know how you want to sort out the grades for each class, then go ahead and set up the term grade calculators first.
First I will walk you through the set up for a Term Grade Calculator. Instructions for all of them are the same.
- 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) has a TERM NUMBER and it says Set-up in two different places.
- Now you should know WHICH calculators to set up. Here is how to do it.
- Decide if this class will have different values for work. The calculators support up to four different values. I’ve lost some of you with this comment? If so, 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 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 would type Work or Daily, but not both. I hope you see what I mean because I don’t want to give any more examples. This WORD is for your reference ONLY. Visit this page to see how it is used. http://donnayoung.org/homeschool-vplanner/s-sheets/dynamic-term
- 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.”
That is all there is to setting up a Term Grade Calculator. While there is some thought that goes into how a class is grade, 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.
- Each lesson plan ROW – this row includes the date, the plans, and the scores = ONE DAY and the items in the row stick together like glue. Well except for the date – the date can be “bumped” — so 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. Knowing this should help you “sequence” parts of the class. It is important to know that the items in Columns 2 and 3 cannot be separated from Column 1. Keep that in mind when using the 2 extra columns.
- 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 me 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, 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 (this can be very difficult) 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.
Go to the Other Courses
If your children have classes for “Other Courses” 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.
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 V Planner. Write me to let me know if I missed something.