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Digital Homeschool Planner: Homeschool Planner Plus

by Mary Ann Kelley

Looking for our printable planner? It’s here.

Logo of red roofline with grey window and text Homeschool Planner PlusWhen I began homeschooling high school, I put together a simple spreadsheet to use to plan courses and keep track of credits needed for graduation. I gradually expanded that spreadsheet to a workbook that is a full digital planner for an individual homeschooled student.

This workbook also includes spreadsheets to create transcripts (this is how I created the transcripts that were submitted with my children’s college applications).

I’m sharing the result with you and would love to hear how you use it. ~ Mary Ann

Download Homeschool Planner Plus for Excel »

Download Homeschool Planner Plus for Open Office »

Free Homeschool Transcripts Template DownloadHomeschool Transcripts

Homeschool Planner Plus includes an older version of our transcript template which remains in the workbook, but we now have a revised and updated the transcript and are making it available as a separate download. The transcript template workbook for Excel has options for creating a transcript either by year or by subject, and includes both 10 point scale and 10 point scale with +/- options. For questions, see the FAQ below. At this time, we are only offering the updated homeschool transcript template for Excel. You will find it at the link below.
Creating a Homeschool Transcript »

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What this planner IS:

  • FREE!
  • Expandable to cover all years of a student’s schooling from elementary grades through high school
  • A solution for producing simple, clean transcripts and report cards
  • A solution for keeping track of assignments given and completed, including the amount of time spent
  • A solution for keeping attendance
  • Printable (be sure to set your print area to only the portion that you want to print)
  • Compatible with Excel 2003+ and Open Office

What this planner ISN’T:

  • A comprehensive solution that will keep all information for all students in one file (it is designed to be used one workbook per student)
  • A database planner like Homeschool Tracker Plus (affiliate link)
  • Compatible with Excel reader (you must have the full version of Excel or plan to use the Open Office version)
  • Perfect. There are things that will need to be fixed and improved as the planner is used – we welcome your feedback for both error reports and suggestions.

Terms of Use: Our website, downloads (including this planner), and resources are offered without representation as to their fitness for any purpose, and without warranty of any kind, either express or implied, including without limitation the implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose. Your use of our website, e-books, and other downloads is your agreement to these terms. If you do not agree with these terms, please do not use our resources.

Notes and FAQs about Homeschool Planner Plus:

I want to edit the planner but it is password protected. Can I have the password?

Yes. The spreadsheet’s cells with formulas are locked to prevent unintentional changes to the formulas, which could cause incorrect calculations for GPA and credits earned. Unlock the pages at your own risk using the password letmein.

Will Homeschool Planner Plus calculate course grades based on the weight of different assignment types?

Yes. When you enter the course details for each course in Homeschool Planner Plus, you may customize the weight given to each type of assignment (homework, projects, tests, etc.). HPP will calculate the course grade from the weighted averages for the totals of each assignment type.

Will Homeschool Planner Plus calculate GPA and credits?

Yes. The planner is set up so that it will calculate a weighted GPA for the student based on the grade and weighting information entered into the spreadsheet. This means that in addition to calculating a standard GPA, Homeschool Planner Plus will also take into account the fact that AP and Honors classes carry weighted grades. HPP will account for half-year classes as well by weighting them as a half credit course.

I have Excel and the file says it cannot be opened because it is password protected. What is wrong?

If you have Excel, make sure you download the Excel version of the planner. The Open Office Version will work in Open Office but Excel seems to get confused when trying to open the Open Office version.

Why can’t I keep track of all of my children in the same workbook?

Because of the way the spreadsheets are interconnected, and just one child will have dozens of spreadsheets within their own workbook by the time they graduate, it is inefficient to have more than one student per workbook. If you need to keep track of everyone in one file, I recommend Homeschool Tracker Plus (affiliate link) which is a much more complex and robust planner than Homeschool Planner Plus.

Why can’t I enter the courses once in the Course Planner and have them show up in Course Details?

The workbook is large and adding course detail sheets for every course that might be taken from elementary through high school would make it extremely unwieldy. By allowing you to duplicate the Course Details sheet only enough times for the courses that your child is actually taking, we can keep the file more manageable. For someone only using Homeschool Planner Plus for high school, there will only be 24-30 courses and therefore 24-30 Course Detail sheets. For someone using Homeschool Planner Plus starting in elementary school, there could easily be 100+ Course Detail sheets. That’s a lot of scrolling through tabs for someone who doesn’t need it.

If you would like to only enter the information once on the Course Planner page, simply create a Course Details page for each course your student is taking. In the Course Description box on the Course Details sheet, type in a plus sign (+) and navigate to the cell on the Course Planner sheet that contains the Course & Provider for that subject. Click on the cell and then click the “enter” button on your keyboard. The contents of that cell will now appear on your Course Details sheet for that course and will update if you update the information on the Course Planner page. If you do this, remember not to move information around on the Course Planner page or you will change the contents of the Course Description on the Course Details page.

Why isn’t there a calendar?

Since Homeschool Planner Plus is designed to be used for many years, it is better to use a hard copy of our printable monthly and yearly calendars.

Is there an easy way to enter dates when I am creating assignments?

[Update: This functionality now seems to be broken. It could be because Excel updates have changed something on my version of the software, but I’m not sure and won’t be doing any development on it to fix it. If it works for you with macros enabled, let me know.] If you have macros enabled on your copy of Excel, you will have the option to use a popup calendar when entering dates. The calendar can be called by right-clicking in a cell and choosing “Insert Date” or by using the “Insert Date” icon in the top menu of Excel 2007.

Why don’t the grades from each Course Details Page automatically transfer to the Transcript and Report Card sheets?

This is prevented for the same reason that you can’t enter the courses once in the Course Planner and have them show up in Course Details. In order to create a workbook that would have enough Course Details pages for every course a child might take, there would be an excessive number of tabs across the bottom (possibly hundreds of tabs). Once the numerical grade for each course is manually transferred to the appropriate cell on the Transcript or Report Card sheet, the formulas will automatically calculate the GPA for the student.


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  1. Todd

    Hi, Mary Ann. Thanks for all your work! Heads up, though: Your instructions don’t work for unlocking a tab (TOOLS > PROTECTION > UNPROTECTED SHEET) requires a password. Share that with users, and you’ll have really created something valuable that can be customized and developed for each individual homeschool!

    • Mary Ann Kelley

      Hi Todd. Thanks for your comment. I’m not having any problem unlocking the sheets with password letmein as instructed above. Could you let me know exactly what issue you are having along with any details that might help me diagnose the issue (which tab, what password you are using, which version of Excel, etc.)?

  2. Robin

    Hi Mary Ann. Thank you for making this wonderful resource available to all! I have 2 children and I was able to copy each page for my 2nd child. I followed the steps for changing the name for the 2nd child, and I got as far as the Elementary Course Planner before the program stopped allowing me to do the same for any of the rest of the tabs. What might I be doing wrong? Thanks for any help you can give!

    • Mary Ann Kelley

      Hi Robin – Did you create an entirely new workbook for the second child, or did you try to add pages for the second child in the first child’s workbook? The name and other information is fed from the student information page to the other pages, so if you try to put two students in one workbook Excel doesn’t know what to do. If you created a new workbook for the second student, did you delete any pages?

  3. Jennifer

    This is such an incredible gift to all homeschoolers, especially for high school! Thank you for providing this for free as I am sure this took a while to create. I love working with Excel and appreciate the ability to tweak as needed. I’m so happy I clicked on this site!

    • Mary Ann Kelley

      I’m so glad you find it useful, Jennifer!

  4. Heidi

    I’m having trouble with the grades when I go on to the 2nd page. Everything works great for the first page of a subject, but once I’ve done more than the 28 allotted spots on page 1, it stops calculating the overall grade. Has anyone else had this problem and what did you do to fix it?

    Thanks for any help

    • Mary Ann Kelley

      Hi Heidi – can you give me more details? I tested this on the Course Details tab in both the quizzes and tests columns and the averages adjusted fine.

      Thoughts that might help you track down the problem:
      Have you unlocked any of the protected cells and changed anything?
      Are you using Excel (preferred) or another program?
      Have you downloaded a fresh copy and pasted the grades in to see if it might be just your data file that has the issue?

      • Heidi

        Hi Mary Ann, thank you so much for responding to me. I did not knowingly change any cells. I am using excel, and I did try pasting in grades and I still have the same problem. I have now gone down for each class onto page 2 and it’s having the same problems across the board on both of my students.

        • Mary Ann Kelley

          I’m not sure what to tell you since I can’t replicate the problem. Have you tried starting with a fresh copy and entering the grades to see if the same thing happens? If that fixes it, you could delete the current spreadsheets and replace them with the ones from the fresh copy. To do this, you right-click the tab and use the options to delete the current spreadsheet, then right-click the new ones (make sure both workbooks are open) and choose Move, then use the dropdown list to choose the other workbook.

  5. Patty Delvalle

    I don’t know how I missed that! Thank you again!

  6. Patty Delvalle

    First of all, thank you! I can imagine how much time and effort when into both the digital and the printable planners. I truly appreciate your generosity in making these available to the homeschooling community.

    I have a question about the course details pages; they have 19 fields for entering data such as independent work, quizzes and test – is there a way to add more fields? I would need 180 to enter daily assignments or 36 to enter it weekly.
    How do you use it?


    • Mary Ann Kelley

      Hi Patty – If you scroll down, there are entry lines going down through line 300 so there should be plenty of room to enter all of the assignments. The 19 fields are just the first page. ?

  7. Jeanyce

    This sounds like just what I’m looking for, however when I try to open the program I get a window that says it’s in an unrecognizable format. I have Windows Excel, so I do not know what the problem would be.

    • Mary Ann Kelley

      Hi Jeanyce – it sounds like the file might not have downloaded properly. I’d try redownloading it and choose “save as” instead of opening it directly. Then open Excel and do a File > Open.

      I’m not sure what the problem could be if that doesn’t solve it since I have not had any other reports of not being able to open it on a PC or laptop. If you are trying to use a tablet, I’m not sure if there is a difference but it *should* work.

  8. Nancy Turner

    Hi Mary Ann!

    I’ve been using this for a couple of years and copying the sheets, etc. Now that I’m trying to create a transcript I have an issue with the Grade field. It isn’t letting me edit (worked fine for 10th grade – first year I used it), but is giving odd numbers for 11th. One sheet says 20 another says 45! Where does it grab this information?

    • Mary Ann Kelley

      Hi Nancy – Could you send me more details through this form? I’m not sure I understand exactly what you are trying to do and what is going wrong. Without knowing the exact cells you are referring to, I can’t really comment. Let me know whether you are trying to reuse the same workbook or a fresh copy, whether you deleted any tabs/spreadsheets, what you are trying to calculate, etc.

      • Nancy Turner

        Well, I answered part of my question! What I’m trying to do is get the next year’s sheets to update on the course planner block. I didn’t delete anything I was aware of…I guess I’m trying to reuse the same workbook by adding new tabs for the different courses. Thanks so much for taking the time to reply!

        • Mary Ann Kelley

          I’m glad you figured it out!

  9. Bettie Gross

    Mary Anne,
    I am sorry please disregard my last message but I need help in how to add second and third students with their information and courses.

    Bettie Gross

    • Mary Ann Kelley

      Hi Bettie – I suggest using a separate spreadsheet for each child. When you download the file, save a master blank copy and create one for each student.

  10. Bettie Gross

    I clicked the excel version for the plan to be downloaded into Excel, but I see nothing done. How do I start? Are there directions for me to use, I would love to use this program but I guess I don’t understand what to do. I have never used Excel


    • Mary Ann Kelley

      Thanks for letting me know that you figured it out. 🙂

  11. Laurie

    Thank you for creating and sharing this valuable tool! Question – when I click on the Report Card tab, there is only room for one year on there. How do I add the other three years?

    • Mary Ann Kelley

      You can make copies of any of the tabs by right-clicking on the tab and choosing “Move or copy” (be sure to check copy on the options that come up).

      • Laurie

        Thanks! Duh, that answer was too easy. I must have been tired that night! lol

        Another question – In the Report Card section, would you add weight for a Dual Enrollment class at the community college? Or, do you just note at the bottom of the transcript that they were college classes? Or would you consider adding weight for Honors/AP? And if so, how much?


        • Mary Ann Kelley

          I did things differently for each child. I never used report cards, but for the transcripts I chose to either weight the DE class grade or count it as more credits unweighted. The way I did it depended on how many credits the child had/needed, and it showed clearly how I counted it on the transcript. I don’t think there is one right way to do it. We didn’t do any Honors/AP, only DE so I can only speak to that.

  12. Jen

    This seems like a dumb question, but I am hopeful…can I use this on my smart phone? We dont have a computer at home, but this looks so wonderful!!

    • Mary Ann Kelley

      Hi Jen,

      I haven’t used it on my phone, but I would think that you would be able to download it and open it in Google Sheets on your phone. I’m not sure if all of the calculations will stay intact since I haven’t tested it, but it’s worth a try.

  13. Resa

    This was exactly what I was looking for before creating it all on my own. Thank you so much for sharing it with the homeschool community…such a blessing!!

    • Mary Ann Kelley

      I’m glad you found it helpful!

  14. Judy Spady

    I’ve set everything up in the spreadsheet for my Son who is a Freshman this year and all of the credit hours were calculating, etc…but now, for some reason, it is showing #REF! in the cell for ‘Total Cumulative Credits’. I have checked all of the cells for the credit hours and there is nothing in them other than 1’s so why is it doing this? Thanks~!! It’s a great resource! 😉

    • Mary Ann Kelley

      Hi Judy – Have you unlocked the locked cells? I can’t replicate this, but I’ll email you and if you want to send me a copy of your spreadsheet I’ll take a look at it.

    • Mary Ann Kelley

      I was able to figure this out for Judy and wanted to post it here in case anyone else runs into the issue. The problem that she ran into with the #REF! on the High School Course Planner sheet was due to deleting the Middle School Course Planner sheet. Since some kids take courses for high school credit in 8th grade, those carry over from the 8th grade block on the Middle School Course Planner to the cumulative credits on the High School Course Planner.

      Not all 8th grade courses will have a credit, but things like Algebra and Foreign Language will count towards total graduation credits. To solve the problem the file can be unlocked with the password letmein to change the formula to remove the reference to the Middle School sheet, or you can download a fresh copy and add the middle school sheet back to your current file (have both files open and right click the Middle School tab on the clean file and chose Move and then select your customized file from the dropdown list to move the sheet to the other file).

  15. JO

    Hi…This may seem like a silly question but what is the difference between the sheets: Report Card 10pt Scale and Report Card 10pt +/- Scale?

    • Mary Ann Kelley

      The 10 pt. scale is strictly 4.0, 3.0, 2.0, etc. when calculating the GPA:
      90-100 = 4.0
      80 – 89 = 3.0
      The 10 pt. +/- scale adds in adjustments for A+, A-, B+, B-, etc. so that instead of everything from 90-100 being a 4.0, you show variations within the letter grade:
      90 = 4.0
      95 = 4.25
      100 = 4.50

      It allows for showing a more accurate reflection of a student’s grades in the calculated GPA.

  16. Betsy

    Love this planner, but I was desperately hoping I could simply copy a sheet from one child’s book to the other (I have twins and a child one grade ahead of them, so MANY assignments for subjects like science and history are the same). I was able to copy the course details sheet successfully from one child’s book to another’s, but I can’t seem to edit the child’s name in the copied version. It’s not a huge deal right now because they’re in elementary school…but is there any way to change that cell for future reference? The information on the student information sheet is correct, just not the copied sheet. I tried unlocking that sheet so I could edit it, but that particular cell is still un-editable.

    Thanks for your work in putting this together!

    • Mary Ann Kelley

      Hi Betsy – I haven’t tried to do that, but the cell gets its info from the info page. Are you trying to do your other child’s page in a separate workbook or the same workbook? Either way, you can edit the cells to pull info from elsewhere by unlocking them. As noted above the password to unlock the protection is letmein.

      • Betsy

        Thanks for your response! I have a separate workbook for each child and filled in the appropriate child info in each book. And when I tried the password listed above, it let me edit the formula cells, but still not the student name one on the sheet I copied from one book to the other. I’ll keep playing around with it. Thanks again.

        • Mary Ann Kelley

          Hi Betsy – I was able to get this to work in the following way:

          1- Copy the course page from Child 1 into the workbook for Child 2 by right-clicking the tab, choosing Move or Copy, and choosing Child 2’s workbook from the dropdown.

          2- Unlock the sheet in Child 2’s workbook using the password letmein.

          3- Place your cursor in the cell where Child 1’s name appears on the unlocked sheet. You should see something in the address bar that looks like a reference to the info sheet in Child 1’s workbook. Click the + sign on your keyboard, the without clicking anything else on that sheet, navigate to the student info sheet in Child 2’s workbook.

          4- Click the cell that contains Child 2’s name and then hit enter on your keyboard.

          5- Navigate back to the course tab in Child 2’s workbook. You should now see Child 2’s name on the course page as the student.

          6- Repeat for each sheet copied from Child 1’s workbook to Child 2’s workbook.

          Let me know if this works for you. Basically that cell is pulling the student’s name from the Student Info sheet in the workbook that the sheet was copied from (in this case, Child 1’s workbook), and that doesn’t change when you move the sheet to a new workbook. You have to manually tell each sheet to reference the cell on the Student Info page in the new workbook.

  17. Angie

    My daughter is fixing to finish her sophmore year up at a private school! We are thinking of letting her finish her junior AND senior year at home! How do I figure up how many classes she needs to graduate early?

    • Mary Ann Kelley

      Hi Angie – Homeschooling is regulated by the state. I live in Virginia, and there are no set requirements for earning a high school degree for homeschoolers here. What we did was look at the colleges where the child might attend and see what their requirements are for high school. That gave us a good idea of how many credits to shoot for, and we designed a high school program to meet that number while including the expected number of credits in each subject area.

      Colleges won’t want to see a diploma, they will want to see a transcript and most of them will tell you on their websites what classes they want to see. If your child is not college bound, you have even more flexibility.

    • Heidi Cronin

      I am new to this homeschooling plan, I would really like a syllabus, or a planner for the remainder of this year. We, her and i have had unfortunate stability problems this year. Many moves and many emotions has caused my daughter anxiety that enables her to go to school and complete the day. I do not want her to have to lose this knowledge /education for her junior year.

      Pls help me

      • Mary Ann Kelley

        Hi Heidi – I’m not exactly sure what you are asking; could you clarify? Are you just asking for a form to use with your curriculum/plans, or are you asking for a curriculum to finish your daughter’s junior year?

  18. kristina McGuire

    WHAT variable to u put in for attendance?

    • Mary Ann Kelley

      A capital X would be fine if you are keeping track in the spreadsheet, or a checkmark if you are printing it off and using a paper copy.

      • Mary Ann Kelley

        I want to correct myself here – if you want the attendance to automatically tally for you the number of days for the year, you will need to put a 1 or a .5 in the box for the day.

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