Of all the things I use to help organize our homeschool education, Discord has been the most surprisingly helpful tool. In this post, I am going to tell you how I use Discord to plan homeschooling each week.
When I was first looking into using YouTube to help supplement our education I was having difficulty creating playlists of all the video’s I wanted to use. Due to COPPA regulations you can’t save Made for Kids videos from the video directly.
In order to save a Made for Kids video into a YouTube playlist you must do it from search results. My problem is I like to pre-screen every video that my kid watches. While I have a few channels that I trust I still like to make sure that I know exactly what my kid is watching.
In voicing this problem my husband told me that I should just create a private Discord server and use that as a way to organize and keep everything where I can reach it.
Brilliant! Now, if we travel to visit family, if we are spending a day out and about, or if I want to have video’s playing in the background while my son plays, I have a place to find videos on everything he is learning either on my computer, laptop, or phone.
What’s more is I can also use Discord to keep links to worksheets, learning packets, online course work and anything I will be using to homeschool my kid. So today I am sharing my tips to creating a private Discord server to organize your homeschooling.
What Is Discord?
Discord started as a way for gamers to communicate within their community for free. It’s grown a lot since it’s start and has become the preferred community chat for multiple niches. I’ve been in Discord groups for streamers, YouTube channels, and even in a few that are private to online friends of ours.
You can use Discord on a computer, laptop, and on your phone and it’s a great way to do video calls and text messaging.
On a private Discord server you can create different categories and channels with the focus being on whatever you need it to be. On a large server, with lots of members this helps to organize conversations within different topics.
For the purposes of what we are doing, it will help you to organize the subjects and topics you are studying this year in Homeschooling.
Setting Up A Discord Server
First, if you don’t have it already, you will need to download Discord. You can do so here. From here you will create your discord account, add people to your friends list, and you are golden.
From here you will want to create your own Private Server. Along the left side panel on Discord you will see a plus sign icon. Here you can create your own private server. I did create my own but you can start from a template if you would like to.
After clicking on create my own I clicked on for me and my friends, this keeps it private and only viewable if you share it or invite someone to the server. Then you name your server and you now have a homeschool server to easily organize all of your school needs.
Once you have your server created you will see the name of the server and a little down arrow. You will want to go over your settings to make sure they fit your needs. Most of the time your settings are fine because you and likely a spouse and possibly your kids are on the server.
Creating Categories and Channels
At this point you can start creating your categories and channels either by right clicking within the category menu or by using the arrow drop down at the top near the channel name.
You can create whatever you would like based on how you would like to organize your information. I personally did my categories by subjects and then my channels by topics.
For example, under the category English I have 4 channels. General, Phonics, Reading, and Read aloud books. These are the areas we are focusing the most attention in English this year so now I can place helpful links to articles, books, videos, and classes within the designated channel.
How I Use Discord To Plan Homeschooling
There are a lot of different resources that I like to use in homeschooling. Scrolling through bookmark folders to find exactly what I’m looking for is a pain, plus I can rarely access my bookmarks on my phone.
If I find videos that we can use a little later in the year I simply add them to a general channel so that I can find them again when the time comes. As we are done with videos or worksheets I simply delete the message with the link.
I can do all of this from my bed, while out of town, or at my computer. Using Discord fits our lifestyle a lot better than a traditional bookmark setting. Additionally, every link provides a clear preview of what the link is about. This means every YouTube video’s thumbnail and websites share image is visible and easy to read.
Additionally, if I am sick my husband can easily find what we are currently working on and take over the homeschooling for the day. I could add my parents to the Discord server and if my son spends a week with them they have access to resources we are using. I can add babysitters, friends, family and whoever is involved in his education to this server.
Creating Your Homeschool Portfolio With Discord
Here in Pennsylvania we have to keep a homeschool portfolio of all the things that our kids need to learn. Having a category and channel in Discord for this allows me to send messages detailing things our child has learned.
I can then use this to help put together a portfolio that my evaluator will look over at the end of the school year. I can review videos, worksheets, and other courses we took in one scroll. Additionally, if your evaluator also uses Discord you can create a specific channel just for putting together everything you will need to share with the evaluator.
Discord for Homeschooling
Keep in mind that while you can invite people to the server you’ll want to make sure that whoever is added knows what it is for and what should be accomplished with it. I would let people know that if they have something they think is useful to send it in a private message first for your review.
Using Discord for homeschooling allows me to keep everything under one place that can be reached across multiple devices and it makes it easy for me. I hope that this helps you organize and plan out your own homeschooling too.
What systems do you use to organize your homeschooling? Let me know in the comments below. Follow me on Pinterest for more like this and pin this to your favorite homeschooling boards.