General Tips

How to Use Google Classroom in Your Homeschool

I just started using Google Classroom in our homeschool, and I am really excited about the possibilities.  We were familiar with it because several coops we are in have used it in the past to communicate with students. Also, I know public schools use it as well.

But homeschoolers can use it too! If you have multiple students, it could revolutionize your school.

Google Classroom allows you to assign readings, videos, tests, questions and more in advance. You can also use it to communicate with your students and even grade work through short answer and multiple choice assignments.

I started using it because my older son is in a biology coop and a lot of the work and reading is done at home. I wanted to supplement what he was learning and give him useful videos to watch that went along with his reading, but I wasn’t sure how to get them to him. Enter Google Classroom.

I have started assigning individual videos to him directly so they are in one place and he can rewatch if he wants.

One nice thing about Google Classroom is you can divide your “class” by topics so you can have different things going on for a variety of subjects.

How Do I Set Up A Student

  1. Sign into Google Classroom using your Google Account.

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2) Click on the “+” sign at the top of the page to create or join your first class. Select “Create class.”

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3) Next you will get this notice about using Google Classroom in a class situation. Since you are a homeschooler, you do not need to set up a separate account. If you wanted to use this for a coop, you should to protect privacy and safety, etc.   Just select that you have read it and continue on to create your class in Google Classroom.

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4) Now the fun begins! Name your class (this might be your student’s name or a subject). This is the only required field but you can fill in others if you wish.

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5) Next you will see your class landing page. You can change the theme colors and image by selecting the options in the header image at the top of this page.

6) Now pay attention to the options at the center of the screen.

Stream– this is the general listing of all communication and assignments.

Classwork– this is where you will create assignments

People — this is where you add or invite students to your class

7) To add people to your class, you can send them a link directly or you can give them a class code that they can enter under the “Join a Class” option under the “+”.  Students will have to have a Google Account to use Google Classroom.




Creating Your First Assignment in Google Classroom

1) Next select “Classwork” to create your first assignment

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2) You can select from the options to add an assignment, question, general material or reuse an earlier post.

3) If you want to add an assignment, you may add a variety of tasks including attachments of reading material, links to Google Drive files, YouTube videos and other links. With the YouTube video feature you can search YouTube videos directly from Google Classroom or copy and paste from the site.  You can select a due date or a grade if you wish or assign it to a particular topic or subject. In addition, you can schedule the assignment for a future date when you click on the blue arrow next to the “Assign” button.

4) If you wish to add a question, you can select “Question” rather than assignment. This is particularly useful in a larger class setting because students can respond to one another if you wish, but you can also use to communicate with your individual students.

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I hope that helps you get started. I usually save ideas on my Pinterest page and then have the links handy to add to Google Classroom assignments.

If you use Google Classroom in your homeschool, tell me about your favorite uses and ideas to share.

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7 thoughts on “How to Use Google Classroom in Your Homeschool

    1. To use Google you do need access to a Google account. Originally I just used my own account for my kids because I can set up separate classes for each one. My older son now has his own.

  1. Do you find it easier to set up one class per child and then use topics to define subjects, or to have one class per child per subject (leaving me with dozens of classes thanks to a few children and numerous subjects)?

    1. Great questions! I would set up each child with their own email address so they can just join the appropriate classes and won’t have ones on the page that aren’t related to them. If my kids didn’t have emails (or I didn’t want them to really yet) I would just create ones in google with schoolname_childinitialornumber so they are kind of generic. Once created they are easy to switch between accounts within Google Classroom itself if you are sharing a computer. Then you can either set up individual classes for each subject or group them if you had relatively few assignments for example. You can also use “topics” to separate content in a single classroom. It’s really just a matter of preference. When we have used it in the past, we have had a separate “class” for each subject that had a lot of content but just a generic classroom for me to share random links or assignments. If you have multiple children, you could have them all join the same “group classroom” for messages that would apply to everyone. Hope that helps!

  2. I created a separate class for each of my kids, but sometimes I want them to all view the same video or assignment. It’s a hassle having to create the assignment multiple times for each “class,” so now I’m questioning whether I should have created one class for our homeschool and then added each of my kids to it using their Google accounts. Then choose a specific child/children to receive the assignment when I create it, since there is apparently an option to choose which kids to include. What do you think?

    1. There is a simple way to assign something to more than one class — When you are creating the assignment, at the top of the box there is the word “For” and an arrow. If you click, it will bring up a list of all the classes you are managing and you can select the ones you want to receive the assignment. It’s right beside where you would select the children in the class to receive the assignment. I am attaching a picture. I hope this helps. Google Classroom Screenshot

  3. Thanks! I don’t know why I didn’t see it behaving that way when I first set it up.
    I did end up putting all the kids in the same class. We will see how it goes.

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