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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18 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!

      1. I have a gmail account and tried to set up a google classroom acct as a way to manage my daughter’s summer work and add some structure to her summer schedule. But I’m asked to enter an Institution Name – is this a new/mandatory requirement now? Is there a way to bypass it? Help! Please 🙂

        1. I have not encountered that issue. There is a different version of Classroom that is through G-Suite that does require institutional affiliation. Maybe you were just entering the site through that route? Here is an article that discusses the differences — https://www.teq.com/news/google-classroom-for-non-g-suite-schools/. Let me know if you are able to resolve the issue. I would like to update my article if something has changed. Thanks!

    2. We have one class for all of our kids (ages 7, 9, and 11). We use topics to split organize assignments.

      You can also assign work to an individual student in the class, so if I have something that only our oldest needs to do, it is only visible to her.

  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.

  4. Sorry if this is repetitive but I am still unsure of how this will work. I have a 3rd grader and a preschooler. I would set up a 3rd grade classroom and add topics for his subjects?

    1. If you plan to use Google Classroom to assign tasks in a variety of topics then you can either set up one class and separate tasks by topics or you can set up each topic as a separate “classroom.” In that case, the topics would be different units or whatever you were studying for say Literature or Science. Each classroom has a code so when your student logs in with their Google account (or other email) they will just see the classrooms they have entered the code for. For example I have separate classrooms for my son with physical science, literature, health and misc. I then assign a due date for a particular assignment in each classroom so when he logs in he see what is due for each classroom that day. If I was only using Google Classroom occasionally I would just have one classroom set up with those assignments as needed. Sorry if that is more confusing!

      1. I am homeschooling for the first time this year. 5th, 1st, K, and pre. I am excited to try setting this google classroom up in the next couple weeks for additional learning resources. Looks like a great place to keep all the great videos and pdf assignments I’ve been looking through so they are accessible.

        Just to be clear…I don’t need to be school affiliated to use this site? And I will need to set up an email for each child? We are being gifted IPads for each kid and a Mac book for myself to help us through this new transition and I am beyond greatful and a bit overwhelmed. I want to make sure I make the most of this blessing and have been researching best approaches to use them for schooling. Along with some kids apps and of course lots of hands on learning, google classroom seems like a long term tool for me to dig into. Thank you!

        1. Correct– you do not have to be affiliated with a school to use Google Classroom. It will ask you a question about if you are but just answer that you are not. Good luck with your homeschooling journey!

  5. I love the idea of using technology for organizing homeschool. Just not sure I want all of our assignments, notes, etc. stored on the cloud.

  6. Hello, I have a few questions and I hope y’all could help me. My children are 5, 6, and 7. Would be going in to K, 1st and 2nd grade this year, due to COVID-19 and medical Conditions I have decided to not send my children back to school until I can trust them to not put everything in their mouths. My questions is Do I set up Google Classroom for each of my children to give them their assignments or 1 class room and 3 students. They are all 14 months apart so they are all learning basically the same things. Also if I was to attach a YouTube video to the google classroom would other videos play afterwards or would it just plat that video, I am extremely paranoid about YouTube and all of the things that could be on it. I hope this makes sense? I am very lost on how to get them out of work book after work books, and give them other things to use. Thank you for all of your help!

    1. Great questions! There are a couple of ways to go about it. Given the age of your students I would probably just create one Classroom (with your log-in so you don’t have to create separate emails for young children). And then within the classroom you can separate each child as a separate topic. Similarly you can put stuff everyone is doing as its own topic. For example, I have a classroom called “Tech Savvy Class” that is where I put things that don’t fall neatly into a class topic. As for Youtube, it will only play the requested video and then end with a screen collage of other similar videos but they do not autoplay. Just FYI, you can set up parental settings in YouTube to block a lot of the offending material (not perfect) but a start for sure.

      Hope this helps!

  7. How do due dates work? Is future work visible in a calendar? Is there some way for child/tutor etc to see a daily to do list? Is there a way to give a tutor access to completed work or assignments without them having access to everything linked to that google account?

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