*This post was first posted in October 2012, and our home school routine has changed over the years, but I still use this planner. I use it a little differently now, but that just shows how versatile it is. As the saying goes, if it ain’t broke…
The Well Planned Day planner
If there is one thing I would call my Homeschool Must-Have it would be my planner. I have purchased the same planner for the last three years, and I doubt I will ever change my ways. Unless they quit making it.
That thought makes me sad.
Anywho…I love this planner and here’s why:
1. It is made specifically for homeschooling families. One of the more obvious differences in homeschooling, versus traditional schooling, is that you don’t have a group of kids in the same grade doing the same thing. You have multiple grades and activities, and this planner is made for that. The way I use the planner is to put each child’s activities together versus putting the subjects together. Bobo starts the top of the page, and Princess finishes the bottom of the page. I do this because I do school with each child only once per day. So every time I sit down with Bobo we go over all his subjects and the same with the other kiddos. I also spend school time with each kid usually in the same order every day. It does occasionally vary, but it is still handy to have each kid’s activities bundled together versus having to look all over the page all the time.
Another thing I have started doing just this year is, instead of filling the page with all the lesson numbers and page numbers that we are planning to do, I simply put what subject each child needs to do. As we finish that subject for that day, I then write in what we finished so that I know where to start the next day. This has made a world of difference for me bc I hated when we would get behind or work ahead, and I was now having to look at plans from multiple days. You can see from the picture above that we had completed everything through Wednesday (just noticed that I forgot to cross some things off, but trust me, all was done). You can see from the picture below that we hadn’t started for Thursday yet. Hopefully, that gives you an idea of how I use the planner.
No, Princess and Popeye don’t do school on Friday.
2. It includes so many other organizing gems that allow me to keep my brain in one place – on the paper in this planner. First, it has a spot for our weekly menu. If you look at the pic above you can see a place for my dinner menu for the week. However, if you look at the bottom of the page you can see where I also write in our breakfast and lunch menu. It is so nice to take thirty minutes once a week and make the decision of what we will eat, versus having to decide off the top of my head every morning, afternoon, and evening. I love being able to just look at my planner when the kids ask, “What’s for lunch?” And since I have this planner in front of me every weekday morning I know if I need to set the ground turkey out to thaw for dinner that night. Which I did. 🙂
There is also a weekly priorities spot in the upper right hand corner that is a life saver. Like I said – it’s my brain on paper. And there is a weekend activities area in the bottom right hand corner. I tell ya, this planner has it going on.
3. Each month begins with a full calendar so you can see your whole monthly schedule at a glance. It also has a place to write down what books each child is reading, what field trips you are taking that month, and your monthly expenses. I obviously haven’t taken advantage of this part yet.
4. At the end of each semester there is a place for you to record attendance. This planner has space for 4 students, but if you have more than that I will tell you about an option at the end of this post. Each of my children have their own attendance page which I love bc sometimes some do school and others don’t. Here in Florida we have to be assessed at the end of each school year so it is super handy to be able to show our attendance this way. 5. On the back of each attendance page is a page to keep grades. I don’t do this yet, but I will probably use it next year for Bobo when he is in high school and we have to keep more stringent records of his schooling.6. Each month begins with an article written by a homeschooling parent. These articles are so encouraging and often have really great advice. 7. This planner also has a place for Christmas plans and lists and semester goals and accomplishments. I’m sure I’m missing some other great things it offers, but I think you get the gist. This planner is great.
And the icing on the cake is that it is beautiful. It is a joy to use and look at. Can’t beat that.
And if you have more than four children you can either channel MacGyver and find a way to make it work or you can look into their planner software. Yep, they have an online planner that looks pretty amazing as well. Or maybe you’re just especially techy and want the online planner despite the fact that you have fewer than four kids. Well, go you, I say. Go. You.
Are there any homeschooling must-haves you can’t live without? Come on and share the love in the comments.