Homeschool Planning–Part Two–My Planners

I love planners. I love to plan. I am just a planner kind of girl. I’ve had a planner for as long as I can remember. Implementation, I’m not as good at that. But if I have planned well and all aspects then implementation goes better.

There are a lot of free homeschool planners on the web and I’ve tried many of them. And I used parts of them for this years planner. Each year I try to find the one that will work best and will help us accomplish our goals. Since we’ve done a few different things I’ve used a different planner each year. Except for this year, I finally developed a daily lesson plan sheet last year that still works.

I have a a daily lesson plan book, a general plan book and a circle time binder.

My general planner book comes from the 7 step free planner at New Beginnings. The steps there really helped me understand what it was I might want to keep track of and plan for. And I really liked her forms. I didn’t exclusively use her forms though. I also followed her suggestion and printed the cover on card stock and laminated it. Then I brought it to the office store and had them spiral bind it.

My general plan book includes the following tabs (in bold) and forms:

1 – a tracking my week page. Cozi.com calendar has worked better for me than this page. But it was a good start before putting it into my cozi calendar.

2 – attendance record from New Beginnings. This was for me only. I don’t really pay much attention to attendance but I wanted to track my habits so I could make better decisions if need be. This is probably my favorite attendance record that I’ve used.

3 – Calendars – a school calendar (from www.donnayoung.org). I used this to get an idea of start date and finish date based on the breaks we take. We typically school 6-8 weeks then take a 2 week break.  We also typically take December and May off.

4 – Monthly calendars. They don’t have much on them as I’ve been using my google calendar and cozi to keep up with things. So these were a bit redundant.

5 – Course of Study – Annual plans and evaluation for each student from Westvon Publisher’s The Master Planner. (Which happens to be on sale for $0.75 now). I wrote down all the resources that I had for each subject. I soon realized I had unrealistic expectations. I will use these to plan resources for next year and then use a course of study sheet from Donna Young’s site for each semester to show what we will be using.

6 – Quarter Lesson Plans – Quarter Planner pages from Donna Young. I thought since I like to plan 6 weeks in advance I would try these again this year. It just doesn’t really work for me yet. But I’ll probably keep trying them because one day I’ll figure out how to use them to my benefit.

7 – Logs for library list, reading logs, field trip logs, and audio visual logs. Most are from The Master Planner but some are from The Schoolhouse Planner. (And no, I didn’t pay $39, I got it on sale at the end of last summer).

8 – Coop – Coop forms, class taken information, contact list information from The Schoolhouse Planner.

9 – NOI – Copy of my Notice of Intent that we have to submit to the school board.

10 – Next Year – Curriculum Resources form from New Beginnings, Course of Study and Curriculum Planner from The Schoolhouse Planner and Notes sheets

11 – Notes – just note sheets from New Beginnings

My daily lesson plan book contains my daily workbox planner pages. I printed out a few of the different weekly forms that I could find and tried them out for a few weeks until I could determine what type of planner sheet worked best for me. I tried weekly pages for each student last year, even color coded the pages. But, I liked being able to see what each student was doing each day without having to turn a page. If you google weekly workbox planner pages you will come up with several variations that you might like if that’s your thing.

My circle time binder has our weekly reading schedule, comprehension guides for our books and our memory work that we are working on and have done in the past. What is circle time? Well it’s different things to different people. You can learn about it at one of my favorite websites Preschoolers and Peace. Circle time really is our favorite part of the day. Our circle time consists of reading Bible, history, science and read-alouds together and working on our memory work. We used to have circle time during the afternoons when the littles were asleep and it could last 1-2 hours. This year we are having to spread our reading out throughout the day.

So here’s what my reading planner page looks like, click on it to download. I type in the books that are used every week so I don’t have to write them in every week.

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Although I am using Sonlight this year and there are weekly reading schedules included for all the subjects I still made my own reading layout. We are using Core B history, science and language arts.  However, we are not using the Sonlight guide exactly and we are on different weeks for each subject. For instance, we had just finished Leading Little Ones to God before starting Core B so we weren’t going to read it again. I didn’t like having to scan the schedule page every day to figure out which parts I was suppose to use and which parts I’m not. And I don’t like to mark a whole lot on my originals since I will likely use them again with the younger kids and I don’t like how messy it looks. So crossing out what we weren’t doing wasn’t an option. I also wanted science, history and language arts on 1 page, instead of 3 separate pages. It really helped me get an idea of all the reading for the week.

Here’s a list of planners that I’ve used this year or in the past.

New Beginnings 180 Page Undated Free Planner – Includes 7-steps on how to make a planner. This website really helped me put it all together this year.

Donna Young – A great free printable site exploding with information and forms. Free homeschool and household planner forms. But that’s not all, free math sheets, handwriting sheets, nature journal sheet.

Tanglewood Education Corebook – This is a website with an entire free curriculum that blends Charlotte Mason and Classical methods. I used this for 2 years and got some great ideas from it. It also goes through how to plan. Loved her 1-week layout. She also helps you figure out how many pages in a workbook to do a day to get it done in the time you want to with progress sheets. Well worth the $5.00.

The Master Planner – currently on sale for $0.75 at Currclick. This planner is very worth $0.75. There are over 160 forms from planning to report cards. Go check it out. You don’t have to use all of them.

The Schoolhouse Planner – From The Old Schoolhouse Magazine. There are many versions of this planner, The Schoolhouse Planner for Mom, the Special Needs Planner, Primary, Intermediate and High School Student Planners.

Guest Hollow – Free weekly chore chart with school assignments on one sheet. I used this one year when my kids were smaller and it worked really good. She has even more printables here.

Homeschool Skedtrack – Online free scheduling program. Haven’t figured this one out yet.

Homeschool Tracker – There’s a free version and a paid version. I’ve used the free version and really liked it. I did the trial for the paid version and it’s on my wishlist. One day maybe it will make it to the top.

Happy Planning!!

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