Y’all, my bedroom dresser has an assortment of notebooks and journals, and my desk has another mess of places to stuff notes and piles of papers to sort. I have lots of thoughts and I put them down in lots of places. This school year, they are all going into this one planner.
When I first ordered The Organized Homeschool Planner, I did so just to get my thoughts and schedules organized in one place (instead of sticky notes, whiteboard notes, and random spiral notebook notes). But when I opened it, I was immediately struck by how wonderful this planner is for homeschoolers at all stages of their journey!
For the newbie
If you’re just getting started homeschooling, you need the VISION section. In my book Anyone Can Homeschool, I stress the importance of having a written vision: know your WHY and write it down. What is your vision? Why are you choosing to homeschool? Organize your thoughts. Brainstorm with your spouse. And put it in writing.
The Organized Homeschool Planner has an entire first section on this vision. Take the time to work through these goals (spiritually, socially/emotionally, physically, and academically). Learn to see home education as discipling the whole child.
In the PLANNING section, you’ll find a great worksheet called “what will we teach?” It’s broken down by age/grade groups, and is wonderful for centering your ideas. It’s easy to get excited or overwhelmed by all of the possibilities. Start here to keep it simple.
The SPACE section will help you design the perfect spot for school supplies and learning, no matter the size of your home. (And keep in mind, this could change often as your children grow or your needs or styles change.) This section helps you evaluate your rooms, your supplies, and your storage options.
The STUDENTS section is where you’ll make plans and take notes as the year goes on. Each student (up to eight!) has a page for planning their curriculum, keeping records, designing schedules, and much more.
For the veteran
I consider myself a homeschooling veteran. We began in 2000 (my five children are quite spread out, in case you’re wondering!). I’ve used various planners, ditched the planners and used my phone calendar, and kept detailed notes and lists in spiral notebooks and journals. And here, in my 23rd year of homeschooling, I decided I needed to go back to a true planner designed for the Christian home educator.
The VISION section is necessary, no matter how long you’ve been homeschooling. If you’re like me, your reasons for homeschooling change and grow. My list of reasons has gotten longer with each year that goes by. And I’m planning for my two youngest children, who have different needs than my three older children did. They are growing up in a different world than their older siblings. The VISION is evolving. I appreciate this section for grounding me as their teacher, no matter how long I’ve been doing this.
PLANNING at this stage is still important. When I’ve been in those seasons of winging it day by day, I regret it. (Last year was a hard year in our family due to multiple circumstances, and we felt the lack of productivity.) And speaking of last year, this planner has a section to “evaluate last year,” not only as a homeschool family, but for each student, as well. What a great way to review before looking ahead! As I said, our needs are different, so my plans are different than they have been each year before.
Our homeschool SPACE has changed many times over 23 years. Sometimes it was because we moved, and sometimes because we just needed to rearrange. Well, we moved this year, and I’ve only got two students left. (Sniff.) So I’ve been pondering our school space, and this section of the planner is a huge help.
The STUDENTS sections will hold all of the information about my kids’ individual academics, plus their extracurriculars and co-op classes. Thank goodness the State of Texas does not require that we keep records or portfolios, but if we had to, the pages are already available.
The Organized Homeschool Planner monthly calendars are blank. So you can pick up this planner at anytime during the year and start. I love the places to write monthly goals for mom and students. And as your month goes along, you can write down your assessment of how things are going, and memories you’ve made.
All types of families
We are all homeschooling under varying circumstances, and this planner is flexible enough for everyone. Special needs parents will find space to note accomodations and helpful ideas. Moms of high schoolers can keep track of dual credit classes, high school credits, and graduation plans. Single parents will see how focusing on needs takes precedence over calendars. And large family homeschooling moms will be able to integrate baby and toddler schedules with the big kids.
When you purchase your planner, you’ll get the added bonus of the free Homeschool Planning Bootcamp. There are five days of videos to walk you through your planner, helping you get the most out of it. So if you’re excited about the planner, but want a little help getting started, this is the boost you need! (See the Not Consumed website for a quick video tour.)