Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Homeschool Planner

For those of you who homeschool, it's that time of year again. Time to start getting ready by purchasing curriculum if you haven't already, organizing the classroom, and planning your daily schedule. Homeschooling is as unique as the individuals who are participating, but I'd like to pass along a resource that I'm enjoying and think you will, too.

Home Educating Family Publishers, Rebecca and Scott Keliher, have created a wonderfully organized planner, The Well Planned Day, that covers just about everything a homeschool mom could want in order to keep up with as many as 4 children and their academics, not to mention, dinner, bills, and a few other items.

I'll give you a little tour, in no particular order...

First were some introductory pages that were for recording family goals, etc. Since this was not a high priority for me, I opted to tape in some pages in which I created a list of all my dinner entrees to make meal planning easier this fall. Basically, I grouped the recipes by type of meat (such as ground beef, grilled meats, crock pot dishes, chicken, etc....) and I listed every recipe my family enjoys. I now have a quick reference guide to meals.

Next is a "Household Duties" page; great for planning what you want to accomplish on a daily basis as well as boxes for recording annual projects such as clean the woodstove. Just write the task in the appropriate monthly box and it will be a quick reference guide for you all year long.

Included is a form you can either copy or pull out and laminate for use with a wipe off pen. One side is for "My Responsibilities" (chores) and the other side is "My Education"(daily school assignments). Both include boxes for checking off when the task is completed. I actually made copies and will try putting these on a clipboard for the girls this year. 

One of my favorite sections is the Teacher Schedule and the Student Schedule. You actually get 4 pages of the student schedule so you can write out a different schedule for each child. If you've ever read Teri Maxwell's Managers of Their Homes, you'll recognize the boxes with time slots as being nearly identical. This gives you the opportunity to put Teri's ideas into practice, but without the color coding for each family member. However, you do get an additional column for each day of the week.

Just opposite the student schedule is a page for student information. You can keep track of curriculum purchases, student information, etc.

Of course, what would be the point of a planner without a calendar? On the opposite page you'll find a place to record books each child is reading (I included our read-a-loud as well), field trips and enrichment activities, and monthly bills. Filling in all this information is like having a record book that can be saved from year to year - just in case!

The perforated "Shopping List" page is two sided; one is included for each month with a total of 6 lists per month. 

The main reason I purchased this planner was because of the "Lesson Planner" pages. There's enough space to write out assignments by subject for up to 4 students. Included on this spread is a box for "Weekly Priorities", a "Dinner Menu", a "Weekly Catechism", and "Weekend Activities".  One tip that's worked for me is to write each student's assignment in a different color pen. That way, it's easier to note which assignment is for which child at a glance.

Finally, there are plenty of other record keeping items such as attendance and grades, but they've ALSO included a HOLIDAY Organizer!!! I totally forgot to take pictures of that section, but it's 6 pages of forms for tracking gifts, shopping, cards, events, and notes.

Want to see more? Just visit The Well Planned Day site and you can flip through digital pages, read other blog posts, and see other products such as a High School Planner and planner accessories.

I also subscribe to their monthly magazine, Home Educating Family. Of all the homeschool publications I've read, this one has been my favorite!

You'll find monthly articles from some of their writes in The Well Planned Day planner as well. Kind of like a pep talk or something to keep you going each month. 

So, who else is using this great planner that can recommend it? I just LOVE being organized!


  1. Looks absolutely wonderful. I do need something like this, though I'd like it as simple as possible, to avoid me taking as much time filling it in, and finding what I've written, as I take actually doing the stuff!
    I'm not sure if there's anything like this available in the UK - the postage would make it not-a-viable-option, I think...
    Looks great though.... just as I'm beginning to get organised for this coming term :)

  2. I just received this planner and am so excited about it! Great idea using different colored pens for each child. I also like the idea of laminating the Household Duties page since those seem to change weekly!


  3. I have just received my organizer! I have been homeschooling for years and never had one...just used the kitchen calendar and such. SO looking forward to this. ALthough we live remote and don't have much for extra activities, I'm sure this will be a blessing and a great way to have record of life in 2011-2012! May I share a link to this review on my blog as well? You did such a good job that it seems silly for me to try to expand on it! Thanks, Jo

  4. I LOVE this planner! This has saved me from having several lists and sticky notes floating all over our home.

    I have found it helpful to put 'tabs' at the top of some of our most frequently used sections- attendance for school, the week we are on and the month. This saves me time from having to flip through pages.

    Thanks for sharing- I hope many others will be blessed by this tool.

  5. I am using this planner too, Amy! I just got it in May and am very excited to put it to use. We begin our school year Aug. 15th. Thanks for your input on the magazine, as well! I've been considering a subscription, but frankly had not heard enough about it to know if I would like it beyond the free issue they gave me. Love your blog! ~Amanda

  6. Oooooooh, you are tempting me! :) I bought their high school planner for my daughter last year (she'll be a sophomore this year) and we both simply love it. Maybe I need one for myself. . . :)

    I've been all over Large Family Logistics this summer making my own home management book. It has helped tremendously and I'm enjoying being organized so much I just want to keep it up!

  7. I just love the IDEA of being organized but I am just not there yet. I used the planner I bought from you for like 3 months and then stopped. I am not sure why I stopped. I still really liked the planner. It was the best I ever had as far as planners go. I might just have to buy another one and give it another try.
    I appreciate all your organizing tips Amy. It keeps me motivated to not give up :).

  8. What a wonderful tip. I love being organized as well but, I find it a challenge. This book would be a great help. I will pass it on to my home schooling friends.

  9. Jo, sure! You're welcome to mention this and link to this page.

    Hollie, I used some tabs as well. Finding each month is much easier that way. I also have a super large paper clip that I use to help me clip pages together for quicker referencing.

  10. I actually went to her lecture at the FPEA home school convention this year. I was hoping the planner would work for me but we have five kids and It didn't seen to accomodate that.
    Great post though, loved reading it.
    Peace & Raw Health,

  11. I purchased this planner a couple weeks ago and I love it! Really well organized with lots of space for information. Great review of it!

  12. I somehow HAVE to squeeze this into my homeschooling budget this year. It looks great, and I'm so tired of chasing post-it notes and my calendar is just not big enough. I'm thinking after this wonderful review, they really need to offer you a "give away" ...hehe! ;)

  13. I use this one too. Love it!


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