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!


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