Monday, June 01, 2015

My Favorite Homeschool Planner

My favorite homeschool planner is not a "homeschool" planner.  It is this one from House of Doolittle, and it costs $5.47 on Amazon right now.  This is very similar to the planner my mom used, so maybe it just feels "right" to me because of that, but there are so many things I love about this planner.  Let me count the ways!

First, I love the Subject column.  There is no list of subjects in the left-hand column, so I can write my own list there, and if one week's subjects are different from the next week, it's okay!  For the most part, my subject list has remained the same, but I did figure out about half way through the year that I could consolidate a couple of subjects, and I use the extra squares for "Life Skills" and "Character Traits." 

Second, I love the space for notes on the right-hand column.  Here is what it looks like up close.

I am very visual, and love to color-code things, so each day of the week has a color, and I mark some things so that I can easily find what needs to be done on which days.  Also, each child of mine has a color.  Griffin is green, Sammy is blue, Oliver is orange and Duncan is red. This color applies to rubber bands that go around their drinking   glasses, any school supplies that are purchased for them, and the little highlighted marks that you see in the planner.  When they see their color, it is their job to do that assignment and mark it off when it is completed.  This way I am not writing the same assignments multiple times.  I think my future self will thank me for simplifying the process once I have 4 children in my planner!

Third, I love this planner because it is simple.  It is about 1/2 inch thick, and doesn't have monthly or weekly planning pages, or tabs, or pretty designs, or Bible verses, or a fancy cover, or any of the other things that drew me to other planners that I have used in the past.  Any fanciness has to come from my hand.

I have used this planner (Well Planned Day) in the past:

At first, I loved the colors and designs, and I happily used this planner for about 3 years.  As the boys got older, and we added more subjects, I began to be irritated by the fact that the subjects were already filled in, and one of them (English) wasn't one that I used (language arts is tough to label sometimes!), so I had to mark it off every week and re-write that one, plus add a few more subjects in the spaces below it.

Next, I purchased this one (A Simple Plan) from Mardel.

I wondered when I purchased A Simple Plan if I would be annoyed by the gray and white lines, but I did like the fact that I could write in my own subjects, even if I did have to write them sideways.  I must be really easily annoyed, because even that bothered me!  And yes, I was right.  I would just about go cross-eyed every week when I would sit down to do my planning, because of those gray and white lines.  They were highly distracting, and made it hard for my eyes to focus on parts of the page.

Fourth, I love that this planner isn't dated.  I love not having blank weeks when we take school off, and having to cross off big sections when we take a month off.  Even after taking time off, I just flip to the next week, write the dates in, and go!