When I first started to homeschool, 5 years ago, I had no idea what kind of lessons that I was going to teach, let alone how to plan them. Over the years I have used many different planners and systems to organize some of the activities that we do in our homeschool. There have been some years that I had the best intentions, but the schedule/system/planner didn’t work out for me.
Now, while we fall mostly under the category of eclectic homeschoolers with a unschooly slant – some planning is a must. Classes, activities, and events need to be put in some form of a calendar or agenda. A loose schedule or routine during the day can lead to happier children. And, if scheduling your child’s day is not something that you are interested in, having a daily schedule for yourself can really help to alleviate some of the feelings of panic that you have when it’s portfolio time. (or is that just me?).
Here are my Top 5 Favourite Planners for your Homeschool.
1. Erin Condren
This one has to go on the top for me. While it isn’t homeschool specific, it is very open ended and allows you to pretty much do whatever you want. I currently use the vertical Erin Condren planner. While the days are separated into three sections, I have customized mine to be To Do (household tasks), Homeschool, and Create (for my social media work). I love that it has the flexibility for me to add stickers and change the whole look – while the structure remains the same. For my family, 5 tasks in each category is enough for the whole day. I colour code each child with a sticker dot to let me know what I want them to work on. The rest of my planning is done in the pages provided in the back of the planner.
If you want to see how I do it – and my recent haul of supplies check out this video on Katch.
I also wanted to mention that Erin Condren does have a teachers planner – and it looks lovely. However, it does have space for 25 kids. So if you are a big family you may get some value from it – otherwise you could hack the planner to suit your needs as well. If you use my referral link you get $10 off (and so do I)!
If you don’t want to spend the money on an Erin Condren planner, the Happy Planner is very comparable it’s just missing a few of the elements.
2. Well Planned Day
This is an excellent planner if you have 4 kids or less. It is homeschool specific and allows you to do a year at a glance, a month, a week, and daily – with subjects. It also has spots for notes and pictures, as well as a shopping list. This planner was actually too structured for the type of homeschool we have. If I was doing more of a classical homeschool I think this would be a great planner, however, I needed the freedom to do whatever we want on any given day. We don’t necessarily do Math or English every single day. It also has a whole section on grades, and I like Alfie Kohn too much to pay much attention to them. Here is the paper version.
3. Weekly Homeschool Planner
This is a printable planner that is sent to you by PDF, and is able to be edited for your own family’s needs. This is great because not every family follows the same plan for schooling. Also any pages that are not relevant for your family, you can just leave them out. This planner was created by a homeschool mom, and is one of the most reviewed and used by other homeschooling moms on the inter-webs. I also have an affiliate link for this planner so if you choose to buy it, please consider purchasing through this blog.
4. Living Well Spending Less.
I love this planner. It is another printable planner, but this one is FREE! Who doesn’t love free? It has spaces for goals and tasks, as well as subjects. I love how it has a weekly spread as well as a daily view. For any newbie homeschoolers this would be an awesome planner to start with.
5. Traveller’s Notebook
Recently I have been watching a lot of #homeschoolscopes on Periscope. One of my favourite scopers/ bloggers is Rebecca from Hip Homeschooling Blog. She is designing a wonderful travellers notebook system with these amazing homeschooling inserts that she created herself. She uses a bullet journal within her travellers notebook, which gives you full creative freedom to design it in anyway that you want. Creating a travellers notebook or a travellers journal are the most cost effective of all of these planners, as it is as easy as folding paper together and stapling or buying a $5 notebook.
I hope that this gives you an idea of all the different types of planners that are out there for your homeschool. I have only included my favourite 5. If you have a planner that you absolutely love; please leave a link to it in comments. I would love to review it and see if it is a good fit for our family.
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