Thursday, September 1, 2011

My homeschool planner

I searched, searched, and searched some more to find that "perfect" planner.  The one that would make this homeschool journey easier, keep us on track, organized and ready to go....

It didn't exist.  Well, at least I never found it.  I did like the organizer over at, but wasn't willing to pay that much for an organizer that I couldn't edit, and they had some subjects listed that didn't fit our day.  I do use which is a free online planner.  It does it's job, but I'm a paper kind of girl on certain things, this being one of them.

So, what do you do when you can't find your perfect planner?  You make your own!  I looked through the free forms, taking advice from so many seasoned homeschoolers.  I hated the forms.  They were generic, plain, and didn't fit me.

Sooo, I went all out, and designed from scratch.  I have to admit, I somewhat went off of that super snazzy planner over at Well Planned Day, and tweaked it to fit my family.  I also should admit that I did all this in Pages, which is a Mac version of Microsoft Word.  I'm quite impressed with myself.  ;)  Basically what I am saying is, if you can create a shape or text box in a Word-type program, you can do this too!  And it took a lot less time than all the searching I did.  Sheeesh!  I'll never have that time back...

Anyway, here it is, in all it's glory.  It's not professional, but it gets the job done.  I used the ProClick binding machine to bind it myself.  That thing has paid for itself already!  (You can see my review on that in an earlier post).

Cover; I laminated scrapbook paper and kept the covers slightly larger than my pages.

Attendance page

Our year schedule, and our local schools schedule (so we can plan around her friends)

Weekly schedule, using a form from Simply Charlotte Mason

Daily schedule, form from Simply Charlotte Mason.  (I later created my own in Pages)

Calendar and monthly notes.  Books needed this month, field trips and activities, and monthly bills.

Close-up (I apologize, it did not want to rotate)

Our first week, almost filled in

A blank view

Close-up of Monday-Wednesday (left side)

Close-up of Thurs-Sun (right side).  I made a box for weekly priorities, the dinner menu, and our weekend activities.  

So far, the only thing I would change is that I wish I'd have made a larger notes section.  

What kind of planner do you use?  Are you a paper or electronic type of person?  I would LOVE to see a good iPad planner app that would sync online (like my cozi app).  For now, I use my paper planner and and it works for me!

Our education room

A few months ago, Coco Bear decided she wanted to room with Jujubee in the bunkbeds.  So, I took full advantage of this (once they were settled, of course!) and we are using Coco's room as the education room.  Some people prefer not to have a school-like room.  I, however, need the organization and like being able to have everything in one place.  We're on day 3, and while we do some subjects out in other area's of the house, we tend to start our day here, with our version of circle time, and seatwork like math, handwriting, etc.

It's not fancy, but it's ours.  We actually spend a lot of time in here when it isn't school time as well.  
Our desks

My area, and a closeup of my organizer.  It keeps all my teacher manuals, pens, etc close at hand.  It has a place for files (I put the materials for Monday-Friday in those ahead of time), and it spins so I can get to all four sides.  I LOVE this thing.  I think it is called "The Desk Apprentice".  I got it at staples on sale, and used a coupon.  :) 
I also have a file cart under my desk where I keep important papers, like our intent to homeschool papers, extra forms, etc.

Lennon (dog) spends a lot of time in here with us.  We all love our window seat!  Our bookshelf is nearly filled and we have a huge one downstairs also filled. 

Below is an earlier view of the closet portion of our room.  

Workboxes with detachable (velcro) subject tags.  
I keep our library books in the pink basket on top so we don't lose them.

I laminated a sheet of paper with the subject name to use as a dry erase "to do" list for each subject.

Our subject binders where completed work goes at the end of the week.

Right side of our closet houses different types of paper, supplies, binding and laminating machines and more.
Left side houses books we aren't using this year, math manipulatives, extra notebooks, paper, copy paper.  That's my recorder from college hanging in the tan bag.  ha!  memories...

A few games we play often. (My wedding dress and the girls baptismal dress on the side.  Nicely preserved, don't you think?!)

And that's it!  I am not sure how I would manage this without our education room.  I know plenty of people do, but just looking at what all we use daily makes me wonder how they do it!