I promise, one of these days, to get around to talking about the homeschool part of this home :-). For now, I’ll just mention one thing that has helped me keep track of this year: the Well Planned Day homeschool planner.
Last summer, I went back and forth between the Well Planned Day book and Apologia’s Ultimate Homeschool Planner. They both looked like they had a lot of the features I was looking for and I had a hard time figuring out which one I would prefer using. I also spent a lot of time perusing Pinterest for the homemade printable versions that many other homeschool moms have created. I had briefly flipped through Apologia’s book at the spring homeschool convention, but everything that weekend was such a blur, I didn’t really remember much about it by the time I wanted to order one. Finally, since we had already started our school year and I was starting to feel overwhelmed, I bought the Well Planned Day. I liked the fact that it had all the year’s calendar dates filled in, and the month-at-a-glance/weekly schedules for each month in one place, and as a newbie, I wanted something to make my life easier.
I liked the semester attendance page, because I wondered how I was supposed to track attendance. It even had places for “sick days” which I didn’t think existed in homeschool ;-). There are also progress reports/report cards, which I haven’t used since we’ve only got kindergarten here. There are places to plan the school year for up to four students in the planner. Each week also has a (small) space for menu planning, which I have appreciated. It’s easy to jot down meal ideas for the week and I do believe it has helped us to eat more at home instead of me coming to the end of the day and wondering “Hmm, what on earth should I do for dinner?” Other features, some of which I’ve used, some of which I’ve not, include:
- perforated, tear-out shopping lists
- holiday planner
- monthly budget
- books to read list
- field trip section
- Bible verses
- monthly encouragement devotional.
In addition to the planner, I bought a large three-ring fabric-covered binder that is basically my school brain. I looked in both Target and Wal-Mart, and I think the one I bought ended up from Wal-Mart; it was around $12, which I thought was reasonable (and cheaper than the matching binder that you can buy with the Well Planned Day planner). I added my spiral bound planner, and several colored dividers with pockets. My original plan was to print out everything for the month or week ahead and have them placed in the appropriate dividers. Ha! Maybe I will be able to do that for *next* year. It’s been great to keep track of the mess of papers which seems to accumulate daily, however.
Seriously, this binder and planner combo have been a fantastic tool for me as I’m still wading these unfamiliar homeschool waters. I’m probably not using the planner to its greatest potential, and I’m not sure what I’ll end up using for next year, but it’s helping me figure out what works for me, and what doesn’t. Oh, and I checked for my binder brand, and it’s called Case-It. This one seems to be it, although it’s a different color. (And yes, mine also has the pull out file folder, but I worried that it wouldn’t be big enough for the papers I would use, and I wanted it to be easy to flip and get to rather than having to unlatch the velcro closure to the file folder all the time.)
Oh, and in case I’m supposed to mention it, none of these companies have sent me anything or are asking for reviews. I am just sharing what has worked so far in our homeschool journey.
Do you use one of these homeschool planners? Do you make your own? I would love to hear your ideas for how you keep track of your homeschool day!