If you’re looking for a way to stay organized in your homeschool, here are several things every good homeschool planner should have to help you do just that. I’ve been homeschooling almost a decade, which means I’ve used my fair share of homeschool planners. There were times when I created my own and other times when I’ve opted to use something I found on the market.
Here are the top things I think that every good homeschool planner should have no matter what kind of homeschooling family you are.
7 Things Every Good Homeschool Planner Should Have
Space for taking notes.
When I say notetaking space, this is generally an open area for you to jot down anything you want for and about your homeschool. Most homeschool veterans suggest writing down your why for homeschooling, prayers, Scriptures, declarations, decrees, or even goals. Having this in your homeschool planner will give you the opportunity to see it more often than not.
I choose to use this space for writing down a specific declaration (or two). This year, I wrote the Shema (Deuteronomy 6:4-9) and the Aaronic blessing (Numbers 6:24-26).
A weekly routine chart.
Although your weekly routine can change, it’s a great idea to start with something. In the beginning of my homeschooling journey, I was pretty OCD and needed to have a schedule written down to the minute. Almost a decade later, I now plan my weekly routine using a general approach. This looks more like block scheduling than anything.
For example, the time slot from 8:00-9:00am will say “breakfast and start chores.” This means that anytime during that time frame, the kids are eating breakfast and doing their chores. The time between 9:00-10:00am may say “focused learning,” which indicates that some form of focused learning will take place during that time. It could be Math and English lessons, watching an educational video about Volcanoes, or doing a hands-on experiment.
An attendance log.
If you’re blessed enough to live in a state with relaxed homeschooling laws, then keeping an attendance log may not seem necessary. Even if the opposite is true, it’s still nice to keep track of the days you homeschool for memorabilia purposes. You may also want to use your attendance log to jot down the number of hours you homeschool each day.
In my honest opinion, homeschooling happens all of the time, so nailing it down to the hour can get a little overwhelming and/or stressful.
Make a curriculum plan.
Don’t worry, it doesn’t sound as difficult as it may sound. Making a curriculum plan simply means jotting down what curriculum you’d like to use and creating a plan of use for it. For example, we are big on teaching our children about foraging and botany. So, we’ll use a few books we have on hand for curriculum purposes.
In my planner, I have the books written down and then I’ll break the plans down into chapters or lessons to cover over a certain amount of time. This is also a form of DIY Curriculum Planning.
A monthly calendar.
Having a monthly calendar spread is a MUST. I like to use a monthly calendar to jot down and make not of important dates, meetings, field trips, and anything else that pertains to our family. I’ll also include important things that aren’t necessarily homeschool related so I don’t overbook myself or our family. That’s also why I keep a dry-erase magnetic monthly calendar on my wall. When it comes to homeschool planning, I need everything written down more than once, LOL!
Similar to having a monthly calendar spread, seeing your week at a glance is beneficial as well. I use these spreads to break down any lesson plans and focus on specific things the children will be working on. It also helps if the weekly spread comes with a space for priorities, habits, appointments, a to-do list, and lesson plans.
A space to note monthly (or weekly) goals.
Goals aren’t just for business owners or when you want to go for something big in life. Goals could (and should, in my opinion) become a lifestyle. Having small goals set for your homeschool can help you stay focused on the end result. They can serve as a guardrail – so to speak – to keep you balanced in your homeschooling journey.
It’s easy to get caught up in the comparison game or feeling like you’re not doing enough, but if you stick to your set of realistic goals, then all will be well.
Optional Things Every Good Homeschool Planner Should Have
The aforementioned things are pretty much non-negotiables for me when it comes to choosing the perfect homeschool planner. The things I’m going to mention below are extra bonuses that would make a homeschool planner an absolute winner:
- Space for keeping track of hours spent outside.
- A way to keep track of the books read as a family.
- An area to jot down how many days spent on a particular curriculum or course.
- A layout for keeping up with yearly events and field trips.
- A space to reflect over (or throughout) the homeschool year.
The Perfect Homeschool Planner
Now that I’ve gone through what would make one of the best homeschool planners to have, I’m excited to say that I’ve found just that! My friend, Jen Merckling, from Life.Unimaginable recently published a homeschool planner that has every single thing I mentioned above. It seriously has the whole kit and kaboodle.
Check out my video review below and then click the button beneath the video to purchase your own copy!
I love a good planner and the Life.Unimaginable Homeschool Lesson Planner did not disappoint! I’m looking forward to using this planner for my 2023-2024 homeschool year and I know you’ll love it too! What’s your favorite planner to use for your homeschool? Let me know in the comments below!