Friday, August 31, 2007

Homeschool Planners

I am more of a tracker than a planner. I keep notes on what we've done after the fact--usually weeks after. I just use the calendar on Outlook to show classes, playdates, Paramount Arts Education shows, and other activities. And I have my library's check-out history option turned on, for my card and the kids' cards. So every few weeks, I'll take out a small spiral-bound notebook and review the calendar and the book history and note the classes the kids took, experiments we might have done, trips taken, books read, videos watched, etc.

But, for those of you who like to plan, or really need something better than Outlook, there are several options. My now-living-in-California friend Melissa Wiley has reviewed several planners in the past, and just added a new review, which prompted me to write this. This will take you to a list of her posts on daily planners.

I also had read a post on the VaEclecticHS list that mentioned planners at The Homeschool Mom. There is a page titled Homeschool Planners and Organizers, where she lists resources for both free downloadable planners, as well as ones to purchase.

And if you visit Donna Young's site, which is one resource listed there, be ready to spend some time browsing! As she says on her home page:

Dear Visitor,
This website contains lesson planners, school calendars, household planners, printables in various subjects, and planning tips for homeschoolers. Most of the printables are in adobe acrobat format and require the free acrobat reader. There are also word documents and a few excel files. To find what you are looking for, browse the links on the left or the top or use the site index (linked at the top of the page.)
There's a lot of stuff to search through there!

One thing that I did want to be more organized about was tracking the books we've purchased from a series, or books read in a series. We placed a small order of books from Ray (Horrible Histories, Murderous Maths, all those fun books!) a few months back, and I couldn't remember which ones--they're scattered around the house now. He's placing another order on September 9th and again on October 14th, so I've got to be prepared!

I asked Emily to collect them all for me and then opened a new (free) account at LibraryThing to put just those titles in. I'll start adding books from different children's series as well, when I get time. There's a limit to the number of books you can add if you have a free account--200. Or you can pay $10 for one year's unlimited number, or $25 for life.

UPDATED: Someone on my local list just sent this in:
A friend just told me about a neat resource for making your own planners, calendars, story boards… a treasure load of different templates. Go to: and click on “create a pocket mod” . VERY cute and you can fit a weekly planner on just a single sheet of printer paper. My kids loved them.

Stumble Upon Toolbar


Renae said...

I am a much better planner. Since starting lessons a few weeks ago I have been just writing down what we get done. Writing down the highlights of our day is nice but I like to have a goal for the day even if it isn't completely accomplished.