Friday, July 05, 2013

My New Weekly Homeschool Planner

Ahhh, the quest for the 'perfect' homeschool planner. I have often browsed and drooled over the myriad of planners available to us teaching mamas. Some free, some at a price. I have often been tempted - very tempted, like to the point of adding it to my online basket and just about to press the 'Place Order' button, to buy one of those lovely pre-printed pretty planners, only to back out at the last second and resort to my 'usual' plan.

A homeschool planner is such a personal thing don't you think?
Our families all have different rhythms, needs, schedules and quirks. Not to mention different homeschooling styles and curriculum! So year after year I have resorted to my 'usual', which is to create my own planner. I briefly thought of printing out some of the lovely forms from the loads of freebies out there, but prefer to draw up exactly what I need. Something that fits in EXACTLY to my way of doing things.

Sure it takes allot of extra time, but the end result is something that supports me in my daily schooling life and also is as pretty as I want to make it. It is something that I enjoy every single day that I open it's pages to record, plot and plan our learning days.

Over the years I have mostly used hard-covered lined notebooks. I have kept all of them and find them useful and interesting to browse back through the years on our homeschool adventures. Each planner has it's own 'feel'. Whatever inspires me at that time in my life, influences the look and feel of my planner. The past three years I have deviated from the notebook to creating a planner in a binder, and in fact this year is was a humble A4 Student diary. With the binder I could add pages and resources as I needed them. Although this worked really well I have to admit to missing the ease of just picking up an A4 notebook and browsing through the history of our homeschool. My lever-arch binder planner is a bit unwieldy and not as pretty as my notebooks.

For our next school year I have decided to revert back to the notebook style planner. I have been planning and working on my new planner for some weeks now, and it is slowly starting to come together. I thought that I would share it with you, perhaps you will be inspired to create your own custom-built planner :o)

The cover of my planner is important to me. It has always reflected a little of what inspires me or encourages me on in my calling to teach my girls. This year is no different. The cover reflects a little more of the studious nature our homeschool seems to be taking at the moment. I think this naturally happens as the girls get older. They are loving our more 'workbook' based way of doing things. God's Word, guidance and leading is our primary motivation in all that we do, so an appropriate scripture verse {Proverbs 3:5-6} reminds me each day to continue to seek Him out in all we do.

Back of Planner
As you know, we still have a strong Charlotte Mason influence and Nature Study, Art Appreciation, Music Appreciation and the Reading Aloud Together of books is still very much a part of our schooling days. On the back of my planner is a picture of Miss Mason and a quote that speaks to my teaching heart at the moment. The bottom has a rather nostalgic image of carefree children skipping along. I am a rather nostalgic person so this little picture appeals to that side of me.

Lets go inside...I have covered the inside cover with a pretty piece of scrapbook paper. on the right hand side is a copy of our county's school terms.

Over the page, but not pictured, I have a 'Term Page' which is simply a cute little page that introduces the first term. On the opposite page are the A.C.E goals I have set for each child.

Turning over I have a 'Month Page'. On this page I have tried to sum up the month. I have added bits and pieces that I usually have on file to help me with any seasonal planning activities that I might wish to do.

 I plan to share these pages throughout the coming year so I won't go into too much detail here, but basically I have a poem reflecting the spirit of the month, days of note such as feast days, holidays, 'this day in history' notes etc. I have also noted any 'seasonal and nature' related things such as equinox and the name of the full moon for the month etc.

Next we have the all important 'work-horse' of the planner. 

This page has changed and adapted to our needs over the years. This year it has space for me to record the girls daily goals that they set on the A.C.E program. Up to now I have simply stapled their spent goal cards into my large school diary, but I think that this way of doing things is going to be better for us. I like to keep a daily record of what the girls have done. 

The top grid is for my planning - our CM inspired subjects that we do together - Bible, Art Appreciation, Read-Aloud and Nature Study. There is a block for each day of the week where I can note down what we are going to do.

Below that grid are two more grids which have been laid out to match the girls Goal Cards. I have included space to note down which PACE they are busy with.

Right at the bottom are two blocks. On the left I can record our weekly memory verse and a planned field trip, on the right is a 'Days of Note' box where I can note down any important happenings that week.

Each planning sheet covers a week. Each week's page has been watermarked (on 'Word') with a cute little picture that reflects the season. Again I will share these throughout the coming year, but September, October and November each are watermarked by different 'Autumn' inspired pictures.

Every 4 'weekly planner sheets' is a 'Notes' page. I have simply left this in it's notebook lined form but prettified it with cute little stickers. Here I will record any notes relating to our learning - things I want to try, books I want to read, art exhibitions or plays/ballets/Orchestral concerts that might enrich our learning.

So there we have it. A brief tour through a homeschool mum's working planner. I always love peeking into other mums planners and had a great time reading other homeschool mums tips and peeking into their planners. If you want to have a peek too, you can visit my Pinterest 'Homeschool Helps and Encouragement' board.

I'm not sure I'll be back here before Monday, so I'll wish you all a fantastic and restful week-end :o)

Blessings in Christ,


  1. Love your planner, Shirley! I too love peeking at others' planners. I don't know why... maybe always just looking for a new idea or two or just admiring different organization ideas. I'm such a sucker for them! :)

    I've noticed lately that you seem to have been in terrific planning mode for the upcoming year. I take off June and we just finished up with our Independence Day celebration here, so now I'm ready to begin looking over new ideas for the upcoming year. Your post and your Pintrest ideas are timely for me.

    I LOVE your "Month Days." I just love each new month and the meanings it holds. I love calendars and monthly poems,and almanacs. Sometimes I'll buy a book just because it has an "around the year" theme to it, so your idea is one I may need to adopt! :)

    Thanks for sharing; have a wonderful weekend!

    ~ Nicole

  2. Thanks for sharing. I think i will be buying a planner as i am going to struggle in making my own , love the cute illustrations in yours.

    San x

  3. Thanks for sharing. I think i will be buying a planner as i am going to struggle in making my own , love the cute illustrations in yours.

    San x

  4. Thanks for sharing. I think i will be buying a planner as i am going to struggle in making my own , love the cute illustrations in yours.

    San x

  5. Thank you for sharing your planner. I think I decided that I am just going to make my own planner. I am using a notebook because that fits with our life this year.


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