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The wonderful thread asking for advice from veterans mentions planners several times. I'd love to hear (with links, if you have them) which planners people like. I generally make my own and have it bound (loose papers drive me NUTS) but I'm open to change!

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Homeschool Tracker plus. Soooooo worth the money and learning curve. It's Software , btw. I plan out each subject for the entire year. Not as hard as that sounds as some curriculum, like WWE is just do the next thing, so I enter Week 1, Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, and the same for Week 2, so on and so on. I enter it so I can assign it to our weekly assignment sheet.

Other subjects are a bit more involved, like Sciece and History where I have to find videos, books, activities etc for our lessons.

 

So even though the entire year is planned out, I've not actually assigned anything to a specific day, which gives me the fluidity I need. I usually assign our week on Sunday evenings, assigning the Lesson Plans to a particular day. That way if something wasn't finished from the prior week, I can move it to the upcoming week. I can account for appts, field trips etc that week.

 

Then I print out our weekly schedule in grid form (think Sonlight or MFW grid). One sheet for each child per week, and put that in my binder.

 

So the hardest part is these summer months when I input the Lesson Plans. The rest of the school year is smooth.

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I really like timberdoodle.com/schedule (the blank one). You plug in your annual curriculum and how many weeks of the school year you want and it calculates how many lessons/pages/chapters you need to do per week. Then it puts that automatically into the next page which is a weekly checklist and you print out the number of weeks you have in the school year. You can change anything you want if you don't like something. It is free and easy to use and looks nice. I don't always use the checklist part, but I like the annual part.

 

CC has a student planner that is nice and there is one called homeschool log that has an awesome moveable checklist. It is dated for those who like that but it goes year round. I really like it but it is a lot to keep writing with 4 kids for me.

 

I'm still developing my plan for next year so I'm not exactly sure what we're doing in terms of whether or not I'll write things down. We're doing a multi-loop schedule I think so I need to figure out the best way to do that. I do know that I'll plan out 24 weeks for each subject, though......

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I tried The Well-Planned Day last year and hated it, mostly because it had subject names printed in it. For this year I've made my own in Publisher, including overview pages for each subject so I don't have to flip through wondering when I wanted to request library books on certain topics, etc. I also use a Google spreadsheet to plan farther ahead.

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Oh, and for controlling loose papers my new found love is the arc system by Staples........It is a disc-bound notebook that works like a spiral notebook but has all the accessories of a binder......

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I have absolutely fallen in love with notebook apps, specifically Circus Ponies (Mac) though there are a number of them--OneNote, EverNote, GrowlyNotes...

I can change everything immediately, copy/paste, store snippets of video, audio, photos, other files, clickable links, etc. I can print everything or nothing.

 

I currently have 72 pages in my homeschool planner, automatically indexed, and building.

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I use Evernote & Google calendar: http://www.simplycon...me-organization I hate loose papers, too, but I want to be able to change things around and flex and tweak. Digital has been awesome.

 

:thumbup1:

 

Mystie's book is awesome! Totally helped me get many areas in my life organized. I kept losing papers every where. Here's a video tutorial and review that I blogged about. The response has been great. http://www.latter-dayhomeschooling.com/2013/06/creating-electronic-home-binder.html

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I'm a pen and paper planner, and things change so I don't like printing out "pre-written" schedules.

 

I use "My Student Logbook's" for the kids, they each have their lists to check off, this gives me an idea of where we are with each of them for the week.

 

The paper I actually do all my outlining/planning on, is a 5 subject lecture notebook with dividers. I then have sections for this year, next year, Konos, Notes, and a blank section. Notes contains random bits I need to write down, plus my purchased list, to remind me what has & hasn't arrived. I plan out Konos units/ideas etc on the Konos section, and plans ideas for this year in 2013 section, plus ideas of what I want to use/do next year in the 2014 section. The blank section is used for times when I need to plan out a certain lesson or subject not listed (special math, science etc)

 

My filofax is the one where I put written records of what we actually did, where we went, appoinments etc, and the front pocket holds my index cards,

 

The index cards are used for a couple of random reasons. One of the main one's is a supply list for stuff I need for units. My filofax goes everywhere with me, and the index card is nice and sturdy when hunting around. Other cards contain stuff like notes on DS, vocabulary for units, books/movies I want etc.

 

The only computer "planning" I have is my Math on the Level current concepts (since I do my MOTL planning in the morning whilst on the computer) & my advance library lists.

 

I actually have homeschool tracker + , I just haven't figured out how to fit it into my lifestyle right now, as we are not exactly scheduled. I'm sure I will be using it in the later years though

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I have absolutely fallen in love with notebook apps, specifically Circus Ponies (Mac) though there are a number of them--OneNote, EverNote, GrowlyNotes...

I can change everything immediately, copy/paste, store snippets of video, audio, photos, other files, clickable links, etc. I can print everything or nothing.

 

I currently have 72 pages in my homeschool planner, automatically indexed, and building.

I'm getting ready to buy Circus Ponies Notebook - and I discovered that my exported "outlines" from the iPad App "Index Card" paste as an outline nicely. So I can use that while out and about to make notes and continue on, and then put it in the right place.

 

I may still end up using OLLY too - I am undecided at the moment. I haven't gotten the total feel for my workflow yet, I'm still irked because I want/need a laptop and that isn't going to happen right now (i'm out of the house at gymnastics for 5 hours a week now...... and some of what I want to do I just can't on the iPad). So I'm a planner work in progress!

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Yipes! Circus Ponies is $59.99 Price is not nearly as cute as the name! Is it really worth the investment?

There is a 30 day trial to decide that for yourself!

 

They have been around a long time, and are committed to developing it. My Dad was a programmer - I tend to think there is value in peoples time and effort in software development :)

 

I've pondered it off and on for YEARS, and I do think it will get enough use to make it worth the investment. It is a present to myself as I try to corral my "drowning in papers" mess. I think it will be easier to have what I need in there, then print or share the file with someone if they end up having to teach the kids while I work some days.

 

Is it perfect? No.

Is it OneNote? No

Is it as close as I can get right now? Yes

Do I "strongly not like" the translucent tabs? YES

 

Oh, and they send you a $5 off coupon on the trial - but it has to be used within 24 hours, which sucks.... which is why I used my alternate email addy for my first trial ;) OH, and there is an academic license available too for $39.95, I would think your legal homeschooled student/teacher would qualify - I am a college student too, so that helps!)

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Personally, I rarely buy ANY software.

I use GIMP for my photo manipulation software (free), SketchUp for home design (free), Open Office for my word processing, spreadsheet, database and drawing (free), iTunes (free), Google Earth (free)... Really, the only thing I've ever spent money on are a couple of games for the kids and my operating system!

So, for the cost of a meal or two out, is it worth it?

For me it is.

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I use this one for approx 4th grade and up.

 

http://www.rainbowresource.com/proddtl.php?id=029491&sid=1304442138-1075929

 

And I use this one for me for younger grades.

 

http://www.rainbowresource.com/product/Unit+Study+Daily+Lesson+Planner/029492/65423fe1052a4355a3f67d22

 

ETA: I used to use homeschool tracker waaaayy back when they were testing it out all the way to when they rolled out HST+. I suppose I still have HST+ somewhere. But it became a royal PITA to use it for multiple kids. It took more time to do all the data entry for many kids than it does to just open a planner and write it in for them. And then there's the nightmare of having everything on the computer when the computer crashes. Yes. I know. I hae mentioned that in multiple threads. It is not paranoia when it's a valid fear. ;p

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I did use HST+ one year. I liked it okay and need to figure it out better so I can use it for high school. But, the weekly clicking, clicking, clicking to print a schedule drove me mad.

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I'm only homeschooling one child, so a Composition Notebook has worked so far. After reading other posts, a three ring binder sounds even better since I can have seperate sections for notes, grades, etc... I take copious notes while reading this forum, so Suggested Reading and Curriculum sections will be added.

 

Thanks for the suggestions! :thumbup:

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I did use HST+ one year. I liked it okay and need to figure it out better so I can use it for high school. But, the weekly clicking, clicking, clicking to print a schedule drove me mad.

 

Hmm, not sure what you mean? I used HST+. Once I've set up the print parameters (ie what I want it to print) for the schedule, it stays like that until I change it (which I've no reason to change it), so it's literally 2 clicks, and it prints into a weekly grid format. 2 minutes tops.

 

The way I do the lesson planning ,and then don't schedule it for an assigned day until the Sunday of that week, now that can take 10-15 minutes each Sunday evening. So less than 20 minutes total, and my week is planned out, yet I've not lost the ability to be flexible and fluid. Didn't get everything done last week? No problem, just reassign it to this week. Field trip come up for Thursday? No problem I just won't assign work for Thursday. No white out, no scratch outs, no wasted paper, no looking back at my planner and seeing all the changes/didn't get done things.....that would make my OCD mind craaaazy!

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Hmm, not sure what you mean? I used HST+. Once I've set up the print parameters (ie what I want it to print) for the schedule, it stays like that until I change it (which I've no reason to change it), so it's literally 2 clicks, and it prints into a weekly grid format. 2 minutes tops.

 

The way I do the lesson planning ,and then don't schedule it for an assigned day until the Sunday of that week, now that can take 10-15 minutes each Sunday evening. So less than 20 minutes total, and my week is planned out, yet I've not lost the ability to be flexible and fluid. Didn't get everything done last week? No problem, just reassign it to this week. Field trip come up for Thursday? No problem I just won't assign work for Thursday. No white out, no scratch outs, no wasted paper, no looking back at my planner and seeing all the changes/didn't get done things.....that would make my OCD mind craaaazy!

I really wish I could sit down with someone and walk through the program. I know I'm missing things. I thought you had to click each subject and then insert it into the lesson each week? IDK. It was two years ago.

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I have absolutely fallen in love with notebook apps, specifically Circus Ponies (Mac) though there are a number of them--OneNote, EverNote, GrowlyNotes...

I can change everything immediately, copy/paste, store snippets of video, audio, photos, other files, clickable links, etc. I can print everything or nothing.

 

I currently have 72 pages in my homeschool planner, automatically indexed, and building.

 

My interest is piqued. Do you have a detailed review for how you are using the software to plan your lessons? Are there any helpful tutorials that you've come across? Have you found it prohibitive to only have it on one device, or did you pay for a multi-user license?

 

Actually, any addition information would be fabulous!

 

Thank you,

Brittany

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My interest is piqued. Do you have a detailed review for how you are using the software to plan your lessons? Are there any helpful tutorials that you've come across? Have you found it prohibitive to only have it on one device, or did you pay for a multi-user license?

 

Actually, any addition information would be fabulous!

 

Thank you,

Brittany

Here is another similar app I came across - I ran into a snag on CP Notebooks, I can't add notes to the pages that I import PDFs on. I can add a generic text field - but not a table or anything like I planned.

 

http://www.aquaminds.com

 

The Notetaker app allows you to use it on 2 machines, and from what I can sort out the NoteShare is the same app - just will access the server to share notes with others. Which is interesting.... but not something I personally need.

 

But you can see a demo "student notebook" on this page: http://www.aquaminds.com/theater.jsp

 

Which isn't lesson plans - I haven't gotten far yet in that area... my wrists were killing me over the weekend so i was trying to not type. Trying. They are still killing me to type today. Huh.... i switched keyboards - i wonder if that is it?

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I can't add notes to the pages that I import PDFs on. I can add a generic text field - but not a table or anything like I planned.

I've gotten it to do this...

I can't write on the PDF itself, but I can drop a copy of it (which becomes a clickable link that opens the original PDF) and then add anything else I want to the page it's on, including tables.

 

My interest is piqued. Do you have a detailed review for how you are using the software to plan your lessons? Are there any helpful tutorials that you've come across? Have you found it prohibitive to only have it on one device, or did you pay for a multi-user license?

 

Actually, any addition information would be fabulous!

 

Thank you,

Brittany

 

I've actually got it on two devices; my laptop and my desktop. I only have a single license. i can only have one open at a time, though.

I have the actual notebook saved on my external hard-drive, which both of my computers access. I have a copy on my laptop as well, so I can work on it, even when I'm not at home.

 

So far as how I'm using it, I have a page for:

 

-Each week of school (36 in my case). Each page is basically just a grid, like any other lesson planner, which I'll fill in as the weeks progress. Because my student is an 8th grader, I also print it out a copy at the beginning of the week and hand it to him.

I also will put any links, resources, pics and so on on each page so I can find them when I need them!

-The table with the Scope and Sequence of my various curricula.

-A table for attendance (though that was experimental more than anything. I don't have to keep track)

-A table for curricular shopping. (clickable links to eBay, RR, amazon, etc. and price comparisons)

-My gradebook, but because I don't seem to have a spreadsheet/calculator option in my Notebook, I just have it as a clickable icon that links to my Open Office spreadsheet. Otherwise I'd have to calculate things myself and that's just unacceptable. ;)

-A copy of my son's time-tracker that I can print each week.

-Notes for future years, college, reading lists, etc.

 

 

And I've only been using this for a month! Wait til I truly figure it out. lol

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I've gotten it to do this...

I can't write on the PDF itself, but I can drop a copy of it (which becomes a clickable link that opens the original PDF) and then add anything else I want to the page it's on, including tables.

That would work - and I can do that.... but I want to plop a page in there from one of my various Instructor Guide schedules, and then on the page add in what I have extra or want to do, then print that page to use in DDs weekly notebook (she has to have it in paper form). It would be different if it was just for me - but i'm trying to put it together so she knows what we actually doing.

 

Does that make sense?? LOL!!

 

-My gradebook, but because I don't seem to have a spreadsheet/calculator option in my Notebook, I just have it as a clickable icon that links to my Open Office spreadsheet. Otherwise I'd have to calculate things myself and that's just unacceptable. ;)

 

I thought it did math? I swear I saw or heard him mention it in a video lesson!

 

I just went and tried it, I typed a number in a2, b2 and then = (which turned on row/column labels), clicking didn't work so I manually typed =a2+b2 and it worked! After i typed a2 it turned a color. SOOOO, you don't have to exert yourself so much with the math thing ;)

 

And I've only been using this for a month! Wait til I truly figure it out. lol

 

Then you will be able to rent yourself out, organizing all of us that can't manage to sit at our computer for more than 10 minutes right now due to pain :( (i have no clue what is going on with my wrists - but it is killing me to be at my computer)

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