Jump to content

Menu

Homeschool Year Planner


Recommended Posts

Hello!

Are there any good homeschool planners out there that anyone would recommend? I looked at a few options but nothing really seems to be right. For most, I actually don't even know how I would use. 

In the past, I've used a Blue Sky monthly and weekly planner for each child. It does work, but I was wondering if there was something else more geared towards homeschooling that would be helpful. 

I am trying to just plan a few weeks at a time this year. I've done planning the whole year, and then I felt like I was always playing catchup--bc. I've also just planned the week of but then I found myself scrambling towards the end trying see how long it would take to finish the year. 

I don't track attendance, or grades (my kids are still elementary though I will probably start this year for my 3rd grader). 

Thank you!

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've tried and failed The Ultimate Homeschool Planner twice and now I make my own. I have a few general thoughts for the year in my journal and a daily spreadsheet that gets altered as needed. I will share examples of my general thoughts and a screenshot of my daily spreadsheet. The second piece breaks down how many lessons need to finished each term. I'm sorry about my handwriting.

20210702_092535.jpg

20210702_094012.jpg

Screenshot_20210702-094116.png

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

19 hours ago, Cass said:

Hello!

Are there any good homeschool planners out there that anyone would recommend? I looked at a few options but nothing really seems to be right. For most, I actually don't even know how I would use. 

In the past, I've used a Blue Sky monthly and weekly planner for each child. It does work, but I was wondering if there was something else more geared towards homeschooling that would be helpful. 

I am trying to just plan a few weeks at a time this year. I've done planning the whole year, and then I felt like I was always playing catchup--bc. I've also just planned the week of but then I found myself scrambling towards the end trying see how long it would take to finish the year. 

I don't track attendance, or grades (my kids are still elementary though I will probably start this year for my 3rd grader). 

Thank you!

 

There's no need to "track attendance." Checking off assignments and whatnot is not the same thing as "tracking attendance." Unless your state requires you to actually submit proof of "attendance," IMHO it's safe to assume that there will be an education happening for at least [insert favorite number of required days] out of 365, and so there's no need to "track" it. 🙂

The Home Schoolers Journal from FergNus Services is practical. It isn't very expensive, so you could order one and see if it would work for you.

Rather than actually planning out what you're going to do, could you check off each day the things that were done? Look through your materials so you'll know what to do each day and you're ready for the next things, but just check off what you do. Then there's no scrambling to finish anything by a certain date.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I use a printable planner from Teachers Pay Teachers and put it in a Five Star Flexi Binder. I have to track attendance and hours for our state so I have that section in the front. I also like to make notes about things that worked and didn’t work, lesson modifications, notes on DS’s reading, etc. The binder makes it easy to add in those sheets behind the weekly grid. 
 

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Editable-Teacher-Planner-Binder-2021-2022-643874

I got it for $10 during a sale.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I used to create my own so I could have the pages just the way I needed them each year. I did "yearly planning" rather than a strict daily plan. I did estimate about how much time I expected things to take (so that I could come up with a reasonable amount of work for the year), but for daily work, I just jotted down what we did rather than following a pre-set plan. That allowed me the flexibility to move faster or slow, to spend more time on difficult things, to follow rabbit trails my kids were interested in, to go on field trips or nature walks instead of some or all subjects for the day, etc... I really loved that flexibility, especially in the elementary years. Have fun teaching your little ones! 

On 7/1/2021 at 2:51 PM, Cass said:

Hello!

Are there any good homeschool planners out there that anyone would recommend? I looked at a few options but nothing really seems to be right. For most, I actually don't even know how I would use. 

In the past, I've used a Blue Sky monthly and weekly planner for each child. It does work, but I was wondering if there was something else more geared towards homeschooling that would be helpful. 

I am trying to just plan a few weeks at a time this year. I've done planning the whole year, and then I felt like I was always playing catchup--bc. I've also just planned the week of but then I found myself scrambling towards the end trying see how long it would take to finish the year. 

I don't track attendance, or grades (my kids are still elementary though I will probably start this year for my 3rd grader). 

Thank you!

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

Most of the recommendations so far seem to be for paper planners. That might be what you're looking for since you mentioned a Blue Sky monthly planner. I'll toss in a thread about Online Homeschool Planners that I started some time ago if you're at all interested in the digital route. I still have a lot of online planners that I intend to try out and review in the future, but that thread at least aggregates some options together.

My wife likes to print out the weekly view of tasks within School Desk. She mostly uses it as a tool for herself since my children are still elementary aged. I am biased because I made School Desk, however, I think does a good job of showing what her plan is each week.

Edited by Matt Layman
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 hours ago, Matt Layman said:

My wife likes to print out the weekly view of tasks within School Desk. She mostly uses it as a tool for herself since my children are still elementary aged. I am biased because I made School Desk, however, I think does a good job of showing what her plan is each week.

I'd like her review of this program. I am struggling with school planning and school planners for my Kindergartener.

What does she think this planner gives her that others don't (both dedicated homeschool planners and teacher planners). I tried Trello, but I felt like I do need a paper copy so I don't have to run off every 10-15min (after each activity) to figure out what we are suppose to do next. Right now I'm doing lots of paper with redundant information, some to wrap my head around what we'll be doing and materials I need to gather and others to make a weekly plan for me to refer to during the day. 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Clarita - I also use School Desk, so maybe my thoughts will be useful to you. (For full disclosure, Matt is married to my sister. I do not profit from sales of the app, and Matt didn't ask me to share my opinion.)

I input tasks for some courses all up front. For other courses I don't put in tasks until that day. Either way is simple to do. If I forget to check things off at the end of a day, it's very simple to go back and check it as completed on that day (I think my sister goes back to each day at the end of a week).

I use the daily checklists and print them out for my kids each day - they, and I, can easily see what they need to do. It's also easy to adjust tasks if we didn't do exactly what I had planned. And if I decide we're not doing school (like today!), everything automatically moves to the next scheduled day.

You can see projected end dates for each course. You can make courses active or inactive (so if you have a kid who is learning Subject X, but they only do that for a few weeks or a semester or whatever and then give it up, you can just make the course inactive so it won't show up on the schedule). You can set up a course so that it only shows up on certain days of the week.

The only online planner I have used before this is Homeschool Skedtrack. It was fine, but School Desk is an improvement, both in visual appearance and in ease of use.

I haven't used paper planners before, other than writing out daily checklists (spiral notebook method from readaloudrevival.com). I have *purchased* paper planners before, but I fail to use them, lol. I don't have an explanation other than they don't seem to work for me, regardless of how pretty they are.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Clarita I've been using The School Desk App too! Have been loving it. No affiliation with Matt or the family, just a Boardie who decided to take the plunge lol. 

So, pre using this website I was using Excel only, or flipping through books on Sunday night and handwriting into a daily hour grid for each kid. I have experience with Asana, Trello, and a few other organization/task planner apps (use them for business with great success), but any homeschool application I've tried with them has been short lived because it felt like too much manual work moving things around and checking them off and then something gets out of sync, etc; if I was going to do all that, may as well just handwrite, ykwim?

But, this year I need something that would help me keep things more organized: I'm starting to grade more, the kids are breaking down into separate books/subjects/paces now and I need to keep track of a bunch of moving parts, and they need clear expectations what we're doing (and I need clear reminders lol). The Excel takes me time to make and then I spend time fiddling with things besides the actual lessons. The handwriting method is no longer practical, I can't write everything out in triplicate or quadruplicate, and then if one subject gets missed or slowed down, all that writing wasn't even looked at!

School Desk has really simplified it for me. @purpleowl gives a great breakdown of how to use it and what it does well. I put in all my courses upfront (did this late July) and it's been a breeze to keep updated. If I need to tweak the lesson order or if I want to delete a lesson altogether, it's a cinch and moves things around for me without me having to copy+paste a thousand things. There's a great batch addition tool which saved me TONS of planning time. My kids do things at very different paces, so I have a few courses for each grade marked as "inactive", waiting for them to get to it. But knowing all the hard work is done and I don't have to revisit the planning stage or continually delete a class from the weekly printout has been a big help, and doesn't confuse/clutter the kid printouts. 

I check off completed lessons weekly when I review the kids work in its entirety. I can change the dates they finished something, and there are a few topics, like Python, where they may have done 8 or 9 lessons in the week and I can quickly mark all of the lessons as completed. Once my week review is completed with them, I simply print out the next week and it's all ready to go, no thinking from me required! It can print straight from the app: they are formatted nicely to fit on 1 page/student if possible, printing from Safari I can change the layout to be portrait or landscape and both look good and are easy to understand. 

So yeah, this has saved my year. I like it, kids like it, easy to use (after maybe 5 minutes clicking around figuring out the flow of Create year > Create Student > Create Grade > Create Class > Then create lessons). It's not overwhelming but does everything I need it to. Maybe uber-organized moms would want something more, but I just can't even think of what that would be. 

Edited by Moonhawk
  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Clarita Cool! I'm always trying to make School Desk better, so if you have any feedback along the way, please don't hesitate to ask.

I also asked my wife for her review last night. She doesn't have an account on this forum, but I she told me "I like it because it's secure and reliable." She had reliability issues with the service that she used before School Desk.

She's also the one quoted on the School Desk starting page where she said "School Desk is the simple solution that I was looking for. I’ve tried other apps that overwhelmed me with unnecessary features. Here, I can easily manage all of my kids’ tasks and make sure we’re on track."

I hope you enjoy the service!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I use a Rod and Staff planner (https://www.milestonebooks.com/item/1-19081/?list=Teacher_Helps).  I like paper and I'm very particular about what I want. This, I can't find any perfect solution. I like that rod and staff is very generic and I can make it what I want. They also have a book for keeping grades which I'll probably look into when my kids get older. I plan about 6 weeks at a time.

I've made my own checklists for my oldest using a Microsoft program. It's just got the broad subjects like: history. And I'll write in anything specific or out of the ordinary he needs to do. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...