Planning your homeschool subjects, topics and themes, and materials needed takes some real time and organization. But it doesn’t have to be a long and frustrating process. The first step is to get organized and figure out what you’ll need to make it happen. Every homeschool mom plans differently and has different goals for her family. Finding out what works for you takes time and patience. Sometimes it’s just a process of trial and error. (Later in this post, I’ll give you a list of many other planner options).
While I’m looking for planners in preparation for a new year of homeschooling this January, I’ve been checking out my different options as well. As some of you know from a previous video I did on my YouTube channel, I purchased a planner last year that I enjoyed. Two, in fact. Here’s the video on choosing homeschool planners….(and note, that although these planners worked for me at the time, my homeschool is constantly evolving and I will be moving on to other solutions this year).
The first I tried is the Mom’s Weekly planner that I purchased from Barnes and Noble.
It turned out that after a few months of bliss with my beautiful cover, I ended up only using it for the monthly at-a-glance sections…and then, it was more for my “mom-life” to-do lists than for homeschooling.
So for my homeschooling planning, I used my trusty one: The Homeschool Planner, which suited is perfectly for nearly an entire school year (last year)…
However, this year, I’m going to be mixing things up a bit and creating my own planning binder that work specifically for me and meets my needs in a versatile way. I really like digital planning and keeping things stored online and printing out only what I need. (I also like cheap or free!)
I’ve been using Etsy and TeachersPayTeachers a lot and filling up my new Planner Binder. Here’s a video showcasing a bit of what I’m doing for the start of 2013.
One digital solution I’ve also really liked is Homeschool Tracker. There is a free version and paid as well, but I’ve found most of what I need in the free solution.
So, for your homeschool planning, if you’re in the trial and error stage, I recommend starting with free planning printables or using a free digital service such as Homeschool Tracker or Homeschool SkedTrack rather than spending a lot of your money on planners which can be redirected into your curriculum budget. (Unless, of course, you’ve just got your eyes on the perfect one and it’s completely worth it!) And as always, there’s always Etsy and Teachers Pay Teachers. (You can get free downloads there as well).
Etsy has the *cutest* digital shops for planners and one I’ll recommend is Happy Organized Life. You can type in your plans, print them out, and reuse your digital planners sheets as you need them throughout the year.
So, here are a list of free or low-cost places to find freebie planning solutions for your homeschool:
- Homeschool Sked Track- free online lesson planner, scheduler, and tracking system
- Homeschool Tracker- homeschool planning and organizing software (both free and paid versions available)
Planner Printables…just a few
- Donna Young- this site offers many, many printables and resources to download for free that can help with homeschooling- lesson plan forms, administrative forms, household calendars as well as subject worksheets for science, handwriting, and math. All free.
- Free homeschool planner pages from Joy from Five J’s
- Etsy printables- search for “planners”
- Mama Jen’s homeschool planner pages
- The Weekly Homeschool Planner (low cost)
And although not-so-low-cost, I do have to mention a nice find: The Ultimate Homeschool Planner by Apologia. If printing out pages or going digital is not your thing, this might be a good way to go.
So…that’s all for now about planners, and I’ll definitely add to this list if you have any suggestions or I find more.