As a homeschool mom, when I was first starting out I had no idea what I should include in my homeschool planner. Everyone seemed so much more organized than I was (and still am)! There are so many things that you need for your homeschool, it can get overwhelming – fast.
Do I need a daily homeschool planner? Should I search for the best online homeschool planner? Where do I start?!
It can be challenging to plan a day when you have school, work, chores around the house and keeping up with kids. It's even more difficult if you are homeschooling on top of it all! I hope these ideas help you find the best homeschool planner for your family.
What to include in a homeschool planner
These are the types of things I include in my planner:
- Goal setting & gratitude/reflection: this is as important to me as academics are!
- Month in review: so we can look back and see what went well and what we need to work on.
- Lists: books to read, places to visit, things we want to learn about, etc.
- Attendance records: as a back-up to our digital records, just in case.
- All-in-One: I want something I can access on the go (whether it's a pocket planner or digital), and it can hold all of my appointments as well as academic and sports stuff.
Your homeschool planner must align with your vision.
If prayer is important to you, it should be incorporated into your planner. If keeping everything in one place is critical, you'll want an all-in-one planner where you can plan everyone's appointments as well as upcoming travel plans, birthdays, etc. Your planner is there to work for you, not the other way around.
What do you picture when you envision the perfect homeschool planner? Don't settle until you find it – or create it yourself. The best planner is one you use, and you won't use it if it doesn't meet your family's needs.
Your homeschool planner must be in the format you prefer.
If your goal is to go completely paperless, printing a paper planner – or buying one – wouldn't make sense. If you love spiral-bound planners, going digital may not be for you. Or maybe you want a mini planner for on the go, and a bigger planner for home.
Whatever the case may be, choose a format that you enjoy. I love writing everything down, but I don't love how much paper I was going through, so I use a Rocketbook. It's a hybrid of digital and physical because I write everything down, but then I scan it in and it's available on my Rocketbook app. Winning!
You can even plan your entire homeschool year in Evernote.
What type of planner do you work best with? Start there.
Your homeschool planner must have daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly pages.
Even if you don't plan a year in advance, there are plenty of things that need to be put in a year-round planner: birthdays, anniversaries, testing, sports try-outs, etc. Here's a general idea of what we use our homeschool planning pages for:
Daily planning pages: daily to do list, meals, goals/focus for the day, mood tracking, and daily reflection.
Weekly planning pages: weekly to do list, meal plan, focus for the week, weekly reflection, attendance records, and future plans.
Monthly planning pages: monthly to do list, focus for the month, activities (sports, scouts, appointments), monthly reflection, attendance records, and lists (books to read, places to visit, things to learn, etc).
Yearly planning pages: year at a glance, attendance, testing, activities, birthdays and events.
What's most important for you to plan? Start with a broad level overview, and then dig deeper as you have time.
Your homeschool planner must inspire you.
If your planner isn't inspiring you, you probably aren't using it as often as you should – or at all. Much like needing the proper format (digital or physical), you also need the right layout. My planners must be colorful, and have room to doodle. I always doodle and brainstorm no matter what I'm working on, so having a planner in front of me where I can drop my genius ideas into, well, it's gold!
Some people even choose a homeschool planner based on personality type. I thought that was so cool!
What does your perfect planner look like? Choose a planner that is pretty enough to inspire you, but also functional enough that you'll be inspired to use it every single day.
Your homeschool planner must be yours, and yours alone.
Don't compare your homeschool planner to your friend's planner, or even to my planner! Your homeschool planner is there to work for you – for your family, for your schedule, for your brain. There is no right or wrong way to plan your homeschool and life.
As a newer homeschooling parent, you may second-guess a lot of your choices. Did I choose the right curriculum? Am I tracking everything as best I can? Your planner choice is no different. It may take a few times before you get it right, and that's okay.
What is in your perfect homeschool planner? Make a list of what your must-haves are. Find a planner that checks all the boxes, or make your own if you can't find anything that will work for you. Planners will never be perfect, but if you create a checklist, you can get close.
Using your homeschool planner
Your homeschool planner is your roadmap to the future. It will help you stay organized and driven, so take some time to think about what it should include before diving into the other aspects of planning for school. Make sure that your plan reflects who you are as a person and a parent – if it doesn’t feel right now, then it won’t work later on.
Whether you prefer an online spreadsheet or physical notebook, add in some inspiring quotes if they will help motivate you on days where everything seems impossible. It's all up to YOU! What are some other features in YOUR ideal homeschool planner? Let me know below!
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