I am a pen and paper kind of gal. That makes a printed planner a necessity for me. And my very favorite one is published by The Old Schoolhouse®. I have been using it for quite a few years now, except for one year when I couldn’t get it. But the Hey, Mama! Homeschool Planner for 2019/20 Year is just what I needed.
The author of this planner, Gena Suarez, has been down this homeschooling road and knows about the hopes and desires and worries and concerns that inundate the life of a homeschooling mama. She wrote this planner with all of that in mind. It seems like that part of the planner – the part that offers encouragement to stay strong and remember why you tackled this homeschooling journey in the first place – actually came before the planning part of the planner. That is what I like most about this planner and why I come back to it year after year. I find great encouragement here.
You specifically see these encouragement posts each month. Every one starts out with Hey, Mama! Gena is talking to me. And to you. And to whoever is using this beautiful planner. We all have down days and days of struggle. These Hey, Mama! letters are found in the calendar part of the planner (I know getting a bit ahead of myself but I’ll get there). One letter for each month. And I go back to them more than once in the year. Because they are so encouraging!
A quick note about the quality of this planner – it is fabulous. The cover is beautiful and this combination of my favorite color with flowers just makes me smile. And who doesn’t like something that makes them smile. 🙂 The planner is spiral bound with laminated paper covers. Okay – laminated is probably not the right word but they are thick paper with a nice glossy finish that will allow it to withstand a lot of use, which it will get. The pages inside are a thick and of a high-quality. The slightly rough finish is smooth to write on. All of this adds up to a lovely planner that is a joy to use.
Now, on to the other pages of the planner. As I mentioned, there are calendar pages of several sorts. There is a year-long view set up month by month so you can see all of 2019 by itself, all of 2020, by itself and all of 2021 by itself. The whole year. There is a monthly view, where you get the month in a two-page spread so you can make plans for the month and see it all at once. Then you have the weekly view in undated pages. So you can make those work for you in whatever way is best, week by week.
You get some transcript information, because at some point, every child will need some kind of a record of what has been covered. There is one page on “Creating an Academic Transcript” followed by an academic transcript if you want a pre-made form. There are checklists for skills learned and a page to track other courses. These are all found up front.
After your weekly view planning pages, you have planning pages for up to five children. There is a page for notes, a page for curriculum planning, an attendance chart, a book list page, a page for yearly goals, and pages for semester goals. That allows you to really think through and plan for your children’s education each year. But, it is also really flexible and you don’t have to use any of these forms that don’t work for you.
For me, I have already color coded our schedule for next school year, starting in July.
I have also started keeping track of the learning and reviews that will happen during July. I use the notes page that comes with each month to write down what videos we watch, what field trips (or camps/mission trips) we take, what books we use as a read aloud, and what reviews are being worked on by which girl. You can see that in the image up above with the example of the encouragement letter.
The monthly view is another way I track the big picture. I tend to write on it our places we go and activities done. As you can see, I color code everything I write down for the girls. I use blue, pink, and purple to make notes on their course work, attendance, book list, activities, etc. I use red and/or green for anything we do as a family. This helps me see at a glance what has been done or what is planned.
I also plan to use the curriculum planning pages. I like to track which program each girl is using, especially for any high school level courses. So, for two of the girls, I will have some high school level courses to track.
I also keep track of attendance. I am not required by the state to track that but it is a good measure of the amount of work done and time spent. And if I ever need it, I don’t have to try to figure it out. It is right there.
The Old Schoolhouse® has done such an amazing job with the Hey, Mama! Homeschool Planner for 2019/20 Year that they are about 98% sold out. There are not plans to print more for this year so you might want to grab yours quickly if you are interested.
Lori, At Home.