The academic year can be so busy that it’s easy to have days and weeks blur together and it’s hard to remember if Darling #1 did the copy work you asked or which books Sunshine #4 read last month. Planners can help keep track of the kids’ work, which may be invaluable if you need to apply to a competitive program or want to make sure you’re on track with your yearly goals. While homeschooler planners are optional, some parents feel more organized when we sketch out or keep track of our kids’ work, and it can help put together a transcript or other official records of our child’s homeschool year. It can also be part of your child’s portfolio records.
When my kids were homeschooled, we developed our own planners as Word docs with cool fonts to make it interesting and cheap to print out in batches without color ink and double-sided. We created a version for me to keep track of each child’s work with their weekly expectations, whatever grades I assigned, field trips, volunteer hours, and other records to accompany their work. It not only helped us keep track of the kids’ progress, it kept us focused on our annual and incremental goals. We had a different template for the kids that allowed them to note each week’s assignments and expectations, upcoming appointments, sports practices, classes that had specific date/time commitments, weekly goals and chores, and other things that empowered ownership of their education and reinforced strong study skills. We kept the planners in 3-ring binders so it was easy to add to it as the year progressed and keep organized. I still have every year’s planner as special keepsakes even though our kids are all college graduates now.
Some folks like paper versions that are easy to use and inexpensive and others like the flexibility that an e-planner allows - no erasures or scribbles when plans change! For people who choose to use a planner, there are endless options so there’s bound to be something that suits your needs, either paper or electronic.
Here are suggestions for free home ed planners to get your upcoming year organized. We also found a few student planners, which can be very helpful to encourage their ownership of their learning and foster study skills. Don’t be afraid to create your own so it reflects the unique elements of your family’s home ed program. Do you have a favorite? Let us know and we'll add to our list!
Please remember that homeschoolers have no obligation to follow the public-school model in any way – not the calendar year, number of school days or attendance, daily schedule, curriculum, scope/sequence, or standards. NH homeschoolers are required to cover a range of subjects at some point in their home ed program, but not annually. The list is in RSA 193-A.
Recommended Planners (not free)
The A+ Homeschool Planner by Amy Sharony
The Happy Planner
A Simple Plan Homeschool Planner by A Simple Plan Store
The Ultimate Homeschool Planner by Debra Bell
The Well Planned Day by Rebecca Scarlata Farris
By Michelle Levell