Sunday, August 11, 2013

My Calendar and My Planner

For me summer time means planning and prepping for the next school year.  I feel very confident that the more planning I can get done now the more we'll be able to accomplish during the school year.  Without the dreaded...."oh, we can't do that yet, I don't have it ready!"  So, August has found me working diligently, every chance I get, to prepare for our coming school year.
Summer Time = Planning Time Series: Part 2
I love that homeschooling offers us the flexibility to set up our schedule to suit our needs.  And while I enjoy a bit of a break during the beautiful days of summer, I tend to not follow the local school calendar.  We prefer to trade our snow days for beach days in the spring.  And we like to celebrate our family birthdays with a break from school.  I just really love being the one to dictate which days we will school and which days we will break. 
This year I am working in more periodic breaks to help avoid some of the burnout we tend to experience mid to end of the school year.  I toyed with the idea of "6 weeks on 1 week off" that some homeschoolers follow.  But it just didn't line up with the days I wanted off.  So, with calculator in hand, I played around with some numbers.  And I came up with a monthly approach. 
I actually just allotted a certain number of days that I wanted to do school each month.  Any extra days would be a break.  Thereby working in frequent short breaks.  This also gives me a bit of a cushion.  If I have a sick child or something comes up and we don't get to school on a day that we had planned to, we can make it up on one of the break days.
I even created a planner to go with my new monthly approach.  A traditional teacher's planner is set up with 1 week per page or page spread.  I have used this style many times teaching in the classroom, as well as homeschooling.  But I find that it tends to be a lot of extra work for me to fill in this type of planner.  And for what reason?  Monday - Lesson 1, Tuesday - Lesson 2, Wednesday - L3......etc. 
And then in those extremely busy stages of life - like a new baby! - it can be so frustrating to have to carry over those notes to the next week, and the next, and the next.   Not too mention, more busy work. 
I wanted something that showed my general plan, without making a ton of extra busy work for me.  Something simplified.  This is where my monthly plan idea really began to shine for me.  Each page of my planner is a whole month!  I fill in the range of lessons I'd like to cover that month. 
Like: Math L 1-18. 
My planning time is consolidated down to one time a month.  Yet, each subject is  laid out for me to easily see what direction we are going.  Which subjects we are on track with or which ones we need to kick it into gear with. 
Without further ado, here is my new homeschool planner:
Help yourself to this free download, if you think this style might work for you.  If you have more than 3 kiddos that your are homeschooling, you can just print off multiple pages for each month.  The calendar box is where I "X" off the days we plan to take a break on.  But I do so in pencil in case my plan changes! 
Please leave me a comment if you download my planner, and let me know how you like it! 
Stick with me for more in the series Summer Time = Planning Time.  In part 3, I will be sharing our binders for the year; both my binder and the kids' binders.  This will include a few more organizational freebies!
In case you need to catch up....


  1. I love the planning process...thanks for sharing, I enjoy seeing how other Moms prepare.

  2. Thanks, Maria! I love gathering ideas from other moms, as well! I am getting so excited for the coming school year! Planning and watching other moms on other blogs plan and start their school year! I hope you are blessed this year!