Homeschool Planners for Perfectionists

Give me a well-thought-out spreadsheet any day and I’ll give a big ol’ smile right back to you.  There’s something about empty white boxes surrounded by thin black lines that make me all happy inside.  I like filling in those little white boxes with words and stuff – guess it makes me feel like I have some control over the situation, whatever that situation might be.

I spent a little time today looking for a homeschool planner that fits our needs – and mind you, I’m kind of picky about stuff like this.  I did recently purchase the 2011 Busy Body Book to keep track of the goings on for our family, animals, my photography business and our home.  Here’s a picture of what it looks like and I wrote a separate post heralding this planner:


It’s great and will work nicely for all of the other subjects outside of homeschooling.  Originally I was going to use it for this year’s homeschooling adventure, too, but thought about it and decided that I’d like to keep the record-keeping for schooling  separate so that I can easily reference it in the future if need be and keep all of his school stuff together.  I was on the hunt for a good planner that I can tailor specifically to homeschooling.  I wanted it to be creative, pretty, well-designed, intuitive, large but not bulky, sturdy, ring-bound and cheap.  Hah!  Good luck finding this, huh?  Maybe I should just design my own.

Many families use online systems like Google Docs for homeschool tracking.  Or they download fancy software like Homeschool Tracker, of which there is a free basic version and then an upgraded version you can dish out for.  I looked at their site and kind of blanched at the plain-Janeness of it.  Very utilitarian but I’m sure it works well for many families.  There are many similar versions out there – just Google ‘homeschool planning software’ and you’ll find them.  I was hoping to find something with more panache and pizzazz – especially if I’ll be looking at it every day for the next 9 months or so.  Again, maybe I should design my own.  But that would kill the printer cartridges, wouldn’t it? 

Also, I wanted something I could get my hands around, something tactile.  I didn’t like the idea of typing everything into the computer and then having to store it, knowing that someday storage technology will change.  A nice written record sounds lovely and kind of homey, if you ask me.

A quick trip out tonight to get soymilk and cat food might have been fruitful with respect to this planner dilemma.  I picked up a weekly/monthly planner from Blue Sky Images.  Here it is:

It’s their 8.5 x 11 inch Blue Indie Stripe Planner with  week-at-a-glance and monthly bird’s-eye-view options.  It has a nice thick plastic cover, so it should hold up fine for all the times it gets stuffed into bags, dropped, run over, chewed on, hidden by Max……..  And it has awesomely large spaces to write in for the daily stuff.  I can track to my heart’s content and then some.  This is great! 

Now I can settle comfortably into a chair and get down to business in planning the remaining details of the upcoming  school year.  The summer has been a tremendous adventure with lots of home projects like planting a garden, building a chicken coop, raising eleven chicks from the day-old stage (they are six weeks old today!), constructing a securely fenced chicken yard to keep the coyotes out, painting projects, etc.  I have been one busy little camper around here, but am suddenly aware that all of the other kids in the neighborhood are IN SCHOOL this week!!!!  Eeek!  No worries – we weren’t planning to start until September 1st and I did much of this year’s planning at the end of the school year in June.  We’re all set.  I just need to sit down with a good pen and transfer those thoughts into the new planner. 

In parting I’ll leave you with a picture of Max in the chicken coop – he is accompanied by Charlotte and Georgia.  Charlotte (on the right) is a light brown Leghorn (pronounced ‘Leggern’); she is a nervous wreck and is very hard to catch.  Georgia, on the other hand, is the sweetest girl.  She is an Australorp and is growing into quite a handsome bird.  It’s freaky how much they have changed in just six weeks!

Max, Georgia and Charlotte in the new coop

Just for fun, here’s what Georgia, the Australorp, looked like at 2 days of age:


Backyard chickens are the coolest!  How I went from planners to chickens……not sure, but both of these things have been on my mind :).


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