Every new homeschool mom is in the market for a homeschool planner. But you might not want to run out and grab the huge teacher planner off the shelf.
Here’s the thing. Even “homeschool planners” might not fit the bill for you. Because every homeschool mom is different, with unique organizational needs and challenges.
But here’s the bottom line: your planner needs to work for you.
The very first question to discuss when it comes to homeschool planning is to ask: what is the purpose of your planner?
Is it to keep ideas? A yearly goal chart? Or do you plan out each minute of your day?
I have some recommendations for you, but truly – a bullet journal will function just about perfectly for each planning style. We’ll cover what a bullet journal is and how to use it for homeschool planning down below.
But for now, let’s hash out some of the ways you would use a homeschool planner.
Making Long-Range Plans
It’s best to start your homeschool planning with the long-view in mind. If you’re starting with a kindergartener, you don’t have to know what math curriculum you’ll be using in high school, but you do want a bit of an idea of the goals and curriculum you may use for the first few years of school.
If you’re homeschooling a seventh or eighth grader, then you do want to plan ahead for high school a few years ahead of time. This should keep you on track and more confident in your class options moving forward.
If you have multiple kids at different levels, then keeping a personalized list of each child’s learning styles, struggles, strengths, and interests is a great idea.
Our homeschool has always had multiple learners, or at least when we first started, multiple toddlers, preschoolers, and a baby nearby. So, if you want to know my best advice for homeschooling multiple ages (without losing your mind), then check out these two resources.
First is my strategy for tackling the yearly lesson planning for multiple ages in a short amount of time! Yes – it can be done in about an hour. This is the overview for the year. I don’t write down each day’s lessons – ever. We just do the next lesson and use open & go curriculum.
Next is my best advice and tips for homeschooling multiple ages and grades with simplicity and effectiveness.
Keeping Yearly Course Titles
Once you’ve set up your long-term overview of how you want to proceed with each content area (science, history, math) and each age-level (K-2, K-8, 9-12), then you’re ready to make a homeschool plan for the coming year.
Each school year, I create a grid with each of my children listed across one edge and the subjects listed down the other. That way, I can clearly see if I can group multiple kids together for a subject.
Your homeschool planner will be a place where you’ll want to keep yearly homeschool plans, which include the curriculum you want to use and any other notes pertaining to your routines and structure for the year.
Your homeschool planner also becomes a great location for jotting down new curriculum ideas as they pop up in your Facebook feed or in conversation at your local co-op. Recommendations and reviews are a great way to get fresh ideas for curriculum and resources you may not have considered before.
Let’s face it, homeschoolers keep lots of lists! Instead of keeping them in random places or on sticky notes around the house, your homeschool planner should be an ideal place to find them. Your lists might include:
- unit study ideas
- books to read list
- books we have read list
- homeschool supplies
- YouTube channels
- curriculum list
- homeschool grades – Some of you might want to keep grades in your homeschool planner. Personally, we don’t keep grades in K-8. And in the high school years, my teens use a Student Grade Sheet to keep track of their own progress. But if your family keeps grades, then a homeschool planner is a great place for that.
Household and Project Planning
Of course, we’re not just homeschool moms. We’re also homemakers, volunteers, wives, sisters, daughters. We have passion projects. Maybe full-time or part-time jobs. We need to keep track of meal planning and Christmas lists. When was the last time we scheduled a doctor’s appointment for ourselves? We need to keep track of that too!
Instead of relying on a huge mom planner that just doesn’t fit your life, create your own. I’ll explain below that I think a bullet journal is the best option here too.
And, keeping all your lists, goals, calendars, and more in a bullet journal will (hopefully) get rid of the necessity of keeping scraps of paper lists or sticky notes everywhere. It’s all in one place. And it’s portable.
If you have to go to an appointment, grab your bullet journal and work on things as you sit.
Here are just some household and project planning categories that you might keep in a customized bullet journal:
- meal plans
- Christmas lists
- children’s clothing sizes
- gardening notes
- Prepping 101 notes
- business goals
- budgeting goals
- home projects
- home paint colors
- book lists
- gift lists
- prayer list
- year at a glance
- fitness goals and tracking
Consider Using a Bullet Journal
A bullet journal is awesome for a homeschool mom because it encourages customization and individualism. You only include what you need and it is a multipurpose planner. Finally, it’s one of the most inexpensive options for a homeschool planner. It’s perfect for you artsy people, or it can be simple for those of us who prefer a bit of minimalism.
Have you ever had the urge to organize your schedule but every paper planner at the store or printable version had pages you didn’t need, or was missing essential pages?
Need lots of daily checklists? Big idea plans? Goal sheets? Include what you need and don’t sweat the rest.
Bullet journals are great because they adapt to your planning style.
Is your style artistic or minimal? With a bullet journal, it’s up to you!
Include what you need
Trying to start a new habit? Create a habit tracker.
Yearly calendar view? Monthly? Weekly list? Check.
You can organize everything in one place: homeschool, home, business, personal, kids schedules, goals, passion projects. No more looking for that random sticky note.
Use any blank notebook
You can go cheap or expensive. Simple or decorative. Blank pages, lined pages, or grids.
How a bullet journal beneficial for homeschool
- You can keep a page for your daily or weekly schedule
- Include pages for curriculum lists: per child, per subject, and future purchases
- Track reading (yours & the kids!)
- Keep all your lists in one place: topics to study, books to read, field trip ideas
- Menu plans and chore trackers
Looking for more how-to’s and inspiration for you bullet journal? Check out my Bullet Journal Pinterest board.
More Homeschool Planning Resources