Homeschooling planners are cropping up all over the place as more and more families are jumping on the teach-at-home bandwagon. There are some printables you can download to build your own, and there are also lots of great “real book” options to help keep your homeschool plans on track. Assuming you have plans. Not everyone does. But still.
Features to look for:
Monthly/weekly/daily pages – You might want or need one type of format, or you might benefit from having sections with all three. Monthly pages are best for scheduling field trips, appointments or dates but a daily page can be essential for managing your actual hour-by-hour lesson plans.
Attendance pages – If you need to provide some sort of attendance records for your homeschooled kids, a separate page to mark of school days can be more efficient than having to count backward through a whole book of schedules.
Grading records – Another central place to record certain tests, assignments, projects and their associated grades is an important tool. It’s essential if you have to produce a work record to submit at the end of the year, but it can also be handy just for your own use too.
Book log – I like to keep track of books read over the year, so a page to log in books would be nice though it’s not seen in too many planners (I have one you can download).
Freeform pages – Sometimes you can use some space to plot together what you need for a unit study, or want to jot down a summer reading list idea.
Contact info – What about a section for contact information (phone numbers, emails etc.) of important people or places in your homeschool world? Your homeschool group people, the library, the local sports facilities or whatever can be all organized in your planner.
How long? – Some planners are built to be used over the course of an entire year, and some are designed over a more typical “school year” (often 180 days). How you operate your home learning should be considered here. Don’t assume it’s a full year until you check it out.
Secular or not? – Obviously you’re going to prefer something secular but if it’s just a matter of ignoring a few Bible verses, it can be tolerable to have a slightly religious planner. On the other hand, many of them will contain whole sections on Bible study and have more religion than you can tolerate. The The Ultimate Homeschool Planner and the Well Planned Day are both definitely Christian planners, but feel free to see if they would suit. Otherwise, here are secular ones to browse (yes, these are Amazon affiliate links):
Another option is to pass on the printed book and do a little homeschool DIY instead. You don’t even have to start from scratch. There are great printables out there already that you can customize what pages you need, and print them up yourself. Put ’em in a binder, and you’re done. Check out a few goods ones here:
Ok, trying to find fully secular resources for this was harder than I thought. I guess I may have to design some pages of my own to post. Stay tuned!