Friday, October 3, 2008

The Schoolhouse Planner

I am not a planner. I am a researcher, a fangirl of curriculum even, but not really a planner. I like to be more relaxed, laid back, and just let things flow. With seven children in seven different grades, that's just not working for me right now. I must plan and schedule, but I need it to be as easy and user friendly as possible, so I went in search of the right planner for our family. One of the planners I was already considering purchasing, The Schoolhouse Planner, was made available to me for reviewing. I was thrilled to have the opportunity!

This is a brand new planner, put out by The Old Schoolhouse magazine. It is available as an e-book, which is what I love most about it. You can print it out if you prefer, or you can type directly into the pages and print as needed. This has been the most exciting feature for me. I can type information in once, copy and paste to multiple children or multiple dates, and just change page numbers as needed. Then I print the pages I need for that week and place them in my binder. Easy. I like easy.

There are two Weekly Planner formats available. One is for multiple children on one page, one is for one child with room for more detail. I use the individual planner for my high schoolers and then plan the five younger students on one sheet. My one complaint with this is that I haven't found a way to save the weekly planner sheet on it's own, I have had to save the complete e-book into two files so that I can use the Weekly Planner for more than one student. Not a major problem, but that would be helpful for future editions.

This planner is so much more than just Weekly sheets. The Table of Contents is three pages long and contains links to the pages you want, which is a great feature. I can just go to the Table of Contents and click on the form I want and it brings me directly there. Magic.

The first section contains the homeschooling forms, and there are many. I have friends who love staying organized and this would be like Christmas for them. There is a form for everything you could want, from Yearly Planners to End-of-Year Evaluation. There are Report Card forms, Grading sheets, High School hourly trackers, Field Trip Planning, Science Labs, Co-Op Info, even a form for Unit Studies and Unschooling Records. Anything you want, it's probably in here.

And it's not all about forms. After each Monthly Planner, there is a section containing information on a different subject, with links to learn even more. Topics include Inventions, Composers, the Periodic Table, Countries & Capitals, Measurements, US Presidents, History Timelines, Artists, and more. From what I understand, there is a module for each month available for purchase that goes even more in depth. Honestly, you could homeschool for the year using this planner as a starting point for unit studies. Oh, and there are a couple recipes each month too. When I said everything you may want, I wasn't kidding.

The second section contains Household forms. These include Chore Charts, Menu Planners, Grocery List forms, Budget sheets, Prayer Journal, Address Book, Gardening plans, and more. I appreciate the Menu Planner and Grocery Lists personally. Things run more smoothly when I actually plan meals and shop in advance, hopefully having these shiny planner pages will help motivate me! I used these yesterday for meal planning and shopping and really liked them. My Meal Planning sheet is in a plastic protector sheet on the front of the refrigerator. Helpful and easy to use. My kind of planner!

As a non-planner person, I can recommend The Schoolhouse Planner as easy to use and with so many choices, you're bound to find something that fits your style. If you are a planner person, this will be incredible to you. Everything you could want or need, at your fingertips, with the ability to type directly onto the forms and print as needed. I never thought I'd be so excited about a planner! Highly recommended.

1 comment:

MaryEllen said...

Well, you know I'm not really a planner person, either, but this really encourages me to look into this one. Thanks, Lori!

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