Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The 2017 Back to Homeschool Blog Hop: Planning and Recording Our Homeschool Year

Planning for Our Year

Welcome to the third day of the Homeschool Review Crew 2017 Back to Homeschool Blog Hop. Today my fellow Crew Mates and I are going to focus on Planning/Record Keeping. Last year I mentioned how very unorganized I can be when it comes to planning and keeping records. I'm happy to say, I have improved a bit, but I definitely have a way to go.

I have been using the Hey Mama! Schoolhouse Planner that we received last year for review. In last year's blog hop post on planning, I mentioned that I would be using this planner. I surprised myself by actually using it almost all year. There was a month or so in there that I got away from using it, and I was definitely not as organized. 

This is what the weekly planning pages I use look like:

I loved this planner, as I was able to customize it to my liking, putting the days of the week across the top and our subjects down the side. Being spiral-bound, I was able to fold it back and keep it open to the current week's schedule. Sadly, there was no print planner offered this year. So. . . I had to do a bit of combining to get a planner I like. 

I do have the digital version of this year's Schoolhouse Planner from The Old Schoolhouse. So, I am using the monthly calendars from there. 

However, this specific planner did not have the same type of weekly planning pages. Thankfully, I was able to go into an old digital version of the Hey Mama! planner to print off copies of the daily planning pages that work for me.

I have yet to decide how I am going to bind the pages together. I may just hole-punch them and put them in a small binder or a prong pocket folder. Not the same as spiral binding, but I will have to make do.

I am going to start our lesson planning next week. However, I never go more than one or two weeks in advance. I've learned that "things" come up, and plans get changed. If my planning goes too far in advance, I have way too much editing to do. I found my best weeks last year happened when I planned one week at a time, filling in the planner during the weekend prior to the upcoming week.

See, the My Father's World Teacher Manuals have everything scheduled out.

The problem is, I am trying to combine two grade levels, so I take the above information and write it into my planner tweaking where I need to. I also like to be able to add the books we are reading. Additionally, I have to schedule in review products. 

Writing the information into the planner really helps me to stay more organized and on task. Even on weeks where I write the lessons and books in after the fact, I am still keeping a record of what we ended up getting done. This helps when I am at the end of the year and need to see what we got done during the year. So, it is a planner plus a way to keep my records

Speaking of keeping records.  I wanted to share my simple way of keeping track of our attendance. 

In addition to using the planner, I have a small wall calendar. This is a simple calendar that is offered free at our bank. 

The boxes are just the right size for writing information in. We use this calendar for our calendar/weather time. I will place a star in the box, then the child who is the leader will draw a picture to represent the weather. Plus, they decided to start writing in the temperature as well. If there wasn't school, I can note what we did instead, if applicable. I can also use it to write down special events that are coming up. At the beginning of the month, the hubby circles the days he is working so I can plan things around his schedule if needed. The best thing about this system, all I have to do at the end of the month is count up the stars to know how many days we did school. I then write the number at the bottom of the calendar.

For me, this is the perfect way to keep track of our attendance. As long as I don't misplace the calendar of course. 

Another part of planning is getting our daily routine into order. Each year I tend to change up our routine a little bit, tweaking what didn't quite work the year before. Of course, new school years bring new curriculum, so that is another reason the routine may need to change.  This year I am changing up our daily routine as we are adding in a different chore system, one that was desperately needed. 

I've mentioned in my Littles Learning Link Up posts that I have a review coming up soon for The Everyday Family Chore System from Everyday Homemaking. Changing up our chore schedule is also causing me to switch other parts of our routine around. While our daily school routine is still in planning, our new chore system is working very well. I can't wait to share my review next week. Here's a quick glimpse at our new chore chart. 

I hope to be able to share our new school routine at the beginning of our school year (which starts the first week in September). Hopefully I will be sharing a "Day in Our Life" type post so you can see how our days flow.

So, what does planning and record keeping look like in your home?

Tomorrow I will be sharing about our homeschooling outside the home. 



  1. I've planned a week at a time before! I've also had weeks where my "planner" was used only a record of what we had done, where I wrote things down only after they happened, and sometimes not at all! Now, with my last student a senior, I have the first semester planned with a vague sense of what the second semester will hold. It's all good as long as it gets written down. Where I didn't get things written down... I didn't like that as much. At least I had the paperwork, if not the dates. (I couldn't get my kids to date papers and write their name, either...)

  2. I always start the year off by being organized. Somewhere along the journey, I get off track. As long as I have a record of days schooled, materials used, and a list of field trips then I can work with that.


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