We have switched back and forth between paper planners and online planners throughout the years. Each has its own special set of pros and cons, but the most important thing is to find the one that works for you at the stage you’re in. What worked two years ago may not have worked last year and what worked last year may not work this year, so be flexible and open to change. (Easier said than done sometimes, I know.)
When you’re picking your planner think about the answers to these questions:
- What’s easiest for me to access?
- What’s easiest for my kids to access?
- Which do I prefer – online or paper?
- Which gives me more flexibility?
Not surprisingly, you could ask a dozen different homeschool moms those questions and get different answers each time. When thinking about access, if you are online a lot or your children do a lot of their work on the computer, an online planner might work best. However, if you rarely turn the computer on, a paper planner might be just your thing. Your personal preference plays a large part in the planner choice, as well. If you don’t like writing things down and then erasing when plans change, that’s going to make keeping a paper planner a bit more difficult. Flexibility to alter assignments, switch days, mark off attendance, etc. are also important – especially when you are recording data for your end of the year portfolio (if your state requires one). Remember…you have to decide what works best for you.
So, now you’re wondering what your options are. Let me tell you that there are a ton of homeschool planner options out there. And again, each does its purpose and works for different families, so don’t worry about trying out a few until you find what works for you. Listed below are some options you might want to consider as you start to plan for the new school year.
Four Homeschool Planners
1. Homeschool Planet
Homeschool Planet is an online planner that’s produced and run by the great folks at Homeschool Buyers Co-Op. We started using this planner in mid-January and find that it works well for our kids – the oldest two especially. The planner allows you to set up each student individually and assign them to different classes. Each class can be modified according to when it meets and daily assignments are easy to input. I especially like this planner, because it allows me to insert links that the kids can click on for further review or exploration. My now 5th grader enjoys math drills online for example, so I can quickly and easily link to those right from his lesson pages. My kids like it, because I have it set to send them an email every morning with that day’s assignments. Being able to quickly see what they need to do and have their day’s work in front of them makes the day go much more smoothly. That being said, they can also log-in to their account on the planner and see all of their assignments for the week or month ahead of time. Changing assignments and rescheduling them for different days is also a breeze. There are a few changes I would love to see made – like copying the same assignment for use on different days (for journal entries, quiet reading, etc.) and more varied color palettes (I’m a fan of a simplistic looking planner), but overall it has been a great addition to our daily homeschool life. The planner is $65 for a one year subscription, but you can try it free for 30-days to see if it would be something that works for your family. Find out more here.
2. Free Weekly Homeschool Planner with Times
Before we started using the Homeschool Planet, we were using these planners that I made up (in pink and blue, of course) that listed the days of the week across the top and the times along the side. This worked well when we had specific times when things needed to be completed, but as our days became a little less tied to the clock, we needed something a bit more fluid. If you are a stickler for doing each subject at different times though, this is an easy and free way to do that.
3. Printable Homeschool Planner
This planner by The Homeschool Mom has a lot of different printable pages. I especially like the Unit Study Planner page for when I want to gather all of my resources for a unit in one place. It’s a great brainstorming tool. If you like to include a lot of different types of sheets in your planner, this is definitely one worth exploring.
4. Homeschool Lesson Plan Forms
If you like the idea of putting together your own planner using different forms and calendars, look no further than Donna Young’s collection of planner pages. This extensive list has just about every page you could possibly want and then some. If you get easily overwhelmed with deciding what to include in a planner though, you may just want to skip this one, because there are a lot of pages. A LOT.