October 11, 2011

What I love about making my own Homeschool Planner

IMG_2384I admit it.  I like to tweak things to fit my family.  I rarely do things the suggested way.  I like things that are customizable.  My homeschool planner is no exception.

I’m sure you’ve noticed all the nice homeschool planners available.  There are so many beautiful free planners and also some nice planners for purchase.  No matter how hard I try,  I can’t seem to make them work for me. They don’t fit our life somehow.  I always have to scratch things out or add columns. My pages end up a mess due to the alterations I make.

For example: 

  • We don’t plan our day by the hour.  We’ve tried but it doesn’t last long.  What works better for us, is to focus on certain things in the morning and other things in the afternoon, which means planners organized by time of day don’t work  for us.
  • We homeschool year-round for 4 days per week, on the 5th day we meet with a homeschool group for friend time, field trips, and other activities.  We also run errands then.
  • We have our basic subject list – Math, History, Spelling, etc. but we also have projects thrown in here and there.  I need to be able to accommodate the routine studies and the various lessons and projects that we add in here and there.

For these reasons and others, I find I need to make my own planner.  Using Microsoft Word, I use tables to suit me.  Below is my basic daily assignment page and an area of study page. Simple. And customized to my life.

      Daily Assignment Planning Page      Area of Study Page

Another thing I love about making my own planner is that I can decide how to bind it.  I don’t like bulky 3-ring binders for my planner.  I prefer it to be spiral bound.  And this year, I’ve found my favorite way thus far – spiral bound along the top.  I love this!

I like to have a variety of information at my fingertips, so I use tabs to organize that information.

Behind the Math tab I have a math facts checklist and the table of contents from various math resources I’ll be using throughout the year.   I also keep a scope and sequence.

I have tabs for each of our subjects plus calendar, life skills, blog posts, library lists, and more.

So how is your planner working out for you?  Are you able to use it as is?  Or do you need to make alterations?


  1. I make my own, too...I use a combination of forms from different places and piece it together.

    Yours looks great!!

  2. I probably need to make some alterations, but in general it's working pretty well.

  3. I make my own, as well. I'd love to know, though, how do you get something like that spiral bound? Do you take it to Office Depot or somewhere similar?

  4. Kelly, Yes, I take it to Staples and have it bound. This year however, I had them cut the binding holes in a ream of printer paper and also a ream of cardstock and I brought home the spirals. That way I can add to my binder and print anything on the paper or cardstock. I've really liked doing it this way this year.

  5. I *especially* love your Area of Study page!!! Brilliant! That would help me so much-- in fact, it would work perfectly with my spontaneous style, because I could jot stuff down as I find it, or think about it, and then I have those resources right where I need them, WHEN I need them.

    YAY! Thanks for the inspiration, Dana!!! :-D

  6. Oh my goodness, I simply love this idea! Thanks so much for sharing!

  7. This is the closest I've seen that plans as we do! I need to become better at learning how to do those boxy things in Word. Right now I still use Excel.

  8. I'm in love with that cover. Is it cardstock? Where did you find it?

  9. Isn't that cute Ms. Understood? It is from a Paper pack from Hobby Lobby. It's a thicker card stock material.

  10. It may be the cutest thing I've ever seen! Thanks for the tip...I always need another reason to go to Hobby Lobby. Haha!
    Great planner, btw.


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