The Well-Planned Day: A Family Homeschool Planner
Note: This is not a book review per se. Rather, this is more along the lines of a resource review. While I am writing this myself, I am getting a lot of input from my wife who is the homeschooling teacher extraordinaire with five kids under the age of six. Enough said.
This homeschool teacher planner is published by Home Educating Family Publishing and sells for $24.95. There are many other planners and such to purchase so check out their website. You will not regret it.
Annual Scheduling Information
There is a greeting card registry at the front of the planner. This allows you to plan ahead for the year, or at a quick glance, the month when needing to purchase various cards.
There is an emergency contacts page that includes a listing for various websites along with username and password information.
A page that is comprised of four index card size charts to give your children. On one side you have “MY Responsibilities” for each and every day. On the reverse side is “MY Education” that allows for the daily subjects. At the bottom of each side is a scripture verse encouraging both taking responsibility and learning.
There is a page for the teacher to plan out his or her schedule. The table is broke down into 30-minute segments from 7:00 am to 6:30 pm and is offset by different colors. It is a Monday-Friday schedule designed just for the teaching day.
There are four pages, one page per student. Each “page” is two pages in length. The first page is the “class plan” which allows for name, age, height, and weight. Included is a line for the child’s strengths, challenges and whatever goals you as the instructor have for the coming year. The second section offers an information box for the curriculum being used in the various subjects including the publisher and where to purchase the material as well as the price and when it should be bought. Another box allows for additional literature and then a total expenditures box that makes budgeting and tax season a bit easier! The second page offers the student schedule that is the same set-up as the teacher’s schedule.
The semester scheduling begins with a page to list semester goals. The very next page offers a month-long calendar beginning in July. The following page offers a budgeting area for all of your bills as well as a place to write out and plan field trips and various books that you will want your children to read in addition to school curriculum.
Before moving into the weekly planning section, there is a small devotional-like story and six perforated double-sided shopping lists designed to be ripped out of the book throughout each month. Once you get into the weekly planner, you have your daily class schedule that comprises the majority of the two pages. At the top, there is a verse to meditate on throughout the week. To the right you have a place to write out your weekly priorities and your dinner menu for that particular week. Since it is a school calender, there is a smaller section for weekend activities. Also included is a weekly catechism question and answer.
This section is comprised of six pages. It includes a page for Christmas cards (certainly my Achilles’ Heel!) and a page for events and celebrations. That page offers listing for where you are going, what you are bringing and when you should be there. It even includes a budget listing. There is a page for gift giving as well as a price comparison section to allow you to compare prices of the gift(s) you are looking for at different stores.
End of Semester
The first page lists the semester’s accomplishments. This is helpful especially during the long days of the semester when you really wonder if you are accomplishing anything! A second section is an attendance record and progress report available for four different students.
End of the Year
After the second semester, it is time to take a quick breather and get back at it. There is a “year at a glance” at the end of the book that allows you to quickly get a grasp for the next school year. The second page allows you to list your future plans. At the very end of the planner you will find four report cards for four different students.
This planner has it all and then some! As a father, I have the ability to quickly look at the planner and be able to jump in whenever I am needed (let’s be honest–that is rare. For when mom goes down we all know the house shuts down!) The budgeting aspect is much appreciated as most homeschooling families are extremely conscientious about the stewardship of their financial resources.
The layout is logical and lives up to the billing of the “Well Planned Day.” It helps that it is not just a school planner but is also a daily life planner. You have a grocery list right there to write on as you think of needs throughout the day. You have a contact list for websites you frequent throughout the school day. There is room to sketch out thoughts as they hit you. What is more, the artwork gives the feel of a scrapbook which, according to my wife, is awesome!
There are, however, a couple shortcomings for the Well-Planned Day. First, my wife noticed that there is only room for four children. Our family has five and we know that we are one of the smaller homeschooling families! Note: I shared this with the publisher and their response was that they are going to take this suggestion to the design department because they are “constantly tweaking to better serve [the] homeschool community.”
The only other “problem” I saw was the line for username and password information. While that is great in theory, I would be extremely hesitant to write that into a daily planner–especially when the pace a homeschooling family keeps is a tick shy of frantic each day.
My wife has gone through numerous day planners. I can say without hesitation or qualification that she has found her planner. If there was a way to purchase a lifetime supply of these things we would do it. This daily planner is well worth the price of $24.95. I would highly recommend you check out their website and shop. If they have a resource that you think might work for you, I would say that it will more than work.