I often get asked, “How do you manage to run a farm AND homeschool?” Aren't they both full-time jobs? And the answer is, YES, they ARE both full-time jobs! Today I would like to share a tool with you that helps me stay organized and keep track of what I need to be doing: It's “A Simple Plan: Planner for the Homeschooling Family.”
Mardel's sent this planner to me to review a couple of months ago and I really love it! First of all, it's pretty. Not that pretty should matter, but the reality is that I'm more likely to use a planner if it's pretty. (Is that sad?) Even the dividers on the inside are lovely:
I've looked at a lot of homeschooling planners and the problem I keep running into is that most planners either have space for way too much information or not enough space. A Simple Plan is a nice balance of just-enough space. The planning section at the beginning of the planner has year-at-a-glance calendars for 2013 and 2014 and also a place to plan out each student's weekly schedules and a yearly overview of what they'll be learning each week in each subject:
Brilliant! Pre-planning the year out this way really helps me set reasonable goals and stay focused on what I need and want to accomplish. There's space for up to 6 children, which is perfect for a family like mine! I also love that there are samples included of how the forms could be filled out. I'm very visual and so seeing the samples helped me quite a bit.
Really, the only thing I didn't like about this planner is that it is thick. But, since it covers 12 months (July 2013-June 2014) I suppose I could remedy that by simply tearing out the pages for the weeks that we take off.
As a side note, this is a very versatile planner. For our family, it works to spread our homeschooling day out over 6 days per week but most planners only accommodate 5 days per week. This planner is designed for 5 days a week, but by switching the column down the side with the row across the top, I am able to make it work for my family's unusual schedule!
Some of you will say, “Oh, but I really don't like to keep up with paper planners.” Well no worries, friend! Mardel's has a FREE ONLINE homeschool planner that you can sign up for by clicking right here.
I love this planner so much that I contacted Mardel's and asked them if they'd be willing to give one of my Good Old Days Farm readers a free copy…. and they said YES! Simply enter using the entry form below. The Giveaway ends this Thursday!