I’ve never been much of a planner and I’ve certainly never felt the need to create a day by day, lesson by lesson plan for my homeschool. As far as homeschool planning strategies go, I’ve always had my feet firmly planted in the “do the next thing” camp. The calendar on my fridge and the bookmark moving forward in our books have always been planning enough for me!
Still, I’ve been wanting to try out a homeschool planner for awhile. Something simple with month-at-a-glance pages as well as space for some basic weekly planning for my girls. So I jumped on the opportunity to review The Old Schoolhouse‘s Hey Mama! Print Schoolhouse Planner 2016-2017.
The Hey Mama! planner has just been released and I received it last week, which is great as I’m getting all geared up for fall planning. I’m happy that there is plenty of space in the monthly calendar pages to jot down all of our activities from co-op and gymnastics to church activities and piano lessons.
The calendars run from July 2016-June 2017, each beginning with a short, heartfelt “Hey Mama” devotional page of encouragement and a blank page for notes. It looks like a great place to keep track of a monthly “to do” list that isn’t tied to particular dates, or to jot down activities that haven’t yet been assigned dates. I’m planning on using mine to jot down tasks and events that haven’t yet been scheduled to ensure that I don’t miss anything!
There are also 36 weekly planning pages. The columns are unlabeled and you can chose how you use these pages. The publisher’s suggestion is to label the rows down the left of the page for subjects (7) and the columns (5) for children, but I think I will probably label the rows for the days of the week instead. Since I only have two students, I’ll have three extra columns to work with. I can use one for my own daily tasks, one for meal planning, and still have one left over.
Here’s an overview of the different pages you can find in the planner:
- Year at a glance calendars for 2016, 2017 & 2018
- 12 monthly calendars (July/16-June/17), preceded by a “Hey Mama,” devotional page and monthly note page
- 36 weekly planning pages, with more “Hey Mama,” devotions interspersed throughout.
- Monthly, semester, and yearly goal pages for up to 5 students.
- Attendance charts for up to 5 students.
- Reading logs for up to 4 students.
- Curriculum planning pages for up to 5 students.
- Reference pages for writing prompts, story starters, historical dates of interest, American governmental references (presidents, states & capitals, etc), and information on creating transcripts.
What I love about the planner:
- The weekly planning pages are unlabelled and undated. I can do what I want with them. Also, if we take a vacation for a week, I don’t waste planning pages.
- The theme. I just love all the vintage photos throughout the planner, along with the descriptions of what these tools meant to the mama’s of days gone by.
- The goal planning pages. I’ve never sat down and contemplated long and short term goals for my children, and I really should!
- The “Hey Mama” devotionals. An occasional dose of homeschooling and mama encouragement is always welcome!
What I’m not crazy about:
- The planner is best suited to someone who follows a traditional school year schedule. We school year round here, and I will likely have to photocopy the weekly planning pages to have enough for our use.
I’m pleased to be able to offer my U.S readers a coupon code that will get you your very own copy of the planner for only $19 including shipping! Use the code CREWCODE when at the checkout. If you are international, you will get $10 off.
It is also worth noting that there is a digital version of the planner available for sale, which would be great especially if you are like me and don’t follow a traditional 36 week school schedule — you can just print out however many weekly planning pages you need, as well as omit anything that you aren’t interested in. The digital planner is also available for free to SchoolHouseTeachers.com members!
There is something to be said for paper planners. They do allow us to quickly see what we are planning for our kids learning. Thank you for the coupon code, I’ll be sure to share that info with my friends.