Monday, April 18, 2011

Have You Planned for a Planner?

Copyright Feng Yu- Fotolia.com
It's that time of year again - time to plan for next year!

I don't know what it is.  I think I just like the process of planning.  Implementing the plan, that's where I fall short.  But, planning and organizing - I'm all over that!

This time of year with homeschool conferences either in session or quickly coming up, its fun to see what is out there to help us educate our kids and be ready for the next year.  That, or we just want to get our minds off the current year and move on already!  Planners are indespensible when it comes to helping me keep our activities, appointments, and important dates organized.  There are some very nice calendars and planners available that have homeschooling families in mind.

First of all, I love that the planners I'm mentioning here today all start somewhere mid-year and go to the next mid-year.  Why is that nice?  Because then when someone tells you in November that there will be a homeschool event you want to go to in April, you can just write it in your calendar.  Isn't that great?!  No more writing little sticky notes to keep track of till you get the next year's calendar.  These planners get you over that hump of the beginning of the new year and into the next summer without interruption.  And, since the bulk of our activities happen during the acedemic year, that's a really helpful feature.

The Busy Body Book was my first exploration into this type of planner.   I like that its simple.  You can use it in a variety of different ways - just check out the different ways you can use it.  Not having to squish all your information into one tiny cell is certainly a plus.  At our house we also use the wall calendar which gives us a good glimpse of what is going on each day with everyone in the family.  With the BBB, you can choose either an academic planner (Aug - Aug) or a traditional planner (Jan - Dec).  An added plus - I found these sturdy so that even with my rough use, they were still somewhat together by the time I was done using them.

Hint:  If you go to where it says "Download FREE BusyBody Weekly Grids" you can sign in and download free calendar pages to post on your fridge or otherwise use for free.  There are also some other free resources to print off on that page too.  Take a look.

At the homeschool convention I got to lay my hands on and look at the Well Planned Day planners.  There is soooo much to these planners.  I was almost overwhelmed - almost.  Then, the part of me that loves to plan started my salivary glads a-goin'.  Wow!  These planners go from July to June of the next year and come in various sizes and styles.  Pretty much everything you could want in a planner is in there - room for household chores, Bible readings, student planning, etc.  I thought the section just before December where you could plan out your holiday activities was a fantastic idea.  You can even purchase a matching binder cover and tabs.  This thing is like the Arnold Schwarzenegger of planners!

If that sounds like too much (which, I had to humbly admit I wasn't ready for this level of planner just yet) they also have a smaller one called "On the Go" which I very much liked.  Its a little simpler than the big planner as well as smaller in size to easier to take along in your purse / bag, but still has plenty to keep me organized.  I do like having all that information readily available and where I know I can find it.   High school and student planners are also sold.  This has piqued my interest as I think my son might be ready for a planner and to move on to more independence in his work.  When you look at the products online you can flip through samples of the products to see what they include.  I really like that feature of their website as sometimes I just don't know what I want until I can really see it.

The Well Planned Day planners are also available in PDF format which is handy if you really only want certain pages or you want to share a calendar page with your hubby or to post on the fridge.

Last, The Old Schoolhouse has an E-Book that is a planner for the 2011-2012 school year.  If you maintain a binder for your planner, this could be a great resource.  You download the e-book and print off the pages you want.  The TOS planner has tons of helpful forms and pages perfect for homeschooling families.  Student planners are also available.

Please note that these planners are just coming out for the 2011-2012 school year.  In fact, I believe the Busy Body Book and The Old Schoolhouse planner are pre-order situations and will be mailed out when available.  Though, I'm pretty sure the Well Planned Day planners are now available as I got to hold, flip through, and fall in love with them at the conference. 

Happy planning!

-A

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