As summer progresses, it’s only natural for the thoughts of homeschool moms everywhere to turn to planning the coming school year. And you know what that means, a new homeschool planner! It’s kind of like Spring Training for Baseball where hope springs eternal and anything is possible. You know what didn’t work last year and promise yourself you will be more organized this year, or at least make it past Christmas.
Before you invest a lot of time and money in a new planner, I suggest you try some of the free ones first. After all, it’s always better to find what works and what doesn’t without investing a lot of money. And a free planner has another potential benefit. Since you haven’t spent money on it, you won’t feel invested and that you HAVE to make it work. Homeschooling is as much as a self-discovery process for the adults as it is for the kids. If it doesn’t work, move on.
The following are four free homeschool planners to try first. These don’t even require an email to download.
Don’t be intimidated by the 44 pages in this planner, over half the pages are just monthly calendar pages. Potential users will also find a nice listing of thumbnails of the pages so you can get some idea if it might be for you before you download. However, not all the pages are listed so you don’t see how many choices there actually are. Most of the pages have lined and unlined options which I think is a great feature–I’m probably more of an unlined person myself.
Other interesting features includes a section for mom on the chore chart and Unschooling Records which, not surprisingly, are unlined. Besides a Reading Log and Attendance Record, it also includes a Unit Study Planner. There’s also a spreadsheet version available.
This free homeschool planner is very much a reflection of a specific approach to homeschooling as the author freely admits. What’s nice is that she has a thumbnail for each of the pages and includes an explanation on how she uses it. However, if you don’t think you can fit your subjects into the planners already define subject categories, it probably isn’t for you.
The planner has over 200 pages because it’s meant to accommodate a variety of family sizes. For example, the Subject/Curriculum Overview has planning pages set up for tracking just 2 students to up to 6 students. This planner also goes beyond just the calendar aspect. The Single Subject Plan includes questions such as “How much and what kind of parental involvement is required for this curriculum?” which can be a good way for parents to decide if the curriculum is for them.
There’s a single subject planner for tracking assignments with grades and another for tracking with supplies–not sure why they aren’t combined into one. The Book Reading Planer includes a form for Books to Read Aloud that also has a spot for the location of the book. There’s another form to track Materials Borrowed and Loaned. You’ll also find a detailed Unit Study Planner and Unschooling Records. And if you can’t find an option in the Daily and Weekly section that works for you, you probably should just design your own.
This free homeschool planner basically covers all the different time periods that you might use for planning, daily, weekly, and yearly. It also includes forms for supplies, to do lists, reading logs, and field trips. Depending on your state, you might find the attendance and grading forms useful as well. The variety of generic forms will accommodate a variety of homeschooling styles.