Tuesday’s Tip: The Perfect Homeschool Planner?

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see our disclosure policy for details.

I have a love/hate relationship with planners — as I do with purses. I am always looking for the perfect planner. I buy them but rarely finish them. I’m sure I’m not alone.

When my girls were younger, I used Homeschool Tracker, which is a computer-based homeschool planner. I liked it for its simplicity, but found that I just don’t plan well or consistently on a computer or electronic device. Recently I spent money on a homeschool planner app named Olly that I never even figured out how to use. I am definitely a paper-and-pen planner and list maker.

So the past couple of year, I have used a print homeschool planner called My Well Planned Day from HEDUA. I was attracted to it for all of its organizing functionality. It is a planner for your life — not just school. There are ready-made lists for groceries, menus, holiday planning, etc. — all very cool, except I found that I never used them. I tend to keep my school plans with my school stuff, and my grocery list and menus (when I make them) on the refrigerator door. I went all out and got the three-ring binder version, but it was too big and bulky for me to carry around along with all my school stuff, so I wasn’t using it very often for school planning either. However, I must say that I really liked the Report Card in the back and the “My Education” and “My Responsibilities” cards, which I laminated for my son to use this year.

Homeschool Planner

For several years when my daughters were in school, they each had their own simple, generic lesson plan book that I picked up at Mardel’s for less than $10 each. I have begun to plan for school next year so I went to Mardel’s, planning to just buy a simple, inexpensive lesson planner.

I found “A Simple Plan” instead. It is a bit big (thick), but not three-ring binder big. And it is only for planning school, one year at a time. I already like the “yearly overview” pages and the pages at the beginning of every month to write down a list of supplies needed, reading list, activities, and things to accomplish for that month. I can’t wait to start penciling in our school plans for next year.

Homeschool Planner

Homeschool Planner

A bonus is that the colors match the file folders I bought at Mardel’s earlier:  And this all matches the hanging wall organizer I bought from Thirty-One Gifts.  I will get back to you on how well this planner worked for me this upcoming year.

At the Tulsa OCHEC Homeschool Convention last week, I had the chance to meet the author of this planner, Dee Jones, and ask her a few questions about A Simple Plan. This was after her exhibitor workshop on the new planner and other organizing products in the new Simple Plan homeschool organization line from Mardel Homeschool.

Homeschool Planner

Mrs. Jones said she created this homeschool planner as she was homeschooling her own children. She needed something simple, just for school, where she could plan out the year, the quarters, the months and the weeks. It will accommodate up to six children for one school year. There is an entire set of matching homeschool organizing tools by this company, which includes: A file box, bookmarks, magnets, plaque, small notebook, the folders and the planner.  She also said that every year, new colors and patters will be available for the homeschool planner and organizing line, and they are also planning to have a smaller student homeschool planner next year.

Mardel’s has large plans for its homeschool division. Mardel.com already has a homeschool tab on the main Web site, where homeschoolers can find lots of helpful information and do learning style assessments. Soon this section will have its own website, Mrs. Jones said. She also told me that the line expanding and to keep checking the Mardel Web site for updates.

UPDATE: Recently Mardel released A Simple Plan Online: See my review here.

I am very happy that Mardel is building up its homeschool division! I think it will reap great rewards for the company. I am also very happy I got to meet Dee Jones and discovered her planner. I am hopeful that A Simple Plan will turn out to be the ideal homeschool planner for me.

What do you use to keep your homeschooling plans organized? Do you use a specially designed homeschool planner? Is it online, on the computer, in print — or a combination? Have you found the perfect homeschool planner yet? If so, tell us what you love about it!

Rosanna Ward is a devoted wife of 22 years and mother of four children, two of which are homeschool graduates. She currently homeschools her 11-year-old son Joel and 5-year-old son Leif. Rosanna is a homeschool graduate and a graduate of Oral Roberts University who has been homeschooling since 2005. She and her husband own two Daylight Donuts shops. She is also publisher of Tulsa Homeschool Happenings. Rosanna loves to study History and Genealogy: Her genealogy blog is called “Rosanna’s Genealogical Thoughts.” She and her family reside in Sand Springs, Oklahoma.

12 thoughts on “Tuesday’s Tip: The Perfect Homeschool Planner?

  1. I am a planner junkie. Seriously! I need a 12 step program! I bought and bought a ton of different planners – that never worked- and finally made my own. I have been successfully using it for almost a year!! WOO HOO!! Isn’t it great to find a resource that suits you and your style?

    Now, if only I could find a blog planner that I love. 🙂

  2. Did you ever update how it went using the planner after that school year? Do you still use it and still love it? I would love to hear an update as I’m considering using this next school year. Thank you.

    1. I would love to hear about this as well. I have been using Mardels A Simple Plan…I just wish it that the pages were a little smaller ..or that the Cover was a little bigger- so that the tabs didn’t get mangled. I also wish we could customize it a bit while ordering…I only have 1 kid for example…

    2. This year I only had one student, my 11 year old son. My 5 year old didn’t have a plan this year. So I bought the Simple Plan Student planner which works great for one student! It is smaller in size. Also, they have changed the covers to better cover the tabs. I love the patterns they offer. Still happy with A Simple Plan!

  3. This year I only had one student, my 11 year old son. My 5 year old didn’t have a plan this year. So I bought the Simple Plan Student planner which works great for one student! It is smaller in size. Also, they have changed the covers to better cover the tabs. I love the patterns they offer. Still happy with A Simple Plan!

    1. Rosanna, Thank you for your response. What about the free online version? I can’t find anything about it at Mardel or the link. Thanks.

Comments are closed.