The Perfect Homeschool Planner
It’s nearly the end of the school year, and my eyes wander wistfully from the calendar to the sunny sky to the calendar again. “It’s got to be over soon,” I sigh. Yep, I love homeschooling. But I also love sleeping in and laying in a pool and not homeschooling.
Why is it that when I want a break from homeschooling I tend to indulge in looking at homeschool materials? Is it a sickness, an obsession, an insanity? This week, I’ve been browsing teacher planners. And I’m drooling.
Now, to be honest, I didn’t use planners for years. Then I did. Then I didn’t. And right now, I’m in the “did” category. Planning my week helps me focus on what my younger children are struggling with and how I might tailor their lessons to their needs. It helps me see where we’ve come from and where we’re going. It gives me a chance to use stickers and color markers.
I’m using a planner right now that I really like. It’s big, it’s adaptable, it comes with lots of cool accessories, and it’s pink. What more could I want?
I found a pretty planner online this week that I think I have to have. It’s not in stock yet for the next school year so I can’t look at it carefully. But I did find cool snap-in accessories and coordinating stickers so I’m in eager anticipation. It’s almost as bad as when my husband awaits a new superhero movie. I can’t wait to see the bonus extras and surprise washi-tape cameos.
So, in the meantime, I’m making a list of all the things a perfect planner should have. What does my homeschool day most need? What features would make a difference not only in my planning but also in my teaching and living and snacking? Here’s a few of the top items on my wish list:
- Sticky notes. Snapped into the pages or stuck to one of the covers. I need to stick notes, and I don’t need to go looking for them. I need reminders for my mom-fog brain. I need to jot reading assignments for my son. I need to post appointments where everyone will ignore them. And I need them in color. Because pretty.
- Wet erase pages. Not dry erase, because I’m a smearer. And not marker, because I get it all over myself like a three-year-old. I need to write, wipe off, try again, and replan. Every day. Because no one sticks to my carefully-thought-out plan no matter how many times I point emphatically to the worksheet assignment. They still insist on being confused and needing more review.
Then there’s that annoying one who works ahead and then causes disruptions if I don’t keep him busy.
So, I need to write boldly, erase thoroughly, and do that again every day.
- Stickers. Yeah, yeah, yeah, reward the student and all that. But I have to look at this eyesore of a crossed-out, arrow-pointing lesson plan every day so I need something pretty, pink, and inspirational. Bonus it if has a verse to help me think holy thoughts when I’m about to lose my ever-loving mind.
- Uber eats codes. Right there in the planner. I wanna order a Starbucks, a cheeseburger, a chocolate bar, and a banana all for myself for free. In fifteen minutes or less. Compliments of the coupon code at the bottom of every day’s plan.
- Recipes. Before every week, a list of quick five-minute, three-ingredient healthy, high-protein, gluten-free suppers that contain chocolate and/or potato chips. Not in the crock pot because I will forget to set it. And not in the oven because I do not preheat. Also, the ingredients need to be always in-stock, no substitutions, on sale at the grocery store that delivers for free.
- Games. Also, I need a list of games for every day. These games must be aerobic to count as PE and teach multiplication facts, states and capitals, the periodic table of elements, or algebra. They must be suitable for all ages from preschool through graduation. And they must be designed to ensure no one loses, no one stubs their toes, and no one argues about the rules.
- Countdown to the end. Every day needs to have a pink countdown to how many days until the end of school. In the fall, it can count regular. But in the spring, it counts by twos then threes then twelves each day. Then at the end of counting, all the pages end, and it stops my pen from working so it’s impossible to keep going.
Ok, so this is what I’m looking for. It should obviously have a floral cover, pen loops, and pockets for curriculum catalogs. And each morning when I open it, it should say aloud, “Good morning! You are beautiful and talented and the best homeschool mom ever!”
Lea Ann Garfias is the author of six books, including homeschooling’s complete reference resource Everything You Need to Know About Homeschooling, and has been featured on television, radio, podcasts, and live events. Besides author, Lea Ann also bears the titles homeschool mom, soccer mom, professional violinist, and wife of a hot Latino. She and her husband David have graduated three of their children and are still working on the other three in the Dallas area.