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Planning/Filing

Homeschool Planning Options

Homeschool Planning Options

I am a planner. Whether you are referring to homeschool planning options, meal planning, home scheduling, I plan and organize it all. I LOVE planners, schedules, checklists, etc.

Homeschool Planning Options - paper planners, checklists, online planners, schedules, methods and more. PLUS a more flexible way to plan your homeschool year. From Starts At Eight

Homeschool Planning

There are endless homeschool planning options. It starts with the method in which you homeschool (Classical, Charlotte Mason, Unit Studies, School at Home), and then moves on to include the type of yearly schedule you want to keep (Public School, Year Round, Custom), and includes schedule type choices (4 Day Weeks, Block Scheduling, Loop Scheduling).

Homeschool planning is a varied and personal choice. One of the most important things to remember is to keep your life, your children’s needs, and your needs in the forefront as you make choices for your homeschool.

Homeschool Planners

Throughout my more than a decade of homeschooling I have used more planners and planning methods than you can count on two hands. Each time I have used something new it was to suit a different schedule or child’s needs.

Not only will I share those with you, but I have also created an extensive list of planner options for you to choose from!

Mega List of Homeschool Planners - Paper/Printable/Digital from Starts At Eight

Homeschool Planning with Plan Your Year

Plan Your Year is a homeschool planning book which lays out a step by step process for planning your homeschool year.

The ten chapters contained inside will guide your through the process of planning your homeschool year. Most chapters contain forms to use in completing that step of the process, as well as Action Items to be completed at the end of each chapter.

Plan Your Year Forms

  1. Cast a Vision
  2. Craft Effective Goals
  3. Determine a Course of Study and Purchase Resources
  4. Creating Schedules
  5. Planning Weeks and Days
  6. Lesson Planning for Homeschoolers
  7. Planning Your Own Study
  8. Organize Your Materials
  9. Putting It All Together
  10. Planning in Action

Plan Your Year Cover Image

The newly updated and expanded¬†Plan Your Year¬†book is now in print and available on¬†Amazon.¬† I happen to be a pen and paper girl, so I printed them blank and then wrote on them myself. (Hey, it’s a great excuse to use those awesome colored pens I bought!)

More on Homeschool Planning Options

Planning a 4 Day Homeschool Week from Starts At Eight includes reasons why you might choose to school 4 days a week as well as a method and printables for planning!Organize Your Homeschool Bookshelves from Starts At EightHomeschool High School Planning for the kid who "Just Wants to Get it Done" from Starts At Eight. This is a no muss no fuss planning method for you and student planner for you child with FREE Weekly Assignments Checklist Style Planner Pages.Weekly Assignments Printable Student Planners {Checklist Style} - 3 versions for one low cost!Plan Your High School Electives: Free Printable Pack from Starts At Eight

4 Year High School Plan FREE Spreadsheet Printable

4 Year High School Plan FREE Spreadsheet Printable

Planning for high school and college really ups the ante when it comes to what you need to do and know! While I was working out my curriculum plans for my oldest, I realized in order to accurately account for everything she would need, I would need to have a full 4 year high school plan!

4 Year High School Plan FREE Spreadsheet Printable from Starts At Eight. FREE PRINTABLE 4 year high school plan in both Excel spreadsheet and printable pdf formats! Help your homeschool high school student plan their 4 years wisely. Seeing it over all 4 years helps you to ensure they are covering everything they need while avoiding cramming things in at the end!

I realized planning just one year would not allow me the vision to see ahead and be sure we would cover everything both required by our state (Homeschooling in NYS), and that we desired to adequately prepare her if she chose to go on to college.

4 Year High School Plan

In order to make something visual I could add to, change, and expand on, I created this Excel Spreadsheet to plan out her high school credits over the 4 years.  It includes the credits that are required by the NYS regulations, courses typical for college bound students (like 2 years of a foreign language), and high school elective courses.

Homeschooling High School: Round One

This is the original 4 Year High School Plan I created for my oldest (who is graduating college this year). If you click on the image it will enlarge so you can see it better. I have since moved Foreign Language down to electives because that is what they are considered.

4 Year High School Planner/Spreadsheet

Also be sure to take a More In-Depth Look at our Homeschool High School Electives Choices:

A More in Depth Look at Our High School Electives from Starts At Eight

Homeschooling High School: Round Two 

Round two of homeschooling high school arrived this year with the start of my son’s 9th Grade Homeschool Year. While a few of the curriculum choices have changed, the way I plan has not! I still believe a 4 Year High School Plan is the best way to organize and invision what my kids need to cover and how we will accomplish that.

4 Year High School Plan FREE Spreadsheet Printable from Starts At Eight. FREE PRINTABLE 4 year high school plan in both Excel spreadsheet and printable pdf formats! Help your homeschool high school student plan their 4 years wisely. Seeing it over all 4 years helps you to ensure they are covering everything they need while avoiding cramming things in at the end!

As you can see above (be sure to click on the image to make it larger for easier viewing) I printed a general plan and since have changed things and made notes on it.

FREE 4 Year High School Plan Spreadsheet Printable

Now that you have seen my planning choices you should have a better idea (and more resources) for creating a 4 Year High School Plan for your children.

4 Year High School Plan FREE Spreadsheet Printable from Starts At Eight. FREE PRINTABLE 4 year high school plan in both Excel spreadsheet and printable pdf formats! Help your homeschool high school student plan their 4 years wisely. Seeing it over all 4 years helps you to ensure they are covering everything they need while avoiding cramming things in at the end!

Here is the 4 Year High School Plan Spreadsheet Printable¬†that can be totally customized by you, for your needs/subjects. ¬†You can fill it all in, save it, and print it. ¬†If you love it please share this post with others so they can come and use it. ūüôā

Download Your FREE Spreadsheet Printable Here ->> 4 Year High School Plan FREE Spreadsheet Printable

Want it as a straight PDF Printable? Download that HERE ->>  4 Year High School Plan PDF Printable

More Homeschool High School Help

If you like this you might also like the Plan Your High School Electives FREE Printable Pack that I have created.

Plan Your High School Electives: Free Printable Pack from Starts At Eight

*This post was originally written in July 2013 and has now been updated with a newer version of the Excel spreadsheet and more information pertaining to planning and homeschooling high school.

Planning a 4 Day Homeschool Week

Planning a 4 Day Homeschool Week

Each and every year something in our homeschool changes. We ebb and flow with our needs (both academic and personal) at the time and based on our previous experiences of what is working and what isn’t. I have used SO many different planning methods and planners as our needs have grown and changed. For this coming year I am Planning a 4 Day Homeschool Week schedule for the first time!

Planning a 4 Day Homeschool Week from Starts At Eight includes reasons why you might choose to school 4 days a week as well as a method and printables for planning!

Why Plan a 4 Day Homeschool Week?

During the past academic year I planned a lot and took out some of the breaks we had previously taken (like shortening our Christmas break). This turned out to be a not so great idea as it set up a recipe for burn out for both the kids and myself.

Here in NYS the Homeschool Regulations state that we have to “school” 180 days/40 weeks for a total of 900 hours in grades 1-6, and 990 hours in 7th – 12th grades.

In our house we have certain days/hours where we are formally doing written and book work, and other times where we are actively learning or participating in something that would still be considered “school” but is not our formal sit down work. This could include things like community projects, sports, extra curricular activities like chess club or 4H, field trips, book club, movies, hands on projects, times we went off on a tangent, etc. While some of these things we have planned ahead for, others just pop up!

Each year I find that building in “relief” time is SO important. It allows projects to overflow and take on a life of their own, it allows for sick days and pop up field trips, and for a struggling learner to get the extra time and help with something without feeling behind.

How I am Structuring our 4 Day Homeschool Week Plan

My plan begins with clear start and end dates. These work out well for us because we typically have big plans for each of these holidays so starting after Labor Day and ending by Memorial Day makes for great book ends to our formal months of “official”¬† book work.

Start Date: Right after Labor Day

End Date: Memorial Day Weekend

While I am a planner and thus still need to PLAN SOMETHING, I am trying to make it as flexible as possible! For this reason I printed out a Free Printable Yearly School Calendar and started an overall plan.

Planning a 4 Day Homeschool Week from Starts At Eight includes reasons why you might choose to school 4 days a week as well as a method and printables for planning!

  1. First I went through and blocked out all the holidays and extended break days.
  2. Then I blocked out any days I know we are camping and any days my husband has off from work (he has some odd state paid holidays).
  3. Next I counted up the approximate number of days we could fit in each month working only 4 days of each week. This gave me an approximate total number of formal sit down work school days.
  4. The final step will be much more time consuming as that will be the planning out of each subject. Instead of filling in a planner with exact dates I am going to create a plan done in order by generic day numbers. So Day 1, Day 2, Day 3. This means we won’t have to do XYZ on March 3rd. Instead each day that we are doing sit down work will just be the next generic day on the list. So if we have been off for 2 weeks and the last day complete was Day 54, then we will pick up with Day 55.

Planning a 4 Day Homeschool Week from Starts At Eight includes reasons why you might choose to school 4 days a week as well as a method and printables for planning!

The planning page in the photo above is for my high school age student. As you can see it includes electives such as Spanish, Music, and Driver’s Ed/Auto Upkeep. You can see more about High School Electives here.

If you like the color coding I mentioned you can see more about that in both the Easy Printable Elementary Planner and the Simple Homeschool Middle School Planner.

I created the document in word so that I could easily copy and paste, make changes, add assignments etc.

I believe switching to this 4 Day Homeschool Week will provide us with more relaxed homeschool weeks by creating a schedule that includes time for educational extras, out of the house activities, breaks, and breathing room for things that pop up!

Other Planning Methods/Resources We Have Used

As I mentioned in the very first paragraph, “I have used SO many different planning methods and planners as our needs have grown and changed.” Throughout the years I have written about many of the planners and methods I have tried. As your homeschool changes, your planning methods may too! So if Planning a 4 Day Homeschool Week doesn’t seem quite right for you, check out some of the others ways I have scheduled and organized our homeschool days!

Mega List of Homeschool Planners - Paper/Printable/Digital from Starts At Eight

 

Weekly Assignments Printable Student Planner {Checklist Style}

Weekly Assignments Printable Student Planner {Checklist Style}

Finding a student planner that works for you and doesn’t break the bank can be a challenge! Throughout my years of homeschooling my needs (and the kids’ needs) have changed. We have tried all kinds of planners, both digital and printable. This Weekly Assignments Printable Student Planner {Checklist Style} is a no muss no fuss way for you to plan and for them to keep track of their work.

Weekly Assignments Printable Student Planners {Checklist Style} - 3 versions for one low cost!

Using a checklist style planner has some great benefits! One of the major things I love is the ease of use for myself. I can choose to use it in two ways: I can either fill out the checklist for each day or I can give my kids a general outline of what is expected and they can fill it in as they go.

Another benefit of the checklist style planner is that it keeps things clear and simple for the child. Every assignment is easily noted and checked off both by the student when complete and by mom when it has been looked over and accepted.

**UPDATED with 2020-2021 Academic Calendars!**

This planner is easily adaptable for all ages! The checklist style format makes it easy for even the littlest homeschooler in your house to use!

Weekly Assignments Printable Student Planners {Checklist Style} - 3 versions for one low cost!

I created this specific planner for my 9th grade son, but this planner is GREAT FOR ALL AGES! He is very minimalist and likes things cut and dry. He just wants to know what he has to do so he can get to it. The less writing he has to do the better. For this reason I will be filling out this printable student planner like a lesson planner – meaning I will plan out our year and write in each assignment as you see in the image below.

To make it even easier to read and distinguish assignments we use a color coding system. This will be the third year I have used these colors with him (in various planners) so he is familiar with the color coding. For planner purposes I highly recommend Staedtler Fineliner Pens. Each one of my children have this 10 pack for use with their planners.

  • Math
  • English
  • History
  • Science
  • Spanish
  • PE
  • Other¬†‚Äď Things like field trips, outside classes

There is also plenty of room for us to add things along the way – things like outside activities such as Chess Club or a field trip.

PLUS my daughter loved coloring the cover of hers!

Weekly Assignments Printable Student Planners {Checklist Style} - 3 versions for one low cost!

Weekly Assignments Printable Student Planner

As I said before this planner can work at any age. With the Weekly Assignments Printable Student Planner having blank templates it allows you to customize the weeks, days, and assignments to your needs, and for any age student.

Features of my FULL Weekly Assignments Checklist Style Planner

  • The Planner Sheets are formatted for both the left and right side so you can print them to have a full week in view without loosing some of the side edge to hole punching or binding.
  • Includes a 2017 to 2018 Academic Calendar – Year in view style {UPDATED with 2020-2021 Academic Calendars!}
  • Book Log sheet
  • Pay one low price and get 3 color variations! (See Below)
  • Cover Dates and Names are editable within the document so you can customize their name and school year.

There are 3 versions of my Weekly Assignments Checklist Style Planner:

Weekly Assignments Printable Student Planners {Checklist Style} - 3 versions for one low cost!

Pictured above are the Gamer and Heart Planners

  1. Gamer Weekly Assignment Planner (red, black, and gray)
  2. Heart Weekly Assignment Planner (pink, purple, pastels)
  3. Rainbow Weekly Assignment Planner (bold rainbow colors)

You can see in the image above that my planners are bound and have clear plastic covers. At Staples you can have things like this bound for under $5! And with these printable student planner pages I created an 85 page planner for each one of my children! For one low cost you get 3 different planners!

Purchase the FULL Weekly Assignments Checklist Style Planner!

You get all 3 versions in one download for just $1.99!

{Within 24 hours of payment you should receive an e-mail containing the FULL Weekly Assignments Checklist Style Planner pdf.}




Homeschool High School Planning for The Kid Who “Just Wants to Get it Done”

Homeschool High School Planning for The Kid Who “Just Wants to Get it Done”

While my oldest is schedule oriented like me, and had an easy time with organizing and filling in a planner, my son is just the opposite. He is my kid who wants to check his boxes and “just wants to get it done”. This has made handing over his homeschool high school planning more difficult for him (and me).

For his middle school years I created a Simple Homeschool Middle School planner. For 7th grade I just created a general weekly outline. That made it hard for me to be sure he was up to date on the lessons and chapters.

So for 8th grade I switched to using Post-It notes for each week to outline what he had to do. I put one in each week of his planner that listed the exact lessons and chapters he would need to complete that week.

Simple Homeschool Middle School Planner from Starts At Eight

My problem with those methods is that he was terrible about writing down each thing in his planner at all, let alone on the day he completed it. But let’s be honest, does it really matter which day? (Insert mom learning to let go of some of her rigidness in favor of a more flexible homeschooling style.)

Now I am creating a more simplified, checklist style plan for his 9th grade year. Hopefully it will be one that will work well enough to use through high school!

Homeschool High School Planning

Homeschool High School Planning for the kid who "Just Wants to Get it Done" from Starts At Eight. This is a no muss no fuss planning method for you and student planner for you child with FREE Weekly Assignments Checklist Style Planner Pages.

Alright, so now you’re asking, “What exactly is the plan“?

My plan is to use a variation of a weekly “to do” list and yearly curriculum planner as his planner for the year. I will lay out our plan for the year, breaking it down into weekly tasks.

For instance, like I do every year for my own planning purposes, I will break down the year into weeks, mark off our breaks and holidays, then number our weeks. If we have 5 days in a week it will be 5 lessons of math. If it is a short week then I would put less in.  For curricula that come with schedules it means week one in our planner = week one in the plan, and so on.

The Downside

For me the big downside in doing this is that he will not be completely independent with his high school planning. My goal was to use middle school as a transition period to more independent work. While he does his work independently, he still needs someone driving him to stay on task, and to remind him to keep track of what he is doing.

The other downside in this method of high school planning is that the upfront work is a little more for me. It means that I have to organize his planner by weeks, and physically list things out for each week. At least by doing this all up front (like I did with the Post-Its), it won’t be a task I am consumed with all year.

The Upside

Even though I am making a checklist style plan for him, he will have the flexibility to complete the work in the manner he chooses. For instance this year he has taken to batching his homeschool subjects (more on this coming soon in another post). It basically means he lumps multiple lessons of one subject on a given day instead of spreading it out over the whole week. This also means he does less subjects each day.

With a checklist style planner for each week he can easily check off what he has completed. Then I can see in one quick glance what he has completed and what is left.

The Planner

The planner I have created is in a simple weekly checklist format. I will do my planning right in his planner. That means I will write out the assignments for each day and week right in the checklist. Then each week there is a spot for him to mark things done, and a spot for me to mark things checked.

Homeschool High School Planning for the kid who "Just Wants to Get it Done" from Starts At Eight. This is a no muss no fuss planning method for you and student planner for you child with FREE Weekly Assignments Checklist Style Planner Pages.

Features of This Checklist Planner

  1. It is a week at glance.
  2. It is my homeschool planner and his student planner in one!
  3. He doesn’t have to write out every assignment.
  4. There is a distinct place for him to mark it done.
  5. There is a place for me to mark it checked. This means I have looked over it and am satisfied with his work. I can also add a grade right in the box or below for grading purposes.

This planner offers me the ease of homeschool high school planning and him the ease of “checking mom’s boxes” all in one simple package. I was so tired of having to look at the Post-Its and be upset with him because he had not rewritten each thing into his planner. While he is happy enough to do his schoolwork, he wants it as no muss no fuss as possible. Hopefully this will be everything I think it can be for us and our homeschool high school planning needs.

Download a FREE Version of my Weekly Assignments Checklist Style Planner

FREE Weekly Assignments Printable Planner Sheets from Starts At Eight.

This is a sample of my Weekly Assignments Checklist Planner. You can download 3 different files:

  1. Rainbow Weekly Assignments Planner Cover
  2. Rainbow Weekly Assignments Checklist Planner Sheet 1
  3. Rainbow Weekly Assignments Checklist Planner Sheet 2

Purchase the FULL Weekly Assignments Checklist Style Planner!

What’s different about my FULL Weekly Assignments Checklist Style Planner?

  • The Planner Sheets are formatted for both the left and right side so you can print them to have a full week in view without loosing some of the side edge to hole punching or binding.
  • The FULL version includes a 2017 to 2018 Academic Calendar – Year in view style
  • The FULL version includes a Book Log sheet
  • Pay one low price and get 3 color variations! (See Below)

There are 3 versions of my FULL Weekly Assignments Checklist Style Planner:

  1. Gamer Weekly Assignment Planner
  2. Heart Weekly Assignment Planner
  3. Rainbow Weekly Assignment Planner

CLICK HERE to see more details and photos of the FULL Weekly Assignments Checklist Style Planners

More Homeschool High School Help

Money Management for Teens with the CASHFLOW Board Game
The Super Mega List of Family Friendly Movies {150+ Titles}
Homeschooling Through High School – Tips from a Veteran Homeschool Mom
Homeschool Online Spanish Course with Vista Academy
Searchable Homeschool History Database
Homeschool Math Curriculum: Teaching Textbooks 4.0 vs. CTCMath
21st Century Learning with Virtua Education
Spiral or Mastery Math Curriculum: What’s the Difference?
Online Technology Classes with MYTEK LAB
College From Home: Tips for Getting Great Grades
Mr. D Math College and Career Readiness
Homeschool Art Lessons: Portrait Drawings
FREE Printable Reading Logs ~ Full Sized or Adjustable for Your Bullet Journal

FREE Printable Reading Logs ~ Full Sized or Adjustable for Your Bullet Journal

I am working on making my bullet journal a tad more organized this year. I mostly use it for “to-do” lists and other project list type items. It gets kind of messy and lacking in organization. One of the things I am adding this year are two different reading logs – a Books to Read and a Books I’ve Read. Since I couldn’t find FREE Printable Reading Logs that suited my needs, I decided to create some!

FREE Printable Reading Logs from Starts At Eight. Looking for a cute printable book log? These FREE Printable Book Logs can be printed as a full page for kids or adjusted for your bullet journal.

Anyone who knows me is well aware that I am not an artist. I say this because I see all these beautiful bullet journals with hand drawn details. This, I assure you, I cannot do. If I want something pretty in my bullet journal I will need to print it!

FREE Printable Reading Logs

This leads me to the FREE Printable Reading Logs I have created. As I scrolled through Pinterest looking at bullet journal ideas, I kept seeing these super cute drawings of books on shelves being used to track reading or books people wanted to read. This led me to searching for a free printable one because as I said, there is no way I will be able to draw one that I would be happy with! Much to my surprise I couldn’t find a free printable bookshelf to use for my reading logs…so I created my own!

Each of these printables are created large enough to print them on a full 8.5″ x 11″ sheet of printer paper for use with kids, or in a full sized notebook. With kids you can either have them color a book for each book they read, or print titles (or one word) on the spines for each book read.

They are also easily adaptable to include in your bullet journal. I printed mine as a 5 X 7 (on white card stock) to fit perfectly into my bullet journal. You can see what my printed and colored one looks like attached into my bullet journal below!

Books To Read

There are 3 variations of this! One with a little girl, one with a little boy, and one without.

Simply right click on the image you want to download it. Then scale to the size you would like to print it.

FREE Printable Books To Read (Girl) Log from Starts At Eight. FREE Printable Reading Logs from Starts At Eight. Looking for a cute printable book log? These FREE Printable Book Logs can be printed as a full page for kids or adjusted for your bullet journal.

 

FREE Printable Books To Read (Bullet Journal) ) Log from Starts At Eight. FREE Printable Reading Logs from Starts At Eight. Looking for a cute printable book log? These FREE Printable Book Logs can be printed as a full page for kids or adjusted for your bullet journal.

 

FREE Printable Books To Read Log from Starts At Eight. FREE Printable Reading Logs from Starts At Eight. Looking for a cute printable book log? These FREE Printable Book Logs can be printed as a full page for kids or adjusted for your bullet journal.

 

Books I’ve Read

There are also 3 variations of this! One with a little girl, one with a little boy, and one without.

Simply right click on the image you want to download it. Then scale to the size you would like to print it.

FREE Printable Books I've Read Log from Starts At Eight. FREE Printable Reading Logs from Starts At Eight. Looking for a cute printable book log? These FREE Printable Book Logs can be printed as a full page for kids or adjusted for your bullet journal.

 

FREE Printable Books I've Read Log from Starts At Eight. FREE Printable Reading Logs from Starts At Eight. Looking for a cute printable book log? These FREE Printable Book Logs can be printed as a full page for kids or adjusted for your bullet journal.

 

FREE Printable Books I've Read Log from Starts At Eight. FREE Printable Reading Logs from Starts At Eight. Looking for a cute printable book log? These FREE Printable Book Logs can be printed as a full page for kids or adjusted for your bullet journal.

 

Suggestions for Books to Read

10 Glitzy Chapter Books for Girls from Starts At EightChildren's Books About Japan from Starts At EightChildren's Books About the Library from Starts At EightGrades 3-5 Series Books Summer Reading List FREE Printable from Starts At Eight100+ Engaging Books for Middle School from Starts At Eight. 100+ Engaging Books for Middle School is a list of single books as well as series that are reading level and age appropriate for middle school readers.High School Literature List Series from Starts At Eight

Easy Printable Elementary Homeschool Planner

Easy Printable Elementary Homeschool Planner

It’s no secret that I am a planner girl. I can’t resist the lure of those crisp, empty pages just waiting to be filled with organization and color! From blog planners to bullet journals, and student planners galore, I have used them. The planner I want to talk about today is an easy printable elementary homeschool planner that I created for my 5th grader this year.

Easy Printable Elementary Homeschool Planner from Starts At Eight Use a FREE Printable Planner page and a few inexpensive supplies to create a simple homeschool planner for your elementary homeschooler.

For many years I used Homeschool Tracker for all my planning and grading needs. At a time when I was struggling with feeling as though we weren’t accomplishing anything, it gave me a sense of order and organization. It was a one-stop place for things like attendance, grading, lesson planning, assignment sheets, reports cards and more. It was also very me intensive. It’s still a fabulous one-stop place for planning, records, and organization, but our needs have shifted to where I want our kids to be more hands on with their planners.

Our Planner Story

When my oldest hit high school I really wanted her to be planning out her own time and keeping track of her own work. Time Management for Teens is a super important skill, and a great one to work on in high school. At this time I released her stuff from Homeschool Tracker and gave her a 4 Year High School Planner.

Then my son hit middle school and he was asking for more say in what he did when. While I was concerned about his ability to do this, I created a modified planner system for him. We went to this Simple Homeschool Middle School Planner that I put together with a few simple items. It allowed him the ability to begin working on his own organizational skills, within a small framework to keep him on task.

Printable Elementary Homeschool Planner

Now onto my youngest child. My fiercely independent from birth child. While she has steered away from doing work on the computer (you can see what her 5th grade day looks like), she does still want an assignment sheet. (Insert sad mom face here as I was happy to give up all the data entry I was doing to create said assignment sheet.)

While she wasn’t keen on going to a full on planner, I new I could create a system that both she and I could work within, and one that would be working towards planner usage.

Printable Elementary Homeschool Planner Supplies

  1. colored pens
  2. printer and paper
  3. FREE Weekly Printable To-Do List
  4.  3 prong folder

color-coded-subject-key

I used basically the same color coding system for academic subjects as I did with the middle school planner.

Math – Singapore Math

English – Growing with Grammar and Soaring with Spelling

History – Who Was Biographies with Printable Notebook pages

Science –¬†Equine Science from WinterPromise

Spanish – Speekee Spanish

Piano/Art

Other – Things like field trips, riding lessons, and barn time

img_9495a

The big difference with this printable elementary homeschool planner is that I go through and fill it in ahead of time. This allows me to make adjustments, as well as to view and grade her work. She still has her “assignment sheet”, but I am not front loading on data entry.

If you want to see her full 5th Grade Curriculum in detail click the photo below:

5th Grade Homeschool Curriculum from Starts At Eight

Mega List of Homeschool Planners

Mega List of Homeschool Planners

Homeschool planning is a popular topic. From homeschool planner types to how we use them, the options are varied and look different for each of us. Through the years I have used multiple types of planners and methods. Not only will I share those with you, but I have also created an extensive list of planner options for you to choose from!

Mega List of Homeschool Planners - Paper/Printable/Digital from Starts At Eight

Homeschool Planners We Have Used

Throughout my 10+ years of homeschool I have used multiple planners and planning styles. I have even used (and am currently using) multiple styles based on the individual needs of my children.

1. Homeschool Tracker

Homeschool Tracker was my sanity saver in the early years of homeschooling! I was very focused on being able to “see” progress and the things we had accomplished. This hashed out to me needing checklists and the ability to check off things when we were done. Homeschool Tracker has been in use in my house ever since, even if in a lesser capacity as the years go on.

My 5th grader is still using the assignments sheets I create in homeschool tracker. The majority of her stuff is easily spread out into lessons and inputted into the program at the beginning of the year. Then I simply click and assign things as the weeks progress. I usually assign in batches of 2-4 weeks at a time.

2. A Plan in Place

The Plan in Place Planners are a truly awesome options for those that want not only a paper planner, but a totally customizable one (beginning with the cover), as well as one that is “preprinted”. When you purchase this planner, you submit all your choices and they print it up, bind it and ship it off to you all ready to use!

Use a Homeschool Student Planner for Organizing Middle School from Starts At Eight

3. 4 Year High School Planner

The number one thing I love about this 4 Year High School Planner is that it is all 4 years of high school in one place! It has allowed my teen to be independent in planning out her own schedule while still keeping everything organized for transcript purposes later!

Time Management for Teens from Starts At Eight

4. Homeschool Planet

5 Reasons To Use An Online Homeschool Planner from Starts At Eight

5. Dollar Store Planner

This Simple Homeschool Middle School Planner is one of my most recent system creations. Middle school is a time where I tradition my kids from the more rigid assignment sheets that I create in Homeschool Tracker, to eventually the independence of the 4 Year High School Planner. While my oldest easily slid from one through to the other, my son was having more difficulty and needed more.

For this reason I created a sort of skeleton plan for him to follow using colored pens. With that he would use the corresponding colors in his own paper planner to input what he had done each day.

Simple Homeschool Middle School Planner from Starts At Eight

6. Easy Printable Elementary Homeschool Planner

I created this Easy Printable Elementary Homeschool Planner for my independent 5th grader. She still wanted to have an assignment sheet, and I wanted something less labor intensive for me. Using the same basic color theme for subjects as the Dollar Store Planner above, I utilized a free planner printable to created a fun and colorful assignment sheet/planner that is great for the elementary ages!

Easy Printable Elementary Homeschool Planner from Starts At Eight Use a FREE Printable Planner page and a few inexpensive supplies to create a simple homeschool planner for your elementary homeschooler.

7. Weekly Assignments Checklist Style Planner

Weekly Assignments Printable Student Planners {Checklist Style} - 3 versions for one low cost!

Finding a student planner that works for you and doesn’t break the bank can be a challenge! Throughout my years of homeschooling my needs (and the kids’ needs) have changed. We have tried all kinds of planners, both digital and printable. This Weekly Assignments Printable Student Planner {Checklist Style} is a no muss no fuss way for you to plan and for them to keep track of their work.

Printable Homeschool Planner Options

Choosing a printable homeschool planner can be one of the most flexible planner options. It allows you to pick and choose the pages you print, in what order, and how many of each.

{Please note that I have chosen not to separate out the FREE planners. Each option that is FREE will be noted by an asterisk.}

Paper Homeschool Planner Options

If you can find a pre-purchased planner that suits your needs these are awesome because they are often colorful, on quality paper with strong front and back covers, and are bound in some sort of fashion.

Online/Digital Homeschool Planner Options

  • The Old School House Planners
  • * Homeschool Skedtrack –¬†Homeschool Skedtrack is a FREE online lesson planner, scheduler, and tracking system rolled into one. The heart of the system is the automated scheduling of activities that frees you from the headache of rescheduling everything once an activity/lesson is missed.
  • Homeschool Manager – Online homeschool management system. Track grades, schedule lesson, record attendance, printable reports and more!
  • Homeschool Tracker
  • Applecore¬†–¬†Track courses, grades, attendance and much more, all with full reporting from transcripts to report cards. ¬†Save as PDF or print all the reports you need like transcripts, report cards, portfolio, attendance and weekly schedules to give to your family.
  • Homeschool Helper App – (Just $4.99) Track an unlimited number of students, manage students over multiple school years, separate grading scale for each student, auto create batches of lessons,¬†Powerful Lesson features: bump lessons, copy lessons, mass delete lessons,¬†reports can be viewed, saved, or emailed for storage, printing, etc.
  • * BluePrint Today – Grade totals are automatically calculated, there is an app to access from your desktop or phone. Printable weekly assignment sheets and more!

Simple Homeschool Middle School Planner

Simple Homeschool Middle School Planner

The middle school years are transition years. You find your children growing up out of the elementary years, learning to be more independent, and working towards the high school years where they are growing into young adults and working to make decisions about their future. One way to begin helping your middle school age children to become more independent is by working with them to use their own planner.

Simple Homeschool Middle School Planner from Starts At Eight

Having his own planner, one that he was in charge of, was definitely one thing my 6th grade son wanted. I hesitated to do this because he has a hard time focusing and staying on task. What I did instead was create a compromise.

Simple Homeschool Middle School Planner

Using just an inexpensive planner (one you can even get at the Dollar Store), a set of colored pens, and a color coded weekly sheet that I created and put into a plastic page protector, I created a simple middle school planner for my son.

1. Create a Weekly Skeleton Plan

Simple Homeschool Middle School Planner - Skeleton Plan from Starts At Eight

I created a skeleton plan for my son to follow. I used a different color pen for each subject he is to cover. This allowed me to clearly communicate to him what he needed to accomplish each week, while leaving the actual planner writing to him. You could also do this by simply making a numbered list for each day. I chose to do it on an hourly scale so he could see about how long each thing should take him, allowing him to plan his time more efficiently. Here is a great selection of FREE Printable Planner Sheets to choose from.

Color Coding:

  • Red = Math
  • Blue = History
  • Green = Science
  • Pink = English
  • Yellow = Music/Art
  • Brown = Rosetta Stone
  • Orange = Coding

2. Purchase an Inexpensive Weekly Planner & Colored Pens

One of the things I love most about this system is how cost effective it was! Instead of spending $30 or more on a fancy planner, I spent around $15! (I purchased my planner and pens together on a sale.) You could spend only $2 by purchasing your planner and a set of colored pens at the Dollar Store! The exact planner I used is the Hammond & Stephens Undated Weekly Student Planner. I love this because it was undated so we could use it any year at any time.

3. Teach Them To Use Their Homeschool Middle School Planner

Weekly Planner Sample

Using my skeleton schedule and color coding system, I sat my son down with the new planner to show him what I expected. I told him that the skeleton schedule was his reference sheet for each week and that he was responsible for accomplishing each task, in whatever order he chose, as well as filling in his planner each day.

Filling In The Planner:

  1. Be sure to put a date for each week/day as the planner calls for.
  2. Use the assigned colored pen for each subject.
  3. Include the subject name (or abbreviation) and the unit/chapter/lesson you completed
  4. Include grade for any automatically graded programs (such as Teaching Textbooks and Rosetta Stone)

At the end of each day, week, or longer (when things get crazy) I check over his work and planner to be sure he is completing his subjects and is keeping ample track of his work.

**Note: I am sure you will notice that his handwriting is not the neatest. We have had a discussion about how I understand that everyone is not as organized as mom and that we each have our own strengths. He is very impatient and thus writes pretty quickly. I have learned to let it go as long as it is legible.

Benefits of Using a Middle School Planner

There are many great reasons to begin using a middle school planner when your kids reach 6th, 7th, or 8th grade depending on their level of maturity and readiness. My daughter was ready at a much younger age than my son to begin this process.

  1. Teaches Independence
  2. Encourages Responsibility
  3. Practice with Organization
  4. Preparation for High School & Beyond

Other Middle School Articles of Interest:

Learning to Code With Simply Coding Javascript Learning Program – This is the coding program you see referenced in his schedule.

Learn to Code with Simply Coding Javascript Learning Program from Starts At EightHere is what we are using for 7th Grade Homeschool Curriculum

7th Grade Homeschool Curriculum from Starts At Eight

Teaching Textbooks is a staple in our house from grade 5/6 and beyond.

5+ Reasons Teaching Textbooks Works for Struggling Math Students from Starts At EightFulfilling Middle School Practical Arts

Homeschooling in New York State: Fulfilling Middle School Practical Arts from Starts At Eight

 

 

How to Create a New Year in Homeschool Tracker

How to Create a New Year in Homeschool Tracker

Starting a new school year comes with varied tasks in our house. From clearing out the old, to bringing in the new. One of the things I need to do at the beginning of a new year is Create a New School Year in Homeschool Tracker. This is where I will keep all of my records for the entire year.

How to Create a New Year in Homeschool Tracker from Starts At Eight
With Homeschool Tracker I keep attendance records, log total time per subject, create weekly assignment sheets for my children, log grades, and so much more.

Steps To Creating a New Year in Homeschool Tracker:

  1. Log-in to Homeschool Tracker
  2. Select the Maintenance Tab in the upper tool bar
  3. Select the Years/Terms Tab in the upper tool bar just below the Maintenance Tab
  4. Select the Add Year Button
  5. Edit the fields in the School Year Calculator which include Year, Holidays, and Terms. This step allows you to title your school year, select beginning and ending dates, select days of week that are school days, create pre-done holiday times and set up the number and length of terms in the school year.


To learn more ways to use Homeschool Tracker be sure to check out my other Homeschool Tracker How To posts:

  1. How to Create a Reading Log in Homeschool Tracker
  2. How To Organize Your Homeschool Year with Homeschool Tracker
Organize Your Homeschool Bookshelves

Organize Your Homeschool Bookshelves

One of the things I love about having a designated homeschool room is the ability to have everything together.  In our old house I had books tucked away in every room and it was difficult to take advantage of those resources because I had such a hard time finding and accessing them.  Now, a large portion of the walls in our homeschool room are designated to bookshelf space. I would like to share with you one way in which you can organize your homeschool bookshelves.

Organize Your Homeschool Bookshelves from Starts At Eight

Having so many books, and now being able to have them in one place gave me a reason to find an organization system that would work for us. I made sure to leave the easy readers and picture books down low for little hands to grab easily, and to separate out the fiction and non-fiction for ease of finding what you need.

Bookshelf #1:

Bookshelf #1 - Fiction

This bookshelf is for the bulk of the fiction books (it did get over filled so we had to move some to bookshelf #2 though).

  1. Classics – This section includes poetry, Shakespeare, classic novels and collections of short stories.
  2. Mommy Books – These are mostly novels that I have reviewed here at StartsAtEight
  3. Science/History SeriesThe Magic School Bus, Magic Tree House, Wright on Time, Imagination Station
  4. Chapter Books – All in alphabetical order by author
  5. Picture Books – On the bottom shelf for easy access and in any order as I grew tired of alphabetizing them all the time!

Bookshelf #2:

Bookshelf #2 - Non-Fiction

This bookshelf contains all of the non-fiction books (and the overflow from bookshelf #1).

  1. Art/Music  РThis section includes how to books, as well as informational booksT
  2. Religion/Self-Help – Here we have Bible’s, books about different religions, parenting books, and homeschooling information books.
  3. Biographies – Both long and short, easy reader and more in depth, all of our biographies are here.
  4. History – Everything history from Ancients to present day, world, and US.
  5. Reference Р This little section contains dictionaries, a thesaurus, writing reference books, topic specific encyclopedias.
  6. Science Р A whole shelf of everything science related from experiments to information.
  7. Easy Readers & Holiday– These are both overflow from bookshelf #1 and are on the bottom for easy access.

This bookshelf is also where our Central Store and Charge Location is that I refer to in 5 Ways To Limit Your Teens Texting Time, as well as where I store many of our larger craft supplies in labeled Cardboard File Boxes.

You can see our full homeschool room here

Homeschool Curriculum Planning in 3 Steps

Homeschool Curriculum Planning in 3 Steps

Each year around this time we really being to see the effects of homeschool curriculum planning for the coming year.  From Homeschool Conventions, to planning sales, photos of all the new curriculum purchases and the scores of new people asking the important questions about how to go about doing it.

Homeschool Curriculum Planning from Starts At Eight

As you may very well know already, everyone is different, therefore your planning process may look different. But I will share with you what mine looks like and you can pick and chose what works for you.

Homeschool Curriculum Planning in 3 Steps

Create A Subject List

One of the first things I do is to think about the subjects I am trying to cover, and make a list. This looks different for different stages in my childrens’ homeschool journeys. For instance my soon to be third grader will be adding cursive handwriting into her school days. This was not something she previously had in her subject list.

 

Homeschool Curriculum Planning Subject List from Starts At Eight

This is the initial handwritten scribble I keep throughout the year.

Also my high school aged student will have different electives that she will be taking for 10th grade, as she has completed other electives during her 9th grade year. For 9th grade she took things like Java Programming and Photography. In 10th grade she will have things like Sociology and Psychology.

You can check out what we have used for curriculum over the years at my Our Curriculum Page which is broken down by year and grade level.

If you have a would be high school student you may also want to consider creating a 4 Year High School Plan to give yourself an idea of what you need to cover and when is a good time to do so. I created the 4 Year High School Plan in a customizable spreadsheet for you to download, change, print, and save for yourself.  I also have some great Pinterest Help for Homeschooling High School, including boards for curriculum, testing, raising teenagers, and more!

Research Curriculum

After I have created a list of subjects to be covered, I begin filling in a  more formal chart with curriculum or resource options for each one.

Homeschool Curriculum Planning Chart from Starts At Eight

I created a FREE Homeschool Curriculum Planning Chart over at Hip Homeschool Moms, along with a list of questions I ask myself when homeschool curriculum planning for the coming year.

Some may be the same as the previous year.  For instance both our 5th grader and 9th grader have previously used and continued to use Teaching Textbooks for math.  For our 9th grader she will continue this pattern into her 10th grade year, thus I would simply fill in Teaching Textbooks next to math in my subject list.

For things that I am unsure of I may write down multiple options with links to find them, cost, etc. and then spend time researching until I come to a decision on what will work best for us. ¬†In What Happens When…You Need to Choose a Homeschool Curriculum I talk about things you may want to consider things like learning styles and cost.

You may also find yourself in a situation where a Curriculum Isn’t Working for you and you need to change it up for the following year, and that is ok too.

 

Purchase Your Curriculum

Once you have decided on curriculum choices you can keep your eyes open for deals. ¬†Maybe there is a local used curriculum sale, or a company is offering a discount. ¬†You can also borrow from other homeschoolers or check things out from the library. ¬†Our local library carries some curriculum books and resources (like the Life of Fred books, and The Story of the World). I also will enter giveaways for curriculum I am interested in – hey you never know when you might win one! ūüôā

Other Homeschool Curriculum Planning Articles:

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