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  1. #1

    Default Can I see your planner?

    I'm pretty sure you're going to tell me that "if you have to ask if you're doing too much, then you're definitely doing too much" but I've got to ask anyway. It is a compulsion.

    Does here keep a planner? I'd love to see it. (particularly if you have older kids, my son will be in 8th grade)

    I have executive functioning issues and planners keep me from feeling lost/unproductive. Sometimes having a to-do list really helps remind me what the "next thing" i should be doing is so I don't get overwhelmed with indecision, and sometimes writing things down helps me realize that I've added way too many things to my list and I need to slow down.

    I'm fairly new to homeschooling and I'm not sure where the Goldilocks zone is for workload. For the past 6 months, we've been using a pre-planned schedule at Time4Learning which my son did semi-independently, so this is my first time actually setting up my own schedule.

    I bought a history and a science curriculum. I like them both, and i'm willing to be somewhat flexible with it. History only needs 3 days a week (and i don't feel compelled to do every lesson or answer every study guide question) Science is a bit more rigorous, but we can choose between 5 easy days or between 2-3 rigorous days if we need it.

    I know that if I start to get overwhelmed, that I should cut it down and just do the basics which I feel are language and math. Ironically, those are the two things we don't have a schedule for. We're working on remediation work in math with no set curriculum. We might blow right through it, or it might take a while. I don't know yet. For LA, we're trying Brave Writer this year for LA which sort of gives us very, very loose guidelines, and no set schedule for work.

    So for those two subjects, I planned 2 weeks worth of daily work. My plan is to reevaluate during the second week and see what to work on next. I'm the kind of person who really needs a base routine, and then I will adjust from there, so only knowing a couple weeks at a time makes me feel unsure, but at the moment, I feel that keeping it flexible and reevaluating often will be best for us.

    That being said...I'm not sure how much to schedule into the day. Sometimes it looks like too much when i see the week laid out picture, but then i really look at it and realize that all I have written down for the day is going to take less than an hour, and it doesn't feel like its enough.

    I know that everyone follows a different schedule, but i'd love to see lots of different ones, so that I can get a feel for what is working for others, and then adjust our personal schedule from there.

    Do you mind sharing your schedule with me?
    Mom to
    Freshman DS
    3rd Grade DS
    and 1st Grade DD

    We are a neurodiverse family

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  3. #2


    Hmmm. If you root around the archives enough, you will find other peoples samples, etc. Because a lot of people want to see what other people do as a benchmark, and ideas for organization. However, *I* couldnt quickly find the threads, and I sorta know what to look for. :-/
    Whatever system of organization works for you is fine... just dont spend a lot of money on it! I havent used the same format for more than 3-4 months since my oldest was in 2nd grade or so.
    As far as how much is the right amount.... I just wouldnt plan too far in advance. Think of the public school equivalent - one lesson per subject per day... use your best judgement when shuffling those things around to suit yourselves.
    You cant really tell by looking at a list if its enough, or too much... but evaluate as youre doing them, when youve done enough. Even if you fall behind on your checklist or schedule.... sometimes we would not get as far as we expected because we ended up watching a bunch of youtube videos and documentaries on something (like volcanoes, then mt st helens, then pinatubo...). Math might not get done that day, but its not the end of the world, and you dont need to "catch up" later that week.

    And dont micromanage yourself or your son.
    Homeschooling DS13, DS6.


    My spelling was fine, then my brain left me.

  4. #3
    Senior Member Arrived RTB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012


    I think your plan of not scheduling too far in advance is a good idea. You never know what will come up in everyday life, or if you decide you want to take a different approach (hence tossing hours of planning work).

    I personally have overarching goals of where I want to go for the school year (kid will be able to _____, we will finish _______ curriculum). I usually write it down at the start of the school year. However, I only plan a week at a time. It works better for us. I've seen some homeschoolers who plan the whole year, but number the lessons vs. date them. That way if you miss a day, it is no big deal because it does not really matter if you do lesson 62 on a specific date.

    I use a Google spreadsheet to keep us school organized. I make a weekly assignment sheet for each kiddo on Fridays, print it off, put it in a binder and we are ready to go Monday morning. It is really simple - subject, assignment, completed box. If we don't get to something on the list I just circle it and keep it on the plan for the following week. I keep a separate planner for myself for all of our social plans, appointments, and my personal to do list. Google spreadsheets has an assignment tracker ready, I used it as a base to make my own spreadsheet to fit our needs.

    Pam Barnhill is a blogger who writes extensively about organization. She might have ideas on the blog that resonate with you. FYI she is not secular, but I don't find her to be over the top religious.
    DS 15, DD 13
    Year 9

  5. #4


    Not much of a planner-user here either.

    I think your initial thoughts of planning two weeks and seeing how it goes is very, very sound. Once you get your feet on the ground, you'll see what can be added or what can be adjusted within the days themselves to make progress and allow flexibility.

    Your son will need to help figure this out with you. My daughter knows when she's at her most chirpy and bright and it is then that she handles snooze-worthy schoolwork, whereas she utilizes her early school hours to do routine things while she's still kind of waking up. For her, that's Irish and math first thing, then onward to heavier reading/writing when she's much more awake and able to focus. Almost all her work gets finished by noon, and then she's reading or doing more writing for the rest of the school day, maybe watches a documentary or some Crash Course or Khan Academy (computer-based) work. She also uses her afternoons to work on animations or art.

    You've said you've purchased history and science. Do either curricula spell out a how-to-tackle-this schedule as a 5-day, 4-day or 3-day endeavor? What we kind of quickly discovered when we started homeschooling is that doing all subjects every day was awful. We always felt rushed. So we do what's kind of called block scheduling; Mon&Fri are science days, TWTh are history/LA days, and math and Irish and some reading are every day. This way she's able to delve deep in whatever interests her, and we're not attached to getting things completely "done" if something comes up.

    Also, I work backward: I look at the curricula, divide it into weeks, and try to see how much needs to be done each week from each course of study to keep us on track to finish in the typical 36 week school year. This means 18 week semesters roughly; how many lessons a week on history if it's 3 days/week means let's skip X and Y if it's too much info. to cram in, etc. Science might shift if labwork takes 2 days to watch/complete, so it might happen on back to back days. BUT: I don't write this down, necessarily. I might copy the table of contents of the curric. and say (week 3) or whatever just so I have a rough idea where we should end up in Dec. or May, or if I think she should have finished Z book before Week 5's study, etc. It's loose, in other words. And yes, I do use curricula and don't wing it on my own; I work full time so we need its guidance.

    Things shift with age though. Kiddo will be in 8th grade this year and it means more work/tighter scheduling. Which is ok...
    Eclectically homeschooling 8th grade dd, who likes science as much as art...

  6. #5


    I always sit down about August first and have great ambitions to plan and have everything organized and ready to do and most of the time I get at least a general idea of what topics we want to cover (we gravitate to unit studies) but at some point in about Dec...all those planned things go and we just find things that interest us, that are going on around us, or fall into our lap (like a dropped off pregnant kitty that we used as a science unit as we care for her, birthed the kitties and raised them until adoption). Right now my kids are 7 and 8 so I am just going with the flow. My only real planning advice is don't feel the need to do it all and maybe if you become overwhelmed try a Ta-da journal instead of a planner. Just right down everything that you did you instead of what you wanted to do and keep track that way and let that inspire your forward.

  7. #6
    Senior Member Arrived TFZ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Blog Entries


    Can I see your planner?
    I plan everything. I make a list of what we do weekly (Monday Nature Walk, Tues Poetry Tea, Thurs Specials Day...), a quarterly map, and a weekly plan. We don't usually stick to any of it, lol, but it helps me to keep track of where we've been and where we're headed. The way we homeschool is super flexible, and we follow his interests a lot.

    I use separate family calendars, too. I need the structure in my life or else I find myself wearing the same clothes for three days straight, and I'm not even sure what day of the week it is. Basically if I don't have a To Do list, nothing gets To Done.

    I'll come back and add pics from my tab.

    Quarterly goals scribbled on notebook paper and taped in my planner.

    First week's plan.

    There's also a FB group called Homeschool Planners if you're looking for ideas. I think most people in it are planning hobbyists, but lots of planner pics from all different ages. Suggestions, where to find planners, etc. It's not super active, but if you ask a question you'll get some answers
    Last edited by TFZ; 08-04-2017 at 01:28 PM. Reason: Add awesome planner pics.
    I'm a work-at-home mom to three, homeschool enthusiast, and avid planner fueled by lattes and Florida sunshine. My oldest is 6 and is a fircond grader (that's somewhere between first and second, naturally), my preschooler just told me she wants to learn how to read, and my toddler is a force of nature.

    I gather all kinds of secular homeschool resources and share them at

  8. #7


    I have a plum paper one and love it, it is completely customizable and has a homeschool specific section.
    DS16 with ASD, DD12 and DS10

  9. #8


    I use Homeschool Planet from the Homeschool Buyers Co-op. It's not perfect, but it works for me. I've tried many others and abandoned them. I've been using Homeschool Planet since last December, and although it's not perfect, it does what I need it to do, which is let me create a plan and revise it easily.

  10. #9


    Last year I used a simple planner with a month view and a weekly view. I would set down once a week and plan out the next week. (Saturday morning)
    Anything we didn't get to I would shuffle to the next week. (Normally it wasn't a lot, just 1 or 2 things) this year I ordered a homeschool planner, I am trying to be more consistent with getting all our subjects done. Math and Literature are consistent everyday work, and so is the science or social studies unit that teams with the literature. Grammar, spelling, and vocabulary were hit and miss last year. And I'm hoping to add Latin this year.
    ~*~*Marta, mom to 5 boys.
    DS 1 ( 19, has his associates' degree and is off to college)
    DS 2 (17 and dual enrollment in college)
    Keegan (15 and enrolled in a PPP but still has home classes)
    Sully (10 years, 4th grade)
    Finn, (9 years, 3rd grade)

  11. #10
    Banned Newbie
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    Apr 2018
    Blog Entries


    I use Google calendar for my plans

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Can I see your planner?