Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Mami Time Saver: A Simple Plan

This is part of my Mami Time Savers series.

Homeschooling takes a lot of preparation and organization. Keeping my kids' lesson plans organizedare crucial not only for me to keep track of what they've learned and what they need help with, but also with tracking the number of days they've been in school and what topics we have coming up.

For years, I used a blank teacher's journal that I bought at the dollar store. But last year, I won a A Simple Plan homeschool planner from Mardel and Social Savvy Mom. And now I don't think I can homeschool without it! (Okay, I probably could, but why would I want to?)

This is really the ultimate time saver for me as a homeschooler. The planner comes with everything I need in one place:
  • Sample pages
  • Weekly schedule forms for each student
  • Curriculum and semester goal pages
  • Yearly overview pages
  • To-do lists
  • Special activities section
  • Reading lists
  • Attendance keeper
  • Space for notes, prayer requests, and supply lists
  • Heavy-duty interior pockets on both the front and back covers
  • Curriculum tracker
  • Grading chart
  • Extracurricular activities tracker
  • Encouraging Scriptures at the beginning of each new month

I don't use everything in the planner you see listed above, but it is nice to know that I have the option of the various elements if I decide to use them. 

I only work in pencil allowing for unexpected changes in our schedule or carrying over specific lessons to the next day. It's also very easy to change direction and add in new materials. When we're ready to start school in the mornings, all the lessons for that day are right in front of me so I don't have to go searching through books and wasting precious learning time. The only thing I don't like is that the assignment sheets you see in the picture above are only for Monday through Friday. We typically do school every day except Wednesdays and Sundays, so I have to adapt for that change.

The calendar is already divided up into six different subjects, but you can fill these in depending on what you're studying. And each subject has space for 6 lesson plans which means you can write in the assignments for 6 different kids, or if you are like me and cover a lot of ground each day, then you can assign each child a different shade and fill in their assignments as needed.

Having an attendance log attached to the same lesson planner is also a blessing because I can easily switch back and forth to determine how far along we are and how far we have left to go.

So if you are already thinking about next year and how to organize and streamline your lessons, perhaps A Simple Plan is the right planner for you!

You can find out more about the homeschool planner on the Mardel website. 


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