Making your own homeschool planner is the perfect way to ensure YOU get the planner YOU want and will utilize! It is a fun process to build it, inexpensive to have bound, and rewarding to use a planner you built from the ground up. Note: a video of my 2016/2017 planner can be viewed at the end of this post, and the printables I used in my planner are near the bottom of this post for free.
There are a few useful steps to take when considering how to make your own homeschool planner;
- Make a list of what you want included in your planner. Consider previous planners you have used – what was useful? What did you feel was missing? Browse homeschool planners that are on the market for ideas you may not consider on your own.
- Consider your budget and design aesthetic. Before you start designing or collecting pages for your planner decide if you want to print in color or just black and white. Also determine if you want all the pages to be cohesive throughout, or if you’re ok patching it together from various designers.
- Starting collecting free planner pages or purchase them or design your own. (I offer some free ones below!)
- Purchase nice paper to print on. This will make a big difference! I have used this 28 lb weight paper and loved it.
Once you have the homeschool planner pages you want for your book (be sure to remember to print double sided!) you can take them in to your local office supply store for them to bind for you. Coil binding is very inexpensive – about $3 a book! While they will provide a cover for you (perhaps at additional charge) I like to print my own front and back cover and laminate it. Options for covers can be found in my etsy shop – Wanted Words – here are some ideas that can be printed as 8.5 x 11 prints and then laminated for a homeschool planner cover:
Free Printable Planner Page Downloads
Blank two page calendar spread pages can be downloaded here – while this does require you to add the month and dates yourself, I love this layout with the extra space around the sides for jotting down notes. Lined, dotted, and plain pages with Charlotte Mason quotes across the bottom can be downloaded here – I keep extra scratch spaces in my planner for whatever may come up – field trip planning, needing to keep a child entertained somewhere – whatever! I also designate one of these blank pages for thoughts on what to add or eliminate from next years planner.An assortment of homeschool planner schedules can be downloaded here – finding a schedule planner you can make work is, to me, the trickiest! While these likely aren’t going to be helpful printables to you, they may inspire your own idea of how to create your own schedule. Charlotte Mason held some high ideals for what children should know. The list of what they should know by age 6 and by age 12 can be printed here but ONLY if you promise to use it as a guideline and not make yourself feel bad if your children don’t line up with the checklist. Our memory work has changed over the years and I haven’t always saved those files – but I am happy to share the pieces I do have saved! You can get them here. They may serve more as a springboard for ideas that be of any practical use, but you can check that out for yourself! I try to do a student evaluation at the beginning of each year, and mostly to focus myself on what their strengths are. It can be so easy to see the weaknesses and equate those as failures … but they aren’t! And remembering that is so very helpful to seeing them as persons and encouraging them in their unique development. You can download this form here.I write about habits elsewhere on here, but just having a focused place to plan out what our habit focus will be each month has been so important and valuable to me. You can download these sheets here.