Today marks the start of a new four part series titled The Organized Homeschool. The purpose of this series is to encourage homeschool moms to prepare for the upcoming school year by completing a few organizational tasks over the summer. We’ll begin by learning how to create a DIY Homeschool Planning Binder.
If you’ve been homeschooling for more than five minutes, you’re well aware that it takes quite a bit of planning and organization to keep a homeschool running smoothly. There are curriculums to review, lessons to plan, reading lists to organize, plus grades and attendance to track. The only way I maintain organization (and sanity!) is by using a planning binder.
You can easily purchase a planner online. Though many of these planners, such as The Well Planned Day, are great, I have yet to find a planner that meets all of my needs. Consequently, I’ve had to create my own planner using a variety of FREE printable pages that give me exactly what I’m looking for. Enter the DIY Homeschool Planning Binder.
What You Need to Create a DIY Homeschool Planning Binder
To create your unique planning binder, you’ll need a 3 three ring binder (with at least one inch rings), tabbed dividers, a variety of free planning pages, and a three holed punch.
Sections of the DIY Homeschool Planning Binder
These are the sections I include in my binder, but you should create sections that meet your needs. If you see something you like, print it out immediately. Sometimes freebies are only available for a limited time.
- Inspiration: I find lots of great inspirational writings online. Though I pin or bookmark them, I like to keep a few of my favorites inside my binder. When I’m having one of *those* days, I can find quick bits of encouragement and inspiration. This list of 50 Most Important Scriptures to Memorize is a great one, as is this one, The Homeschooling Mom’s Prayer.
- Curriculum Price Page: I keep track of the curriculum we use by writing down information on a curriculum price page. The planning page includes name of the curriculum, source of the curriculum (publisher, Ebay, local teacher store, etc), and cost. You can download a copy of this great curriculum price page over at The Unlikely Homeschool.
- Supply Lists: You’ll never run out of supplies if you keep an eye on your inventory. I love the thorough homeschool supply list found at Knowledge House. A printable version of the list can be found here.
- Unit Study Planner: This year I’ll be teaching six different unit studies. Because there are so many materials and resources to keep track of, I need a unit study planner. I found an awesome unit study planner that include spots to jot down information regarding overviews, online resources, field trips, supplies, vocabulary, experiments, arts and crafts, and book lists. Download these detailed unit study planning pages here.
- Reading Lists: Most homeschool children I know read many, many, many books throughout the school year. Keep track of what your child is reading or what you’d like for her to read using the the reading log found at The Peaceful Mom.
- Weekly Organizer: On the weekends, I take time to plan what I’ll be doing throughout the coming week. This organizer allows me to keep tracks of the books, websites, and supplies I’ll need. Download a Peek at the Week over at Ms. Houser.
- Password List: We spend time online each day. Many of the websites the children and I need to access require registrations and passwords. If the login information is not stored in a central location, I waste valuable time trying to find the necessary information. I keep my password list right inside my binder. As long as you keep your binder in a secure place away from prying eyes, you may wish to document passwords on a paper list. Download a an adorable and colorful website password list page over at Hello Cuteness.
- Weekly Lesson Planner: The lesson plan pages you’ll use will depend upon how many children you’re teaching and how many subjects you’re teaching. An internet search will provide lots You can find many different types of planners on the internet, but here are two I love. The one I use is an editable Excel based file found at Teachers Pay Teachers,
- Contacts: We’re part of two homeschool co-ops, so I keep a copy of our member directories in this section. If I need to contact a fellow homeschooling family, their contact information can be easily located. You can find a simple contact page at a Pocket of Savings.
Creating a customized planning binder is a great way for homeschool moms to keep paperwork and plans under control. Using my planning binder has minimized the number and frequency of homeschool hiccups we experience throughout the year. Perhaps this is just what you need to begin setting the tone for a more organized school year.
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