‘Amazing and most perfect’, as in I’ve refined and tweaked it to meet my needs perfectly- I don’t promise it will be perfect for every home but I am sure it will be for many. Years ago when the planner I was using (that was almost perfect) went out of print I set out on quest to find a new planner. I went to store after store and looked at website after website and never found one that fit my needs. At the prompting of my local home school friends (who loved my planner previously) I developed my own and as is true any time you ‘do it yourself’ I was able to make everything just the way I like it. As of the 2011-2012 printing this is our fourth printing- thank you to all my loyal customers!
Laminated Cardstock cover with original artwork- Having a firm front and back cover that is water resistance protects the insides of your planner. I had my planner on the coffee table a few months back and my son spilled my full water bottle (28oz) all over the table and the book. I moved quickly and was so pleased to find that the combination of the laminating and the spiral binding that lifts the book from the table just the slightest bit kept my inner pages safe. Also the nature of laminating means that the cover pages are slightly bigger than the inner pages and this protects your pages from damage even when it is being shoved in and out of your purse or a tote bag.
Spiral bound and 3-hole punched- Your planner is self contained and opens to lay flat due to the spiral binding while at the same time can be put in a 3 ring binder if you like to store it with other information. I like to keep my planner in my purse, some of my friends like to keep theirs in a big binder with divider pockets for field trip flyer ideas and other such information.
Pages tailored to the unique and changing needs of a home school family- Throughout the book you will find touches you’ll come to appreciate. Pages are a slightly heavier weight to handle the writing, turning and stapling needs. The calendar pages start at August and end at July, covering not just the traditional school year but a full year time and yet split in such a way to not have you scrambling come September to get into a new planner. I like to use my planner more like a journal in that my calendar pages have our family calendar (not just school related activities) and I have filled all empty space with lines so I can put notes like….’look up local concert’ or ‘look into summer reading program’. At the beginning of a new month I do a quick look over the lined areas of the previous month and copy over any notes that I didn’t get to. The planner pages have a place for you to write the date so that if a few weeks get forgotten there aren’t pages of blaring blank-ness reminding you that you’re ‘behind’ according to the publisher- nope just pick up on the next page where you left off with whatever week you are on. I use the actual school record pages to note what we do (as opposed to what we plan to do) and I staple to the week any flyers for places we go (sometimes I’ll even print out our library book list and staple it in there).
Note that the record pages have not just the week days but also a weekend category- because we all know lots of fun stuff happens in the life of a home school family on the weekend and I like to notate it somewhere. One thing that has changed since previous years book (shown in example picture with stapled flyers) is that I now have a spot at the lower right of the page for book notations. I use this spot to note whatever chapter books we are reading together as a family or listening to on audio (I used to write this in the upper margin). I make a point to not over label any category in an effort to make it easy for you to customize how you use your planner. I have several friends that have a whole post-it note system they use with my planner to be able to plan and then record cleanly. The extra ‘notes’ pages in your planner are great for taking notes when you are at a meeting and don’t have paper (I have notes from home school mom’s meetings with ideas and books I want to look up later) and also to staple things to such as the flyers or invoices from the books/curriculums you used for that year. I also write on those pages my brainstorms, things to look up, and at the beginning of each year I ask the kids ‘what do you want to learn this year?’ and their answers are always fun to record and keep. By the time I’m done with a planner for the year its got everything in it I need to be able to look at what we did and I’m always suprised at how much happened (even if I’m feeling like a lame duck….which is one of the big reasons I keep a journal/planner). Its so easy to forget all you’ve seen and experienced in a year with your kids, so even though I’m not required by my state to keep these records I still choose too. I love looking back on it and I love having web links and field trip info and book titles at my finger tips should I ever need it. The cover of your planner has the school year listed so you can file it on a shelf and its all self contained to come back to when you need it. I’ve pulled my planner from a few years back when my olders were pre-k-ish to get ideas for my 5yr old- its a great tool!