The new Schoolhouse Planner is available, and it’s even bigger and better than last year’s generous helping.
Summer days, lazy days, sitting on a blanket in the shade or by the pool while the kids splash (our community pool is only 8 blocks away and we budgeted for a summer family pass this year), thoughts of autumn are far away.
…until I realize that tonight it’ll be time to flip the calendar over to a new month. Summer is whizzing by!
If you stick to the traditional school year, now’s a good time to do your planning! Get it done in the next few weeks, and you can relax the rest of the summer knowing that you’re ready to jump in when it’s time to take up the books. If you’re a year-round schooler, well, you probably take planning breaks periodically during the year. In either case, now’s a good time to consider the 2009-2010 Schoolhouse Planner!
For homeschoolers, by homeschoolers
The Planner was put together by homeschoolers, for homeschoolers, with a plethora of forms–40 more than last year’s Planner–for household management as well as academic planning and record-keeping. Flexibility is built into the system. You pick and choose which forms will fit you and your family. Some of the forms (like chore charts, student assignment pages, and grocery lists) appear in more than one format. Some of them will fit right in with what you’re already doing. Some won’t apply, and you’ll skip past them with barely a glance. And some–you’ll look at them and say, “Where have you been all my life??!”
The Planner e-book is huge (375 pages in PDF format), and takes some time to load when I open it up. However, navigation is easy! The Table of Contents is interactive–that is, you click on an entry and the next thing you know, you’re looking at the page. On my computer I can use Adobe Reader’s navigation features (bookmarks and thumbnails or little tiny images of the pages) to jump instantly to any page I want.
One of the best things about the Planner is that you can personalize it! You can type right on the pages and save the information. (I choose the “Save as” option and give it a new name.) I haven’t been able to figure out if you can change the font, which is set to “Courier” (old fashioned typewriter style) as the default, but when I do, I’ll let you know. Edited to add: Nope, sorry, Courier is the only font available.
The Schoolhouse Planner is not just a planner! Yes, there are four years of at-a-glance calendars, plus monthly calendars that go from July 2009 to June 2010, plus blank planning calendars and other planning pages that you can customize to suit your needs.
Every month has a theme, complete with a helpful article written by a knowledgeable author (such as August’s article on teaching math from Math-U-See’s Steve Demme) and a reference page (since August is focusing on math, a multiplication chart is included, ready to print out for reference or a child’s mini-office–more on that in another post), plus a page of links at the Schoolhouse Store. Each month includes yummy recipes from the TOS Crew and TOS staff, just the sort to inspire you when you find yourself serving spaghetti for the third time in a week, or hitting the drive-through window too many days in a row.
Monthly themes touch upon a variety of areas in the home and academia, including math, Language Arts, history, social studies, science, Bible, lapbooking, even disaster preparedness!
There’s also a section of “Miscellaneous Educational Information” that pulls together all the reference pages from the 2008-2009 Planner, lots of good stuff: composers, artists, historical documents, U.S. Presidents, states and capitals, conversion tables, and more.
If you’d like to see the six-page Table of Contents, click on this link, thoughtfully provided by Traci of the TOS Crew. (Thanks, Traci!)
The Schoolhouse Planner is available at the Schoolhouse Store for $39.00, and if you order before July 12, you’ll get a free 2008 Excerpts e-book with all the articles and recipes from the 2008-09 Planner (a $9.95 value)!
2008 Schoolhouse Planner Excerpts
The Excerpts e-book reads like a list of greatest hits. Like the articles in the 2009-10 Planner, these excerpts span a variety of homeschool topics. Some of those I’ve found most helpful include tips for bringing history to life, planning for high school, and teaching writing. As for the recipes… some of these have been added to our list of favorites over the past year. (mmm, Maggie’s Easy Chicken Enchiladas. Fast and Yummy Lasagna. And for breakfast meetings, Amish Breakfast Casserole!)
To see other TOS Crew reviews of the Planner, plus screen shots of some of the pages, check out the TOS Crew blog!