Do you want to stay organized? You need a homeschool planner! Find out what to look for in a homeschool lesson planner, and get our top picks for the best homeschool planners.
Why You Need a Homeschool Planner
You’re not a classroom teacher, so why do you need a lesson planner?
Meet Your Goals
At the beginning of the year, you set goals for your children for their academic, physical, and social-emotional growth. How do you meet those goals? By making a plan! A homeschool planner helps you to stay on track with your progress.
Stay on Top of the Schedule
Homeschoolers tend to have busier schedules than traditional school children, or at least their days contain more variety. You likely take more field trips, go on more play dates, and visit the library more as a homeschooler.
Your child may also be heavily involved in extra-curricular activities (this is a big reason why many families homeschool). Or you may be a “road schooler.” Whatever form your variety takes, you need to keep track of your school progress. Homeschool lesson planners help you to chart the big picture as well as the day-to-day plans.
Remember What Works
Your homeschool planner becomes a permanent record of what you have done. It’s simple to keep a record of what books your child read, how many math lessons he did during December, and what science experiments you tried for physical science. It’s also a place to reflect after you complete the year. You can download all of this information out of your brain and onto paper. It helps!
Fulfill Your State Requirements
Many states have regulations that require homeschoolers to keep lesson plans or even submit them for review. To find out if this is required in your state, visit the Home School Legal Defense Association.
What to Look for in a Planner
Since you are not a classroom teacher, you don’t need certain features in your lesson planner. For instance, you can toss aside the class roster, seating chart, and list of birthdays. However, the following are features you should consider when shopping for a homeschool planner:
Month and/or Year at a Glance
When charting your goals, it’s helpful to have features in the planner like a year and/or month at a glance. You can mark off your break weeks, chart out your math lessons, and plan for field trips.
Space to Plan
Are you a bare-bones planner or a detail-oriented person? Keep your personal style in mind when choosing a planner. Some have lots of space to write; others keep it slim. Know your style and pick a homeschool lesson planner that suits you. If you need a lot of space, consider purchasing an oversized planner.
Space for Notes
Many states require that you keep a list of the books your child reads for the year. You need a place to do that. You can also keep a record of accommodations in this spot if your child has learning challenges. Some planners have a dedicated section for notes where you could write this type of information; others don’t.
A Sturdy Cover
Your homeschool lesson planner will be opened and closed hundreds of times throughout the year. Pick one that has a sturdy cover: either hardback or poly-coated.
The Best Homeschool Planners
Check out this list of the best homeschool planners:
The Oversized Planner
This 10 x 12” homeschool lesson planner ticks all the boxes with a year at a glance, month at a glance, and a special notes section. It uses disc binding, which means you can remove the pages you don’t want. It also has tabs so you can quickly flip to the correct month. Its whimsical design features stick figures and inspirational quotations.
The Year-Round Planner
Do you follow a nontraditional calendar for your school year? No problem! This simple planner has sections for every month. In addition to year at a glance and month at a glance sections, it also has a place to write your supply list, reading list, special activities, and even prayer requests for each month.
The Undated Planner
You can use an undated planner from year to year. This version features dot grids (like a journal) and has all sorts of specialty pages like book lists, curriculum progress trackers, field trips, and end-of-the-year reflections.
The Entire Life Planner
This homeschool planner looks simple on the outside, but it contains space for your homeschool lesson plans and so much more. You’ll find pages dedicated to online learning (like accounts, passwords, and video trackers) as well as a chore tracker and meal planner. Really, you can keep your whole life in this homeschool planner.
Single Student Planner
If you are homeschooling only one child, this is a great planner to use. Not only does it contain space for lesson plans and assignments, but it has an attendance log, a reading list, and even a report card template. It’s a great place to keep track of hours and tasks for a single student.
This planner has all the features a homeschool parent might need, but the price is lower than most. Why? The planner has a regular paperback binding and not a spiral-bound one.
Finding the Best Homeschool Lesson Planner
Gone are the days when homeschool parents had to adapt classroom teacher planners for their own use. Homeschool lesson planners are designed especially for the homeschool parent and teacher. Check out our top picks to find the one that is best for you.