Monday, August 12, 2013

the planner dilemma

Between Saturday evening and this morning, I have looked at about a zillion websites for free, printable planners. I vacillate between wanting something pretty and just making due with a black and white "it does the job." Since I can't see printing it all from home or going to a print shop and spending money to print the "pretties," I opted for the black and white.

Last year (our first one homeschooling), I used an online planning program called Scholaric. It was perfect! It allowed me to list all my subjects (no limit on how many, which is good because I started and stopped a couple in the beginning) plan ahead but then "bump" a lesson if we decided on an impromptu playdate or field trip. I was looking forward to using it again this year, but then I picked Sonlight...

For those that are familiar with the program, you know that it comes with a 4 or 5-day schedule already planned out. That's great, but as far as planning goes, I was at a loss on how to transfer those assignments into the program. I want to be able to integrate my other subjects into one big schedule along with the Sonlight material. Do I enter the various Sonlight assignments as "history," "Bible," "reading" or "language arts" (etc)? I decided I didn't want the headache of having to rewrite and separate them out by subject-specific. (I did not order Sonlight's language arts or science, so I didn't have those schedules from them). So, that lead me to turn to the internet to see if I could find a free solution.

Should you want to see a bunch of planner options in one easy Pinterest board, this gal has a whole board-full. If you want to see the ones (free, printable) that I narrowed down my choices to, you can find them on my general homeschool goodies Pinterest board.

Honestly, I am just going to give some of Donna Young's printables a go. I went ahead and used the "annotate" feature on my Mac's "preview" program to add in our specific curriculums and year for L. By the way, this is from her Marble set.

I also decided that I would have separate page for my son's preschool work. I am mainly using Little Hands to Heaven, but also do a bunch of printables and other "intentional learning" busy bag and file folder games and manipulatives. I thought it would be fun to have a place to record Z's work. (Yes, I actually used the word fun for paperwork, lol). So, again, just using one of Donna Young's basic grid, I added in specifics that would work for us.

So - we'll see how it goes. Now the next debate is whether or not to write in pencil or pen OR whether I make it 2-sided and just write the planned on one side and "actually done" on the back. (Believe it or not, that is what I am doing now for our summer school work, and it works. I like that it gives me flexibility in our daily schedule).

So - what do you all use?
Paper planner? Online? No planner at all?
How do you make note of schedule changes in your planner? Am I too much of a neat freak to want clean "accomplished" planner pages? (Note: my state does not require it, nor do I know what I am actually going to do with them at the end of the year?!)

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