What should I include in my homeschool planner?
You’re not alone if you’ve asked this question.
Homeschool planners are all the rage these days. It’s hard to resist those alluring designs, fun little stickers, and adorable washi tapes. I love a cute planner, but—for me—functionality is the priority. I wanted a planner that I could customize to include everything I need to stay organized and motivated. So, I created my own home management binder. Three years in, and it still beats any planner I’ve ever owned.
What’s a home management binder? A home management binder is a highly customizable planner designed to simplify your life by providing a centralized location for all information needed to help your home run smoothly. All you have to do is print out the page inserts and place them into a three-ring binder. The keyword here is “customizable,” and you’ll see below how I customize my binder in a way that no store-bought planner ever could.
So, what should be included in a homeschool planner? Here are ten things that I include in mine. I hope this list gives you a good idea of what you may want to include in yours.
1. Vision and Mission Statement
You must have a vision for where you’re going and a plan to get there. A vision and mission statement is the driving force behind your homeschool and the foundation of your planner. That’s why I chose to write a vision and mission statement for our homeschool and keep it in my home management binder. It’s helpful to refer to these statements often to keep us on track with our homeschool goals.
2. Encouraging Scriptures and Quotes
Since you’ll often be looking at your planner, it’s helpful to include encouraging scriptures and quotes to keep you going during tough moments. I compiled a list of inspirational scriptures to read every morning before I start my day. I printed and laminated them so that I can keep them in my binder for easy reference.
3. Homeschool Goals
In the notes section of your planner, jot down your yearly homeschool goals for each child. Personally, I printed a list of skills my child must build to excel in his dream career, which is a graphic designer. I put this list inside a sheet protector and placed it into my home management binder.
4. Daily To-Do List
All planners should include to-do lists. To-do lists help you stay focused during the day and sleep better at night knowing that your thoughts are written and organized. What makes mine different from most to-do lists is that I also include a water intake tracker and a section to list my daily gratitudes.
5. Daily Routine
Routines are excellent tools for time management. They help you plan how to divide your time between children and accomplish your homeschool goals. Routines are also a great way to schedule things that matter to you. With our routine, I like to ensure I allow time to rest, have a family day, and buy groceries, among other things.
6. Events Calendar
Many people believe homeschoolers don’t socialize, but you’ll soon come to learn that you’ll need a separate calendar just for your social events. Homeschool field trips, games and practices, co-op days, playdates, birthday parties, extracurricular activities, family events, holiday parties, and more.
7. Meal Plan
Second breakfast is a real thing for many homeschool families. It just makes sense to include your weekly meal plan in your planner. Knowing what meals you’re going to cook makes homeschool days run smoother. Since I use a home management binder, I laminate my weekly meal planner to reuse it with a dry-erase marker.
8. Chore Schedule
A chore schedule is handy for delegating things that need cleaning daily. I think having a cooperative chore schedule is an important component of homeschooling that teaches responsibility and teamwork. Not to mention, children learn better in clean and organized environments. I also like to log a weekly chore schedule for things that need a good once-a-week deep cleaning.
9. Homeschool Budget Records
If you don’t have a homeschool budget, you need one. Otherwise, homeschool expenses can drain your wallet. It’s tempting to buy up all the cute manipulatives and beautiful picture books. Your planner is a great way to keep track of your homeschool budget and stay disciplined.
10. Legal Documents
Of course, you should also include a copy of your Declaration of Intent or DOI in your homeschool planner. You may also want to include copies of other documents like your homeschool records, registration info for programs and sports, and family membership info. I have a clear zip pocket in my home management binder where I store all my important documents.
I must say, having a planner makes life much easier and helps you better manage your time and reach your homeschool goals. I love my home management binder because I can include everything I need to help my home run smoothly. Even better? My husband, or any family member, can refer to it if I’m traveling, sick, or out of town. They’ll know everything from our daily schedule to our favorite recipes and where to find important medical info for the boys. Find out what else I include in my home management binder here.
Need more homeschool planning tips? Read How I Easily Plan and Manage Homeschool and How You Can, Too!. Or, Day in the Life of a Homeschool Kid | 5th Grade.
Grab my Home Management Binder Printables!
What’s a Home Management Binder? A Home Management Binder is a highly customizable planner designed to simplify your life by providing a centralized location for all information needed to help your home run smoothly. All you have to do is print out the page inserts, put them into plastic sheet protectors (or laminate them), and place them into a three-ring binder. Simply use a dry-erase marker to fill in the pages for reusability. You can also use a permanent marker and erase with rubbing alcohol on a cotton swab when you’re ready to reuse your pages.