This planner is part of my heart written out and placed onto pages. That may seem a bit dramatic as it’s not a novel or some great piece of literature but, it’s a deep part of our day. It houses the plans for our upcoming year and the excitement that awaits in those lessons. It sits on our kitchen counter, gets thrown in the drawer, is written in, erased, and scribbled on by the baby. The plans may not get executed exactly how or on the schedule that we had hoped – but they are there. Waiting. Reminding our family that adventure, new discoveries and growth are in the days ahead.
I created this planner out of my own desire to have a Charlotte Mason inspired curriculum + habit organizer with just the essentials. I wanted something that let me have the freedom to adapt our ever changing schedule without making me feel guilty for not checking all the boxes. I felt overwhelmed by all the habit trackers, cleaning schedules, daily checklists, weekly planning sheets, and long term goal pages I was finding in other Charlotte Mason based planners. I wanted something simple. Something without boxes to check or lots of daily writing. A planner should not own you. Life is full of twists, turns and crazy seasons. The plan may change. The season may be longer than expected. That new curriculum may not be as great as we had hoped. I want to be open to the unexpected but find comfort in returning to the rhythms our family has established – and I needed somewhere to write that all down.
I love planning, organizing and all things color coded. My spices are alphabetized and in matching jars. I feel the need to tidy-up the shelves at the library and have an impressive stock of sticky notes. My best friend throws all her spices into one big bin in her pantry. They mingle together in one … giant … bin. In their house notes are taken on bits of ripped composition paper and she uses a (clean) tissue for a bookmark. Would you believe that we both use this planner? We do! I’ve been making this planner for myself, my anti-type-A best friend, and lots of other friends over the last few years. This year, I decided to make it a little more durable and see if it could be a blessing to your family, too. These pages were left purposefully minimal yet packed with intentional spaces. When we flip our mindset from having a schedule to pursuing a rhythm everyone from the over-planner to the free spirit can benefit.
Planning Time. There is an entire page dedicated to helping you plan out your week, term + month filled with planning prompts + helpful hints.
Loop Schedules. Have you discovered the Loop Schedule? It’s a life-saver, a grace-giver, and an all around family favorite around here. When we’re not sure what to do about chores – loop them. How am I going to fit in all this amazing stuff we want to learn? Oh, I’m going to loop those books, too. I love the loop schedule so much I wrote a blog post about it and knew I wanted to integrate it into the Charlotte Mason inspired planner. You’ll find 4 master loop pages (one for each term plus a bonus if your family does a summer term) and one independent loop schedule. The Independent Loop can be typed once at the beginning of your term and printed each week (using the editable PDF you’ll receive upon purchase), laminated and filled in with a wet/dry erase marker, or photocopied and written in by hand.
Calendar. The planner has 12 months of blank calendar pages so you can begin your school year whenever it works best for your family. These pages are also host space for weekly errands, goals and an open box for your choice of weekly tracking. There is also space to write the habit you’ll be working on that month and a weekly cleaning rhythm. These pages are simple, yet intentional. I felt overwhelmed by all the habit trackers, cleaning schedules and long term goal pages I was finding in other Charlotte Mason based planners. None of those things are bad, but I wanted something simple, all on one page, with a clean, minimalist look.
Log Pages. The log pages you’ll find within the planner include a Curricula Overview, Attendance Log, Book Log, and Experience Log. These pages are especially useful if you live in a state that requires tracking in these areas. There are enough pages that each student will get 1 curricula overview (for the year), 1 attendance log (the whole year on one page, yay!) 12 book logs (one for each month), and 12 experience logs.
Passwords. Use one password page per student to keep online course work easliy accessible. Remembering all their social security numbers is difficult enough, so there’s one for you in there, too.
Term Review. Other than the loop schedule, this is my favorite section. There are 4 Term Reviews (one for each CM term plus a bonus if you do a summer term) included in each planner. Here you’ll have space to write down and reflect on the things that worked for you as a family, triumphs, areas to grow in, individual achievements, and more. I usually take time to write down my own thoughts at the end of each term. After that, we sit down as a family and go over the Term Review together. I love hearing what my children say was their favorite book, or what they’d like to learn more about next term. It gives them an opportunity to hold their education as their own and me a place to write it all down.
Make these pages work for your family. Dress them up with stickers and highlighters or leave them beautifully and intentionally minimal. I can’t wait to see how you utilize the Home Education Planner with your family!