Saturday, December 8, 2012

Planner Update

After sharing that we were working on a new planner for next school year, I had a few requests to share what the inside looks like. The pictures are a little iffy today, but hopefully you can make it all out.

For the cover I rounded up a few favourite photos from the past year & assembled them with a few digital scrapbooking items I had floating around my computer. I seriously have too much stuff floating around on my computer, so much so I've said a few times I need to get it cleaned up this summer while I have time!

The black rectangle on the file tab next to the picture with the boys & the dog is actually covering up our last name. It's not some odd, unknown shape floating around ont he front of our planner.

I was going to use a picture of the four us acting completely insane that we took at the beginning of this year while we were staying out of town, but it was taken with a phone camera & was incredibly poor quality.  From top right: Mr S & the boys solving a code I left on the table for them one Saturday. The boys disembarking from our Sydney flight, the line was long & we had to wait anyway so I snapped a photo. The boys & the dog in a giant crater in a wave wall down at one of our local beaches. We were attempting to distract our dog from another playful pup who was out for a training exercise. The balloon I released at our farewell for Dad. Mr S with a bit of sponge upon his head, he likes to make us laugh, me after I whacked all my hair off for my birthday, Morgan sporting his nifty new green glasses, Jayden wearing a pair of 3D theatre glasses with the "lenses" removed. What you can't see is he's also wearing a t-shirt that makes him look like he's got a tux on.
If you've ever used or looked at The Well Planner Day planner you may recognise some of these pages. Over the years I've obtained a couple of their planners, but they are set up for a US school year & considering we don't school in that time frame or with only 2 terms the layout doesn't work for us. I emailed the company to ask if they would ever consider a differing layout for those of us who live outside of the US & they directed me to their new online planner. I'm not a huge fan of online planners, so I set about making a planner with a few of their ideas that would best suit our needs. The above page is a "time table" for the first term of our school year. Just a basic guideline, which some in the house need to remind them of when they should be doing specific jobs vs enjoying heaps of free time.
We like working towards goals, mostly because when you home educate you often stay on a topic until your children have conquered it. This little page is perfect for that. I also made note of specific holidays that Mr S will not be working for our other things we have planned for the year. I did include a page for grades, but we've never given the kids grades before. We've debated playing with assigning grades as Morgan is a year away from highschool. While his entrance into an Australian university isn't going to call for his highschool grades we'd rather be over prepared then under prepared.
The last page went at the start of our term, along with a few others to help us be organised & discuss what our goals & aims for a given term are. This one goes at the end of that time frame so we can jot down all the things we feel we did accomplish, even if they weren't all what we'd aimed for. All of these pages repeat themselves in the planner for all 4 of our terms. I also included a page for goals for the following school year, because honestly as you near the end of the year your mind starts thinking in that direction, at least mine does, & I like to have a place to jot them down so I don't forget intended ideas. It was weird, though, writing 2014 on something!

Each week ends with the journaling page.. I like being able to jot down those learning moments that happen on the fly. Conversations in the car, games we played, dawning moments a child has, etc. Which reminds me of a funny story, but i'll have to share it later.

Each week starts with this page. I like to write down prayer request from friends, family, & especially my the family in my home. Our school days start with the hymn were learning for the month, followed by prayer. Before we pray I ask the kids if they have any requests & if either of them would like to pray. I share requests that friends have made or that I might have. The interesting thing about this is that I've noticed if a child is having a particularly off week or day or really struggling to beat a bad habit they will often lodge it in the form of a prayer request where, "we do not judge others, but cover them in prayer." It also helps the rest of us be more aware if someone is trying, very hard, to break a bad habit.
This has to be one of my all time favourite ideas, & it did not come from the original planner I first mentioned. In fact I think I might have mentioned this once before. Anyway, the page is quite simple. It has the days of the week listed on the side & the months listed across the top. It's a two page spread. You write in the dates yourself & then can arrange your school schedule from there at a glance. What days will be off, what days are holidays, etc. I made one of these up earlier this year & filled it in for 2013. It was so easy to build our terms for next year based on that, & then we rolled with laughter when we saw we'd picked the same schedule as the local public schools will be using. 

Hmm, not sure why this is blurry looking, but anyway.. Each month is a two page spread, despite the fact that the above image doesn't look like it. Sunday - Wednesday are on one side, Thursday - Saturday are on the other along with a quote & a Bible verse for the month. I typed in all our holidays & birthdays when I made it but will add other things as we go along.

Each week is also a two page spread, again it doesn't look like it but it is. Monday - Wednesday are on one side, Thursday - Friday with a few extra spaces for jotting things down are on the other. One of the features I really loved when looking through planners on my computer was the idea of highlighting the week of the month that you are on. Thus I added that feature to my planner for the year ahead. I also jotted down the topics that we'll be using this year on the left hand side of our paper. The days are written across the top. Morgan & I will most likely be sharing this planner as he learns to guide himself a bit through his school days. The idea is that he'll look at the list of things that apply to him & highlight them when he's done. I'll look them over & either leave a checkmark in the box on the right hand side of each column or I'll leave a grade. We're looking at starting to grade his work in preparation for highschool.

These are pages I tucked in the back. You might have to click on them to be able to see them better. The left one is for books or items I may borrow or loan out. Most times when I see curriculum or resources collecting dust on our shelves I like to be able to gift them to people who may need or want them, but sometimes there are things we're not quite ready to give away but more then happy to share. This will help me keep track of what's where. The page on the right is for those pesky websites & computer programmes. I can't tell you how many times I've heard Mr S call out, "What's the user name & password for.." I started writing some of that stuff down a long time ago. Now that the boys are members of some sites & have programmes that require usernames & passwords I have more people calling out to me. I thought a little page in the back of our planner would be the right place, because now I can say "just check the planner fellows!"

I have a few other pages in there for keeping track of grades if I want to do that this year, it's not a required thing where I am but we'd rather be over prepared in regards to Morgan & highschool then under prepared so we'll just see what happens there. There's also many pages for notes & pages to keep track of books we read each month. I just have to finish binding it up. I was out of binding for the size it is, just over 1.5 inches.  When I went to the office store to get some, the fellows working the front corner decided they didn't have anything that big aside from comb binding. I suspect the fellows working were unaware that they do indeed because I've purchased large coil binding there many times. I might have to make a trip into the city to get what I need though.


Lisa said...

Wow, thanks so much for sharing what you've put in your planner. You've given me some really great ideas for my next one!

Blessings on your summer and upcoming school year!

Mel said...

Love your Prayer request page!

Tracey said...

The whole planner is fantastic!!