What I Love:
- Each and every week is preceded by a Spiritual Cover Page: 2 pages of inspiration, reflection and prayer. Amanda Evinger, the author and designer of this planner, has included inspirational quotes from various saints, authors and homeschooling families, reflections, prayers, liturgical happenings that week, and space to write any spiritual or academic goals as well as prayer intentions. Image credit: Kate Taliaferro. All rights reserved.[/caption]
- The overall design of the planner is simple. Often in other planners I’ve looked at or considered using there ends up being whole sections of wasted space. Trackers, lists, planning space, pre-year set up, end-of-year reviews, etc. This planner does not go overboard with extras.
- Without going overboard with extras, there is still room for doing fruitful planning. The back section of the planner has spaces for yearly progress, end-of-year reviews and looking ahead. But these spaces are very generic and can be used easily for other lists or tracking progress for a number of subjects if you don’t want to stick to the categories given at the top of the page. Image credit: Kate Taliaferro. All rights reserved.[/caption]
- Because of the simplicity, I think this would be a great planner for a mom and middle-schooler to work on together. Though I don’t have a middle-schooler yet, my 8-year-old is already looking for ways to help steer his learning and pacing. This planner would be great for giving a student some more control over their school day within the bounds set by their parents (you can’t only do math and skip grammar, etc.). The reflections and goal setting for the week would be a gentle way to encourage them to consider their spiritual growth as well as academic growth.
What I Wish Were a Little DifferentNo planner is perfectly going to fit every single homeschooling situation. Each family has their own unique needs and challenges. What follows is what would not work for my personal homeschool, but could be perfect for yours.
- Though the planner says it could be used for 4-5 children, I do not think I could plan more than 2, 3 at the most. Or I need to adjust my handwriting to be incredibly smaller than it usually is. The boxes in the weekly spreads are too small to detail assignments beyond a text and page number when you are dealing with multiple children. Image credit: Kate Taliaferro. All rights reserved.[/caption]
- On the weekly spread, each week is assigned a number - July 1-7 is listed as Week 1. The way I choose to plan, we number our weeks based on whether we schooled or not that week. So my Week 1 won’t be until sometime in August. This is a super minor thing that I could easily get over though with some washi tape and a marker.
- Also needing washi tape and a marker are the subjects. In the weekly spread some subjects have already been pre-written in: Math, Science, History, Religion and English. For some, this may not be a big deal. For our school however, I usually break “English” into “Spelling,” “Grammar,” and “Reading” because not all 3 are done on every day. Also, not everyone is old enough to be doing history so this would become wasted space that I could use for something else. Again, definitely fixable with a little DIY love.
- I know I said that I loved the simplicity and I do very much. However, I would have liked to see a space for some kind of overview of the year. What books are we using, what is the target pace to help keep us on track for each subject, etc. This is something my DIY planners was lacking and I believe would be a helpful resource for us. With multiple children to manage, it can be easy to get off track with one or more subjects without some kind of big-picture element.
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Copyright 2019 Kate Taliaferro
About the Author
Kate Taliaferro is an Air Force wife and mom of 4. She has a Masters in Religious Education and tries to find God's presence in all parts of her day, be it cooking, cleaning or just the everyday ordinary. She enjoys homeschooling, stitching crafts and finding cheerios between the couch cushions. She blogs at Daily Graces.