Planners are a vital thing we use in our homeschool. I myself am what my husband would call a planner addict. It only made sense we incorporated them into our homeschool life as well. They soon became a staple in our schooling schedule.
Little did I know at the time, how much we would learn and I could incorporate subjects into just a simple little planner. This is our second year of my children having school planners and I couldn’t be more thrilled because this month Me and My Big Idea’s came out with their very own kid line.
The Planners I have bought for my kids are the small/personal undated Happy Planners. Undated is the key here for my young kids. If you are not familiar with The Happy Planner line, they have predated planners and undated planners. In our household, you can read more about us here, my oldest is in the third grade, our only boy is in the first grade and I have a preschooler. We all use our planners on a daily or weekly basis.
I buy the undated, so that my kids can learn and practice their number writing skills. As they date a monthly calendar or even decorate a weekly spread, they are learning so many things. For instance; how a month is made up of numbers, how a year has 12 months, not to mention they are practicing their handwriting too. I use this make-shift stand up white board to have them write out anything we are doing for the week. They then assign the sentence to the day and write it out.
Why use planners at all?
First of all, I love planning and my kids see me and want to do it with me. I always for the most part want to be able to do things with them and therefore decided to get them theirs. I knew I wanted them to practice their numbers and that is why I opted out for the undated. I was, in the beginning, unaware of how much dictation I would have them write down to plan our week. When they are all done writing what I would like they are free to write, color or do whatever their hearts desire to their planners from there.
So what does it look like on a weekly basis?
Monday is Calendar Day in our house. It really is just a “heads up-planning day.” The kids and I will discuss what our week looks like. If there is anything going on such as; church events, sporting events, mom and dad date night. I will let them know we have a craft day or science experiment going on and what day. From there as we are discussing I will write down what I feel like they should remember and put in their own planners. Sometimes I write on both sides of the white board, and sometimes I make them share the one side.
Then later on in the week, if they ask are we going to the library, or what is the plan today? I can tell them to go look in their planner and they will than usually remember or go look so they can refresh their mind. Therefore, they can use their planners for writing for me, it helps them practice their spelling and numbers and helps their creative minds when they put on stickers or design a page. A planner is also helps them with things that may not even understand are happening. An example would be critical thinking or special awareness. By giving them free time to plan and design how they want, they have to make sure they have enough room and use their imagination. These are all skills that cannot expressly be taught from a book but by making the kids plan on their own it opens the door for them to practice these much-needed skills.
So, plan with your kids. Aside from all the benefits for them, it has great benefits for you also. It can stop them from asking a bunch of questions about the week because they can just go to their planners, plus helps with organization and keeps clutter down.
I would love to hear if you use planners in your homeschool and if so what age were your kiddo's when you started?