Sunday, August 15, 2010

The planning panic...and a planner to the rescue!

Each summer, I enter the "planning zone" for the coming year - here's what it looks like:

Day 1 - sit down with all my homeschooling curricula for the year and try to make a plan.
Day 1, 20 minutes later - overwhelmed, I stop for the day.

Day 2 - sit down again, determined to take more time today to plan.
Day 2, 30 minutes later - overwhelmed, I stop again.

Days 3 - 16 - repeat above.

Day 17, starting to worry about not having a plan.  This time I manage to plan for 40 minutes.  Still too many missing pieces and moving parts.

Days 18-25 - repeat above.

Day 26 - wonder if there's someone I can pay to do my plan.

Day 27 - wonder if there's someone I can pay a large sum to do my plan.

Day 28 - remember that I have a copy of the TOS 2010 Schoolhouse Planner.  Voila - my homeschool plans (and my sanity) are saved!

The above may be an exaggeration, but honestly each year in late summer I truly go into panic mode.  Why?  Because I have to get our next homeschool year planned out!  Sure, I know what curricula we're using, what our extracurricular activities will be, and what my goals are for the year - I just don't know how to accomplish those goals!  In other words, I have everything I need except organization and schedules!

Ah, but the TOS 2010 Schoolhouse Planner to the rescue.

The TOS 2010 Schoolhouse Planner can give me just what I need - organization and schedules.  Talk about a wealth of information - this planner has everything you need to plan your school year.  Lest you think I'm overstating its contents, the planner weighs in at a whopping 614 pages!  Trust me - if the form isn't in this planner, most likely you don't need it!  It is available as a download here from The Old Schoolhouse Store.

So, what's in it?
  • Monthly sections (from July 2010 to June 2011).  Each month includes ideas to enhance your home and school experiences in the form of an article written by a well-known name in homeschooling, together with "must know" lists relating to the article (and a resource list for items in the TOS store).  (Some months even have *two* articles and must know/resource lists!)  Also included are family-friendly recipes for you to try - recipes that were sent in by other homeschoolers so they're "tried and true".
  • Calendars - 30+ pages worth! 

  • Miscellaneous educational information that you can use in your homeschool - everything from common Latin roots, to the miracles of Jesus, to countries and capitals, to U.S. Presidents and their wives, to elements by atomic number - almost 50 pages of invaluable reference information.

  • Homeschool forms and instructions - Need a form to keep up with websites and vendors that others recommend?  A curriculum planning sheet?  A 12-year planning page?  A field trip planning page?  A form to keep up with the homeschooling requirements in your state?  Daily/weekly/monthly schedule forms?  Nature journal pages?  Co-op planning sheets? Homeschool convention planning forms?  Library books/movie list?  You get the idea - it's all in here.

Oh, remember that household you're also supposed to be running?  There are forms for:
  • Important phone numbers
  • Information for babysitter
  • Dates to remember
  • Home repair projects
  • Family computer schedule
  • Grocery/menu planning 
  • Chores
  • Budgeting
  • Gift-giving
  • Christmas card list
  • Loaned/borrowed list
  • And too many others to mention!
OH WAIT!  I forgot to tell you the best thing.  All these forms I've told you about are interactive - each blank field on the planning forms is actually an interactive field where you can type your information directly on the pages.  (Just be sure to save your changes each time you've updated your planner!)

So now, with planner in hand (or, actually, on screen), I sit here once again faced with planning and organizing our new homeschool year.  But now instead of saying "Organized, who me?", I can say "Organized?  Me?  Yes! "

This planner is worth its weight in gold, but it's only $39. 

Click here for more information and to order your own sanity-saving copy!

Note/disclaimer:  As a member of the 2010-2011 TOS homeschool crew I have written this blog post/sell sheet as my entry into an ad contest for The Old Schoolhouse Planner advertising campaign, and was provided a copy of the planner free of charge for use in preparing this ad. 

Disclaimer to the disclaimer:  As a member of the 2010-2011 TOS homeschool crew, after writing this ad, I now know how truly valuable this planner is and will be implementing it in my homeschool/household!

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