The Almost Free Homeschool Planner
I love a pretty homeschool planner. Give me thick paper, coated spirals, and a pretty cover with lots of forms and lines, and I am in heaven. But at upwards of $20 a pop homeschool planners aren’t a particularly frugal purchase to make. Today I have some tips for you on how to make a functional but free or almost free homeschool planner. Here are three options:
Print Your Own
I have a set of eleven free homeschool planning pages on my blog that are free to subscribers. This is every form you need to plan your homeschool year. You can print them in color for pennies or they also look great in black and white for even less. In addition to my forms you can find other freebies online or visit a website like donnayoung.org to round out your collection with calendars and lesson planning pages. I like to keep my homeschool forms in a three-ring binder because I typically add things and move them around throughout the year. If you have a binder around the house (and you know you probably do) then that is a great frugal choice. For a few more dollars, your local office supply store will take your pages and coil bind them for you. (Tip: it may not seem like it up front, but it is actually cheaper per page to have the copy shop print your pages as well.)
Total cost: $0-$10 (depending on how much you use what you have)
Hand Draw One
When I saw this idea by Sherry at Large Family Mothering I thought it was absolutely genius. So creative of her to draw her own planner and a fantastic outlet for her cretive talents. This is a great option for the non-techy crowd. I love the way she uses the index cards to add in notes for each student and then replaces them each week. LOVE this idea.
Total cost: $1-$3 (for notebook and index cards)
The third option is not to have any kind of printed planner at all. In Paperless Homes Organization my friend Mystie Winckler outlines how you can use four apps to have a paperless household binder. The same would hold true for a homeschool one as well. My own downloadable forms can be edited on the computer in Adobe Acrobat and saved without being printed. In this video Mystie shows you how you can even save them to a free program called Evernote. Some forms you find for free online may be editable and others may not, you will just have to open them in Adobe Acrobat and try them to see. Even without pre-made forms, Evernote is very handy for keeping homeschool records. Mystie has a post here: Five Ways to Use Evernote for Homeschooling and Sue outlines a number of uses in this great tutorial. With a digital planner using a program like Evernote you can access your planner from multiple devices that you may own, like a computer or smart phone and the search capabilities are incredible!
Total cost $0
BIO Pam is a homeschooling mom of three and has a background in education and publishing. She is the author of Plan Your Year: Homeschool Planning for Purpose and Peace and provides resources and inspiration for homeschoolers at her blog, Everyday Snapshots. When not teaching her children, she directs the classical co-op she created with local homeschoolers. She’s a self-proclaimed tech geek, and her husband of twenty years has learned to gift her with gadgets instead of jewelry.