4 Signs Your Homeschool Student Needs a Planner



One of our goals here at A Plan in Place is to encourage independent learning.  While that will of course look very different among each family and each of your children, the big picture is the same.  We feel that putting a homeschool planner in the hands of each of your children is a great start to the path of independence and accountability.  And, let’s face it, the added bonus of efficient planning, organization, and record keeping all in one place is a bonus for mom too!  If any of these are going on in your homeschool, it could be that your homeschool student needs a planner.

Here are just 4 signs your homeschool student needs a planner!

1) They can’t start school without you

This is big one!  While I dream of well organized mornings where I am 100% ready to tackle the day with them, I found that many times I am distracted by a ringing telephone, a knock at the door, or a surprise visit from my mother in law. It became important to me very early on that my boys could get started without me.  From their very early homeschooling years, they knew to start on the shelf with their planner.  Even if I don’t have every part filled out there is always enough to get them going on something.

2) If you are busy, they aren’t working

Even though I hope to be fully available to my kids, there are those times when there are phone calls to make, letters to write, work to be done, and laundry to be hung.  I think I should be able to step away and have them stay on track.  The accountability that goes with seeing what they have accomplished (items crossed off on their planner) can really help with this area.  Just checking in with them to see where they are and having a visual snapshot will make it crystal clear.

3) They have pieces of paper everywhere

Spelling lists, incomplete writing assignments, book notes, tests, and papers everywhere are a definite sign that they need some help organizing.  I have two pockets in each of my boys’ planners and it has helped to tame the paper clutter substantially. I use the pockets for the papers I want to keep such as tests, final writing assignments and anything else that will represent work completed.  I also put into the back incomplete assignments so they always know where they are.

4) You don’t feel like they ever get anything accomplished

If you are like me, sometimes at the end of the day you might ask…”What have you been doing all day?”  However, when I look at their planner and their work for the day either listed or checked off, it usually gives us both a great sense of accomplishment.  The flip side, but just as important, is the fact that it can show some real inconsistencies. You can use the boxes for the assignments to log the amount of time spent and quickly and easily see where adjustments need to be made.  This has really helped us to see all that is being accomplished or the reasons it isn’t.


If you are finding yourself frustrated and wanting to help your homeschool student get on track and stay on track, consider a customized homeschool planner just for them.  See how empowering them can foster and improve independence and steer them on the right track to becoming  more responsible. After all, I was given some advice once that I will never forget…

“Remember you aren’t just raising children, you are raising future adults.”

See all the customized options in our shop. We cover all your students from the Early Learner, through elementary and middle school, and to help you finish strong we have a High School Edition.

Happy Planning!


Suzie ;-)


Organize Your Large Homeschooling Family


Organize Your Large Homeschooling Family

We know that when you have a large homeschooling family everything is multiplied! Wonderful things such as love, fun, laughter and memories are such a blessing. But, we also know that some things are not so fun such as laundry, grocery bills, and the cost to homeschool.

We want to give you a break so we came up with a way to give you a FREE Homeschool Teacher Planner designed specifically for the homeschool mom by homeschool moms.

For a limited time only, when you purchase four customized homeschool student planners, we will let you customize one of your very own for FREE!  We have planners for all ages including;

Early Learner – Pre-K – Kindergarten – designed for the pre-reader in mind

Student Edition – 1st – 7th grade (suggested)

High SchoolEdition – 8th – 12th grade (suggested)

We believe planners are the ONE tool that each homeschooling family needs to get organized, especially a large one! See why each one of your kids needs their own planner and let us show you how it can bring order out of chaos and help you to get through a homeschooling year one week at a time. Let us help you with planning, record keeping, weekly scheduling, and give you a tool to create a keepsake of each year for each one of your children.
Use your planner to organize your home life, activities, and your school as a whole. Here is a review from Kris over at Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers on the Homeschool Teacher Edition planner because you shouldn’t just take our word for it.

Head on over to our shop and get your plan in place today. Use the discount code and let us customize your FREE planner today!

Suzie :-)

ONE Tool you Need for Homeschool Organization


I spend a lot of time in the homeschool community, both in person and online.  It is a common question:  “How do I master homeschool organization?”  I have seen a lot of systems come and in the early years, I tried a few.  But early on in my homeschool journey, almost 10 years ago, I decided that a homeschool planner was the perfect tool.  I couldn’t find the perfect planner so I made my own for a few years.  Eventually, with my best friend we started A Plan in Place and have been helping moms all over the world get their homeschool organized.

We truly believe that a homeschool planner can be the ONE tool to help you get and stay organized.  Let me tell you why.


Homeschool Organization made Simple


All in one place with a homeschool planner customized just for you

My husband says I tend to complicate things.  On days when I am honest, I have to admit he is right…most of the time.  With so much advice on how to get organized it is hard to believe that just ONE tool can make such an impact.  We think Cindy over at Our Journey Westward said it best when she said this…

“This spiral-bound stack of goodness will be a one-stop booklet to keep my son AND me on top of it this coming year”.

Our thoughts exactly.  Yes it is that simple.

Homeschool Organization made Smart


Custom choices put you in control


We have put a 4 step system into each one of our customized homeschool planners, both for the homeschool mom and student from Pre-K all the way to 12th grade.  We know from many years experience that a homeschool planner can help you 1) Plan 2) Work 3) Record 4) Keep all you need for a complete year of homeschooling.

We have goals and planning forms to help you develop a plan, optional calendars to stay on track with the big picture, weekly pages to work through the plan you designed, and a record keeping section consisting of forms for data and pockets for work samples to wrap up the year and keep all you need in one place.  Now that is Smart!

Homeschool Organization made Small


Concise, compact, and complete for the year all in one places

I am amazed at the amount of space some organization systems need! Hanging file boxes, crates, drawer systems, and cubbies all need a lot of space and when you multiply that times the number of children you have, it can get very overwhelming and expensive.  In a homeschool student planner, you simply record all the curriculum they are using, write down each day what needs to be accomplished in each subject and store the books and supplies on a shelf.  Voila!

Then, you can tear out or compile a few representative samples or special projects of work completed and keep them right in the pockets.  With other forms such as achievement logs, you can record test scores and other accomplishments all in one place.  You can read some more great advantages in this post facing off the workbox system with a homeschool planner.

Now that you know how you can improve the organization in your homeschool with ONE tool, see why the custom choices we offer at A Plan in Place are the best solution for a homeschool planner on the market.  Visit our shop and get your plan in place today!

Homeschool Planning in Spring


It is April…the perfect time for me to start homeschool planning the next school year.  It is when I get MY customized Homeschool Planner, Teacher Edition, all fresh and new.  Here are just a few reasons why.

Our homeschool 2nd semester is up and running

By now, all my curriculum is set for this semester. I had plenty of information that I needed in my old planner so I like the fresh start a new planner gives me to look ahead to next year!  It makes the best time for me to start making notes for the next year which will be here before I know it.

Homeschool Conference season is starting now

Usually it is the perfect time for me to start planning ahead because the industry is.  I start receiving e-mails about upcoming conferences and making plans on which ones to attend!  This will be my first year attending CHEA here in Southern California and I am really looking forward to it.

I also love to use the homeschool budgeting forms to list what I am planning to sell to help pay for the new material I want.

Homeschool Product Reviews

Reviews are all over social media and it is a great time for me to start gleaning and researching due to the plethora of information online!  I check in with some of my favorite bloggers and make new lists for items to research more.  This is when the wish list really starts to form.

Homeschool Curriculum Sales

Whether it is early bird online deals, free shipping, or even the start of the local used curriculum sales, the sooner I am organized, the better chance I have to get what I want at the best price.  The forms in my planner truly help me get my plan started so I can shop efficiently.  I usually start with the Long Term Family Plan helping me to see the overall big picture.


See how you can get your plan in place this spring with a customized Teacher Edition Homeschool Planner to get the best start for your next homeschool year.  With so many customized options including calendar starting months, full color covers, full size pockets, and  weekly pages customized to fit your homeschool, you won’t regret getting an early start on your homeschool planning for next year.  It’s YOUR planner, YOUR way!


Suzie ;-)



Homeschool Scheduling Page – FREE download


Weekly planner page perfect for

homeschool scheduling FREE!

Years ago, when I first started using a planner, I was frustrated with what was available.

I couldn’t seem to make the typical 5 column,

8 row page work for me and my homeschool schedule.



Because I wanted something different, I made my own with different sections to give me more flexibility and eventually it became a business!

Over at A Plan in Place, we developed three sections for our page that we believe can really help with  homeschool scheduling. They are:

  • Weekly Detail- this is the typical column and row section
  • Daily Checklist – for responsibilities that just need to be done every day (i.e. – 2 pages in a phonics workbook)
  • Weekly Focus – for items that don’t need a specific day assignment (i.e. butterflies science)

While we believe that our schedule sheets are best when they are customized, we have put together a stock page for those who don’t want to customize and we are now offering it FREE to you.  Download this and try it for yourself.  We believe that using a schedule sheet for each child can help promote independent learning, help with efficient record keeping and help your homeschool day to run more smoothly.  Additionally, you will establish excellent skills for your children along the way that will carry into their adult lives.

We invite you to head over to our Free Downloads page and try one for yourself and see what else is available!

When we email it to you, you will also receive a coupon, in case you decide that customizing it would be best for your homeschool scheduling :-)


Happy Downloading!


Update: Kindergarten Homeschool Planner

homeschool planner - kindergarten

Our Early Learner homeschool planner will help you to get organized and create a wonderful keepsake for the preschool and kindergarten years of homeschooling.  We have wonderful feedback on this product and we believe we have made it EVEN better.

Now available with customized weekly sheets:

We have added the option to customize weekly sheets to help you create the ideal homeschool planner.  We have 3 sections to help you manage your week with your early learner.  These are:

  1.  Weekly Detail – these are the traditional boxes laid out in columns and rows used ideally for those subjects with assignments that change every day
  2.  Weekly Focus – these are perfect for this age group allowing you to record items such as a color focus, a letter of the alphabet, or a country you might be studying
  3.   Daily Checklist – start them off right by learning to check off daily requirements, creating great habits for future years


Other customized options include:

  1. Covers – two cover choices that double as coloring pages to allow them to invest in their very own homeschool planner
  2. Pockets – up to two full size pockets allowing you to store those precious samples of “schoolwork”


Our Early Learner homeschool planner also contains:

  1. Goals and Planning forms to help you plan all the fun learning activities for the upcoming school year
  2. Calendar pages to teach numbers, letters, and the format of using a calendar
  3. Record keeping forms to assist in creating a cute keepsake of all those fun memories and accomplishments

One of our favorite resources for homeschooling is a literature rich curriculum called Sonlight.  Be sure to browse their website if you have not heard of them; Kim and I both use it as the “spine” of our homeschool curriculum.

Now it is better than ever to get your plan in place for the early learners in your homeschool!  Head on over and see all the details for this unique homeschool planner.

Suzie ;-)


Homeschooling During Jury Duty

homeschooling during jury duty

I gave my hardship to the judge:  “I am homeschooling two boys, ages 12 and 13,” fully expecting to be released from duty.  But it didn’t seem to matter to him at all.

I was exasperated!  I learned it was a criminal trial pending one count of murder and one count of attempted murder.  The time frame was a full month right before Christmas.  I truly did not see how I could serve and homeschool my boys.  I called all my homescholing friends and whined and planned to go back and do all I could to get out of it.

However, my heart was softened when I realized the defendant, on trial for her freedom, was hearing how so many people in that room had much more important commitments in life than sitting through a jury trial.  I decided that I would be there if I was supposed to be there and that I really could do it.  After all, my boys were old enough and responsible to left alone.  I didn’t have high expectations for school since they haven’t really experienced that too much on their own, outside of me running a few errands here and there.

But, I was pleasantly surprised.

Because of the schedule in court, we were able to get history completed in the morning before I left.  I also had time to run over what they were to do and make sure their homeschool planner was ready to keep them on track.  I have said it many times, and I honestly don’t know how anyone homeschools without a planner!

We were also able to communicate on breaks and they even sent me some pictures of completed work which was fun.

The hardest time came after dinner when I went over the workload piled up on my desk!  It was late and they didn’t feel like going over missed math problems, but they did it.  We didn’t have much choice and so they rose to the occasion.  Language Arts suffered the most, but we will make it up.  After all, homeschooling gives us the option to be flexible.

In the end, I am happy I served.  I felt like I was a part of something big and am able to share the experience with my kids.  It was a month out of our routines, our lives, but I feel now it was an investment in the life of another.  It is our system and in order for our system to work, it takes everyday citizens allowing a wrench to be thrown into their plans.

So, next time you receive that notice in the mail, consider trying to serve, instead of trying to get out of it, if you can.

Also, if you haven’t tried a homeschool planner, start working on those great habits now, creating independent learners.  You won’t regret it.  We have a version for every age student from preschool to high school and even a homeschool teacher edition for you too.  You can see them all at our homepage at the “Our Planners” tab.  Make your homeschooling journey more organized and put your plan in place today.


Suzie ;-)

Tips for Great Homeschool Progress Reports


A few years ago, I learned that both of my boys really enjoyed receiving a progress report of their homeschool efforts!  They actually anticipated getting a “grade” and working through the process together which has evolved a bit each year.  We added a progress report right into the Student and High School Editions of our homeschool planners for those that want the option.  We encourage you to set aside a time to meet with each student individually to discuss the progress they’ve made throughout the semester.

Here are some tips for closing up your 1st homeschool semester and putting a plan in place for the next:

Prepare for the meeting…

Review through the whole semester

 In the past, I have been known to judge a homeschool semester on just the most recent weeks or even days.  Make sure you flip through your comments and notes from each week in their homeschool planner to get a broader picture.

Update all record keeping forms 

That way, you can show them and feel good about all that was accomplished in one semester!

Fill in all the grades and notes ahead of time 

This will give you some talking points as you go over each subject.


During the meeting…

Take them somewhere special (one at at time) 

My oldest loves to go for coffee and my youngest this year decided a blizzard from Dairy Queen would be his choice.  It has become special to us to have that one on one time at a place they each enjoy, and doesn’t cost a lot.   Remember, all you should need to bring is your homeschool planners! If you have a large family, pack a picnic, let the kids play and just pull them aside one by one.

Talk about their effort

Sometimes we can get wrapped up in the final product, but remember that their effort is important too. We feel it is so important that we have a column for it on our progress reports here at A Plan in Place. It is a great opportunity to compliment their character and hard work through the semester, but also point out some areas for improvement.  Many times, the grade is reflective, but sometimes it isn’t!

Be prepared to listen 

I make sure that this isn’t a lecture time.  They each get to have input on how they perceive the information I compiled and in the earlier years, when grades are more subjective, I have even been known to make some changes!

Fill out what worked and what needs improvement together 

Use the sandwich technique which always starts with the positive and ends with the positive.  In the middle are some suggestions for improvement.

Put a plan in place for 2nd semester 

Fill out the goals together, fill in the Study Plan for 2nd semester, and make sure to adjust your plan from the beginning of the year if needed.  Let them know what they have to look forward to.


After the meeting…

Don’t forget to file away some 1st semester schoolwork samples in the pockets of their homeschool planner.  If you take the time to do this now, you can repeat the process at the end of the year for the 2nd half and you are on your way to organizing your homeschool a bit more efficiently!

You can see samples of all the forms I have mentioned on our website.  Go here for the high school edition, and here for the student edition.


Happy Progress Reporting,

Suzie ;-)



Early Learner Homeschool Planner

We are adding two fun new interactive cover options for the Early Learner Homeschool Planners!  We have had some excellent feedback on this planner designed specifically with the pre-reader in mind.  This could be a child in homeschool preschool or a kindergartner.

Our covers have always allowed your child to help in designing the cover which we believe will help them to be even more excited about taking their first step toward being actively involved in their homeschooling.

Don’t miss the other fun features of the Early Learner homeschool planner which include:

  • Planning Pages

    – to lay out an entire year of fun filled learning activities

  • Interactive Calendar Pages

    – tracing words, coloring, adding numbers, and even tracking events and weather

  • Weekly Pages

    – to record what your early learner is accomplishing in basic subjects and to encourage personal responsibility and skills to start them on the right track

  • Record Keeping forms

    – such as skills survey, accomplishments, and growth chart

  • Pocket/s

    – to store work samples and favorites from the year, a treasure to look back on

It’s never to early to start being organized.  Put your plan in place while you homeschool preschool or kindergarten and you won’t regret it.  Learn more about the early learner planner here.




NEW! Download Version Available!


 Have you tried a homeschool student planner?

NOW is the time!

A Plan in Place, home of the customized homeschool planner,

is offering a PDF download* version just in time for 2nd semester,

only $9.99!


Now you can have everything you need to give us a try for the second half of the year!  Because of supply costs, we haven’t been able to offer a printed version that is economically reasonable for just one semester. We decided a download version is the next best thing!


Here is what you will receive:

1) Goals and Planning Forms for 2nd semester.  See examples here.

2) A customized Weekly Schedule Sheet for you to print enough copies to finish the school year! (1 or 2 page available).  See details and examples here.

3) Record Keeping Forms for 2nd semester.  See examples here.


You can put this together any way you wish.  A couple of our suggestions are:

  • Three hole punch and store in a notebook
  • Take to an office supply store for binding

It is a great time to see how getting your plan in place can make your homeschool day run more effectively!

Take charge today and see how a homeschool planner in the hands of your child can improve the school day…for both of you.

Suzie ;-)

* for a limited time trial offer


4 Advantages of Homeschooling with Paper Planners


It seems that in almost every area of life, we are moving away from paper. Our news, books, calendars, new patient forms at the doctor’s office, even recipes are often electronic! Banks and stores offer emailed receipts rather than paper. And yes, even many homeschool organization systems are paperless and completed all online.

Here at A Plan in Place, however, we are pretty passionate about homeschooling with paper planners. And we think there are real benefits to the paper choice.

Here are four advantages to consider:

  • A paper planner provides a permanent record, a commemoration of each year for each child. Yes, an online version can be stored too, but that storage has to be regularly evaluated to ensure long-time accessibility. With the paper version, there’s no concern about maintaining the right file format. Plus the paper version is easier to read (and perhaps more fun!). From a nostalgic point of view, the paper planner will show the student’s handwriting from that year, and include notes, doodles, and other reflections from an entire grade.
  • Paper planners are tangible. This is not to say that online planners are imaginary, but there is much to be said for holding the paper planner in your hand, especially when many other school materials are paper as well. To look at this from another angle, think about how digital photos are now the norm, but we print them to albums that we can hold and open and gather around. With an open paper planner in a student’s workspace, there’s no screen to refresh, no searching or scrolling for the right page. It’s just THERE. It’s tangible.
  • Along those same lines, paper planners are portable.  On a trip to the dentist, the coffee shop, or the library, a planner can be grabbed on the way out the door much more easily than a laptop (“Don’t forget the cord!” “Make sure you shut it down first!” “Be careful – don’t drop it!”).  With the busy lives of homeschool families, students need something that can keep them on track even on those days that they’re not at home.
  • Finally, paper is here to stay! In recent years, experts and consumers thought print was dead and that the electronic version of books would take over the market. This has proved wrong. Analysts predicted that e-books would outsell print by 2015, but digital sales have slowed considerably. Many people are staying with print, or switching comfortably between paper and electronic, depending on what they’re doing. When it comes to your school planner, you won’t be alone in choosing paper.

Even in this digital age, don’t rule out paper when looking at homeschool organization options. If you are frustrated with online planning systems, or just trying to choose the best organizational tools for your homeschool, you too can become passionate about paper planners!

Head on over and see for yourself why you need to put your plan in place and get started homeschooling with paper planners.  You won’t regret it!


Suzie ;-)

Don’t just take OUR word for it…Part 1

We would like to share what some other homeschooling moms are saying about our homeschool student planners.  Here are some links to a review of our products conducted by some well known bloggers in the homeschool community.  Head over and see what they have to say – don’t just take OUR word for it!


Here is just a portion of what Cindy West from Our Journey Westward had to say:

“Wow.  This spiral-bound stack of goodness will be a one-stop booklet to keep my son AND me on top of it this coming year!  I love, love, love, the fact that I can take a few minutes before the start of each week to write in the assignments and he can take care of the rest of it.  Truly, a student planner at its finest!”

Read the entire review here!


Michelle Cannon over at The Heart of Michelle saw the benefit of time management and shared this in her review:

“This homeschool planner would be beneficial to practically any middle or high school student.”

Read her entire review of our student edition here.  Plus, don’t miss out our new product, the High School Edition student planner!


Aspired Living, owned and operated by Kyle McVay, had this to say:

“When I first received the Student Planner from A Plan in Place, my first thought was WOW!  This is pretty much what I’ve been trying to design for years and then some, they thought of everything.  I can heartily recommend this planner that is helping me to teach my children to work independently.

Read the rest of her post here!


Heather McGlathery over at Joyful Socks wrote:

“My teen found this planner easy to use & navigate, which helped her take responsibility for her homeschool day and be successful in that endeavor.”

You can read all that she had to share here.


And lastly, for part 1 of our review recap, we want to share what Heidi Ciravola over at Starts at Eight shared with her readers.

“A Plan in Place planners are an awesome resource tool for your homeschool at a truly affordable price.  Plus I love the customization of each planner to suit your needs!”

Go here to read the entire review.

As you will see, a common theme is creating independent learners and helping to organize your homeschool day efficiently.  All of these ladies have truly valuable information so while you are there, look around, and sign up so you don’t miss out on their posts!


Thanks for reading and Happy Planning!




Daffodils Mean Decisions for Homeschooling

Spring is in the air, isn’t it?  Signs are all around:  longer days, rising temperatures, the drastic changes in the retail stores (ready for swimsuit shopping?).  Though my proverbial “green thumb” has yet to surface, I did manage a few years ago to plant some daffodil bulbs.  This was mostly out of curiosity and the need to see some vibrant color in my back yard to get me through the sometimes dreary days of spring in Oregon.  But ever since for me, the emerging daffodils mean decisions for homeschooling – it’s time to start figuring out what next school year will look like.

Is anyone else thinking about next school year already, or is it only me?   I know you are because there are signs of the upcoming homeschool year all around too.  Locally, our big used book sale is being promoted, and moms looking for new options for next year are starting to ask questions on our facebook page.  Nationally, the push for the homeschool conferences has already begun, and catalogs are coming in the mail.  We are all starting to ponder questions of “what to do next year.”

This is when I want/need my new planner.  I like to start my planning in March for many reasons:

1) Like it or not, the wheels are turning and I am thinking about curriculum and class choices for next year.
2) There are many things to organize for the summer, such as book sales and conferences.
3) Spring cleaning goes for more than just our closets.

Kim and I both already have our new planners and are excited to start filling in those pages. We updated our Homeschool Teacher Edition this year, and we think you’ll love the improvements.  You see, we are both homeschool moms ourselves, in the trenches, day in and day out.  We have always  combined our ideas with customer suggestions and are extremely happy with how it turned out. We think you will be too.

Remember we offer FREE shipping for orders totaling $99 or more, so get a few friends together and combine your orders to take advantage of that whenever you want us to start working on your customized edition.  

Happy Planning!

Which Planner is Right for My Student?

Now that we have several different editions of planners, we are often asked by our customers “Which planner is right for my student?” Although it of course varies by family, here are some general guidelines that we recommend:


Use the Early Learner (suggested Pre-K – K)

  • When your child is not reading easily yet, but you want to start introducing them to using a planner
  • When the scheduling and recording will be completed by mom as either what to do, or what was done
  • When the main focus is on learning and play and “school” encompasses at most 3 subject areas: Math, Language Arts and Other

Use the Student Edition (1st – 7th/8th)

  • When you have more than 3 subject areas that you are teaching or focusing on
  • When you feel you your child is reading well and you can hand them their planner with assignments that you have filled out
  • When you want to encourage more independent work

Use the High School Edition (8th/9th – 12th)

  • When you begin to track credits toward high school graduation
  • When your student starts looking at post-high school options
  • When your student’s extracurricular activities would work well on a resume for summer job opportunities

Of course, as with all things homeschooling, it will vary among families and students.  Pick what you believe will work the best for you and your child and please don’t hesitate to ask if we can help answer any questions!

We look forward to helping you put A Plan in Place this next school year!


Suzie :)





Is Your Homeschool Study Plan in Place?

Our 2nd semester is now in full swing, but just a week ago, I sat down with my son’s Student Edition planner to fill out the “My Study Plan” page for our homeschool second semester.  Here are a couple reasons I LOVE this form!

1) One Page, One Place

I really like the way this form gives me one place to see the general plan of our homeschool curriculum and plans for the rest of the year.  We made a few changes to some subjects and I can record it all here.  Once I have my general plan, then it is time to start working through that plan in detail.  I often refer to this page throughout the semester to make sure I’m not missing anything as I schedule week by week.

2) Go Back in Time

This form also comes in handy if you have more than one child.  In the first stages of my planning I always pull out my older son’s planner from that same year so I don’t forget anything.  I can’t tell you how many times I would have, and I don’t want him to miss out on something we loved.  Of course, the same is true for something that didn’t meet our high expectations at the time!

Just a few reasons I enjoy having the “My Study Plan” form in all of my student planners and I hope you like it too!

Happy Homeschool Planning!

Suzie ;-)


New and Improved Homeschool Planner Teacher Edition

homeschool planner, teacher edition

We are excited to bring you our newly updated Teacher Edition Homeschool Planner!  We have made many updates which you can see in detail in our shop but we want to brief you on some of those updates:

New cover choices to personalize your homeschool planner

We now offer two different cover choices which we hope you love!  (see photo)

New look with updated fonts and headings

 We updated the headings and fonts throughout all the pages, including the Weekly Schedule Pages, to streamline the look and make a prettier package for you.   See examples here. 

New forms

TE mission plannerBecause we believe it is so important to have a mission to accomplish your goals and lay out an effective plan, we have included a “Mission Planner Board” in each homeschool planner for homeschool moms to help you do just that!  There are questions to ask yourself to help you develop your own personal homeschool mission in case you haven’t done that yet or just want to update it.

TE brainstorm blankAlso new this year are some brainstorming pages!  Brainstorming is an excellent and proven way to plan and we know they will be a great addition to help you put the perfect plan in place.  You can use one board for each child, or use them for co-op classes, curriculum, extra curricular activities, work, family or any other areas of your life.

These are just a few of the updates – you can see all the details here.

Let us help you put YOUR Plan in Place today.

Suzie ;-)





Homeschool Parent Student Conferences

Think Parent-Teacher Conferences are only for traditional school?  No way!  They might look a little different for homeschoolers (since the Parent and the Teacher are the same person!) but having a conference with your student each semester can be a valuable experience for both of you.  While there will of course be lots to discuss, going over your student’s school progress is a great place to start.

Just a few years ago, we added Progress Reports to our Notes and Record Keeping section of our Student Edition Planners.  I found that my kids really enjoyed being “graded!”  Who knew?  I don’t remember how it started, but they really began to enjoy some sort of barometer for measuring where they are. Of course this measurement will look different in households all over the country!  I for one, am grateful that I don’t have to follow one way of recording grades.  We like to talk a lot about “effort” and that, for character building reasons, is very important to me.  Occasionally, the effort is directly related to the actual grade but most often I will take each subject, and even each assignment, down a different grading path.  Here is a link to a “standard” grading system with the old-fashioned letter grades, which we also use occasionally.
Our Parent Student conference is always anticipated and a lot of fun.  On this night pictured, I took my youngest to A&W for rootbeer floats and a great conversation about school!  My oldest enjoyed a breakfast out with me.  It’s a fun one-on-one time for us, and the boys really look forward to it each semester.

It can be a great tool, and I encourage you to give it a try, if you haven’t already.

Happy Grading!

Suzie :)


Homeschool Attendance

Remember the old days when a teacher stood at the front of the room behind her large wooden desk and began each day with a roll call?  We waited patiently for our name to be called so we could shout out “here!”

Today, I imagine it is a very different process and definitely in our homeschools!  Some states require that hours are tracked, some number of days, and some don’t even have requirements.

Our Student and High School Edition planners have a homeschool attendance form built right into the Notes & Record Keeping section.  We purposefully set this up so it can be used any number of ways.  Today, I just want to share how I use mine.

  • I began by labeling the months across the top with our starting month first.
  • Then I simply go down to the corresponding day and start with 1 as our first day of school.
  • I then continue to track numbering in ascending order each day and marking off weekends.

I try to update my form each week when planning for the next as I can simply look right to the schedule pages for which days we did learning activities in our home.  I also count educational field trips and can keep track of days that we completely take off.

We know that laws vary by state but we decided it needs to be available for the homeschooling families that need it.  To check your state requirements you can go here to the HSLDA website for detailed information.

Attendance Form

Of course as with all of our forms, we hope that you are able to make it work for whatever your needs are, and that this could be a starting place or an idea for you to use if you need it!

Happy Record Keeping!

Suzie :-)






Setting Goals

Setting goals is a necessary aspect of homeschooling, whether we like it or not.  Since we are in charge of our children’s education, if we don’t have a goal for them in mind, they could end up spinning their wheels and not accomplishing anything.  But what about our own goals as homeschool moms?  Have you spent time thinking about what your goals are?

Every day, or at least every week, I make a To Do list.  It’s usually full of errands to run, assignments to grade, an email to respond to, a closet to organize.  Mundane tasks, but goals to accomplish all the same.  Crossing items off the list gives me a feeling of satisfaction.  Yes, I am one of “those people” who write an already-completed task down, just to be able to immediately cross it off.  That’s what I call instant gratification.  Ahhhh…

When I first started using homeschool planners, the page entitled “My Goals” seemed a little intimidating to me.  A daily To Do list was easy…but long term goals?  How could I ever see that far out when my life was caught up with urgent demands and pressing issues that needed to be dealt with NOW?

But now, that’s one reason why I LOVE using planners for my homeschool.  My kids each have their own Student Edition, and I have a Homeschool Teacher Edition that has become indispensable to me.  The Goals & Planning section up front in each planner keeps me in line and able to see the big picture.  And that “My Goals” page?  It is like a sign-post for me, keeping me going in the right direction.  When I sit down to think through the upcoming week and write out assignments in my kids’ planners, I can step back and evaluate long-term goals.  While doing that, I have a chance to ask myself:  Are her complaints about her math curriculum valid?  How can I guide him towards better vocabulary usage in his writing?  What character trait needs a little more focus?

What are your long-term goals?  For yourself, your kids, your homeschool?  Take a minute and write them out.  It may help you keep that short-term To Do list in line and in perspective.

Happy Goal-Setting,







Organizing your Homeschool Day – Break Time

Break time, like most things in homeschooling, should have “A Plan in Place.”

No matter what your homeschool style, your kids most likely have some time each day that requires seat work.  This can be especially trying for younger kids for obvious reasons.  Unlike a traditional school setting, homeschool families have a great opportunity to create their own, without the use of a loud bell ringing at scheduled times each day. ;)

I have always been a believer of empowering our kids to make choices for themselves and whenever possible, I like to give them practice.

When my boys were younger, we used a system that worked great for us that I want to share with you!  I created and handed out “Break Cards” to each child every morning.  I have done a few different sets and simply used an index card and a sharpie to create my own.  Here are some examples:

Time Cards:

  • 10 min break
  • 15 min break
  • 30 min break

Event Cards:

  • Nutrition Break
  • Free Play Break
  • Reading Break
  • PE Time (Need to move!)

It was SO fun watching my boys decide how to “use” their break time each day.  They would almost always take them together and have a plan for what they were going to do.  It helped them to look forward to it and I believe it helped with many stress free days.  They were free to “redeem” a card anytime they wanted, even in the middle of a lesson.  I also believe it contributed to a positive attitude on most school days.

Now, my boys are older and are usually pretty good time managers, so they no longer have a need for break cards.  Maybe I should create some for me and turn them in when I need a break? :)

Happy Break Time!

Suzie :)

Suzanne Doeren

333874338I am a homeschooling mom blessed to be home with my boys each and every day.  I co-own A Plan in Place and truly enjoy customizing planners for homeschool families.  I also coordinate, along with Kim, a co op that has been going strong for over 3 years that has been such a positive part of our homeschooling experience. 

Kim Lopez

 2801788I am a homeschooling mama to four great kids.  I love learning along with my kids every single day.  I co-own A Plan in Place with Suzie and am a infrequent post-er here on this blog