One of my favorite things about customizing planners is that each one we make is different and unique! I enjoy getting a glimpse into homeschool classrooms all over the country and seeing each family customize their planners to work just for them. Many homeschoolers follow a rather traditional method of homeschooling. For them, 6-8 subjects in rows down the side of the planner page and columns for Monday through Friday work great for planning and completing assignments. However, more and more homeschooling families tend toward more eclectic approaches. The beauty of homeschooling is that we are not limited to one educational style or model. The way our kids learn best AND the way we teach best can and should be taken into account every year. To this end, planners from A Plan in Place can be adjusted to fit any learning style and any teaching method. As an example…here is how Suzie customized her son’s planner a few years ago: I recently read an amazing book called “A Thomas Jefferson Education” by Oliver DeMille. It was filled with life-changing thoughts on education for me. I then read a follow up book which contained a great suggestion I implemented this past year with my 6th grader. We started having a “Mentor Meeting” once a week to discuss his study goals and lay out a general plan for the week. This allowed him to have input where he wanted to focus his time as well as discuss his interests and activities that he is pursuing at the time. He then works through his week plotting and planning how to meet those goals.
He used his Student Edition this year to record how he worked through each day to meet those goals. It was easy to adjust the weekly schedule pages to fit our new plan! I simply left out the subjects down the side and have one big section called “Work Completed.” Since we typically manage a 5 day schedule, I chose the regular Mon- Fri option for the columns. I then used the weekly focus boxes as the place to record all the details of our weekly “mentor meeting.” Happily, this was a huge success and my son wants his planner exactly the same for the upcoming school year. He enjoys being empowered to manage his studies and he is learning goal setting and time management, which are important life skills, along the way. Of course this layout won’t work for everyone, which is exactly why customized student planners CAN work for everyone. With a little thought and planning outside of the typical 5 column, 8 row planner box, we can create something that will work for each one of your kids, at each stage of their homeschooling journey. Head on over to our website to see some examples of other ways our customers have come up with their own personalized “plan in place.” The infographic below will also walk you through the customization process. Remember, there’s no “right way” to do it – make it work for you, your students, and your homeschooling life. Happy Planning! Kim