Home Education Planners 101: Part 1 Why use a home ed planner at all?

(This is part 1 of a series on different home education planners. Links to other parts of the series will be at the bottom of this post once they are published.)

Home Education Planners 101 - Part 1: Why use a home ed planner at all?

Home education is complicated. Or, rather it is really easy for us to make home education complicated.

You see things that other people use and you want to use them too. If you can’t afford them right now, you might want to plan to save up for them, or find a way to borrow them. You go to the library and see books that aren’t useful to you right now, but that look amazing and you don’t want to forget about. You find resources, and curricula and sometimes they are amazing just as they are, and something you need to problem solve and make them work for you. Your weeks get busy and you want to fit everything in.

The back of an envelope will only get you so far.

You want to keep track of the curriculum, resources, guides and inspiration you have accumulated, in an attempt not to forget about them, and actually use them. You want to think ahead to seasonal celebrations or themes that need some forward planning.

You want to encourage yourself to be consistent in your home education. To show you where you started, and how far you and your children have come. As a place to jot down useful conversations, things your children have said, or experiences you have had as a family.

As a memento, a record of your life together as a home educating family. Something you can refer back to, or just come back to and remember what you all did.

As a confidence boost, a way of making sense of days that can otherwise run together and get lost in the domestic repetition that can make up a lot of our lives at home.

Home education planners (meaning at this point, a place to record things) lets you set goal, make notes, dream, make practical plans, work out schedules, chop a project or resource into manageable chunks, and record triumphs and failures. They can hold quotes and ideas that you have come across that are important to you. Note on articles or books you have read, readalouds you have enjoyed or places you have been or want to go to.

It can hold calendars, weekly plans, comprehensive daily to do lists or the simple plans you make over a cup of tea in the morning. It can separate the times you need to think, and the times you need to do, and reduce decision fatigue.

It can be fancy, colour coded, and adorned with stickers and washi tape, or be as simple as a cheap reporters note book and a biro or stub of pencil.

Home education planners are a record. Not for the LEA, or the government, but for you. Even an abandon planner says something about your hopes, and ideas and dreams, and also about how maybe life got in the way, or you all ended up completely off the beaten path working on something totally different, and abandoning the planner that wasn’t working felt better than crossing everything out and trying to show what was learned, in the margins and the space that remains.

When you find something that works for you – if a planner at all works for you – then you have a place that is not your brain, to store all the things that over-fill your brain as you live this complicated and amazing home ed life.

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