There are SO many homeschool planners available out there, right? Which one should you choose? Free or purchased? Digital or pen and paper? Pre-Printed or a download? Super detailed or simple and sweet? How can you find the perfect homeschool planner?!
You know you don’t want to waste your time or money. However, the truth is most of us still try a few different planners or systems before landing on the one that works just right for us. And that’s ok. It’s similar to curriculum: you have to decide whether to just make it work or to move on. Still, your chances of success go up if you keep a few things in mind as you look for the right one.
Disclosure: *This post may include affiliate links. As an affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Read the disclosures and terms for more information.
Choosing the Perfect Homeschool Planner
- Digital or paper? Some folks are all paper or all digital. Some, like me, are a mix depending on the area. Try a few different ways and see what sticks for you.
- Printing: Most free planners need to be printed, so take the printing cost into account especially if color is necessary. Usually a laser color or laser black and white printer is best, or go to an Office Max or similar store for a reasonable printing option. Do keep in mind that some print shops require permission from the author of the document to print. You can often email the creator of the printable and ask for release to print.
- Pre-printed: Printing your own planner has some benefits. Usually it’s more flexible as far as how you arrange and organize your planner. Having everything printed ahead of time is simpler and requires much less work, especially if you can find something that fits your needs and style extremely well!
- Price: Generally, pre-printed and print-your-own planners will come out to be about the same depending on the complexity of the planner, how many pages it is, and whether it is in color. Finding one that fits your particular needs and style is more important, in my opinion! As you are shopping, note that pre-printed planners need to be purchased every year while printable planners are usually a one-time purchase.
- Relaxed or detailed? Do you need a detailed plan or can you just put in general topics and wing it? Or maybe you need something in-between? Many homeschool friends plan their lessons out a month, a quarter, or even a year! It works well for them and they rock it!I find that for productivity and personal accountability, I certainly need to have a plan of some kind. However, too many details and checkboxes will derail me. Instead of writing out lesson plans each week, I just write down what we actually DID do, and my planner is designed for that style of planning and recording.
- Requirements: Make sure you know your homeschool requirements and what kind of records you need to keep! Start that with your base and go from there. Keep in mind that you want to make this work best for YOU!
- Just what you need: What information do you need to plan and record in order to make for an efficient and reasonably manned homeschool year? It looks different for different people. Anything more than what is useful becomes a burden and difficult to sustain long term. Make things as simple as possible!
- Pre-filled or blank? If you have a planner with pre-filled dates, days, etc. you might become frustrated if you have a different schedule than it uses. You may end up with weeks or months left blank or weekly plans that look off. On the other hand, some people loathe having to fill in dates and subjects every single week. Determine how important that is to you as you look at planners. Many online printable planners, including the one I use, have customization options that take care of both of these problems.
Homeschool Planner for a Relaxed & Christ-Centered Approach
I have tried several planners but finally decided to design one of my own that would accommodate a more relaxed, yet intentional, homeschool planning style. I plan my goals, yearly forecast, loose quarterly plans, and then carefully design a weekly rhythm based on our life routines. From there, I simply record what I actually DO each week in a weekly record section, happily ignoring the existence of detailed lesson plans. 🙂 This approach to planning and daily work has been such a blessing to us and our homeschool that I designed some tools to help YOU do the same.
Our popular Loop Scheduling Workshop helps you with templates and examples to set up loop scheduling for a variety of purposes and needs. It includes video lessons and an exclusive FB group!
You will also love our Rhythms & Routines Homeschool Planning System! It includes a printable planner and a course that walks you step by step through how to use routines for homeschool planning and set up a system that works with YOUR family and personality, with fillable pages and various templates to choose from.
This Post Has 74 Comments
sarahelisabeth13 Aug 2014
I’ve always used my own planner before: mainly a weekly schedule with the details filled in weekly plus other Word documents with lists of what we plan to do each week. This year is my first adventure in using someone else’s planner!
Tara Mitchell27 Aug 2016
I love that you’ve compiled a list of planners for every planning type out there!
Sarah P.26 Jul 2017
This will be my first year homeschooling. So far I am using a document I created in Google Docs to plan. I do have a paper planner too for things other than homeschool plans.
Serena26 Jul 2017
I have been homeschooling for 10 years.
Tara Ziegmont26 Jul 2017
We have been homeschooling for six years, and I found a planner at Michael’s that I love.
Tami Qualls26 Jul 2017
This is my first year homeschooling, so it’s all new to me! I am excited though!
jennifer s26 Jul 2017
It’s so tricky finding what works without wasting money. Thanks.
Caroline L26 Jul 2017
I have been homeschooling for 18 years. Thanks for a great giveaway!
Stephanie Phelps26 Jul 2017
I have been homeschooling for about 1 year now!
Tabitha M26 Jul 2017
I have tried many planners designed for homeschoolers but I feel like many parts of the planner are wasted space for me. I am definitely a type B Momma lol! Last year I tried to use just a regular planner and it failed miserably. This looks like it may have enough direction to help keep me on track but not so much that I get overwhelmed.
debbie26 Jul 2017
Thanks for the looping info. I found on your site. Very helpful!
Rachael26 Jul 2017
I’ve been homeschooling now for 3 years heading into the 4th year.
Julie M.26 Jul 2017
I’ve been homeschooling for 9 years and the planner I use changes each year, based on our needs that year.
One thing I always do, though, is log our curriculum into an excel file so that I don’t forget to use a resource I intend to employ. An added bonus is that when portfolios come due my bibliography is already compiled!
Laura Pfeiffer26 Jul 2017
Planners are so hard to get right, I find. For me, we are in our 6th year of homeschool and we now run a youth horse ranch ministry. So, finding a planner that allows the space for not only school, but for work activities too, is difficult. I should maybe think about making my own, but honestly, I’m not creative enough. LOL Thank you for making the list as you did! 🙂
Heather P26 Jul 2017
I have been homeschooling for 4 years, so this will be my 5th (ALREADY!?!)
mami2jcn26 Jul 2017
I’ve been homeschooling for 5 years.
Jennie26 Jul 2017
LaKrisha C26 Jul 2017
We’ll be starting our fifth year of homeschool this year. I haven’t found just the right planner, yet. I typically mix and match pages from several to cover all of my bases. This year I’ll be using Tauna’s Relaxed Homeschool Planner.
Audrey26 Jul 2017
Great giveaway! All three places have such great resources! We’re in our second year of homeschooling.
Tammi26 Jul 2017
I’ve been homeschooling for at least 20 years.
abbie26 Jul 2017
15 years,or so
Pickledpandas26 Jul 2017
We’ve been homeschooling for 8 years!
Mary26 Jul 2017
We’ve been homeschooling 3 years.
April26 Jul 2017
This will be our 6th year homeschooling. Your website has been a true blessing for that, too! Thank you and thank you for the great giveaway!
Alexandra26 Jul 2017
It’s been 8 years. My second child will graduate this year.
Lisa K26 Jul 2017
Great options to think about
Kathy26 Jul 2017
Thanks for having this giveaway! This should come in handy & be a blessing for 2 special people. I myself have been homeschooling for,going on 5 years. Thanks for all the encouragement & resources you have offered!
Leona26 Jul 2017
Timberdoodle sounds interesting for my almost four year old, but I love the logic course through Rainbow Resource Center.
Jill Adams26 Jul 2017
Thank you so much for writing this. As a self-proclaimed planner addict, I believe most of my problem has actually been not knowing exactly what I need to be looking for in a single planner. Your post has been a huge eye opener and I look forward to learning more! Thanks again!
Kirsten26 Jul 2017
So many great options!
Shannun Hernandez26 Jul 2017
Thank you for outlining all of the Planner options! This is great info!
Alycia A26 Jul 2017
I love all the different planners. I have been homeschooling since 2000.
Amy26 Jul 2017
I need some type of planner but really don’t have a clue what as of yet, so will be checking out different ideas. I like the concept of printing my own because then I can pick and choose what to put it in.
We have been homeschooling in our family for about 19 years.
Jennifer26 Jul 2017
I started using the Happy Planner. I enjoy decorating it! For me, it helps to keep up on it when it looks nice. I. Ought the teacher one for this year so we will see how it works. It’s bigger and has more room for me to write.
Jennifer26 Jul 2017
This will be our 5th year homeschooling:) We are in our 2nd year of high school! And I have a 6th grader. Time flies!
Lydia26 Jul 2017
I have been homeschooling since fall of 91.
Trena26 Jul 2017
I have yet to find a planning system that works for me. This is a great article to help me explore the different options. .
September26 Jul 2017
We have been homeschooling for 16 years. Our two oldest have graduated and are in college, and we have seven more children at home, ages 4-14.
Marina Vincent26 Jul 2017
Such a great giveaway.
Cindy Davis26 Jul 2017
Thanks for sharing your amazing resources!
Rebecca Coursen26 Jul 2017
I’ve been homeschooling 3 years
Rubyann A26 Jul 2017
Our family has been homeschooling for 9 years and we love it! I ended up designing my own planner as well in order to customize it specifically for my family’s needs..
Desiree Luhnow26 Jul 2017
I like to print my own and fill in dates, assignments and such. I dislike messiness. When I started homeschooling 23 years ago (eek), I quickly realized I needed nice and neat plans and not clutter.
Sacha D26 Jul 2017
I’ve been homeschooling for 7 years!
Arlene26 Jul 2017
Don’t currently homeschool
Jennifer Chandler26 Jul 2017
Wow! This giveaway is so generous! We have always homeschooled, and we will be starting our 5th year next month.
Katie26 Jul 2017
I am new to planners and am searching what would work for us, then I saw your post… so am glad I opened my email today!
Katie26 Jul 2017
I have been homeschooling about 3 years now. 🙂
Lisa Teodoro26 Jul 2017
Starting 23rd year….. 🙂
Lauren Gonzalez26 Jul 2017
Thanks for sharing this! I can use all the help I can get for my first year homeschooling.
Lynn26 Jul 2017
What a great idea….the winners get to choose what they need! I really aprreciated all the bloggers doing this, so I really did take the time to check them all out. Thanks for the chance to win this!
Vicki K.26 Jul 2017
We’ve just finished our first year of homeschooling and while the pre printed planner that I used was nice, I think I’d benefit from printing my own so I can tailor it to my needs. Thanks for the tips!
Tracy C.27 Jul 2017
This will be my 5th year homeschooling. I haven’t yet found my “perfect” planner. Thank you for this post, and for the opportunity to enter the contest 🙂
Amy Wandersee27 Jul 2017
I have not found the ideal planner yet, so it would be nice to experiment with more options! I have tried paper the past couple years, but I sometimes feel like I’m doing more work than I need to.
Lesty27 Jul 2017
This is so wonderful! We’re just starting our homeschooling journey. The tips are great!
Tanya Montgomery27 Jul 2017
We are going into our 4th year of homeschooling! 😀
Debra Childers27 Jul 2017
I have been homeschooling since before I was homeschooling 😀
My oldest is 9 and in 5th grade, so I have been actively schooling for 6 years, but I knew I wanted to homeschool before I ever got married or had kids, so I’d been prepping for homeschooling for a decade or so before that.
Hillary28 Jul 2017
I have been homeschooling “officially” for 9 years… I only used a pre-printed planner last year…but I think my homemade printed ones have served us best.
Erika Winkle28 Jul 2017
This will be a blessing for someone. 🙂
Heather Siani28 Jul 2017
I was JUST looking for planners online! Thank you!
Heather Siani28 Jul 2017
Oh and I have been homeschooling for a year now!
Lorie29 Jul 2017
I am just about at the end of my homeschooling years. The last of our four children is in 10th grade this year after starting with our first child 20 years ago.
Dawn29 Jul 2017
Choosing a planner is always a tough decision. Thanks for the added information.
Kimberly29 Jul 2017
I’ve homeschooled for 7 or 8 years… graduated 2.
Dina29 Jul 2017
I know NOTHING about planners or planning! This will be my first year homeschooling my grandson; he just turned 5 in May and we have not done much in the way of “formal” educating to date. Looking forward to leaning everything I an!
Sonja Brow30 Jul 2017
We’ve been homeschooling for 8 years, and last year we began homeschooling our extra four who live with us part time, so we now have seven from ages 8=16.
Tanisha Armstrong31 Jul 2017
This is year 6 of an on again, off again homeschool journey for our family. This will be our 4th year together this time around and I’m very excited
Emily31 Jul 2017
I’m a newbie! I start in 2 weeks!
SHANNON1 Aug 2017
This will be year 5 for us. With lots of years left to go!
Cari1 Aug 2017
This is my first year homeschooling!
Kelly Levesque2 Aug 2017
This will be my 7th year homeschooling. Time sure does fly by!
Shannon2 Aug 2017
We are starting our 6th year – yikes where has the time gone?!?! We’re adding our 2nd child into our school routine now, so in some ways I feel like I”m starting all over again.
AngelaS2 Aug 2017
I’ve been homeschooling for 3 years and getting more serious every year (as the first years were pre-k). I really need to get a good planner this year to keep good records for myself as they aren’t required by our state.
Kristin H3 Aug 2017
This is my third year homeschooling and I feel like I’ve finally found my groove.