During our almost fifteen years of homeschooling, I’ve used various methods for lesson planning. I’ve tried to squeeze plans into my daily planner, used free planning pages that I printed myself, tried a simple spiral notebook, and also used a binder.
Last year, I branched out and bought a well-known homeschool lesson planner. I loved so much about it, but it wasn’t exactly what I was looking for. And it wasn’t very pretty (I hesitate to admit just how important this is to me, but it really is!). 🙂 Functionality is good, but beauty also matters. If I can find beautiful and functional, I’m sold!
Erin Condren Teacher Lesson Planner for Homeschool
I hadn’t really considered the Erin Condren planners much, just because of the price. But after exhausting several other possibilities and then finding a $10 off coupon code, I decided to invest in this beautiful planner:
I love that you can personalize the front with whatever you want. Add your name, a quote, or whatever speaks to you! I was inspired by another homeschool mom who has this same planner, and I completely copied her design and quote. I wanted one just like hers! 🙂 And I love this Charlotte Mason quote:
These planners were originally designed with school teachers in mind, so they’re not tailored to fit the needs of homeschoolers specifically. However, with a few simple modifications, lots of moms have been able to make these planners work for them.
After receiving my planner in the mail yesterday, I can tell you that I’m so happy with it! Here’s what you see when you open the laminated cover:
The inside of the front and back covers can be written on with wet-erase markers, which I thought was a neat idea!
The first pages in the planner aren’t especially useful for homeschoolers. Moms have used various methods to make these pages work for them. Some use them as they are, some glue in a more useful printed page, and some use washi tape to cover up the unnecessary parts. I’m thinking about pasting in our daily schedule on this “All About Me” page:
The next two pages are also pretty unnecessary. I’m thinking of pasting something more useful here:
Then there is a two-page spread with holidays and dates to remember:
Then a birthday list:
The “absentee log” is another two-page spread that isn’t as useful to me. There are some potential creative solutions for this page that I’m considering. The main thing is that I’m probably going to use washi tape at the top and I might use this as a book list section. I haven’t decided yet.
And then a few pages of graph paper. Lots of possibilities for this:
And then a “plan your year” section. I love this section, which gives a yearly overview of things we hope to accomplish during the coming school year:
Then there is the calendar section. These come undated, and you have to apply the included date stickers yourself.
I love how colorful the completed calendars are once the stickers have been added:
And then there are the lesson planning pages:
These can be used a variety of ways. The top has a place to list the subject, and the left-hand column has a place where I plan to write my children’s names. I’ve seen other moms use this section differently, so there are other options.
After the lesson planning pages, there’s a “checklist” section. This could also be used in a variety of ways. You could list chores, check off books read by each child, etc.
The back of the planner contains pre-printed stickers and also two sheets of blank ones. Some of the pre-printed stickers are useful (“library,” “reminder,” etc.), and some are less useful. But there are lots of blank ones to customize!
They also sent me this free sample sticker pack (LOVE!):
There’s a pocket at the back for storing papers:
And I also got the three sheet protectors, which you can see here at the back of the book:
The planner also comes with this little zippered pouch that you can attach to the metal coils. It’s great for keeping stickers and other small things handy:
The final verdict is that I love this planner! I do wish Erin Condren would make a planner just for homeschoolers, but this one will work with a few modifications. I’m very happy with it, and I just can’t stop looking at it. It will definitely be a motivator for me to do some lesson planning! 🙂
I hope to share another post on this planner after I’ve modified it to suit our needs. So stay tuned for that in the coming months!
If you’d like to try this lesson planner (or any other of Erin Condren’s beautiful products!), you can get a $10 off coupon on your first order: