Monday, June 15, 2009
The 2009 Schoolhouse Planner
I was just given the opportunity to review the 2009 Schoolhouse Planner, published by The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC. The first thing I have to say is, "Wow!" This is an amazing 375 page resource for putting together a customized planner. I have spent a couple of days so far reviewing the resources and printing pages to begin my planner and have really only skimmed the surface. I'm sure that I will be returning to print additional pages throughout the year. The first section is really the "spine" of the planner, containing monthly calendars and additional educational resources for each month--a recipe page and articles and fact sheets. Many of these articles are written by authors well-known in the homeschool world, such as Steve Demme, Amanda Bennett, and Dr. Jay L. Wile, PhD. I think I will use some of these articles for some "bonus learning" for Emily and some will be for my personal edification. The Old Schoolhouse Magazine also publishes monthly supplemental modules for $7.95 each that are actual unit studies that can be added to the planner each month. Part two is entitled, "Miscellaneous Educational Information," and consists of 14 pages of lists, charts, and reference guides covering everything from kitchen conversions to countries and capitals to famous artists. Part three contains 121 pages of homeschool forms! Everything you could need is here, making this perfect for making a customized planner for your family! Some of the forms include grade record forms, daily, monthly, yearly, and even 12-year planning forms. The user will be able to easily keep track of chores, Bible memory work, field trips, books read, and much more. Most of the pages are for the parent to use, but there are some for the student as well--science lab reports, book report pages, and nature journal pages. The nature journal pages could be bound into a special book for each child. I think Emily would like this and I have been wanting to incorporate nature study into our schedule. One of the features that I like best in this section is that many of the forms have many style choices, allowing each family to choose the form that best meets their needs. The scheduling pages are designed for one to five children. Larger families could just use more than one form. The final section contains household forms. Planning a party? Go print out the party planning form. Working on Christmas cards? Designing a garden? Planning a vacation? There are forms for each of these, too. Keep track of medical and insurance information, financial records, daily and weekly schedules and chores, all in one place. I think that would be a good idea for any family! The file is set to print 2 pages per sheet, making a nice notebook size. After playing with my printer settings for a while, I found that the "booklet" setting enabled me to print double-sided as well, saving paper. Another feature that I really like is the ability to type directly on the forms before printing, enabling me to print the chore charts or schoolwork assignments already filled out and ready to use. In conclusion, The 2009 Schoolhouse Planner is a great resource for any homeschool family who wants to get more organized. The $39 price may sound a bit high for a planner, but this is a huge resource. I have not seen anything else this comprehensive. For more reviews, check out the TOS Homeschool Crew site!