I must honestly say that I have mixed feelings about The Schoolhouse Planner. Why? You may ask… First let me tell you that I can see the importance of having such a tool as a homeschool mom and how useful it can become. The Schoolhouse Planner contains many sections to record all the possible activities that a homeschool family would do from arts and crafts to science and much more!
The Schoolhouse Planner is divided in three major parts. The first part of the Planner is divided into 12 sections representing the 12 months of the school year from July 2008 to June 2009. Each monthly section contains a must-know in homeschooling, an essay from an author in the homeschool community, some recipes and a resource list. The must-knows are very fascinating and informative. I really enjoyed reading the timeline of inventions, the famous composers and the history timeline. I also personally read all the essays and thought that they were interesting. Some were very informative while others were just a revision of things I already knew. Getting new recipes was a bonus for me. I can’t wait to try the Cheeseburger Rolls and the Easy Taco Soup! Having a resource list is always interesting especially when you are looking for a product to cover something your children are studying.
The next section that you will find in the Planner is the Homeschool Forms Instructions. This section contains forms to help you organize your homeschool administration as well as keep track of the books read, crafts made, bible verses memorized, field trip done to name only a few. In this section, I found many forms that I will use during the coming school year. These forms will help me to record all the activities we do as well as the extra-curricular activities my children will take. This section is a must have!
The last section that is found in the Planner is the Household Forms Instructions. I am wondering why this section is necessary. On the other hand, I can see that others could potentially have trouble keeping track of the information regarding their family. This section contains forms to help you better organize your home like information for a babysitter, health matters, schedules, menu planners, grocery list, inventories, chores, budget and so on. You will also find a bible reading schedule, a prayer journal, a vacation planner and an address book. Being part of a family who is computerized in every aspect possible, we do not need most of these forms. However, I can understand how important this could be for a wife to know all the different aspects of a home especially the finances. These forms will help anyone who wants to understand more about family affairs. One thing I am wondering though is why there isn’t a form for the insurances – home, car, and health – or even something about wills? I think that this is important information to have access to when needed and in case of emergency.
Two options for printing are possible for homeschool families. You can either print the whole document or you can pick and choose the pages that you would like to have. Personally, I would go with the pick and choose option as there is a few things that I don’t need as a homeschool family living in Canada. Also, this option gives you the opportunity to print multiple copies of a specific form when you have more than one child in your homeschool.
In conclusion, I find that some sections are very interesting but again I wish the Planner would be more flexible concerning the numbers of children involved in the homeschool and for the type of information that it contains. I would especially love to have the option to indicate how many children I have so that I don’t have to figure out which documents I need to have in multiple copies. I can see this Planner as being a first step toward the computerization of the information. I wouldn’t mind seeing this information becoming a database or even a website where the user can modify and include information according to their needs. For example, instead of getting the list of presidents of the USA in my copy I would opt for the list of prime ministers of Canada. The Schoolhouse Planner is certainly an interesting e-book to consider managing your homeschool and house. I would encourage all homeschoolers to take the time to see if this tool would be useful for them.
If you are interested to purchase a copy of The Schoolhouse Planner, please visit The Old Schoolhouse Store.