Just over a year ago, I couldn't get my homeschool organized to save my life. I would try to make lesson plans and they would go out the window 24 hours later.. Fast forward to today and I could not live without my Hey Mama! Planner as I use it daily to keep track of assignments and keep my homeschool running smoothly.
One of the perks of a schoolhouseteachers.com membership (which I highly recommend) is downloading the free digital copy of the Hey Mama! Schoolhouse Planner to print out yourself and for the last 6 months it has been such an important tool to my homeschool. When I was given the opportunity to review the Hey Mama! Print Schoolhouse Planner 2016-2017 from The Old Schoolhouse, I jumped all over it. Unlike other reviews, this was a product I was not only very familiar with but used on a daily basis.
The Hey Mama! Planner is designed with a homeschool family in mind and was printed just in time for the upcoming school year. With a weekly planner with dates ranging from July 2016 to June 2017, charts for semester and yearly goal planning, attendance tracker and book logging, contact lists and devotions, this planner is pretty near perfect for homeschooling needs.
Let Me Give You The Grand Tour
The beautiful 9"x11"x.5" spiral bound planner has a nice rugged, glossy cardstock cover with an equally nice and rugged silver Wir-o style binding and has 192 pages of homeschooling goodness. From agendas, charts, tips, to messages of encouragement, The Old Schoolhouse has put together a product that you will cherish much more than your average run of the mill planner.
This years theme seems to be a vintage look and features sepia toned photographs of items from the pioneering day and were probably a common sight in a traditional Old Schoolhouse. This theme is carried throughout the planner as various shades of brown are used for text colors and in lines and shading of the various charts. A welcoming letter of encouragement from Gena Suarez, publisher of The Old Schoolhouse, is printed on the inside cover.
Table of Contents
Throughout the 192 pages contained in this planner are various charts, calendars, educational lists and planning pages. I for one hate flipping over and over trying to find a particular item in a new planner only to find out it was towards the beginning of a planner instead of at the back where I thought. The Hey Mama! Planner helps to eliminate this frustration as they have included a Table of Contents that shows the page number for each helpful item throughout.
Another frustration I use to have with certain planners was having to look up dates for the previous year on either my computer or in an older calendar. Say, for example, I wanted to know if a certain date was on Saturday or Sunday last year or will Halloween fall on a school day next year. Once again, this frustration is eliminated with the inclusion of three years of calendars - 2016, 2017 and 2018 are all at your fingertips for quick reference.
Immediately after the 2018 calendar is the monthly calendars with places for your notes as well as the Hey Mama! Letters that are a staple of the Hey Mama! Planners. The monthly calendar pages start with July 2016 and like most planners presents each month is a typical 2 page spread. Squares are nice and large and allow for even people who write extremely large (like I do) plenty of room for reminders, appointments and other important notes, as well as extra room to the left side of the calendar.
The Hey Mama! Planner has just about any form you could possibly want in a planner (and maybe some that you didn't even realize you wanted).
First, the two paged spread for lesson planning allows for planning for 36 weeks. Allowing for up to 5 students (using the row at the top), there's plenty of space to write their assignments in. Or, in my case, since both kids are using the same curriculum, I can use the top row for the five days of the week and the side column for the subjects we study.
Here's an example of how I have used the previous year planner for days of the week/subject and it has worked very well for me. (This is the printable format from Schoolhouseteachers.com)
Between each months set of planning pages (or 4 weeks worth) are more Hey Mama! Letters and a page containing a photograph of the antique equipment found on the front cover as well as a snippet of information about what the photograph is of and how it was used. I will be honest, this was probably one of my favorite parts as it really brought to my mind exactly how fortunate I have it compared to teachers back in the day. I have the benefits of an electric iron, a washer machine and supermarkets where I can buy butter and cheese. (But I do love my cast iron skillet.)
Following the 36 weeks of lesson planning are pages for Monthly Goals, Semester Goals and Yearly Goals. There are 5 pages for each selection which allows for each student to have their own page dedicated to their educational goals. These pages are broken up with sections for Educational, Spiritual, Physical, Personal Talents, Life Skills, Financial and Relational Goals.
For homeschool families who's State requires attendance records, the Hey Mama! Planner has you covered there as well. Attendance Charts for up to 5 students (although, again, you can copy the page for additional students if necessary) allows for keeping track of the required 180 days.
There are also four dedicated pages for keeping track of books read throughout the year. Each page has 20 lines which allows for up to 80 books (easily doubled if your comfortable writing two books per space provided).
Next, Curriculum Planning Sheets are included. There will be absolutely beneficial as you start coming to the end of the school year and are needed to start getting ready for the following year. Once again, there are 5 sheets included, one for each student (but more can be copied as needed), and provide spaces for the subject, grade level, curriculum, price, and vendor contact information. There's also a one page Homeschool Contact list provided.
After most of the forms is a section of Helpful Educational Information. This is a thirteen page section of facts and figures often forgotten or confused, such as a list of US Presidents and their Wives, The Branches of the Federal, State, and Local Governments, a Timeline of Inventions, the Thirteen Colonies by Date, as well as 36 General Writing Prompts and story starters.
The last three pages are dedicated to Creating an Academic Transcript for your High Schooler as well as providing a page to document their transcript for their four years of high school. While only one of these pages is provided, copies can easily be made.
This is such a wonderful planner and I am looking forward to starting plan the kids third grade year in it once I finish making all curriculum selections for 3rd Grade. Two years ago, I had never heard of the Hey Mama! Planner and now I cannot imagine doing homeschooling without it and it's going to be really nice (and very convenient) to have this physical copy. I love that the Wir-o binding allows for the planner to be laid completely flat (very helpful when working on 2 page spreads) or just as easily folded over.
Right now, if you use the coupon code CREWCODE you can get 10 dollars off your own copy of this wonderful planner and have it ready to go before July gets here. That means you can pick up this wonderful planner for just $19 (including shipping!!) Offer expires July 15th, 2016. This coupon should be good regardless to where you live :)
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