Friday, August 7, 2015

2015-2016 Student Planner

It's no secret to my friends and family that I love planners! It's also no secret that I'm not very good at sticking with them. I was never really taught how to use them, so I've winged it for the last 20 years or so. Since the beginning of our homeschool journey, Big Girl and I have learned together (often failing) to use a planner. I've also learned that she is just like me ... tons of calendars all around and very little use in each of them.

In an effort to get us both on the right track, I have bought and even made planners for each of us. So far it has been a failed experiment, in part due to my tendency to over complicate things. Enter ...


This year, we went shopping together and without telling her which planner I bought, she chose the student version of mine, Mardel's A Simple Plan Student Planner. I love the student edition for many of the same reasons I'm so excited about my own!

First off, it's cute! There are two student designs - wood grain and chalkboard. Wood grain has a rustic feel to the design, whereas chalkboard is very bright and whimsical. Big Girl went right for the chalkboard! (That's my girl!) Although this planner is eye catching, it's not distracting from it's purpose.

Secondly, it is packed with all the necessities! It starts off with the student's contact information, a 2-page yearly calendar, a schedule for each semester, and a full page for notes. The monthly planning pages have plenty of room for writing down activities, goals, reading lists, and prayers along with a 2-page spread for the calendar. Each month ends with a full page for notes. Weekly planning pages run a full 7 days with a space for memory work and check boxes when assignments are completed. The final section is more of a journal with a couple of pages dedicated to suggested scriptures for memorization.

This planner is seriously sturdy! Both the cover and the section tabs are heavy duty with pockets on the inside front and back covers. The pages themselves are nice and thick, so there are no worries here of pages accidentally ripping out.

Want one for your student? Need a teacher planner that is easy to take along with you? Check out Mardel's complete A Simple Plan line!

Needing something for yourself? Check out my review of Mardel's A Simple Plan Homeschool Planner.

2015-2016 Homeschool Planner

Planners are my weakness! I have bought, used, and even created many of them to keep me organized. Want to know what happened to each one? Yeah, it fell by the wayside. Maybe I'm just too picky or thought I wanted something that turned out to be too complicated, so this year I'm trying something new ...


This year, I decided to save a bit of brain power, time, and a lot of toner! I bought the A Simple Plan planner from Mardel, and so far I couldn't be more please!

First of all and kind of important if I'm being completely honest, it's cute! No really. They change the design up each year, and looking through Pinterest and a quick Google Images search, they have all been perfectly fashionable without being distracting! Truth be told, this year's isn't my favorite color scheme, but I LOVE the polka dots!

Secondly, as the title implies, it is simple! The first thing I notices were tabs for each section and month down the right-hand side for easy access to anything you need. The color scheme is carried throughout the book on each tab; however the pages are kept in a simple gray scale, so you don't have to worry about your pencil or pen not showing up. The contents are really geared toward the year-round homeschooler without the added fluff. This planner does not try to be a home management binder in addition to a homeschool planner like others I have used. No chore lists, budget worksheets, family trees, medical lists, etc. Just plain and simple homeschooling pages! Nothing overwhelming here.

Don't get me wrong, this planner is packed! I still have room to jot down all of my contact information, both our household and support group contacts. There is a whole section for full year planning of curriculum by student/subject. (Before I would set up a spreadsheet in Excel, which wasn't the most conducive to my poor eyesight.) The monthly calendar pages are a nice, big 2-page format, and each month has an "at a glance" section for goals, reading lists, supplies, and activities. Weekly planning pages have enough room to plan for six children. There are no weekend planning boxes on the weekly pages, but there is a large notes section where you could do weekend planning. Toward the back of planner, you'll find attendance charts, a curriculum tracker, a grading chart (no more figuring these in my head or wasting time finding a calculator), and a large notes section!

There really is a lot to this planner, and yet somehow they've packaged it in a compact, non-overwhelming format!

Finally, and probably most importantly, this planner is sturdy! The heavy duty cover features a pocket at both the front and back of the planner. The tabs I mentioned above are made of the same material as the cover. The pages themselves are nice and thick, and the whole thing is spiral bound!

I am so excited to start filling this out and really dive in on using it!

Want your own? Check out Mardel's complete A Simple Plan line!

Need something for your students or want a heavy duty planner you can take with you? Check out my review of Mardel's A Simple Plan Student Planner.