Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Hey Mama! It's Time to Start Planning! {TOS Review}

In the homeschool world, there are a wide range of "styles" when it comes to planning and record keeping.  Some people like to plan the whole year in advance, with complete color coded lesson plans and timetables.  Some don't plan anything in advance.  I fall somewhere in the middle.  I like a loose idea of what we're going to do for the year, even for the weeks ahead, but I really just take it one day at a time, just doing the next thing.  I've been reading about loop scheduling, and I guess I've always done a version of that without realizing it, but that means I can't plan the way so many homeschooling planners are designed.  I'm more of a record-keeper after the fact.

Hey Mama! Schoolhouse Planner (review)
This post contains affiliate links.

In that sense, I was happy that we were able to review Hey Mama! Print Schoolhouse Planner 2016-2017 from The Old Schoolhouse, and I'm thrilled to share a coupon code with you too!

Take a good look!  Isn't it gorgeous? The planner is almost 200 pages of sheer goodness! The covers are thick and it has a sturdy wire binding--this allows me to use and abuse without sacrificing the quality. I can open it flat or fold it around and I don't think it will easily fall apart like the plastic comb binding of some books.

While the cover doesn't scream homeschooling, the pictures are quaint and homey, and that theme is carried throughout the planner when each photograph is featured with information about the item and how it was used.  I find these fun little tidbits interesting!

Hey Mama! Schoolhouse Planner (review)

Inside the Hey Mama Schoolhouse Planner you will find just about everything you will need to plan and organize your homeschool year!  Some of the primary features:
  • 2016-2018 yearly calendars ("at a glance style" no room to write notes)
  • Monthly calendars for July 2016-June 2017 to write in appointments or other important dates, with a full page for notes for each month
  • Weekly undated, unlabled calendars
  • Goal planning pages
  • Attendance Chart (180 days)
  • Reading logs
  • Curriculum planning sheets
  • Homeschool Contact List
  • Academic Helps--writing prompts, story starts, timelines, US Presidents and Wives, etc
  • Transcript help
  • Checklist and Skills Learned
  • Other Courses log
The planner is functional for your homeschool planning or record-keeping, or both!  Now, since the weekly calendars don't start until July, I haven't really started using the main part of the planner yet, but I think I know how I'm going to use it.  There are suggestions on the website for putting children in columns and subjects down the rows, but I'm going to adapt that a little.

I plan to label the 5 columns Elliott, Emory, Eleanor, Family and Other.  The rows will be days of the week.  Obviously I can write in what each child does individually under their column, what we do as a family every day (poetry, Bible, etc) in that column, and the Other column will be for subjects the boys do on a loop or other irregularly occurring activities.

Hey Mama! Schoolhouse Planner (review)

This works for us because of the number of children I have "in school" and the way we homeschool.  You might decide to label your columns and rows differently to meet your needs, and frankly, I like that nothing is pre-labeled, because I like the idea that I can change my mind and do a different layout in the future if our needs change down the road.

The Curriculum Planning sheets are great for when you're in the planning stages, but what I'm doing is first listing everything I plan to use next year, then on an extra planning page (since the planner actually accommodates more children than I have) I am listing alternative curriculum that I already own that might be a good substitute, or "back-up" plan should we change our minds.  One thing about being a curriculum reviewer, is that there's always something else to use!  Please tell me I'm not the only homeschooler who curriculum shops in her own closet?

Now, if we need to change things up in the middle of the year, I won't forget about something we already own because I'm writing it all in my planner now for future reference.  This would be another way to use these pages for families with limited space who keep things boxed up when not in use.

Hey Mama! Schoolhouse Planner (review)

Really, the planner is fairly flexible and adaptable.  I imagine it would work in different ways for different people, but I really like it!  I love all the extras, but the Hey Mama! letters sprinkled throughout are particularly special.  They are a word of encouragement and inspiration, and I think every homeschooling parent can use that little boost through the year.

Hey Mama! Schoolhouse Planner (review)

Final Thoughts
I really like that the main part of the planner is flexible enough for most families to use it in a way that meets their needs.  I love all the interesting tidbits of information and words of wisdom scattered throughout.  I have used the Hey Mama! planner in the past, and was thrilled to use it again.  It's versatile and encouraging! I also appreciate the neutral tones throughout.  I don't mind color either, but this one is clean and easy on the eye, and should work well for people who like minimal distractions on their pages.  If Homeschooling Dads (or grandparents) can get over the Hey Mama! catchphrase, then this should work for just about any homeschooler.

I received the printed Hey Mama! Print Schoolhouse Planner, but it is also available digitally as well, if that's your preference.  The digital planner would work well for people who want to customize the size or order of their planner for their unique school calendar or specifically for the number of children in their family.  The digital version is also available for free if you have a membershipo to, which is another valuable resource full of courses for all ages, so the planner is like icing on the cake!

Want to Save!?
If you are planning to purchase the physical Hey Mama! planner, use the coupon CREWCODE (expires July 15, 2016) to purchase the planner for only $19 shipped!

Hey Mama! Schoolhouse Planner 2016-2017 Review

Hey Mama! Schoolhouse Planner 2016-2017 Review
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1 comment:

  1. I also love the tidbits and old fashioned pictures scattered throughout! Its a beautiful planner.