I can’t resist showing you my home education planning notebook! One of my favorite rituals is rethinking and redesigning my planner notebook at the beginning of each year. This planner notebook really is only for notes and ideas pertaining to home education. It is a simple (1 inch) 3-ring binder. It’s pretty non-descript really…white with those pockets all the way around, but a notebook is one of the best ways for me to provide a place for random slips of paper, ideas, internet resources, plans, lists, and inspiration all in one place. Of course, you know that I could NOT leave it as just a plain white notebook!!!! Oh no!!!! Scrapbook paper to the rescue! A pretty notebook is a must!
Hobby Lobby was having their big scrapbook paper sale, and I fell in love with this pretty black and creme toile! I added a few inspiring quotes and voila! Inspiring and fresh notebook for ideas, inspiration, and plans!
I had enough paper left to cover a few of my favorite spiral notebooks which I adore and use all the time! I found these great notebooks (my brother uses them all the time and I found them delicious!) and found that they are available at Walmart and Staples. If you’re curious and searching, the brand name is Ampad Gold Fibre Project Planner. I love these notebooks!
I’m using my smaller Ampad notebook to journal some thoughts, plans, and ideas for high school. Our offerings will continue to simply be a natural extension of what we’re already doing, just wider and generous. This requires some thought and planning on my part though…particularly in the area of science.
I added a small pocket with a little scrap of scrapbook paper on the inside front cover of the notebook. I thought this would be a frugal way to use all the scraps…and a smallish pocket can never be a bad thing!
If you’re wondering – I’m using contact paper to adhere the scrapbook paper to the notebook (I also use a bit of double sided sticky tape applied directly to the scrapbook paper to adhere to the cover). I also used contact paper to make the pocket – it is only attached to the cover along the bottom and the left side. The right side and top are unattached.
This is what the inside of the project notebook looks like…
Here’s my crazyidealistmakingscribblingnotebook. It’s big and has a cover that opens from the top rather than the side…great if you’re a lefty, which I’m not, but I thought I’d mention. The size of it is great for a variety of lists….
…and I have a particular talent and fondness for making lists! LOL! I start booklists here…to-do lists here…library lists here.
Let’s take a tour of the planning notebook, shall we?
Here you can get an idea that this is really just one of those simple 3 ring notebooks that everyone has in their supply closet…or maybe…I just have an abundance of them, and all of you are more normal? I have…ahem…a lot! In a variety of sizes. And I use them all.the.time!
Is there a place left unadorned – NO! On the inside front pocket is one of my favorite Goethe quotes! Keeps me focused!
I used whatever I had available in my supply closet. The actual dividers themselves are just pocket type dividers without tabs. I’m using Post-It brand index tabs to label the individual sections. My, but those Post-It people come up with some amazing things, don’t they?! I like these because they’re repositionable (so I can add and change sections anytime during the year) and I like that I can position them across the top of the dividers rather than down the sides. This just works better for me in storing it in my basket.
It makes sense that the first section would be the most frequently used section – the daily routine or rhythm. This section is where I keep my daily plans which I build in iCal.
The next section contains all the plans I use with Sweet Pea’s Literature for the Young Lady. I can flip through it and journal notes there and add start and end dates as well as refer to it to see how she’s doing.
The next section contains all my resources used for faith, religion, and the liturgical year – I keep our AngelFood coordinated with Baltimore Catechism lessons chart, liturgical calendars, the Catholic Mosaic booklist, ideas and internet resources used for celebrating the liturgical year here.
Beyond that, I keep a section for containing *science ideas and nature study* resources. You can imagine this section sees a lot of use as the internet is such a treasure of resources for seasonal studies.
My History plans are next. I’ve already described how I build booklists for history reading through particular periods. Once I have a booklist, I sit down and build reading and project plans. I divide into units of days by century. This helps my planning not to get sooooo bogged down with plans for day 127 of history! I list reading plans for each child, as well as read alouds, timeline/book of centuries work, audiobooks, and history projects. I refer to these plans on a weekly basis as I journal our plans for the week.
The next section is entitled Kinder-themes. I pull lots of stuff off the internet for the little Peanut. Sometimes I come across a great idea I’d like to consider more, sometimes I find a neat puzzle, Enchanted Learning has a bunch of great printables. I keep a working list of Montessori presentations in here as well. I print and add it to this section and when I build his little themed area I have some resources already printed for him.
The final section I have labeled for Inspiration. There are just some ideas you come across that need a place to land so you can consider them over time. I might not be able to act on every organizational idea I find, but those that really inspire me go here. I consider them, brainstorm them, creatively consider ways to implement them with the materials I already have on hand. This section of my notebook is important for me!
Hope you enjoyed the little tour of my planning notebooks! What do you use to organize your plans, inspiration, and ideas for home education? Please tell me you all have a cache’ of 3 ring binders squirreled away like acorns! Tell me I’m not the only one! LOL! 🙂
EDITED TO ADD…more pretty notebook happiness:
An Ordinary Home Seeking Splendor Meets a Design Notebook
The Beginning of a Thing…Folders and a New Notebook for Planning