Homeschool Record Keeping with a Happy Planner
Lately, I hit my stride with planning and recording our weekly lessons. I tried a couple different things over the past few months of the school year but I landed on a favorite so I thought I'd share in case it's helpful to you! It's still a work in progress (isn't everything?) so I'll update you if I figure out a way to use this system to it's fullest potential.
I use a Happy Planner for personal use, but was using A Simple Plan planner for school. I don't "plan" our lessons out to the day ahead of time. Rather, I just do the next thing within each subject, and once we've done it, I record what we've done. Fairly simple! I'm such a visual person, I really wanted a really clean, simple week overview and the layout of A Simple Plan wasn't doing it for me. Ironically, I needed something even simpler.
Inspired by a bullet journaling layout I saw online, I created this weekly layout that I could punch using the ARC punch for the discbound planners, and stick this sheet in and fill it out as we go, each week. As you can see, it doesn't tell me at all what to do each day, or what order to do it in. I figure that the actual planner pages will be used for that, while this will be a neat recording of what we actually accomplished!
The little numbered flags at the top are for days of school completed. Just color one in for each day of school you've finished that week. The "Week" flag is for tracking which week of school you're on, if you track that.
Customizing the Planner
I taped our weekly routine onto the inside cover, so it would be easy to reference. I love the discbound planners because you can hole punch *anything* into them! I printed our booklists for the year and stuck them right in the front.
If you get a Happy Planner, you definitely do need to purchase the hole puncher. I have the ARC one from Staples, which works with this too, and is more heavy duty to punch more pieces of paper at a time.
So far, I haven't used the monthly spreads for anything except for keeping track of which days were school days - but I suppose the possibilities are endless. You could use it for actual planning, like which days you have music lessons or co-op. You could write a little memory on each day, even.
Here's a look at a blank week. The Happy Planner provides three sections for each day, leaving it up to you to decide what to use those for. In my personal planner, I use the top section for plans for the day, the middle for "to-do's", and the bottom for daily chores and meal planning. It has been working really well for me! But for school lessons, I'm not sure how to best utilize these sections? Since the printable is my final record of what we accomplished, I thought about using the happy planner pages as a place to jot down the plans for the week, making notes of what books to get from the library, etc.
The thing I love about the Happy Planner system is that, unlike other planners, it doesn't put you into a box. It is so open to customization that once you figure out what works for you, you can make it happen.
I also created a Reading Log that I put into the back of the planner, as a way to keep track of all the books we read over the school year. At the end of the week, I transfer the books from the weekly reading log, to this one. It's nice to see them all in one spot! The trick is to make sure not to write the same book twice.
If you'd like to give these layouts a try, download them below! Let me know if they're working for you, or if you think of some helpful changes.