Monday, June 15, 2009

the super-sized 2009 schoolhouse planner


(Entering our subject list in one of the planning pages)

If you have known me for more than about 10 minutes, you know that I thrive on organization. Removing clutter is an act of self-preservation (or at least sanity preservation). And man, do I love a good day planner, so I was thrilled to be asked to review The Old Schoolhouse Magazine’s 2009 Schoolhouse Planner as my first official TOS Crew review. It’s huge (!!) but it’s an e-book provided in pdf format. You can print it or save the file and keep it as a virtual agenda. Because the document is formatted to allow you to enter and save data, there is no scratching out and rewriting – just retype any entries that change.

The planner includes a different theme for each month – the 13 colonies, weather, lap books, American government basics, etc. – each with an article written by experts like Steve Demme and Jay Wile, as well as charts, resource lists and well, things I never even thought of. The monthly themes provide mini-unit studies that cross a wide range of ages and subjects. Recipes provided by last year’s TOS Crew members are also included each month.

And that’s just the calendar portion.

· An extensive educational resource section includes everything from a history timeline to a measurement conversion chart. (I have already printed the U.S. Presidents section for my public schooled teenager who has to learn the presidents and their terms for her upcoming AP U.S. History class.)

· More than 120 pages of homeschool forms are included. This would have been especially wonderful during our first year of homeschooling when I tried to reinvent the wheel about once a week.

· Household forms total more than 60 pages, including some you probably already maintain (such as a personal phonebook/contacts list – if you are tech savvy enough to download e-books, you probably keep your contacts in your email program) and some that can save you the time and trouble of making them yourself (chore charts, family health information, a Bible reading schedule, an appliance and electronics inventory and some others I didn’t know I needed until I saw them in the book).

I know many people who buy this e-book will open it up and hit “print.” That was probably the original intent, but I urge you to try entering your personal data in the file first and using this as an e-planner for a while. By doing so, you can take advantage of the clickable links in each section and edit your entries as needed. (I am already enjoying the ease of changing my mind. Delete key, you are my friend.) At the end of the year, I can print it (or save to CD?) and file it with our other 2009-2010 documents. Note that some items, such as chore charts and nature journals, are screaming to be printed. That’s the beauty of this – you can print what you need, when you need it.

Oh, yes, organization is good for the soul. :)

The Schoolhouse Planner is 375 pages (available as a pdf) and is $39. Order before July 12 and the 2008 Planner Excerpts are included free. If 375 pages aren’t enough for you, monthly modules will be available at an additional charge. The modules are themed units that will include lapbooking activities.


Kelli said...

awesome review! I never even thought to let people know you could fill it...

Susan in SC said...

I love buying a new planner and academic calendar each year. This one is great!! I can see why you would be excited.

Tonia said...

Really enjoyed reading your review. Love how you included the monthly modules at the end - hadn't thought of adding that!

TOSHeidi said...

Great review! I really like your screen shot at the top - showing how you can type in the fields. Isn't that THE BEST?! As co-creator of the Schoolhouse Planner, even I am amazed at how wonderful it turned out and the interactivity is just too cool!

Debbie said...

Great review! I've already started printing mine, but I wonder if I could adjust to using it on the computer. I love the type-able pages too!

Mrs. White said...

I am so glad you are encouraging people to use this planner on the computer, rather than printing it all out. It will make life so much easier this way. I don't know how many times I've made different lists on scrap paper and then lost them! Well that won't happen anymore with this all-in-one planner!
This is an excellent review! Great job!
Mrs. White

Hidden Jewel said...

"Removing clutter is an act of self-preservation (or at least sanity preservation)."

We must be twins! Thanks for visting my blog.


Anonymous said...

Its all about organization for me, too.

Ren said...

Your blog has such a clean, crisp feel to it, and the review of the Planner is personal enough to be very helpful. Great job, and thanks for commenting on mine, too!

Yvonne said...

Enjoyed reading this review (and looking around your blog too)! I'm a big fan of organizing and planning on the computer. Just got to remember to do those back-ups!

Christy@MercyEveryMorning said...

Great review! :)

Anonymous said...

I love your own picture of using the planner!
Great review, very personal.

purple squirrel said...


GREAT Review!! Nice Job! and Well Done! :) Thanks for pointing out the monthly modules that will be available, and your screenshot was a great idea(I don't have that techie part figured out totally yet, my daughter has been learning, and when she remembers, I manage alright... :))