Most of us have already or are about to wrap up our school year and are ready to plan for next year. I have used a lot of tools throughout the years to help me with this task. This year, I was given a printed and bound copy of the Hey, Mama! Homeschool Planner for 2019/20 Year by Gena Suarez from The Old Schoolhouse® for review purposes. I’d like to share a little about this awesome planner and how I am/will be using it to help organize our homeschool year.
About the TOS Hey Mama planner…
If you’ve been homeschooling even a few years, you know by now there are dozens upon dozens of computer programs, printables, and planners available for planning and keeping records for your homeschool. I have personally used at least a dozen different products myself over the years. The Hey Mama! planner is not just another planner. It combines a basic weekly lesson planner with a good variety of specialized planning and record keeping forms AND devotions and helps for the homeschool mom written by Gena Suarez. Even better, it contains enough space to plan the entire school year for up to five children!
Covering the months of July 2019 through June 2020, there is a monthly calendar spread with lots of room for tracking dates and making notes. Each month has a full-page article or devotion along with a full lined page for notes. The articles themselves are worth the purchase price alone! They cover everything from purpose to sibling squabbles and patience to perseverance, and are written from a Christian worldview by a veteran homeschool mom. This planner is spiral bound with a glossy cardstock cover.
At the very beginning of the planning pages are a few forms covering transcripts and checklists. There are also year-on-a-page calendar pages for 2019-2021 for easy reference. I personally like to use these year at a glance pages with color coded highlighters to track school days, vacations, holidays, and breaks.
The meat of the TOS Hey Mama planner contains the weekly planning pages. These weekly spreads cover 2 pages for each week, with 7 rows for subjects/courses and a column each for up to five students. These spreads are undated for flexibility.
At the back of the planner, after the weekly spreads, there are a set of planning forms for each child up to five children. These are the forms I have been using so far to help prepare for the nitty-gritty of selecting curriculum and setting goals for each of my three school-aged children. Each child has a page dedcated to notes, curriculum planning, attendance tracking, books read log, yearly goals and semester goals, and another page for notes. I would use the notes page at the beginning to to write about where said child is at academically and developmentally at the beginning of the school year, and the notes page at the end of each section for the end of the school year to have a comparision.
I was really impressed by this planner. I love, love, LOVE the one page articles/devotions! They are full of encouragment and practical advice for your daily walk as a Chistian homeschool mom. They are written in a friendly, personable style, as if you’re getting sage advice from a close friend. If I had to pick one other thing that I really love about the Hey, Mama! planner, it would be the set of planning pages for each child at the end. Completing these before you begin your year can really help you focus on what’s truly important and stay on track, making sure you are doing everything you can to give each of your children a learning experience that is unique to them and their needs. I would especially recommend this planner to someone who is relatively new to homeschooling, someone who might be slightly overwhelmed by the task of setting goals and selecting curriculum for the coming school year. Though this planner could be useful for any homeschooling family, I think that it’s simplicity of layout along with the articles and devotions make it easy for those just starting their homeschool journey!
The only reason I am not giving the TOS Hey Mama planner 5 full stars is because I believe the cover could be sturdier and more protective (in a house with a destructive toddler this is important). The advantage to the materials used is that it is lightweight and not bulky and burdensome to carry around.
Make sure you click the graphic below to visit the Review Crew blog and read reviews of the Hey, Mama! planner from other homeschool mommas…