How Do I Do it All (Planners Part 2)


Yes planners needed a second post. In the last post I told you about my 4 planners. In this post I will be talking about my children’s planners.

How we Used to Plan

Our First Planning System

Since my oldest were in 3rd Grade I wanted a way for them to keep track of their work. Eventually, I saw this wonderful post by Sarah Mackenzie (she did another post about it here) and this was how I started making my children accountable for their work. I actually loved this idea and it cost much less than buying a planner, about $1 each. I also didn’t have to worry about set up.

Why We Switched

As much as I love the notebook idea and it was cheap and cheerful,  I had to find time each evening to write down what needed to be done the next day. Some curriculum I used didn’t make it so simple to just write the next lesson number plus  there were days everything wouldn’t get done and I didn’t want to have to rewrite it each day. After some time it became overwhelming. With a large family and a busy lifestyle it wasn’t always feasible to spend that time writing. Hence the planner came into play. 

Student Planner System

The children recently started their planner system and they are still getting into the groove. My older children’s planners are vertical and they are thinking of using each box for different things. One box for To Do’s and important things like appointments or things to remembers. A box for chores and the last box for school items.  My younger daughter has a horizontal planner so we will be writing lists and finding ways to make that one work too.

Lessons Learned From Planning
  • Goal Setting
    They are setting goals for what to do each day in order to finish school for the year.
  • Accountability
    I am no longer breathing down their neck. When they set their goals they decide how much or how little they are going to do each day.  Doing nothing is not an option but they also know certain things are not going to happen if goals are not met. I.e. No movie night on the weekend if no goals are met.
  • Creativity
    Planning has them thinking about the week ahead and what they want to get done. They think about where to place their stickers according to what they need to do. I am still telling my 3rd Grader what to write as some of her curriculum isn’t independent yet. I have seen each child developing their own planning style and I love to see how unique they all are.
  • Motivation and Balancing Work and Fun
    The girls look forward to seeing all the checked boxes and decorating for the week ahead and they plan their planner time. They use the planner to write their work time and to make time for fun. They are learning how to balance it all in a healthy way and in a way they enjoy.
  • Frugality and Sharing
    Each child having their own planner is an expensive option.  I buy the planner, and the children buy any accessories they want themselves. We always buy on sale!  It has been a beautiful thing when they see the expense of some things like sticker books and washi tape. They split the cost 3 ways and share. This teaches them both Math and Character! They are also learning some frugality as they look out for sales and coupons to get more for less. 
How This Helps Me ‘Do it all’

When the children complete their planning session they come and talk to me and I get to see what they plan to do for the week. I remind them of things they may not have noted. With planners they don’t have to ask me what to do. They do it, I mark it if it’s school work, and they move on. Chores get done, I inspect and get on with my own. We all know what we are doing and it makes things run more smoothly.

Planning Doesn’t Mean Perfection

In all our planning, there is no perfection. Plans go awry, life happens. But one thing I DO know, if we don’t get around to something, when we finally do God has a lesson to teach us.

A fine example was when I wanted to do a read aloud that I  didn’t get to for a month. When I finally started, it was about George Muller and his faith for God’s provision. Perfect timing for when we ourselves needed supernatural provision when there was zero income. That book was such an encouragement to us and boosted our faith! Sometimes I would put it down for a moment to cry about the miracles God did, or to discuss what God was doing with us! HE knows all things and He directs our steps. Supernaturally!

Proverbs 16:9– A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.

Feel free to comment below on what planning systems work for you!



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