4 Reasons Your Children Need Their Own Homeschool Planners

Jul 3, 2015


{Disclosure: I am working as a Brand Ambassador for this company, a position for which I am compensated, having used the products myself and finding them to be a worthy of promotion.}

Every homeschool mom needs a planner.

We have to keep our activities and time organized. Chores, kids' lessons, grocery lists, we keep all of this in our handy-dandy planner. So why get the kids their own? 

I could easily use my own planner to keep track of my daughters' lessons, but I don't. I have two reasons for not doing that.

1. That would be even more stuff in my planner. I already have to schedule all my mom activities, such as grocery shopping and doctor appointments, but I'm also self-employed. My daily calendar includes all the many tasks related to my business. Why would I want to cram all the lessons for my middle and high school kids into those pages if I don't have to?

2. Children need the skills that are learned from using a planner. The lessons they learn from managing their own planner are skills they'll use for the rest of their lives.

A planner can help form good habits.

“Because certain mental habitudes once set up, their nature is to go on for ever unless they should be displaced by other habits.” -Charlotte Mason
We're all made up of habits, good or bad, that rule our daily life. A planner can help cultivate positive habits such as the ones listed below. These are skills our children will need for the rest of their lives.

A planner helps a child develop time management skills. 

Time management is an important skill and necessary habit. Giving our children this skill at a young age will serve to prevent the frustration of trying to learn it in adulthood, or worse, never learning it.

In her 1994 book, Thinking Smarter: Skills for Academic Success, Carla Crutsinger defined effective time management as:

  • Setting goals
  • Prioritizing those goals
  • Deciding how much time to allocate to specific tasks
  • Adjusting plans as they change
  • Revisiting the goals and priorities regularly
  • Observing results

Academic leader Neil Shipman believes the critical skills for time management are:
  • Being aware of yourself - your habits and ways of working
  • Structuring your time
  • Setting goals and priorities
  • Increasing personal efficiency and effectiveness
  • Scheduling specific time for each activity
  • Scheduling relaxation time in order to regenerate

All of these are important in adulthood. Childhood is the best time to teach a new skills or habit. A planner can help with time management skills.

A planner puts responsibility in the child's hands.

I attended a progressive middle school in the early 80s. At this school, we were not given a daily schedule. Students were divided into teams of four classes, a mixture of 6th, 7th, and 8th grades. 

On Monday mornings, students were given a weekly calendar. Each morning at 7 a.m., the students and four teachers came together for a morning meeting. At this meeting, the teachers would announce when they would be holding classes for which grades. 

Math teacher: "I'll be having 6th grade math classes at 8 and 2. I'll have 7th grade math at 11 and 1. Eighth grade math will be at 9 and noon."

It was up to us, the students, to create our schedule for that day. We based our choices on availability of the classes, our lunch, P.E. and music classes (which were all 'set times') and what we needed to accomplish that day. If a student was running ahead on their science assignments, perhaps that student could 'skip' science for the day. 


That's what we were learning. No one checked our schedule or questioned why were weren't in a certain class that day. It was the student's responsibility.

By giving your child a planner, the responsibility for completed lessons and a day well-spent is on the child.

The child is learning:
  • to find out what needs to be done and do it.
  • complete a task without being asked.
  • to complete a task in it's own time
  • to understand and accept the consequences of her actions.
  • to follow through.

Using a planner increases a sense of accountability.

Accountability is different from responsibility. 

Responsibility is doing what needs to be done. Accountability is fulfilling a commitment in the eyes of someone else.

Webster’s Dictionary defines “accountability” as “the quality or
state of being accountable; an obligation or willingness to accept
responsibility for one’s actions.”

Note the words: obligation, willingness and responsibility. It's a positive quality.

A planner increases a sense of accountability because, on Friday, mom is going to check what was accomplished during the week.

Not only is the child responsible for her own schedule, but she is accountable for it. Accountability is making a commitment, having a sense of obligation to fulfill it, and being willing to fulfill it.

So, while you could manage all your kids' schedules in your own teacher's planner, it's more beneficial to give each child her own planner.

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