This blog is my attempt to document our busy but BLESSED lives raising and educating our children for His glory. A child of God, wife to one, and mom to 6 fabulous kids. We are in our 15th year of homeschooling using a Classical ~ Literature based approach.

Come along for the good, the bad & the ugly.

Friday, June 7, 2019

Hey, Mama! Homeschool Planner 2019/2020 Year ~ a TOS review

Happy Friday friends! I'm heading to our state homeschool convention right after I post this blog...excited! 

Guess what!? Have you heard the news? The Old Schoolhouse® has their new Hey, Mama! Homeschool Planner for 2019/20 Year out just in time for planning season! It's hot off the presses so don't delay in getting your copy! 

If you are a new homeschooling mom or a long term veteran you may already be familiar with have heard of The Old Schoolhouse® and the products they produce. Gena and Paul Suarez head up the family run company and this planner is just one of their many products. This new planner is designed to be the homeschool Mama's assistant with words of encouragement throughout. Let me tell you a little more about it.

If you are like me and prefer paper and pencil to digital when making lesson plans then you need to check out the Hey, Mama! Homeschool Planner for 2019/20 Year with devotions written by Gena Suarez and published by The Old Schoolhouse®.  I wasn't always a pen and paper planner, but over the last few years, my planners have become a lifesaving sanity tool.

The Hey, Mama! Homeschool Planner is a 9" X 11" inch spiral bound planner with 189 pages. The front and back covers are made from a sturdy, glossy card stock paper with a beautiful floral print. 

Inside the first few pages you'll find the Table of Contents outlining the contents on the planner pages as well as helpful information about how to create an academic transcript. Plus, you are given a blank Transcript to fill out for one of your high school students. Also included in the front pages is a Checklist of Skills learned sheet. It is double-sided and provides room to track courses. 

Next you will find three full pages of calendars for 2019, 2020, and 2021. These calendars run January through December for a glance at yearly planning. I like to use these type of calendars to mark off our school year by quarter and for adding in special days like birthdays and anniversaries. 

After the yearly calendars the monthly calendars you start to get into the monthly encouragements and full size monthly calendar. This calendar starts with July 2019 and runs through June 2020. 

Right before each monthly calendar is where you will find a monthly encouraging Hey,Mama! letter. It includes a full page letter written directly from Gena. Each month has a different focus of encouragement; everything from your homeschool purpose to getting through those fail days on those long winter days. Directly after the letter you have a full page to jot down any important notes you want to remember for the month. 

Flipping to the next page brings you to the monthly calendars that are spread out over two pages. You have large size boxes to write in or you can stick a little note page to remind you of an important event. There is also a large notes section included on the left hand side of each calendar page. The perfect size for jotting down quick notes and ideas. 

Now we are ready to get to the planning pages! There are so many different ways to use these pages to fit your homeschool. For me I tried out three different options before deciding on the one that works best for our homeschool.

With room for 5 students there is plenty of room to use this planner for your whole family! The planner comes set up with the students at the top in blue color blocking while the days or subjects could go down the left hand side. These boxes are also in blue color blocking to set them apart from the actual planning boxes. Each rectangular planning box is unlined but has plenty of space to include the work you need to keep track of for your students.

My kids are all color-coded and have been since birth. Visually, it makes it easier for all to see whose work is what in the planner. After playing around with different layouts, I found that for our family, the best use of this planner is to use it for my two youngest students, McKenzie, my rising 4th grader, and Micah, my rising Kindergartener. My older two girls have their own school planners that they keep track of.

I typically plan the following week on Friday afternoons while my kids are finishing seat work. I write out the week's plan in my main teacher planner that I keep for my own records and then copy the lessons into this planner for my younger students while my older girls copy their own work into their planners. My kids like to mark off their daily assignments when they are done so they do this in their planner and not my main one. 

Since I am only using this planner for two students I decided to modified the pages to make it fit for our needs. I found that the three column, one-page spread worked best for us because they only school 4 days a week, taking Wednesdays off for our co-op. do this I used some of our favorite washi tapes and printable subject tags. McKenzie and Micah are color-coded pink and green respectively, so I use my erasable pens to write out lessons. 

Another modification I made was to take the July 2020 page and turn it into a June 2019 by simply using stickers. I also added month tabs to the planning pages for easy flipping. We are still finishing up the last of our lessons and the Hey, Mama! letter of encouragement was just the right thing I needed to read as we make changes to our school. This year we have experienced trials that have made me fall to my knees more than once, all the while showing grace to those who have hurt us. 
"Stay soft, Mama. Turn your heart toward Him, no matter the circumstances. Remain in His Word. Your children are watching, even when you don't realize it. Model Christ. Prove your growth. Practice grace. And hug your little ones close to you today".

After the planning pages the rest of the planner includes 30+ pages of helpful goals, charts and logs for up to 5 children including:

~ Semester and Yearly goals

~ 180 day Attendance Charts 

~ Book logs
~ Curriculum planning sheets

Overall, I love this planner! I love that I can customize it to fit my needs and still keep its functionality intact. I have found that this is the perfect planner for me to use with my younger children as I guide them on their way to independence.  This planner also doles out the right amount of encouragement that I need on a given day. Looking back and reading the Hey, Mama! letter throughout the month has really helped me stay focused in my work as a homeschooling Mama. Homeschooling is not an easy task, but a rewarding one by far!  If you looking for a planner to help with your homeschool organization that comes with encouragement for the homeschooling mama, then I recommend you check out the Hey, Mama! Homeschool Planner for the 2019-2020 Year with devotions written by Gena Suarez and published  The Old Schoolhouse®. You'll be glad you did!
Hey, Mama! Homeschool Planner for 2019/20 Year {The Old Schoolhouse® Reviews}

But don't just take my word for it! Check out what my 81 CrewMates thought about this planner by clicking the banner below.

Hey, Mama! Homeschool Planner for 2019/20 Year {The Old Schoolhouse® Reviews}
Company ~ The Old Schoolhouse®

Product ~ Hey, Mama! Homeschool Planner for 2019/20 Year 

Format ~ spiral bound book

Price ~ $29.00 USD *on sale for $22.00 USD*

Ages ~ Homeschool Mama's (and Papa's too)
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