Your school year plan is whatever you make of it. In the beginning, I copied others then tweaked the plan until my son and I found our homeschooling sweet spot. The following are resources I hope will help you plan your best school year.
I post events all year long, but do most of the planning for the upcoming school year during the summer. I begin deciding what events to add to our schedule by reviewing the following:
Organizational skills go hand in hand academic success. No matter how well my child does at retaining information, he needs organizational skills to keep track of classes, papers and projects due, social calendar and chores. The following are resources related to organizing those events.
PLANNERS FOR STUDENTS
Eventually, I will shift the responsibility of planning and implementing my son’s education to him. The following are resources I want to review in order to help him take charge of schooling and managing his time.
- http://www.freetech4teachers.com/2009/08/three-student-planners-organization.html – Student Planners/Organization Tools
- https://www.mystudylife.com – free online planner for students, teachers and lecturers
- http://www.thehomeschoolmom.com/gettingorganized/planner.php –
TheHomeSchoolMom Planner is a comprehensive organizer for appointments, school assignments, lesson planning, record keeping, and family menu planning. It is free for personal use and can be viewed and printed with the free Adobe Acrobat Reader.
- http://www.newbeehomeschooler.com/freestudentplanner.htm – “These Student Planners were designed with the pre-teen to teen in mind. Because they have very different needs in organizing and managing their time, this planner was laid out with their need to manage their time.”
- http://shop.apologia.com/books/273-the-ultimate-guide-to-homeschooling-teens.html – The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling Teens
- http://www.flylady.net/i/pdf/student_coj.pdf – Student Control Journal by Flylady – I recommend you spend some time on Flylady’s site.
- http://www.flylady.net/d/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/College-Control-Journal.pdf – Although this is meant for a college student, it is still applicable and adaptable to a high schooler.
- http://lizturquoiseeyes.blogspot.com/2012/06/what-i-keep-in-my-office-in-bag.html – This is an example of office in a bag by Flylady. Eventually, I will be training my child to manage his own household. In the meantime, this is useful for him to manage his social calendar, address book and monies earned.
PRINTABLES FOR PLANNERS
I like making my own forms. Currently, I am making them for FREE on Google Docs. The following are a variety of ready-made forms some free, some not:
- http://donnayoung.org/forms – Planners for teachers and students
- http://donnayoung.org/forms/help/high-school-list.htm – requirements
- http://donnayoung.org/forms/vp25/index.htm – student planner
- http://www.thehomeschoolvillage.com/2013/01/mid-year-review-with-free-printable.html – Mid year review printable
Prior to 5th grade, my son did his school work by working off a printed check list. In 6th grade, I created a password-protected section of my blog where I could leave a daily, monthly and school year plan out for him to review and follow. We both really like it because I could tweak it nightly to keep it uncluttered.
For 7th grade, I used Google Docs (a FREE program) to design professional looking portfolio. Google Docs is also where my son does his writing assignments. We use it because of the collaborative features (view, comment and edit) are very convenient. I keep a back up of our Google Docs in MS Word.
For 8th grade, we will continue with Google Docs and will add Google Calendar.
PLANNERS FOR ADULTS
I highly recommend creating your own planner. Not only will it serve you in daily tasks, but it will be handy to have another binder set up with important papers so you can are ready for an emergency evacuation (i.e., fire, earthquake, sink hole…). I have used these ideas to make my own “office in a bag.”
- http://flyladyforum.blogtalkradio.com/index.php?showtopic=180 – a discussion about “office in the bag.”
- http://www.diyplanner.com/node/578 – Flylady-style forms for planner
- http://www.organizeyourlife.org – home management
- The pathfinder: How to choose or change your career for a lifetime of satisfaction and success by Nicholas Lore – available at the library
- Mom energy: a simple plan to live fully charged ; from the experts who coach Hollywood’s most celebrated moms by Ashley Koff, Kathy Kaehler, 2nd ed. 
HOW TO BE A BETTER STUDENT
The following resources are valuable whether your child is college bound or not. Learning how to manage your time is the key.
- http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=psychologists-identify-best-ways-to-study&print=true – Psychologists Identify the Best Ways to Study – August 29, 2013
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RH95h36NChI – How to Get the Most Out of Studying 1/5. Also view the rest of the series.
- http://www.onlineuniversities.com/blog/2012/05/using-the-cloud-to-be-a-better-student – Using the Cloud to be a Better Student
- http://www.sweetsearch.com/TenSteps – Ten Steps to Better Web Research
- It’s all too much, so get it together by Peter Walsh  – available at our local library
- See also ALL SUBJECTS filed under LEARNING LINKS. Cruise the links to college-level classes. They often have articles on how to be a better student.
MISCELLANEOUS PLANNING RESOURCES
- http://www.academictips.org – “This web site contains college study tips, college study skills, study guides and tricks to help you manage your time, take better notes, study more effectively, improve memory, take tests, and handle the stresses of college life.”
- http://academictips.org/blogs/success-depends-upon-maturity – This is good for understanding how success is achieved.
The following resources are available at our local library. The library has many more resources on this subject. Most of these are recommended for right-brain thinkers.
- Getting organized in the Google era: how to get stuff out of your head, find it when you need it, and get it done right by Douglas C. Merrill and James A. Martin  – also available in 7-1/2 hour audiobook
- The 4 Disciplines of Execution The Secret to Getting Things Done, on Time, With Excellence by Stephen Covey  – I recommend reading the reviews on this first. You might want to skip this if you are new to his work. audiobook
- The 7 habits for managers by Stephen R. Covey  – audiobook
- How to develop your personal mission statement by Stephen R Covey - audiobook
- The 7 habits of highly effective teens by Sean Covey  2-hour audiobook
- Get it together for college: a planner to help you get organized and get in by collegeboard.org  – I planned to start reading about college admission when my child began 7th grade. Well, here I am it is now 2013-14 school year. Once I get my student settled into his school routine via looking to his daily planner (not me) for what he should be doing each day, I will be reading this book.
- Organizing for the creative person by Dorothy Lehmkuhl and Dolores Cotter Lamping  – Addresses the organizational needs of right-brain-dominant people, showing them how to adopt strategies that work with, rather than against, their natural tendencies.
- The procrastinating child: a handbook for adults to help children stop putting things off by Rita Emmett 
- Organizing from the right side of the brain: a creative approach to getting organized by Lee Silber 
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“If we let ourselves, we shall always be waiting for some distraction or other
to end before we can really get down to our work.
The only people who achieve much are those who want knowledge
so badly that they seek it while the conditions are still unfavorable.
Favorable conditions never come.”
~ C. S. Lewis
“Learning in War-Time”, The Weight of Glory