I’ve always prided myself on being an organized person and I’ve always relied on my planner to help me do that. Besides being a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom and blogger, I started a business and began working as a Virtual Assistant which has required a whole new level of planning and leaves me little time to organize my home and homeschool.
Planning Eliminates Overwhelm
In all the years that I’ve been homeschooling, I know that if I don’t stay on top of my schedule I’ll begin to get overwhelmed and frustrated. It’s important to me that I keep up with the demands of homeschooling, caring for my family and my home. I want to make sure that I don’t forget anything. More importantly, I want to be purposeful about the things that I schedule each day so that I’m not missing out on the important things in life.
I received these products for free and the following review is from my personal experience and the opinions stated are mine alone. Just so you know, this post contains affiliate links which help me keep my blog up and running. Thank you for using them.
Using The Organized Homeschool Life
As it would happen, I received a copy of The Organized Homeschool Life Planner about the same time as I began my business. It’s the perfect companion to my copy of The Organized Homeschool Life Week-by-Week Guide
Dr. Melanie Wilson, from Psycho with 6, is homeschool mom to six so she fully understands the nitty-gritty of homeschooling, taking care of her home and running a business all at the same time. She was also a Christian Psychologist and is crazy passionate about time management and keeping her sanity. Thankfully, she’s also passionate about sharing what she’s learned with us. In Melanie’s week-by-week guide and planner, she keeps us focused on what’s most important and that is keeping God full front and center, taking care of our families while setting reasonable goals for each day. She takes everything we would need to do to be organized in our homes and homeschool for the year and breaks them down into small tasks for each week. It’s totally doable and completely stress-free, especially for the busy homeschool mom life!
What I Love About the Planner
I love that this planner comes in digital download and print version, I mean, who doesn’t love options? I started out with a digital copy because I’m working towards a paperless life. Don’t laugh, I honestly have the best intentions but sometimes I feel as though I have even more paper. Maybe it’s just because I notice it more. While the digital planner is fabulous, not every page is editable and so I printed a month at a time using the B5 option in my printer settings, this way I could easily cut and fit the planner pages into my Happy Planner™.
Melanie later sent me the print version of her planner and I began using it to see which one I preferred. The print version gives me much more room to write because the pages are a full 8 1/2″ x 11″. I love having the planner ready without having to print, cut, and punch holes in my pages but it takes up a lot more room on my desk. As is the case for most people with blogs and businesses, I’m finding it necessary to use both planners. I can keep business and personal appointments and tasks separate.
The Organized Life Planner has a large, beautiful, spiral binding and gorgeous monthly tabs. It comes as two separate books with January through June in the first book and July through December in the second. Each month begins with a short devotion which goes along with The Organized Homeschool Life Week-by-Week Guide. The week-by-week guide goes into further detail and includes links for printable forms.
In both the guide and planner, Melanie focuses on achievable sized goals which are focused on our home and homeschool. As a task-oriented, type-A woman, I love this because I’m able to focus on what’s important and not feel overwhelmed by my never-ending to-do list. The best part is that the tasks we’re encouraged to complete go right along with a typical school year. So, planning curriculum will be scheduled right at the time I would be doing that anyway!
I’m actually surprised that planning my days this way has minimized my freak-out moments. You know those moments when you realize that it’s already time for a new school year and you still have a bazillion things to do to get ready? The thing is when you’re planning ahead and doing a little at a time, you end up being more productive than when you make a list of twenty-five things to do in a day that don’t get done because you’re too overwhelmed.
This planner includes monthly checklists to keep track of assigned tasks and goals as well as space to write your own tasks. There is a brainstorming area for potential obstacles that might get in the way, like doctor’s appointments or out of town guests. There’s also space to write down how you might overcome those obstacles.
Each week has a meal plan worksheet followed by daily worksheets where you will record something you’re thankful for, God’s word for you that day, three main priorities to focus on, along with you organizing and relationship focus. You’ll have plenty of space to write your to-do’s, your goals, your appointments, and even school notes. At the bottom of each daily page, you’ll find a space for habit tracking.
This planner has already helped me with my organization and I’ve already shared the features I love about it but I have mixed feelings about having two large planner books for one year. I like to keep my old planners but saving books this size could start to take up a lot of room. It also takes up a good chunk of space on my small desk.
If Melanie were to make updates to the layout, I would love to have a smaller planner but with everything that’s included, I’m not sure that’s possible and I wouldn’t want to eliminate anything from the planner. I’d like to have the challenge pages either separate from the planner or in an appendix in the back. I ended up pulling the homeschool curriculum pages out of the spiral binding and putting them in my homeschool planning notebook. I decided to use to Post-It Note® Tabs to keep track of the challenges, menu and monthly calendar.
I love the digital version of the menu planning pages because I like to hang them on my fridge. While it’s convenient to have the pages printed out and bound, I would like to have the option of purchasing the pages printed and unbound. Of course, I would still want those beautiful tabbed separator pages so that I could place them in my own binder, that way I could move forms around as I desire. For next year, I’m considering printing the pages on my own from the digital version.
Melanie has truly thought of everything with this set. While you can use each book separately, they work so well together and having the set will help you maximize your home and life organization! The planner alone is much more than a planner, it’s a systematic way of organizing. The planner itself is organized, focused and easy to use. If you’re looking for a way to accomplish more without feeling overwhelmed, The Organized Homeschool Life Planner is definitely a good choice.