Thursday, October 28, 2010

Schoolhouse Planners Student edition Review

Schoolhouse Planners Student Editions

From The Schoolhouse Store

Available in several editions:
  • Primary Planner—grades K–3 $9.95 E Book download
  • Secondary School Planner—grades 4–6 $9.95 E Book Download
  • Middle School Planner—grades 7–8 $19.00 E Book Download
  • High School Planner—grades 9–12 $29.00 E Book Download

The Parent Schoolhouse Planner is also available $39.00 E Book Download

The Planners are also available on CD and Bundle Combinations of various planner editions for differing prices.

Over the last few months I have been thinking about how I can help my 9 year old daughter become more independent in school related matters. She is a very eager reader and has varied interests, but often needs a lot of encouragement and prodding to complete assignments and activities. The Schoolhouse Planner maybe something that will help both of us in that area.

To that end, the creative people at the Old Schoolhouse have done it again. They have taken many of the wonderful elements of the Schoolhouse Planner designed for adults and put them into special editions of the planner just for students.

I was given an electronic copy of both the Primary and Secondary Planners to look at and use so that I could write this review. Many of the elements are the same in both planners.

In the students planners you will find many helpful things including:
  • Weekly and Monthly calenders
  • Charts of Latin and Greek word roots
  • Newberry and Caldecott Award winning book lists
  • Reference lists of American History and Biblical History
  • A Place for Goals
  • Alphabet Handwriting Practice Pages

Also in the student planners are daily evaluation forms, daily activities chart, chore charts, and writing ideas. In the Primary level planner, the activities and chore charts have thumbnail pictures for each activity. This is a great idea for children who are not secure readers yet.

There are also a couple short articles in each planner to coach them in writing skills as well as offer general encouragement.

Each planner also comes with a short parent file with several articles addressed to both the student and parent. These are centered on balancing school and home life and being responsible. A very good idea uses a pizza to help children look at the time they have each day, what they have to do and the free time they will have. I LOVE this concrete manner of breaking down time and helping the student plan their day. It takes a very boring task and makes it more fun. It also has the ability to help students (and parents) become more accountable for how they spend their day.

I think responsibility is a skill to be learned, not caught and many components of the Schoolhouse Planner can assist. I found the Daily Evaluation forms and library tracking forms to be especially helpful in this instance. The daily form helps students to examine in a concrete manner what they accomplished. From this analysis, they may be able to see where they can worker harder or more efficiently. I used it for more of a weekly evaluation than daily, as I am trying to encourage looking at everything accomplished in one week rather than just a day. I find that generally looking at the whole week gives more of a balanced perspective than just one day.


A wide variety of reference material all in one location
All the forms can be typed in on the computer and then printed out or they can be printed plain
Forms to guide in writing both friendly and business letters


The spaces are pretty small for young writers to write assignments in
Much of the material is similar in both levels of the planners
Both levels have just a multiplication chart, I would think an addition chart would be more useful for younger students

How I Used The Planners

While I think the Primary planner is very well designed and useful, I probably would not purchase that edition. My 1st grade son loves to cross things off when he is done, but I think he would finds the details on many of the planner pages overwhelming. He does better with a simple daily checklist. Yet, he also loves to do research and look things up so some of the lists would are useful for him. I probably would not have used this last year as I don't feel that a Kindergartener really needs a personal planner.

More of the features of the Secondary Planner are useful for my daughter, so I would make copies for him of the things that he could benefit from. After printing copies, I 3 hole punched and put in a binder.

I liked the flexibility of these planners as I can print the style of pages that work best for my children and give them what they want or need without overwhelming them with a lot of extra pages. By printing my own pages I can take out of the binder the weeks we have finished and place them in a file, thus eliminating the need to go flipping through a number of pages to find the proper week.

After using these planners I have become a big fan of customizable planners! Just as homeschooling allows me to tailor my childrens' education to each of them I can now tailor their planner to them.

Disclaimer: I was given downloadable versions of the Primary Schoolhouse Planner and Secondary Schoolhouse Planner to use and write about for the purpose of this review. I have not been compensated in any other way for this review. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

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