The first thing that attracted me to The Well-Planned Day is the way it integrates both school and household tasks. Because a homeschool is part of a family’s daily home life, this integration meets one of my first needs for a perfect planner. I prefer to keep a small planner in my purse for keeping track of daily appointments, but I want something bigger for my home management. This planner is a full-size 8 ½ x 11”, which offers plenty of room on the page for my messy scrawl. And although I at first looked askance at the soft cover, thinking it would be in shreds by Christmas, I soon noticed the hole-punched and perforated paper. Problem solved! I have several empty protective binders on my shelves.
The design of the main scheduling pages is what really won me over, though. The bulk of the planner is made up monthly calendar pages, each of which is followed by enough weekly assignment pages for that month. These are designed so that parents can write in assignments for up to four students. The subjects are pre-printed on each assignment page, which is a minor problem for people like me who follow a curriculum that wander outside of this structure. However, the margin allows enough room to write in my own subject names, and the bottom of the page provides four assignment sections that leave the subject title lines blank.
The best part of the assignment pages for me is the way they are designed to include room for our weekly dinner menu, weekly priorities, and weekend activities (hey, education doesn’t stop on Friday, right??). The only thing I don't really like is the weekly catechism question. This feels out of place to me. Although we certainly value catechetical study, I would rather the space was set aside for extra-curricular reminders or a similar practical planning tool.
Considering how well-designed the main pages are in this planner, I would not have expected to be excited by the secondary features. In my experience a planner’s design tends to falter in either the primary or the secondary features. This planner is full of great extras, however. Even better, the designer somehow managed to include them without making the planner unwieldy (it's about 1/2" thick). Not all of them are useful to me (my husband manages our household finances on his computer, for instance), but most are. Because it would make this post too long, I can’t discuss all of the extra features here, but here is a list of the ones that interested me most:
*a daily attendance record and a weekly grade record. There’s even space to record your grading scale, as well as “progress and accomplishments” that can’t be reflected on a grade record. Cool!
* …which brings me to the last feature I’d like to mention. The design of this planner really is lovely. The floral motif gives the planner an air of elegance and grace, and I like that most pages contain a Bible verse or inspirational quote. It’s nice to have something both pretty and meaningful to look at each day in something as mundane as a planner. The only thing I would add is the daily liturgy readings, feast days, and Pope John Paul II’s daily rosary schedule. Maybe the company will consider a Catholic version someday, but for now this is an ecumenical version which can be easily used by anyone.
I do not know how much longer I’ll be able to homeschool, because life has been pushing my family back to traditional school, despite my preferences. However, when fall arrives this year, The Well-planned Day will be in hand as I plan for any of my remaining children who end up staying home. Why not consider giving it a try yourself? Enter my planner giveaway for one lucky winner, and you might even get to use it for free this year! The giveaway ends July 25!!
**For legal reasons, this giveaway is open to US residents only.**