Homegrown Catholics is an excellent resource for religious education teachers, homeschoolers, and parents. Here you'll see all my lesson plans and project ideas on many Catholic subjects as well as school topics. If you would like to read about my adventures as a Home Educator, click on the St. Brigid's Academy tab above.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Relaxed Home Education Planner

  There is a significant number of home educators, or "homeschoolers," abandoning the concepts of a classical education which often feels like public school at home. It's rigorous and demanding on the teacher and child. Many parents have felt they are “falling behind” using this method, when flexibility is supposed to be a golden ticket for homeschooling. Yet, we want more structure than the "Unschoolers."
  We call ourselves “Relaxed Homeschoolers.” I've been privileged to know many of them through a few Facebook support groups and within my circle of friends.  We glean from many methods, creating a balance between classical and unschooling. More often we look like a Charlotte Mason inspired, eclectic style without a specific list of books. We like to work with our children's interests and learning styles, with a strong emphasis in character and faith building.  In this eclectic method, we use a variety of literature and academic books, often whatever is on our shelves or available at the public library. Activities and narration typically replace workbooks. Some families have more group subjects that they do with all their children or a co-op. We love life learning and living books. While we recommend our favorite resources, none of us have a specific list of books and activities. Many of us are great at spontaneity and excited to plan our own, specialized school year. You'll notice that we tend to homeschool year round (with regular breaks), because education is a part of our every day life. Overall, each family has it's own way of doing things that works for them.
  This Relaxed Home Education Planner was created to remove the main stressors found in typical planners and curriculum lesson plans. Most on the market emphasize academics planned in a calendar format with set dates. This planner is broken down into weekly goals, that can be easily stretched longer when needed.
There are 40 weeks in the Teacher's Planner filled with inspirational quotes and Bible verses, bi-weekly activity ideas, and forms for setting long and short term goals. There are bonus pages and options for a few replacement pages, as well as a coordinating Student Planner. The Teacher Planner has places for up to 8 students!

I hope this will simplify your education planning process, reduce anxiety, inspire you, and encourage the completion of the goals you set.
Purchase a copy of the PDF on my Etsy Shop:
Choose the Teacher & Student Bundle, or separate but ready to print.


*OPTIONAL BONUS PAGES included in the Bundle* 
  • Curriculum Portfolio: A place to list all the books you've used for that student.
  • Weekly Goal Chart: Where you can put stickers for a student accomplishing a week's assignments, write personal development goals, etc. 
  • Chore Chart: These are basic chores and they are sectioned off to have an older sibling paired with a younger sibling. A completed and blank file is available.
  • Report Cards: A family report card and a basic high school transcript form.
  • Meal Planning: I've been using this for years and it has proven very effective.
  • Variations of Weekly & Daily pages. 
  • Cover Options
  • Daily Goal Checklists: For children who need checklists and rewards for a day's efforts. These are most helpful in the summer time and for preschoolers, or when children need extra motivation on a rough day.
Homegrown Catholics Student Goals Sheets

    To fill in your planner, add students names to the top row. Below names, add in a weekly goal of assignments and activities per subject. It might be group copy work, page numbers to be read, or a physical activity. Students and teachers can refer to these goals when filling out their Student Planner in more detail. Encourage students to complete assignments for the week before moving onto the next week, even if it takes a few more days. This will help them work steadily with a variety of subjects, even those less favorable.  Chores and extra curricular activities can be listed in your Student Planner or personal calendar. Set reasonable goals, allowing for potential setbacks/reviewing and unplanned activities.

    I decided to number my weeks on the Academic Calendar Page. Then I list what we'd like to do or where to visit on the Monthly Goals page. The "Goals This Year" page I used for myself and my students, thinking about how our homeschool will make us better in God's eyes.

    The student planner is available as part of the PDF file Teacher & Student Bundle, or available by itself. Bonus pages and options are included in the bundle only. Print as many copies as you need, to record their weekly assignment goals and write down what they've accomplished. I've tried this with printing the sheets weekly to hand out then filing them away, or binding a year's worth at once to write on before the start of a new school week.
    Homegrown Catholics Student Planner - Layout
    The Student Planner is a simple way for your student to have:
    1) One place to keep track of their academic and personal accomplishments.

    2) A Book List for curriculum and literature chosen.
    "My Book List" can be for listing their curriculum, for listing any books they use, or strictly for them to record books they've read on their own. On the "Here's the Plan" page, is a layout of what the week should look like, with a nice variety of subjects per day. It also lists group activities, free time ideas and daily chores.

    3) A Plan of subjects and activities for each day.
    4) An optional Day Planner for hourly scheduling, typically for older students.
    5) Assignment Pages - titled "Goals & Accomplishments."
     The "Goals & Accomplishments" pages are blank, or choose the filled in version from the Optional Pages file available in the Bundle. The yellow "Goals" column is for the parent to write what pages they hope the child to complete in a week's time. The white columns are for the child to record what they actually completed each day. Children will quickly learn time management and record keeping. At the top is "Working on Week #." The idea is that you set reasonable goals for a week's assignments, but if they take longer, you note here the number week they are working on that coordinates with your Teacher Planner.

    6) Charting for personal goals for books, habits, attendance, ideas, etc.  

    The Teacher's Planner file sold by itself is ready to print back to back, and I've chosen the order. 172 Pages or 86 Sheets. The Teacher's Planner *Bundle* includes the Student Planner and more page options. 

    I recommend laser printing on 24# 8.5x11" paper with a card-stock or laminated cover and back. Inkjet will work, but you will see some bleed-through when printing double sided, so you can choose a thicker paper. These are sample layouts.
    1) Print Cover on card-stock in color or black and white. 
    2) This instruction page is on the back of the cover for reference. Daily Goals is blank. This is an example of it filled in as we use it.
    3) The Academic Calendar is from Aug 2017 - July 2018. Goals this year are for you to set personal goals, or as a class.
    4) Monthly Goals chart is the spot for things you'd like to do or see. The optional report card is for up to 8 students on one card for Teacher and reporting purposes.

    5a) ***If you have 5-8 students, print the file as is.  LAYOUT: When open to a 2-page spread, the Assignment Sheet for students 1-4 is on left and blank assignment sheet for students 5-8 on right.  The next 2 pages will appear as blank/option on left and Weekly Goals on right.
    ^5-8 Students: Choose a Weekly Goals sheet for the right page.
     A 2-page spread includes 8 student columns.
    Between Weeks, you'll have a Weekly Goals Sheet and Family Chores Sheet. You can remove or replace these with any of the Optional Pages.

    5b) ***If you have 1-4 students, do not print the right side blank pages. MODIFY LAYOUT: When open to a 2-page spread, have Weekly Goals on the left and Assignments on the right.
    ^Odd weeks have a quote on the Assignment Page
    ^Even weeks have an activity banner on the Assignment Page

         Sample Layout for 1-4 Children

    6) *OPTIONAL BONUS PAGES included in the Bundle* 

    7) Add binding, spiral or comb. Each page has a half inch side margin. Or slide into clear sleeves for durability.

    The Student Planner file sold by itself is ready to print back to back, and I've chosen the order. 50 Pages or 25 Sheets. The *Bundle* has bonus pages and options. 

    Have it spiral bound, or put it all into a 3-ring binder.

    I enjoyed adding a touch of artistry to the backs of my children's planners, which we used in our Annual Front Door Photos. On the back of my teacher's planner I printed my Morning Offering Prayers and A Homeschooler's Prayer that I found online.

    Purchase a copy of the PDF on my Etsy Shop:
    Choose the Teacher & Student Bundle, or separate but ready to print.

    © 2017 Homegrown Catholics     This planner is for personal use only.  Please do not share, recreate, or sell this file as your own - out of respect for the time and dedication I’ve invested in this project.   Print whichever pages assist you in your home education endeavors and pass along any reviews, suggestions or corrections to:  homegrowncatholic@gmail.com

    For more ideas about planning your homeschool year, activity suggestions and lesson plans, visit

    And join me on Facebook for bonus inspiration! 

    *World Map Image: Modified from free use image by Nicholas Raymond & Lara Mukahirn


    SheilaB. said...

    How wonderful that you are making all these Catholic materials available to help families to live the Faith! You are amazing, great job, mama!

    Paulina Cameron said...

    First of all, thanks for accepting the comments and praise for the work you do. Looking at the activities and the worksheets you can see how much profound work is done over the years and how much you love what you do. I was thinking about ordering at Essay Online Store while I was looking for writing activities. Now, however, I can see that everything can be done by oneself with a little creativity, imagination and perhaps some help from the internet. I will be waiting for more cool stuff from you.

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