Love, Joleen: How I'm Using a Pocket Traveler's Notebook As My Homeschool Planner

Monday, August 13, 2018

How I'm Using a Pocket Traveler's Notebook As My Homeschool Planner

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Prior to this year, I've been using large format academic planners to schedule or document our schooling. But for personal planning, I've been using a Pocket Traveler's Notebook for a year and a half now, and loving it. It's the perfect size to throw in your purse or bag. I'm excited to share how I'm using a pocket-sized traveler's notebook as my homeschool planner this year. We're doing Kindergarten this year, and if you're interested, head over to see our 2018-2019 Charlotte Mason-Inspired Kindergarten Homeschool Curriculum

This year I purchased this clear vinyl pocket TN from Bliss Bag Boutique on Etsy to use. I resized a photo I took of Benjamin over the summer and added the title before printing as a 4x6 at Target. I just trimmed the excess to fit the cover. The back cover is a pocket as well, so eventually I'm sure I'll add things there too. 
The curriculum I'm using comes as a PDF. I shrunk the cover page down, to fit in a clear dashboard. 
On the inside of the dashboard is our Morning Time schedule. I am actually going to be keeping a Morning Time binder with 4-8 weeks planned out at a time. This binder will break things down and be more specific. It'll include Benjamin's memory verses, song lyrics, and the Spanish lesson we're working on. 
The calendar inserts that I use and love are from Sew Much Crafting on Etsy. These are the "Week on Four Pages" inserts. This was my first time using this particular layout, and so far so good. I'm using the left column to keep track of the school week we're in, our current hymn, folksong, copywork, and to-do list. Each column is one school day. On the back is the last two days of the week and the weekend. Along the bottom I've stamped, "Thank you", in order to record a gratitude/praise for the week.  
Behind the insert I've added a clear pocket. I re-sized the term lesson plan (teeny tiny) so that it would fit the height of the pocket notebook. I taped the three terms together and crossed out the subjects we're not following. Then I folded it up to fit in this pocket. I have the entire curriculum to view on my laptop as a PDF, but I like having this reference in my planner for easy access. My plan is to highlight completed lessons, as you see below. 
The following insert is the "Collections Book" from Yellow Paper House, and it's my new favorite insert ever. Both notebooks have quality paper but I'm very impressed with the thickness of these. My felt-tip pens never bleed. So important! 
The first thing I'm tracking in this notebook is attendance. It's no longer a requirement in the state of Georgia, however I plan to use this as documentation and accountability. 
Last year, we started reading chapter books aloud. I'm using this page to document the books that we complete. We're currently reading, "Little House in the Big Woods", for book club through our Wild + Free group. I'll color in the binding when we complete it. 
Speaking of Wild + Free, we joined a local group last year but never made it to a meetup. This year, they're meeting only once per month (totally doable), so we've added it to our plans. We attended our first meetup last week, where we went on a sunrise hike at Stone Mountain Park. I'm using this page to document each adventure. I'm using the opposite page to document each Wild Explorers Club badge that Benjamin earns. I've also written in the badge assignments as part of our curriculum for this year. I took the back page of one of our magazines and cut out each badge. I used another clear envelope on the back of this insert, to hold the others until they're earned and ready to glue onto the page. 
This page is just a quick look at the subjects we're studying this year. On the opposite page, I will add any specific unit studies. Other things I'll be tracking in this notebook include goals, favorite websites, our homeschool wishlist, library books, and field trips. 
The next insert I've included is the "Daily Organizer" from Yellow Paper House. I am planning to use this as my "Mother Culture" insert. 
After that I have another "Week on Four Pages" insert for the following month. I am currently planning 8 weeks out. 
Because this traveler's notebook only has four cords, I've stuck this folder in with the last notebook. As you can see, these inserts also include a month-at-a-glance page, which will be super useful for holiday, field trips, and appointment planning.  
I made this folder quite a while back. It includes small planner stickers and a pen pal loop from STARTplanner. This loop works much better with my PenGems pens since they have a clip, but I'm not using that type of pen in this planner.. I'm still not 100% sold on this but as you can see there is a gap between the edge of the notebook and the edge of the planner. I really don't like it and wish the planner was about an inch narrower. The pen loop is my solution to that open space. 



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