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Customizable Student Planners: A Plan in Place Review

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Once upon a time, there was a woman who was slightly addicted to things like office products, brand-new boxes of crayons, pens, pencils, planners, and various and sundry other office and school supplies.

Then, she gave birth to a daughter who carried the addictive gene. The daughter wasn’t quite a addicted as the mom, but, still, the problem was there.

You may be familiar with the duo – because, you know, it’s me and my daughter, Megan.

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by the folks at A Plan in Place about doing a review on my site. They weren’t sure we’d be up for a review since I’d mentioned that my kids were using a different planner. Clearly, they were not aware of our addiction to all things office-and-school-supply-related. Of course, we wanted to review a nifty-looking A Plan in Place planner!

(That last line may or may not have been said in my best “Of course you’re a girl dragon” Donkey voice. Just saying.)

Customizable Student Planners: A Plan in Place Review

Customizable Student Planners

I’m going to jump straight into what both Megan and I like best about the A Plan in Place planners – customization! One of the most challenging aspects of finding the right planner is trying to find one that has most of what you do need and not too much of what you don’t need. With A Plan in Place, you can completely customize your planner from the cover, to the set up of the weekly pages, to the pockets (or not) in the back.

First, you get to choose your cover from several choices in the A Plan in Place store. The covers are heavy-duty, wipe-off pages where students can add their name, grade, and school year. Your doodlers will love that the back of the cover page is labeled as the “Doodle Place.” They can use dry or wet erase markers to doodle to their heart’s content. Even permanent markers will wipe off, but they require a bit more effort and persistence.

Next up, students can choose where their monthly calendar pages will start, which is a really nice feature for year-round homeschoolers. We chose to start Megan’s calendar in March since that’s when she received it, but you could start whenever your school year starts or whenever your student will start using the planner.

A Plan in Place Customizable Student Planner

Customizing the weekly schedule pages is where the biggest benefit to customizing the planner comes into play. Your student’s name will appear at the top of each weekly schedule page and a quote of their choosing will appear at the bottom.

You can customize the subjects in the side column. We went with the basics:

  • Bible study
  • English
  • Science
  • History
  • Math
  • Reading
  • Extracurricular

However, you can fill those slots with whatever subjects your student is taking and even give them more specific names (such as “British Lit”or “Algebra I”) if you want to use your student’s planner as something of a portfolio or keepsake of the year.

There is room for up to 8 subjects. Plus, you can choose between Monday-Friday or Monday-Friday plus weekends. There’s even an “other” option where you could list the days you want included. We didn’t choose that, but it could be beneficial for families with an atypical school week.

customizable homeschool planners

Each week features a one- or two-page spread. We chose two pages. Megan’s second page has space for things like:

  • Daily checklist – a customizable list of household or personal responsibilities, such as “feed pets” or “gymnastics practice”
  • Notes and Things to Pray For– these boxes are customizable, too, and could include headings such as “upcoming projects” or “supplies needed for next week”
  • Goals This Week/Things to Do
  • Character/Personal
  • Books I Read This Week
  • Field Trips/Weekly Activities

I would suggest printing off this planning sheet before sitting down to order your planner. That suggestion is based on the fact that Megan and I apparently also share a genetic trait which causes our minds to go completely blank when sitting at a computer screen attempting to make decisions.

There is also a print-and-go option for those who don’t want or need a customized planner, so you don’t have to customize if you don’t want to. It’s just a super-cool option that we loved.

The final result is a quality, comb-bound planner as nice as any commercially-produced planner I’ve purchased in the past.

A Plan in Place Homeschool Student Planner Features

The Plan in Place planners have some standard features in their student planners, too. Each includes the following:

  • A Goals and Planning section
  • A Notes and Record Keeping section
  • Divider tabs printed front and back

Now, you may not at first realize the significance of that last feature, but the divider tabs were one of my favorite features. Megan and I both love that they’re printed on both sides because that means that no matter where you have planner open, you can read all the tabs. It’s just one of those small details that made a big impression on us.

student planners

The size of the planner was another plus to both of us. I asked Megan because I wanted to share her opinion of the planner, too, not just mine. We both really liked the 8.5 X 11 inch size. It’s big enough to allow plenty of room without being too big or to thick.

Our favorite optional feature is the addition of pockets. Megan teased me about my initial enthusiasm about the pockets – until she saw all the benefits of having them in the spiral-bound student planner. She uses them to store her in-progress writing assignments and her vocabulary cards.

Check out this video about the benefits of using an A Plan in Place planner. It was at about 1:26 that Megan laughed hysterically at me and my enthusiasm for pockets.

 

She also likes the optional pen loop, so she’s always got a pen handy. Oh, and thanks to the thoughtful folks at A Plan in Place, she has now discovered the joys of erasable pens. She is a fan – and is not above reminding me that I have my own erasable pens, thank you very much.

Ultimately, A Plan in Place student planner becomes a snapshot of the student’s year. There is an autobiography page at the front where students can record pertinent facts about themselves and a Year in Review section in the back for recording favorite memories and highlights. Both of these features would provide such a fun memory book to look back on later.

Our Thoughts

I’m still trying to work out the best way to use the student planner in our homeschool. I had really hoped to write a review of how Megan took over the planning and was now doing it all on her own, but, alas, she still appreciates guidance from Mom. We’re moving along on the road to independence, though, and I definitely think having her own planner – with pockets to store work-in-progress – is a big key to getting there.

homeschool student planners

For one thing, it’s a little more difficult to misplace an entire planner than it is a single assignment sheet. {grin}

We would definitely order A Plan in Place planners again. They have a planner for homeschool parents, a high school student planner, an early-learning planner, and the student planners. I’ve been daydreaming a bit – a customizable blog planner would make me seriously consider learning to do a cartwheel.

For more planner inspiration, take a peek into the planners of the iHomeschool Network Bloggers.

Homeschool Planners
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5 Comments

  1. I love the look of these planners. As a homeschool mom the typical school planners just don’t work for me.

      1. Thanks! It says “This site can’t be reached”. Were you able to access it?

        Thank you, Michele

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