Does Your Early Learner Really Need a Planner?

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Hello, my name is Kris and I am addicted to planners and office supplies. {Hello, Kris.} Not only am I addicted, but I have a tendency to share my addictions with others. The latest victim is my sister – because she has a preschooler and I don’t and the folks at A Plan in Place have a super-snazzy early learner planner.

Being the thoughtful sister I am, I wanted to share my addictions with my sister and create a nifty planner for her to use with my niece. Being the thoughtful blogger I am, I wanted to share details and photos with you.

I’m just nice like that.

Does Your Early Learner Really Need a Planner?

Does a early learner need a planner?

Does your preschooler really need a planner? Probably not. But if she has older siblings who have planners, she probably thinks he needs one.

And, you need a place to record all the things you did, all the things you want to do, and all the milestones your child achieved during the year so that you have a keepsake for when your little ones are my little ones’ ages and you’re drowning in nostalgia trying to remember all those little moments and wishing you’d savored them just a little bit more.

Trust me. You really will.

The Early Learner planner even has a place in the back just to record some of those milestones at the beginning and end of the year so you can see just how far your little one has progressed over the year.

a plan in place planner review

And it’s not just for preschoolers. It’s actually designed as a planner for pre-readers, generally kids from preschool through 1st or 2nd grade.

Why A Plan in Place planner?

We love the Plan in Place Planners! We’ve tried the student planner, the high school planner, and the homeschool teacher planner. As a matter of fact, I’m just waiting to nail down our plans for next year so that I can order a new homeschool teacher planner.

These days, I don’t do a lot of heavy planning, but I like having a place to jot down the major things I want to remember – like what week we’re on in history and science or how far the kids are supposed to get each week in the book they’re reading.

A Plan in Place Early Learner Edition

I also like having a place to quickly jot down their math grades each day until I can get around to transferring the grades to the grade book I keep on my laptop.

So, why am I waiting to order? Because of my favorite thing about the Plan in Place planners – they’re completely customizable! I want to figure out one or two more things with the kids’ subjects for next year so that I can make the most of the customization feature. After having used the teacher planner for the last year, I have in mind a couple of changes I want to make when I customize mine for next year.

Why use an Early Learner planner?

Like I said, if you have older kids who use planners, your preschooler (or K-2nd grader) is going to think she needs one, too. So there’s that. But I think you’ll enjoy the early learner planner for what you can do with it.

You can choose the stock option, but now the early learner planners are customizable just like the other planners in the line. Because preschoolers learn best through play, I wanted to keep the planner for my niece simple and open to whatever learning activities she and her mommy might want to enjoy, but also provide some spots for having a simple plan because my sister does want to start doing some low-key, fun learning activities with her.

So, I only added four sections – you can have up to 8 – and I made them fairly generic so that they’ll fit nearly any kind of learning activity. I listed:

  • Reading
  • ABC’s
  • 123’s
  • Activities
early learner planner weekly pages

I wanted the spaces big so that there is plenty of room to record what my sister and niece did, rather than plan what they’re going to do – because if you have little ones, you know as well as I do how planning can sometimes go.

The reading section is perfect for listing books they read together, while the ABC’s can include anything involving language arts, 123’s covers all math-related learning, and activities provides a spot for everything else.

Knowing how much we mommas like to plan in spite of ourselves, I included a spot for a weekly theme (my sister is wanting to do a “letter of the week” kind of thing next year) and Mommy’s notes so she can list anything specific she’d like to cover each week.

If my niece were coming to Aunt Kris’s house to homeschool, I’d probably list the letter theme for the week, such as “A is for apple,” and in the notes section list related snack, activity, or book ideas.

daily checklist for early learners

I also customized the daily checklist and asked the folks at a Plan in Place to include the images from the “My Chores and Responsibilities” section that comes standard in each Early Learner planner.

How is the Early Learner planner different from the other Plan in Place planners?

Obviously a pre-reader has different needs than an older elementary, middle school, or high school student. Like all the Plan in Place planners, the Early Learner planner offers a calendar option. The big difference in the calendar for little ones, though, is that is doesn’t have the pre-printed dates. That’s because the folks at A Plan in Place are brilliant!

What is something that nearly every early learner does for math or circle time or whatever you happen to call it at your house? That’s right! They fill in the date on a calendar. Adding the date to their planner will give you a chance to talk with your early learner about the month, day of the week, date, yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

weather calendar for early learners

The monthly calendar also has the month and the days of the week written in dotted lines so your little one can trace them. There are also tips for adding details about the weather – another popular early learner activity – or you can choose to add on a package of weather stickers so little fingers can easily add weather details.

It’s a good thing there are lots of stickers because little fingers also tend to want to add stickers to their own little hands.

plan in place planner reviews

(I filled in the dates in the photo above to show how it can be used. I used my special erasable pen, so my sister can erase the dates and use the planner starting next fall.)

Another difference is that the Early Learner planner doesn’t have a laminated, wipe-off cover. Instead, the cover is a heavy card-stock coloring page that your student can decorate herself!

a plan in place early learner

Also, instead of having an About Me page only at the beginning of the planner, there is a second one at the end so that you can record just how much your child has changed and grown throughout the year.

I really love the Early Learner planner just as much as I’ve loved each of the others from A Plan in Place. I’m adding this to my list of things that make me wish I had little ones again – or hope that someday my kids will let me help homeschool my grandkids.

Does Your Early Learner Really Need a Planner?

From now until May 23, 2016, save 15% on all planner orders from A Plan in Place with coupon code Wuhsblog16. You can also find out more about the Plan in Place Early Learner Edition and enter to win a customized planner by visiting Sara at Classically Eclectic.

I would strongly suggest buying a planner for yourself (or your student) with the discount and entering to win one for your student (or another student, yourself, whatever) or buying a discounted planner for your older students and entering to win one for your early learners – or something like that.

Have you used planner from A Plan in Place? Which ones have you used?

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

Homeschool Planners
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Kris Bales is a newly-retired homeschool mom and the quirky, Christ-following, painfully honest founder (and former owner) of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers. She has a pretty serious addiction to sweet tea and Words with Friends. Kris and her husband of over 30 years are parents to three amazing homeschool grads. They share their home with three dogs, two cats, a ball python, a bearded dragon, and seven birds.

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  1. Well, these planners certainly beat our boring ones from Staples. And you are so right about preschoolers wanting to be like their older siblings. Even my two-year-old demands books so she can “do ‘shool'” (as she says it). She’d be thrilled with this. 🙂

  2. Of course my toddler needs a planner! Why didn’t I think of this! It looks like something we could really love at our house. The skills page is genius. I’m always wondering if my little man is on track. It’s hard not to compare kids’ skills and when you have an age gap, you tend to forget. Maybe this will help me keep in mind that my 3 year old shouldn’t be expected to learn cursive just yet. 😉

    1. I love the skills page, too. I’m always so impressed with the things the folks at A Plan in Place think to include in their planners. They’re both homeschool moms, so I guess that makes them very attuned to what homeschool moms need. It’s funny how much you forget with those gaps.

  3. Just got the homeschooling mom planner last week from her! Thinking I am getting each of my boys their own from A Plan In Place too! I am in l?ve!

  4. Alright, you sold me. 🙂 I’ve been looking at these for a while but your post sealed the deal! Thanks for the great descriptions and how you use it.

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