Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Smoking hot off the presses, my copy of The 2009 Schoolhouse Planner was finally downloaded from The Old Schoolhouse Magazine website, where it lists for $39.00 as an E-book.

At first, I considered leaving the planner on a CD-ROM and printing only as needed my pages for school but when I saw the massive amounts of helpful household organizational lists and tips, I had to print it. With a laser printer, it didn't take long-about five minutes- to have the book to handle and admire. I only regret that my print job was black and white. It would have been nice to take advantage of the eye-pleasing color spread across the pages of the planner. That certainly would make it stand out even more from other planners which typically come in black and white with only a little primary color thrown in here and there, if at all. Contrast that with the lively colors in the cover and pages in this planner!

Being a bit of a right-brainer, I've always been bored with the calenders and planners found in office and teaching supply stores. I felt that they all looked the same and never had enough room to write in them. The 2009 Schoolhouse Planner is different from any other planner I have ever seen. No boredom here!

As a woman who aspires to be organized and integrated in life and homeschooling, I find this book to be a lifesaver. It works as a home organizer, calendar, homeschool planner, recipe book, teacher's guide to History, Geography, Math, Bible, Latin, Music, Science and a slew of educational material. There are forms for planning field trips, keeping track of attendance, report cards, school transcripts, emergency medical information and every imaginable thing that a homeschooling parent might need to document. If one were to record information onto every page provided, he or she would only have to add a few samples of a child's work to come up with a portfolio, since The 2009 Planner contains reading logs, lesson planning pages, logs for audio-visual materials, places to record educational websites that you visit, Bible reading checklists and even journal pages for you or your child to use in creative writing.

This is just the tip of the iceberg.

Besides the above-mentioned materials, there is an address book, menu planners, places to write information about your family members' health, grocery lists, chore sheets, garden planning pages, financial planning, vacation preparations, daily schedules and so much more!
I almost forgot to mention that when you view the electronic format of the book, you will not only be able to customize pages by inserting text, but you will also find links to other educational books and tools to enhance this already abundant resource.

If I use this book the way I plan to, I'm going to have to keep it by the bed and take it with me in case of a fire. My whole life story will be in this book! Maybe they should have named it “My Life in a Book” or “The _______ Family's Book of Life.”

This is definitely a book with which I will never become bored. I may need to carry a backpack with me at all times, though, to keep up with all the information that I will keep in it. It is gigantic at 375 pages. If you're really on the ball, you can divide it into sections and place them into separate notebooks.

If you are a super-organized person, then you will love this book as it will allow you to keep your important information all in one place for easy access. On the other hand, if you possess a creative, energetic mind like mine, you will appreciate the way this book walks you through the steps of becoming more organized by showing you just what details need to be written and tracked in regards to your homeschool and your household. You will also find the quick reference sheets for educational facts helpful and interesting.

Another unbelievable benefit of the planner is that it contains pages to plan out twelve years of school for each subject. When you own the electronic version, you can use this and other planning pages for an infinite amount of kids and school years and would only have to update your calendar pages. You will never need another planner, in my opinion. Of course, TOS always comes out with bigger and better so I might eat those words when I see the next version. Just when you think they have made the biggest and best, they surprise you with another miraculous product. That being said, don't miss the next paragraph.

If you love the planner like I do, you might be interested to know that there are monthly unit study modules which complement the planner and can be purchased as well for $7.95 each. I hope that my very tight budget will allow me to purchase them at that low price but if not, the planner is so jam-packed with topics already that I will have to be selective on what to teach.

As an aside, there are topics in the planner itself not of interest to my boys that I would want to learn for myself but having no daughter at home, I wouldn't have bought a book from a curriculum company or store to learn. Now I don't have to. I can enjoy the helpful topics that my boys like AND click on the links to purchase affordable e-books from TOS that tickle my own fancy because they are cheaper in cost than most unit studies on the market. Some of the e-books and unit studies which sound interesting to me are: candle making, needlework, sewing, cake decorating and a number of homemaking skills that I never learned well as a child. Meanwhile there are links for my teen boys to business and entrepreneurial guides as well as college entrance preparation.

I give this planner five stars on a scale of one to five for it's voluminous content and usability. Not only will I be able to use this material in my own homeschool but it will be beneficial to me as a youth worker, junior church worker, and also if I become involved in a homeschool co-op.

To purchase The 2009 Schoolhouse Planner and other valuable products for reasonable prices, visit: http://www.theoldschoolhousestore.com/ AND click on the banner below to read more about them.


Kelli said...

Good job on the review!

BeckyJoie at Leaders in Learning said...

Thank you, Kelli. I visited your blog as well and found it very intriguing.

tdrowlee said...

I enjoyed this review!

Also, a quick Blogger tip that I learned from someone else - all that extra space at the bottom of your post is from uploading pictures. Just scroll down and delete it(backspace)~ :)

Chris Worthy said...

Wonderful review!

Tiffany said...

Wow! I think I need/want this planner! I will have to really check it out.

BeckyJoie at Leaders in Learning said...

Tiffany, I'll bring it to church sometime and show it to you or you could come over for tea or other beverages you like. It will take a little time to look over. It's plum full of eye candy.

GardenofGems said...

Wow! I so need to get a laser printer. I agree that it would be more useful printed out and put in a binder. But I just don't want to be here for hours printing it and use all my ink.

Debra said...

Love the comment about getting the "girl" stuff... as a mom of four boys (and a 3 year old girl now too), I definitely relate. At least now I know eventually I can rationalize some of the "frilly" stuff.

Great review!