Monday, June 29, 2009

2009 Schoolhouse Planner - A Review

Product: 2009 Schoolhouse Planner – Making a plan for school and home

Price: $39 (Purchase by July 12th and get the 2008 Planner excerpts free)

Brief Overview: A 375-page e-book containing forms, lists, recipes, calendars and additional resources to help you organize both your home and your homeschool.

In-Depth Look: A gigantic e-book containing most every form feasible for homeschooling and homekeeping. You may decide to print out the entire 375 pages to keep in a binder or may pick and choose the pages you need right then or on a regular basis. The e-book allows you to fill in the forms before you print them, which is a very nice feature.

The first few pages are calendars. The boxes are large enough to write sufficient notes.

This is followed by a monthly breakdown, each month containing a unit study idea with an overview, fact sheet, and resource list, plus 2 recipes. For example, here is September’s information: Unit study idea – brief weather lesson by Jay Wiles, PhD, Fact sheet – cloud types, Resource list – A thorough listing of all items sold by Old Schoolhouse Magazine pertaining to the weather, a recipe for Mexican Tortilla Stack-ups and one for Chicken Cheese Enchilada.

Next comes miscellaneous educational information. There are tons of helpful lists for memorization, reference or starting points for further study. Examples would be a list of famous composers and one of important U.S. documents.

This is followed by Homeschool Forms for every topic under the sun.
We have some for planning, recording, reporting, grades, schedules, Bible memorization. It also has some forms that I would have never thought of including, such as Books Read This Year, Crafts Completed and Nature Journal Forms.

This e-book contains household forms. We have important phone numbers, medical information, homekeeping schedules, grocery lists, menu planners, and budget forms. The handy guide also has less common forms such as a garden plan and a loaned/borrowed list.

What I Like: The planner is like having 2-in-1, one planner for your home and one planner for your homeschool. The staff has thought of just about any form you could possibly think of, including several that you didn’t even know you needed.

As the planner is huge, I appreciate the very detailed table of contents. The table of contents will greatly assist you in finding the form that you are searching for. I love how they have thrown a few extra “goodies” in for each month, including a mini unit study and some recipes.

You will appreciate the fact that you can type on the forms before you print them. What a time saver, and it makes for much neater forms.

What I Don’t Like: I would much rather have a planner in my hands that I can hold and sort through, than an e-book on the computer. But I was able to easily resolve that by printing the e-book out. Some people are putting the printed planner in a 3-ring binder for easy access. I think I will do that also.

I was a bit caught off guard by $39 price tag. But now that I have looked it over, I have a better understanding. It is so much more than just a planner. This e-book has a school planner, a home planner, calendars, unit studies, journaling forms, misc. educational lists, recipes, and much, much more. It is a whopping 375 pages.

How I Plan to Use it: As I mentioned, I have printed out the entire e-book so that I can keep it in a binder and browse through when needed. Some forms have already caught my eye and I am looking forward to giving them a try. The grocery shopping lists and meal planning forms will be huge time savers. The nature journals will be a nice addition to my daughters’ science lessons. The miscellaneous lists, such as U.S. Presidents and State Capitals, will be handy for memorization and quick reference. There is certainly something for everyone in this planner.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Here we go

The TOS crew is beginning to receive their very first products for review. I am in the process of "test driving" my first one. And will get the review up in the next 3 days. It is the TOS Homeschool Planner, a whopping 300+page e-book full of helpful forms, lists and information.
Check back soon.