Ahhh.. It’s that time of the year again – time to start planning our homeschool year! Every time I get here, I think, how is it already this time? Last year I made a decision to go with a planner that I could use year after year: the Happy Planner Big Planner! I did this because I was tired of having to spend a ton of money and time every year finding and ordering new planners, and this one is re-usable, making it super cost effective.
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I loved the planner design and core, and my plan was to download pintables to print new planner pages and re-use the planner each year. This is my first year re-using the planner, so I’ll out line below what I did to format and adapt everything for the ’22 / ’23 school year, as well as how I like to organize and use my planner so that it’s super easy to keep up with during the year.
*Please note that this exact planner design is no longer available as it was the one I purchased for the 2021 school season. ANY of their big planners can be used though and kept from year to year, and they have so many different designs, themes, colors and accessory packs, that you can find one that you love even more! That’s what makes this system so wonderful!*
The basics of what you’ll need for this type of re-usable homeschool planning system is a Big Happy Planner of your liking, and also the Big Happy Planner punch, so you can add / remove your planning pages and calendar every year with the new year’s version. If this is your first year using the Happy Planner, just purchase your starter kit and you’re ready to go! Then, bookmark this post for next year, so that you can come back and modify it to use again!
I did a combination of printable for this year, some of them free, and one of them was super affordable at less than $10. I link everything I used at the end of this post! I printed most of my new re-fill calendar and planner sheets on cardstock, but it did take up most of the room in the planner, so next year I think I’ll print some of the inside re-fill pages on heavier weight paper instead of all cardstock.
I also upgraded this year to an Epson double sided tank printer, and that has made a HUGE difference in printing for this school year. I actually got digital downloads and printed a lot of my curriculum this year for next to nothing! This printer will print up to 6500 pages before needing a refill, and when you do need your ink re-filled, you can actually get the ink very inexpensively. I used to have an HP Instant Ink subscription, and figuring the costs of everything, this is actually so much more economical over the long run!
I took out my lesson planning pages, attendance tracker, curriculum list, and the calendar pages from last year and saved those in my school records. One thing I love about the Happy Planners are their disc binding system that makes it so simple to remove or add pages. You simply just pull the old pages out, and easily insert new ones wherever you like. There are a few different sizes of Happy Planner, but I loved the Big size because it will take regular 8.5 x 11″ letter paper, so when I print new pages, I don’t have to do any additional formatting for them to fit perfectly into the hole punch and planner.
The way I like to outline my year is with very simple planner pages. I put a curriculum planner / resource page in the front of the book outlining the actual curriculum book names and levels for each subject by student, so that I don’t actually write down these book titles every single week when planning that week’s schedule.
For the weekly planner pages, I use a sheet that has all of the subjects already printed and then I simply write in the page numbers or lesson number on each day. It makes it SO easy to plan every week, and there is very minimal writing time involved!
I also keep a simple attendance tracker in the front of my planner so that I can easily see and track our required 180 school days as required by Indiana. I love that the whole year is on one page, so it makes it super easy to see at a glance where we are in the year with required days.
The other thing I did was I printed new monthly calendar sheets for each month tab. I use these boxes to write down any special things for the month such as birthdays, events, vacation days, co-op days and field trips.
And that’s it! I have it all assembled now and I’m ready to start our 2022 homeschool year!! I hope this was a help to you in making your homeschool planning simple and efficient!
Here is a clickable list of the pintables that I used for this year in my planner. You can also follow me on Pinterest to see all of my pinned homeschool planner posts including tons of free resources I’ve found.
Big Happy Planner – https://bit.ly/3BIeRIX
Planning Pintables I used – https://bit.ly/3SpKgFW
Happy Planner 11 Hole Punch – https://bit.ly/3Jtu82f
Cardstock I use – https://bit.ly/3oVoTyF
My new Ink Tank Printer – https://bit.ly/3JtvOc3