You must do the things you think you cannot do.
Eleanor Roosevelt

Monday, June 22, 2009

Review of The Old Schoolhouse Planner

The Old Schoolhouse has given me the opportunity to review their 2009-2010 School Planner, and I have to say I am impressed! This is so much more than a school planner - it really is a life and home planner.

It's available as an E-Book in typeable PDF format which I think is the most impressive feature. This means you can fill in the forms on your computer and then save and print them as you need them. The entire document is 375 pages so this is a real bonus.

While some of you may balk at the cost - $39 - I encourage you to keep reading...I'm confident you'll be glad you did!

Here's the description from the TOS website:

"The 2009 Planner is bigger and better than ever. With more forms (over 40 ADDITIONAL forms will be included), 12 new essays from favorite homeschool authors, including Amanda Bennett, Dr. Jay L. Wile, and Tammy Duby, 12 new "Must-Know" lists, 24 new recipes, and more!

Each month has a theme such as Fire Safety, Weather, or Classical Languages and includes:

"12 Articles (one for each monthly topic) from homeschooling's most well-known authors. Here are just a few . . .
~"American Government Basics" by Amanda Bennett
~"The Thirteen Colonies" by Michelle Miller
~"Weather" by Dr. Jay L. Wile, PhD
~"Lap Books: A Creative Road to Retention" by Tammy Duby

12 "Must-Know" Lists that correspond to the monthly topic/articles including these and more...
~Common Latin and Greek Roots
~Letter Writing Tips
~Miracles and Parables
~Getting into College Check List
~The Planets—Basic Information to Know
~Emergency Preparedness
~Branches of Federal, State, and Local Governments
~Cloud Types
~Alphabet Writing Charts for Copywork—Beautiful! Ready to print and use!

TOS Resource Lists—A huge inventory of ideas to include in your studies, corresponding to each monthly topic.

This is such an excellent feature. It's 12 unit studies with all the supporting resources at your fingertips.

Let's look at July, the first month of the planner, for example:

We have:
  • The typeable July calendar,
  • An essay titled, "The Thirteen Colonies," written by Michelle Miller, author of Truthquest History,
  • A table of the thirteen colonies outlining the name of the colony, year it started, the primary origin of the people starting it and more
  • A list of resources offered by the TOS Store to supplement your colonial studies, and
  • Two delicious sounding recipes
Each month is like this!

These are followed by nearly 20 pages of "Miscellaneous Educational Information" such as:
  • Famous Composers,
  • Countries & Capitals, and
  • The 7 Wonders of the Ancient World
The "Homeschool Forms" section is comprised of 116 pages containing every homeschool form you can imagine- all in typeable format!

A sampling of the forms:
  • Curriculum Planning Sheet --where you can keep track of the vendor information and cost for each subject
  • Transcript Forms
  • Daily and Weekly Schedules for one up to five children
  • Journaling Pages for Nature Journaling and Science Observations
  • Book Report Forms
  • Co Op Weekly Planning
  • Community Service Log
  • and so much more
The "Household Forms" section is where this planner earns its paycheck. It's a 60 page Administrative Assistant in your home - again, all in typeable forms!

Some of the forms are:
  • Family Health Information -- the contact information for all your doctors, dentists, and specialists in one place...not a handful of business cards floating around in your purse!
  • Chore Charts
  • Grocery List
  • Menu Plan
  • Budget Forms
  • Bible Reading Schedule to read through the Bible in a year
  • Prayer Journal
  • Address Book
  • Loaned/Borrowed List
  • Website Login/Password Quick Reference --This will be such a time saver for me! I continually forget my login information to the various sites I belong to.
  • Garden Planning Check Sheet broken down by season
  • Even a Vacation Planning Sheet
  • And that's just the tip of the iceberg!

This planner is logically organized and visually appealing with nearly every form you could ever imagine needing in your home and school. Even if you don't homeschool, this planner is worth its price.

Another bonus is that you don't need to buy an expensive binder or specialty refill sheets. You can use a standard 3-ring binder and printer paper. Wa La!

You may be thinking - I have many of these things already. But do you have them in One Location, Uniformly Formatted and Easily Updated?

I sure didn't... Address book in one drawer; Meal plans in another cabinet; Homeschool Forms on my computer, in a notebook, on a shelf (which one!?!) and so on.

I spent a couple of hours over the course of a day reading and familiarizing myself with the Planner and filling out and printing the forms I needed, and then I printed the Table of Contents and put them in the front of my notebook so I could easily glance at them when I start my actual school planning for next year.

Definitely, definitely give this planner a look. I think you will be extremely satisfied with this outstanding product. You can buy it HERE.

And as an added bonus, if you order before July 12, 2009, you'll recieve the 2008 Planner Excerpts for free

You can read other reviews of this planner HERE.


Shanna said...

Great review!! Congratulations on being chosen for the TOS Crew this year!!

TOSHeidi said...

Informative review. Good job.


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