Monday, June 29, 2009

TOS Homeschool Crew Review: The 2009-2010 Old Schoolhouse Planner

Summer is officially here, and for a lot of homeschool Moms (including this one) that means it's time to plan and organize! One of my favorite past times is sitting down with pen and paper to make a plan for the upcoming school year, and since I love all things organizational, I was excited to have the chance to review The Old Schoolhouse Planner.

First of all, this is a home and school planner that has been "supersized". It comes in downloadable pdf format (e-book form), and it's chock full of more resources and forms than you can imagine. Take a look at the Table of Contents here.

See what I mean? When you purchase this planner you'll have access to over 300 pages of planning forms for school and home, calendars, recipes, must-know information lists, helpful articles written by well-known homeschoolers, and more than I can list here. This planner meets so many needs, even for someone like me who usually likes to design there own planning book.

So, what are my favorite features of the 2009-2010 TOS Planner?

-It's Customizable: I can tailor the planner to meet my needs by printing only the forms I need.

-It's Type-able: I can type in my information right into the PDF planner document on the computer and then print it out.

-It's Pen and Paper Friendly: If I don't wish to do my planning on the computer, I can just print out the blank forms I need, put them in a binder, and write out my plans the old-fashioned way!

-The Recipes: These dishes look delicious and easy to prepare - the kind of recipes I'm always looking for. :)

-The Educational Information Sheets: I like the idea of having a list of the Presidents, planets, states and capitals, famous artists, a history timeline, and other basic reference information right at my fingertips.

-The Goal Sheets: I like having goals written down for each student right where I can see them everyday. These help me to see the "big picture" and keep things in perspective.

-The Homeschool Book Inventory: I have needed this for a long time! You can list your homeschool library contents alphabetically or by subject - no more digging around looking for a certain book.

-The Homeschool Supply Inventory: A great checklist that can also serve as a shopping list for things you need to stock up on.

-The Wish List: Of course, we all need one of these. Now when I read about a cool product on a blog or see something in a catalog, I can jot it down in my planner and note the price and where I can purchase it.

Is there anything I would change about the planner?

Yes, just a couple of things:

-For me, the weekly lesson planning pages have more subject rows than I need, making the boxes that you write in smaller than I'd like. This might not be an issue for other people. I really like to make and use my own special weekly lesson planning forms. I don't think any company could ever produce one that would please picky old me! :)

-The price of the planner is $39.00 and you really do get a lot for your money. However, I'm not sure if I personally would pay quite that much for it. My issue here is more with e-books in general - not just this particular product. I think that each individual has to take a look at what you get for your money, decide how much of it you are going to use, and then figure in the cost of printing (and possibly binding) to decide if the price is right for you. Again, I think this is the case with many e-books I've encountered, and I'm still not quite sure how I feel about pricing on digital products (because of the printing and binding that I'll need to pay for). *However, there are some of you out there who may not even want to print it out, but will use the type-able features and view your planner straight from your computer monitor. If you're one of those folks, then obviously you won't need to figure in the cost of printing.

Overall, I think that the new 2009-2010 Old Schoolhouse Planner is a very well-done organizational tool and time-saver that will meet just about everyone's needs.

I encourage you to read more about this product and view some of the sample pages over at The Old Schoolhouse Store where you can purchase the planner as well.

Also, you can click on the TOS Crew Banner below to read more reviews of this product.

I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on the planner after you take a good look at it.


  1. Shannon, I have the same thoughts about e-books and downloadable files...they have gotten very expensive! And many times I end up printing and binding and that can nearly DOUBLE the cost! Yikes! Not sure what the answer is...but I definitely share your sentiment on that! Nice job on your review. :)

  2. Your lovely blog puts me to shame: you have great ideas and I think I will hang out more and catch some of it. I am a mother of 4 homeschooling in Northern Indy.


I enjoy reading your comments and so appreciate them. It usually takes me a few days to reply, so thanks for your patience and for dropping by!