Plan Your School Year With the Hey Mama! Planner (A Schoolhouse Crew Review)

Sometimes being a homeschool mom is hard. There are days when I feel alone and frustrated. There are days that I'm sure I'm royally messing up my kids. One of my first introductions to The Old Schoolhouse was signing up for their emails and reading the Hey Mama! messages from Gena Suarez. Gena writes messages full of encouragement and inspiration for homeschool moms. Because I loved these messages, I thought it cool that the homeschool planners from The Old Schoolhouse are aptly named the Hey Mama! Schoolhouse Planners.

The Review Crew recently received for review the Hey Mama! Print Schoolhouse Planner 2016-2017 from The Old Schoolhouse. I'm no stranger to using the homeschool planners from The Old Schoolhouse. I've loved their planners for some time now. As a Schoolhouse Teachers.com member, I have access to the digital version of the Hey Mama! Planner.

Review of Hey Mama planner
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I've enjoyed the digital version of the planner because I can print off pages that I need. But I have to admit that I was excited to see the print version of the planner because it's beautiful! I have all these great, blank planner pages just waiting to be filled with great plans for the coming school year.


I have a little bit of a different view about homeschool planners. You see, I really hate writing in plans that I have to shuffle around and change when life changes. Instead, I would rather write general goals for a quarter or a month and then fill in journal style what we actually covered.

When I have a print version of a planner or printed pages from a digital planner, I can keep a record of our school for the year. Instead of using my planner for detailed lesson plans, I use it as a permanent record of what we've done during the school year. I am very excited about the printed Hey Mama! Planner because it looks as if it will be perfect for this use!

Let me take you on a tour of what the Hey Mama! Schoolhouse Planner 2016-2017 has to offer.


Yearly Calendars for 2016-2018

At the beginning of the planner are year-at-a-glance calendars for 2016, 2017, and 2018.

Yearly calendar in Hey Mama planner

I like to have year-at-glance pages because I can quickly scan to see when days are going to fall or how many weeks will be in each month. There aren't any holidays marked, but I can go through and mark our holidays as well so that I can see those at a glance.

Monthly Calendars

The monthly calendars begin July 2016 and run through June 2017.  Each month is a two page spread. The daily blocks are nice and large to write events or notes.

Monthly calendar in homeschool planner

Because I use an online calendar for our daily scheduled activities, I would rather use these nice, roomy blocks in the monthly schedule to do an overview plan for what we're covering in each month and to record scheduled field trips or co-op classes.

Weekly Planning Pages

The next section in the planner contains weekly planning pages. There are thirty-six weeks of planning pages. Each is a two page spread. There are no dates written in, but there is space at the top to write down the date each week. There are five columns and seven rows. The column and row headings are left blank. This gives much flexibility for how these planning pages can be used.

You could choose to lesson plan for five days in a week, using your columns for each day of the week and your rows for subjects. But you could also use this section as a more general planner, listing up to five children across the top and subjects down the side. Then in each block, give an overview of what that student will cover for the week in each subject. I love flexibility.

Weekly lesson plans in homeschool planner

I'm planning to label the top with days of the week and the sides with subjects. I'm probably using this planner with my younger girls because my older kids have an online lesson plan program that will work to tie together their homeschool classes as well as the co-op classes they take. The boxes are spacious on these weekly planning pages, so I'll be able to record what we did together and the independent work the younger girls did.

Monthly Goals Pages

There are five monthly goals pages. These have goal categories listed in the rows- Educational, Spiritual, Physical, Personal Talents, Life Skills, Financial, Relational. Like the other sections, I think this one has flexibility for different ways to use it. You could list goals for the family or of individual kids. The blocks are nice and roomy for each goal.


I think that I'm going to assign these, one page for each child. The blocks are large enough that I can list goals each month.

Semester Goals Pages

There are five semester goals pages. These have rows labeled the same as the monthly goals. Blocks are roomy, and these pages also have some flexibility for how they can used.

Setting goals in the Hey Mama planner

I'll probably use these as the monthly pages, using one page for each child.

Yearly Goals

There are four pages for yearly goals. Labeled in the same way as the other goals pages, these also have nice roomy blocks to write your goals in.

I'll use these as the other goals pages, using one for each child.

Attendance Charts

There are five attendance charts. Each chart has 180 blocks that can be checked off. The blocks aren't dated in any way. They are just numbered. I know many US states- such as mine- require 180 days, so this is a nice way to make sure you've covered your days.

Homeschool attendance in the Hey Mama planner

I love these pages. I keep track of attendance in the same spreadsheet that I keep grades for the kids. It's nice to have that record, but I'm constantly having to count the days up to see what we have left. I'm planning to use this to just check them off, so I can see at a glance what's left.

Books Read This Year Sheets

In the next section there are four charts to record books read. There is room for the title, author, and date read.

Record keeping in the Hey Mama planner

Every year I determine that I'm going to record books read, and every year...I fail. This is a nice straightforward way to record them easily for each child, and I plan to make use of it.

Curriculum Planning Sheets

There are five of these curriculum planning sheets. Each has room to record curriculum that is going to be used for seven subjects. There is a place to include title, vendor, price, grade level, and contact information.

Curriculum planning pages

While these sheets are nice, and I love having a place to plan curriculum, I probably won't use them as much this year. I've already purchased most of next year's curriculum. I do love that this could be part of the planner that I'm keeping in our files as a permanent record, though, so it may be worth it to copy at least the name and publisher of our chosen curriculum.

Homeschooling Contact List

This is a small directory with seventeen spots for names, addresses, emails and phone numbers.

Extras

One of my favorite things about the Schoolhouse Planners has always been the extras at the end. This planner includes:

  • 36 General Writing Prompts
  • Story Starters
  • The Thirteen Colonies by Date
  • Timeline of Inventions
  • US Presidents and Their Wives
  • Branches of Federal, State, and Local Governments
  • United States and Capitols
Writing prompts in the Hey Mama planner

Transcripts and Checklists

At the end of the planner, there is a section with information about creating a high school transcript as well as one Academic Transcript. 

There is also an example Checklist and Skills Learned page that has places for checking off skills a child has learned in various areas. And there is an Other Courses Checklist.

Homeschool checkilists

Although there is only one of each of these forms, you could use them as a model for creating a form like this. The forms are some good options for record keeping.

And the Bonuses

The planning and record keeping that the Hey Mama! Schoolhouse Planner offers are great. The planner has so many very useful sections, as you've seen in this post. But there is something even better, something that makes this planner special and different from other homeschool planners you've seen.

Throughout the planner are Hey Mama! notes from Gena Suarez. Yes, these are the same notes that have inspired and encouraged me ever since I first signed up for The Old Schoolhouse emails. As you flip through your planner and use it for scheduling your weeks, you'll find these notes that will encourage you and bless you in your homeschooling journey.

Encouragement for homeschoolers

You'll also find notes about each of the very cool antique pictures on the front of the planner. And, there are Scripture verses scattered around in the planner as well that will offer inspiration from God's Word as you plan your days and weeks.

Hey Mama homeschool planner

The Hey Mama! Schoolhouse Planner really is a great choice for a planner. Whether you do all of your planning ahead of time or you're like me and use a print planner as a journal of school accomplished through the year, this planner can be the perfect one for you.

You can see what other Review Crew members thought about the Hey Mama Panner by clicking the banner below.


Hey Mama! Schoolhouse Planner 2016-2017 Review

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Through July 15, US readers can grab the Hey Mama! Planner for $19, including shipping using the code CREWCODE. This code gives a $10 discount that should help international orders as well.

Coupon Code Hey Mama Planner 2016 2017

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