Want to try a bullet journal for your homeschool planning? Check out how I’m using mine below to keep up with our homeschool schedule and track memories.
I’m now getting ready to start my second year as a homeschool mom. Last year, I was so overwhelmed and trying to do everything perfect. I researched homeschool schedules and routines, bought a planner, and tried to make my kids get up at a certain time every day.
Yeah, let’s just say that didn’t work out for anyone. It was, however, a good learning experience for me. I learned to let go and relax. I learned that homeschool doesn’t have to look like school at home. And, most importantly, I learned to relinquish a little bit of control and stop trying to plan every minute.
This year, I’m heading into it a lot more relaxed, and my planning method is going to reflect that.
In January, I started using a bullet journal as my own personal planner, and experimented with adding our homeschool schedule to that. Now that we’re starting a new school year, I decided to set up a dedicated homeschool bullet journal.
We’ll use this bullet journal for homeschool planning, memory keeping, and keeping up with ideas.
How I’m Using a Homeschool Bullet Journal
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There are a few things that attracted me to the idea of a homeschool bullet journal.
- It’s flexible, and can be changed up frequently
- I can track all sorts of things that are harder to track in a planner
- Bullet journaling is a combination of planning and memory keeping
1. Bullet journaling is flexible.
I’m a big fan of keeping things written down, but by nature, I don’t do well when I have to adhere to a strict schedule. That’s one of the things I love about bullet journaling! You start with a blank page, so you can make it whatever you want.
Some days, I may need to keep a detailed daily schedule due to appointments, field trips, co-op classes, etc. But, other days, we may just be at home, following our interests and reading books together. On those days, a detailed schedule is pointless, and so I don’t have to make one.
Any time something isn’t working for me, I can just turn the page and start fresh. It’s one of my favorite aspects of keeping a bullet journal.
Watch a walk through of my personal bullet journal here:
2. I can track lots of things in a bullet journal
My biggest struggle in my old planners was that there wasn’t enough room for lists. I’m a huge list maker, and needed somewhere to keep track of them all.
There are so many things I want to keep track of during our homeschool year, and having a bullet journal will help a lot!
I’ll get into more of what we’ll be tracking below, don’t worry!
3. Bullet Journaling is a Combination of Planning and Memory Keeping
A bullet journal is a lot more than just a place to keep lists. In fact, the original concept of bullet journaling, and the concept that pulled me in the most, was the idea that it’s a combination of journaling and planning.
I got away from that for awhile, and used my bullet journal as more of a planner, but this homeschool bullet journal will include notes about what gets done each day, books we’ve read, movies we’ve watched, and so much more.
I’m excited to look back at the end of the year and see everything we’ve accomplished!
My Homeschool Bullet Journal
Like I already said, last year, I ended up using my personal bullet journal for my homeschool planning. I just had some basic weekly spreads mixed in with my personal planning and tracking.
It worked fine, as a planner, at least. But…I love the idea of having a whole book dedicated to our homeschool journey. Something that contains lists, notes about what we’ve done, ideas for the future, reminders…you name it. So, this year, I set up a dedicated journal just for our homeschool planning and tracking.
It’s simple, and nothing fancy. I did get a little artsy with a few pages, because I had the itch to doodle this week. But, for the most part, I’m more of a minimalist bullet journal fan. A simple title, a list, and some washi tape on the edge to mark certain topics, and that’s about it. (Read about my personal bullet journal setup and watch my bullet journal walk through video to get a better idea of my style!)
Homeschool Bullet Journal Setup
If you follow me on Instagram and watch my stories, you probably saw my recent video showing off the new bullet journal I got. Ya’ll. It’s so. nice. The pages are thick and smooth, and I haven’t noticed any shadowing at all.
And the best part? I paid $9 for it. Yep.
I paid about $25 for my personal bullet journal and every pen I’ve tried shadows. I couldn’t believe this $9 journal had better paper.
So, the supplies I’m using for my homeschool journal are:
- Dot Grid Journal
- These pens (I’m usually a pen snob, and almost didn’t buy these, but the reviews were great and I really like them!)
- Papermate Flair Pens
- Miscellaneous Washi
- Bullet Journal Stencils
How to Use a Bullet Journal for Homeschool Planning & Memory Keeping
I got the idea to “reverse plan” our homeschool journey while reading Brave Learner, by Julie Bogart.
In one of her chapters, she talks about how often us moms don’t realize just how much we’ve gotten done. Days and weeks blur together, and a lot of the little things get forgotten.
By writing down what happens each day as it’s happening, we can look back and see just how much information was covered, even on the bad days.
I love this idea. I’ll still write down what I hope to get done each day, but I’ll also include notes as we go of anything that comes up.
Things I’m tracking in my homeschool bullet journal:
- reading logs: to keep up with how many books we’ve read together, how many books each kid has read individually, and books we want to read
- yearly goals: We sat down together and each came up with goals we have for this school year. I’ve got those written down on one of the first pages, so we can reference them regularly.
- attendance: I don’t technically have to keep attendance here in Texas, but this year, I want to start. Marking off attendance will help me figure out when our last day is.
- field trips: trips we’ve gone on, trips I want to go on, and places I want to look up for the future.
- library books: We visit the library a lot, so having a list of what we’ve checked out and when it’s due will help us stay organized. (That, and keeping library books in a special basket).
- daily log: this is where I’ll track what we do each day, including extras like nature study, documentaries, books, and conversations that give us learning experiences.
- weekly log: I like having a week-at-a-glance page so I can keep track of the days we won’t be home. That way I know if we need to work around anything to give us time for co-op classes, museum workshops, or upcoming field trips.
- weekly prep: This year, we’re using an all-inclusive curriculum from Bookshark, so there’s a lot less prep than there was last year. But, there are still projects, experiments, and reading lists each week, so I can use this area to get everything organized each week.
- Big picture planning: I got this idea from Kara Anderson, who has tons of homeschool bullet journal inspiration!
- Monthly Ideas: This is where I’ll jot down all the ideas that might fit into our curriculum each month.
- to-do lists: where I can track things that need to get done, obviously. This could be enrolling in a spring workshop, buying supplies for a certain project, sorting through folders, ordering books
Final thoughts on using a bullet journal for homeschool planning
Homeschool planning can be so much more than just keeping a schedule of what books and worksheets you’re doing every day. By incorporating memory keeping, idea trackers, and goal sheets, you can really get a lot out of your homeschool bullet journal.
More Thoughts about Homeschooling:
- From Public School to Homeschool: Our Reason Behind the Switch
- 5 Things Not to Say to a New Homeschool Mom