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I am so thrilled to show this to you all. Because while I've been using my Erin Condren Life Planner for…well, life, and squeezing in school ideas where I could, ErinCondren.com sent a Teacher's Lesson Planner for me to review – and I love it.
If you're not a teacher or homeschooler, you may want to keep reading to the end to see some of the accessories! If you want to learn more about the Erin Condren Life Planners, you can read my review on the new horizontal Erin Condren Life Planner.
While this Teacher's Lesson Planner was clearly designed for a brick-and-mortar school teacher, this can easily and very successfully be used for homeschoolers. I am teaching four different grade levels this year (insert panic attack here), and I need some organizational help for this one-room schoolhouse! This planner will make my record-keeping much, MUCH easier and I'm really excited to use this as an organizational tool for our homeschool year.
As with previous product reviews, please bear with me as the image sizes are not uniform – I really want you to get a close up look of some things and wider shots of others. Hopefully this will give you a really great idea of this Lesson Planner and how it can be used, whether you're a school teacher or a homeschool mom.
My notes about each page are written ABOVE the photo, so you can read, then scroll down. If you are interested in purchasing from Erin Condren for the first time, you can use my referral code to get $10 off of your purchase! Here we go!
This is what I received in the mail:
This is the cover for the Ready-to-Ship option, with the ruler/bookmark that comes with the Erin Condren Life Planners. The Ready-to-Ship option comes with a coupon code for a free, customizable cover from erincondren.com.
The first pages are self-explanatory…”All About Me”:
Below you'll see “Classroom Events and Volunteers”, “Special Events & Field Trips”, “Helpful Hints for the Substitute”, and “Students with Special Needs.”
This section isn't really one that I would utilize often. The only volunteer around here is me, and I WISH for an occasional substitute like I wish for a vacation to Hawaii. BUT! This is still a usable section for homeschool mamas! Field trips can be recorded here, and IF you have a babysitter or family member or hubby who helps with school, the “Substitute” section may be helpful. I don't have any of the above, so I'm going to write in our school schedule for reference and that's about it for that section. I may even go crazy with the washi and stickers and come up with something different.
Holidays and Dates to Remember is very useful, for obvious reasons, and lists notable birthdays and holidays. This isn't only useful to know when school holidays are (we often work through bank holidays), but because I didn't even know who some of the people listed here are. Thanks to Google, I now know that Jan Brett, Eve Bunting, and Marc Brown are children's book authors (probably something I should already recognize) and they are all listed in “Holidays and Dates to Remember.” I have also learned that Teacher Appreciation Week is the first week of May, and I am planning to drop hints accordingly. (Homeschool Moms should DEFINITELY be appreciated during Teacher Appreciation Week!).
Below is a very pretty birthday tracking sheet. Gotta be honest here – I'm not likely to forget my kids' birthdays. But speaking of forgetting birthdays, I have to confess that one of my favorite things to do is to quiz my husband on one of the 5 kids' birthdays (and occasionally, middle names) and watch him squirm, and then listen to him explain that remembering dates has nothing to do with how much he loves them – it's hilarious.
Anyway, in this big birthday section, since we don't have a big class, we will be writing birthdays of friends and family members. This is great to have handy, because every Friday my kids write letters to practice penmanship and writing skills. This spreadsheet pretty much guarantees that we will easily find someone to write to every week.
Below you'll see an “Absentee Log” – I seriously love this for homeschool! This is a great way to keep records of days you take off, and for what reason, which is excellent for state reporting and record-keeping.
Sigh. I love the graph paper. I don't know what I'll do with it yet, but it will be epic. Or maybe it will just be average. But it looks so pretty! I could use it to redesign our homeschool room. Maybe I'll just color on it for stress-relief when I'm feeling like one more phonics lesson will drive me up the wall. Or maybe I'll play a game of MASH. I don't know yet, but the possibilities are endless!
Below is “Year at a glance”, which is one of my FAVORITE features in this planner! I have goals for each of my kids for every school year, and I break those goals down into concepts that I want to work on every month. These sheets are perfect for tracking those goals and keeping me accountable.
With every month is a “Notes” section, which is great for many, many reasons. This will be great for tracking reading assignments – which books the kids have read, which books are checked out from the library, etc.
This monthly spread is nice for filling in holidays, days off, field trips, things that take you out of the house…well, it's a calendar. I guess I don't need to explain how I use a calendar. 🙂
Below is a monthly spread without the dots applied, just so you can see what it looks like.
Now for the fun part…the Lessons section! Below is the blank planner:
…and here is how I use it! I filled in a week of lesson plans. We are just getting started with the next grade levels (we school year-round), and color-coded each child so it's easy to track across the sheet. This makes it so, so easy to keep track of assignments for each kid! There are four slots, so when #5 starts school I have several options: a) write one kids' name on the date line under the day of the week; b) double up kids' names on the name line; c) group kids' that are closer in age…really, there aren't any homeschool planners that I know of with tons of lines available for big families, so when it's time to teach more than four kids I'll make this work!
Here's a closer look at how I'm using the Lesson Plan. “Quiet Time” and some Science are all done as a family, so I wrote those in gray. The other lessons are color-coded to kid (by the way, I've gotten used to writing lesson plans and this didn't take me very long at all). New homeschool moms, please do not assume you have to spend lots of time lesson planning! It really depends on which curriculum you choose, how many kids you're teaching, and many other factors.
After the lesson planning pages, there are these Student Checklists, which I will use to track assignments (mainly for the older kids). This will definitely help me keep track of things that I ask my kids to complete. Occasionally we have those moments where they promise they've turned something in to me, but I can't remember if it actually happened (I've got a lot to keep track of, please don't judge me!). This is a neat feature that will allow me to mark down papers received as they are turned in.
A closer look:
At the end of the Teacher's Lesson Planner, there are sticker sheets, very similar to what you'll find in an Erin Condren Life Planner.
Another sheet of stickers…these aren't all applicable to homeschoolers. Although it might be fun to call for an “Assembly” and watch my kids try to figure out what that means. But many of them are useable and fun! Following the printed stickers are blank sticker sheets.
At the end of the Lesson Planner is a double-sided “Keep it Together” folder, a clear sheet protector (another one of my favorite things about this – I will probably put our school routine in mine!, and a clear zip pouch. When you purchase your Teacher's Lesson Planner, you have the option to add additional clear sheet protectors and checklist pages.
A closer look at the sheet protector (I just put the stylized stickies card in there to show you what it looks like):
That wraps up the Lesson Planner, now for some of the fun stuff! I previously reviewed the pens, and did an “old vs. new” shot for you to compare.
Here is the “Cool for School” sticker book, pulled apart so you can see all of the pages:
I took a close up of my favorite EC sticker…ever. And I think I've bought them all. Look at the little lined notebook sticker! I've bought similar stickers on Etsy in the past, but none of them had the pretty gold foil.
This is one of my favorites…the new Erin Condren StylizedStickies! These fit perfectly in all of my planners (don't ask how many I have), they are SUPER cute, AND IT SNAPS INTO THE PLANNER! I have no words. Well, clearly I have many words, because I just overshared about this Lesson Planner, but this is so cool!
I put one in my new Lesson Planner…
One in a vertical planner…
And one in a horizontal planner, so you can see how it fits:
Well, that's it. That is my extremely-comprehensive-hopefully-not-too-detailed Teacher's Lesson Planner review for you! This is by far the prettiest and best homeschool lesson planner I've found…even if it's not expressly made for homeschool. If you are interested in buying an Erin Condren Teacher's Lesson Planner OR a Life Planner, you can use my referral link for $10 off!