Today I am showing you how I set up my homeschool bullet journal and what reverse planning is.
This will be my eighth year homeschooling (not counting preschool), and this coming school year I will have a 7th grader, 5th grader, 3rd grader, and 1st grader along with the three little ones to “liven it up”.
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I prefer bullet journaling over a traditional planner because I love how I can customize it and change it throughout the year to fit my family’s needs. I have been using the bullet journal method for homeschool planning for a few years now. Each year, my setup changes. Last year was the first time I tried something completely different and that was reverse planning.
What is reverse planning?
Reverse planning is where you write down the things you actually get done. I loved this so much that I am going to continue to use my homeschool planner this way. It truly has been a total game-changer for me. Before when I planned out my week, I never would get to everything and by the end of the week or month, I couldn’t help but focus on all the things we didn’t do that I always felt like a failure or stressed out that we’re so behind. By reverse planning and writing down only the things we did do, I will look back a month and now focus on all that we accomplished. I still have moments where I feel like “oh no we’re so behind”, “the kids aren’t learning anything, I’m such a failure” but I just look at my planner and remember “wait we did do something, even if it was only one or two things.”
Here are examples of my 2020-2021 homeschool reverse planner
Like I just mentioned above, I would jot down only the things we did for the day. I use the kids’ initials and the curriculum’s abbreviations to indicate who and which tasks. I also made little notes through my journal mentioning how the kids were doing.
RELATED POST: Check out last year’s 2020-2021 homeschool bullet journal.
Bullet journal supplies used:
- B5 dot grid notebook
- 6 pack of vintage color highlighters
- 14 ct of solid color 15mm washi tape
- 10mm washi tape
- pilot frixion erasable pens (my favorite pens!!)
2021-2022 HOMESCHOOL BULLET JOURNAL SETUP
To start with, I decided to add an inspirational quote in the very beginning. This quote from Sarah Mackenzie I thought was perfect to add here. Since I did not want to physically write this
out of pure laziness, I printed it out and taped it in using washi tape.
“It’s easy to forget that teaching is holy work. We forget that building up the intellect- teaching our children to really think- does not happen by the might of human reason, but rather by the grace of God. On an ordinary day, you and I likely have a set of tasks we’ve scheduled for our kids. But it’s more than math. It’s more than history. It’s the building up of our children’s minds and hearts, and we can only do that if we realize that this is how we thank Him for the graces He so lavishly pours out on us.”― Sarah Mackenzie, Teaching from Rest: A Homeschooler’s Guide to Unshakable Peace
The index is key to making a bullet journal work IMHO. In the past, I wasn’t consistent in updating the index and would lose track of my notes.
Key page + Abbreviation list
So I don’t have to write out the full names of the curriculum or books, I like to abbreviate the names to make it easier. Such as Math U See = MUS, The Good and the Beautiful = TGTB. I will, however, forget what abbreviation I gave to what which is why I decided to add this abbreviation list.
Grid cheat sheet
This is something I just discovered the other day when looking up bullet journal inspo. A grid cheat sheet is basically just a nifty reference that makes coming up with page layouts easier. I am honestly surprised I never thought about this before.
Now I can see how many spaces I need if I want a 2 x 2, 3×4, etc. layout. I have also marked how I did last year’s weekly spread.
Year at a glance
Year at a glance is nice to have a whole year to quickly reference.
In my future log, I will jot down any important dates, appointments, commitments related to school. For example: if my homeschool group is having an event in a couple of months I will put the date here. I will also be scheduling all of our just because we can days, review weeks, holidays, and holy days.
Just because we can days is a cool idea I got from Sarah Mackenzie. JBWC days are days that instead of doing school, you do something fun instead. These are meant to be purely fun, so not an educational field trip (although these can be fun), and something a bit more special than just going to a playground that you go to all the time. Some of the things I am planning for our JBWC days are bowling, a movie day, or getting ice cream.
Our review/catch-up weeks will be every six weeks. These weeks are meant for me to just assess where we are, troubleshoot if needed, and for the kids to do any catch-up work they may have.
This year’s future log I wanted to do something unique and decided to try out this mini-book/ dutch door style. I really liked how it came out and may try to incorporate this feature more.
Homeschool Inspirational quotes
Adding inspirational homeschool quotes throughout my homeschool bullet journal planner was a must. I feel like the reminders and encouragement is helpful, especially during times of stress. Because I did not feel like spending a lot of time writing out the quotes (although calligraphy, fancy lettering, and doodling are super fun), I decided to make 5×7 prints that I cut out and easily add using washi tape. These are all free for you to use!
Website login/ password page
The website login/ password page is where I track any of our login information to any educational websites we use. I will list my login info along with the kids’ login information. This has been super helpful, especially if you have forgetful kids.
Rhythm and routine
My rhythm and routine page is what my ideal daily routine would look like. I only put a set time for the things that need to be done by a certain time such as lunch. I am not the type of person that like to have every minute scheduled but I do like having a general rhythm to the day.
Family basket is essentially a morning basket but I call ours family basket. The loop schedule to our family/ morning basket here.
I am also including outlines of my kids’ weekly schedules. Kateri and Avila (3rd & 1st graders) share the same weekly outline. Since Genevieve and Bradley (5th & 7th) are more independent, they have their own. Bradley’s outline is blank for now until I figure out exactly how I want his week to look.
I decided to add another inspirational homeschool quote to my monthly spread. My month spreads don’t usually have much to them but I do like having a section for important dates, goals for the month, and notes.
After setting up my monthly spreads, I setup all my weekly spreads for the month of July. I only made three weekly spreads because we won’t be starting our new school year until mid July. It’s convenient for me to write out all my weeks in the beginning of the month.
The layout below was my favorite way to write out my week last year. It’s very similar to a traditional planner with the days of the week along the top and the subjects on the side. I plan on definitely using this same layout throughout my homeschool bullet journal.
I do want to play around with different layouts and here are two spreads I came up with.
This spread was by far my favorite aesthetically. I decided to have this week’s layout divided up by subjects. It will be interesting to see if I like this spread or not.
This last spread is similar to the first one but with the subjects going across the top and days of the week along the side. This spread was the easiest to write out.
I plan on trying more layouts and different ways to decorate my bullet journal this year. I find it very relaxing and hope it will help me be consistent with using my bullet journal/ planner.
WATCH THE VIDEO OF ME SETTING UP MY 2021-2022 HOMESCHOOL BULLET JOURNAL
This school year’s homeschool bullet journal/ planner is by far my favorite one so far. I absolutely love how it turned out and I am so excited for this coming year.
Check out all of my other homeschool bullet journal posts!
HAVE YOU HEARD OF REVERSE PLANNING? IS IT SOMETHING YOU WOULD TRY?
Sarah @ A Pleasant Education says
I love this! Your bullet journal inspired me last year, so it’s great seeing how you’ve developed and changed. I love bullet journaling for homeschooling, it’s so flexible, and I love changing layouts etc,
Thank you so much! I 100% agree, it is so nice how flexible and easily changeable bullet journaling is.