It’s homeschool planning time! I am so excited to show you inside my 2020-2021 homeschool bullet journal. I am also going to show you how it compares to last year’s.
I have been using a bullet journal (bujo) as a homeschool planner for the past few years now. The beauty of using a bujo versus a traditional planner is that I am free to change whatever I want as needed. The way I plan out my bujo is always changing each year. Even throughout the year!
A big change in this year’s homeschool bullet journal is I am no longer going to plan our lessons out prior I want to do for the week/ year but only track what we actually get done aka reverse planning.
My favorite materials for bullet journals:
Like I said early on, I have been using a bujo as a homeschool planner for a few years now. I also have a bujo for my normal daily life stuff non-homeschool related and I even had one to organize and schedule my blog/business stuff. Needless to say, I am a bit of a bullet journal junkie. Here are my favorite go-to products for bullet journaling.
- Dot grid notebook– my favorite are Northbook notebooks. I started this year’s homeschool bujo using an A5 Northbook notebook but one of my children ended up scribbling all on and in it. For instant gratification, I ended up buying an XL Moleskin at my local Target which I now totally regret not just waiting to order another Northbook.
- Pens– I love gel pens, specifically Pilot G2 5.0 pens. I recently just picked up some colored gel pens from Lidl that seem pretty nice.
- Highlighters– Midliner highlighters are a new favorite of mine. I find having a variety of colored highlighters are very convenient to have on hand for homeschool purposes as a whole.
- Washi tape – My bujos are not that elaborate so washi tape is an easy quick way for me to jazz up my bullet journal and I love using these to mark certain pages.
- Bullet Journal stencil ruler– I actually didn’t think I would love one of these as much as I do but this makes setting up different layouts in my bullet journal so much easier. This is one I have.
Bullet journal setup
After I have figured out all the curriculum/ book choices I will use for the year, I sat down to have a deep conversation with myself. I had to really think about what do I think will truly help me stay on track with our studies, how can feel more at peace within our school year, and what did/didn’t work in my previous homeschool bullet journal.
Going through this process helps me figure out how I want to approach the new school year’s homeschool bullet journal. It also forces me to be realistic in my expectations of myself and in setting goals.
What to put in your homeschool bullet journal
I can’t tell you how many times I open a brand new blank bujo and just stare at it for what feels like a few hours/ days just thinking of how to set it up. What do I want to add, how do I want the layout, what types of lists/ collections do I want?! For those of you who might be starting a homeschool bullet journal soon, I have made a free list of a ton of homeschool bullet journal prompts you could add in hopes to save you from countless hours of having to search Pinterest.
Here is a peek at last year’s homeschool bujo.
At the very beginning of all my bujos: an Index, Year at a Glance, and Future Log
I ended up never actually looking at this Morning Basket page that I included. My Websites and Password Log did come in handy though.
I had a list of all my curriculum and book choices for each child but these turned out to be irrelevant. We dropped/switched a lot throughout the year so I didn’t need those lists. A useful reference page I had was a page where I had loosely planned out our Along the Alphabet Path studies.
I had also made master checklists for some of our books like First Language Lessons and Math U See. These types of checklists are helpful for keeping track of where you are.
Something new I tried last year was to have an All About so-in-so page for each kid. The goal was to write down the year’s goal, the child’s favorite memory of the school year, age/height/weight at the beginning and end of the year. I never did this either. In theory, this sounds like a really sweet idea but this mommy got lazy.
Then there were the monthly pages that typically had a to-do list, goals for that month, important dates, and notes. I tried to discipline myself to also track each month’s achievements and failures but once again was never consistent. My monthly pages changed often throughout the year but not too much.
My weekly pages were always set up in more of a checklist-style versus a traditional weekly setup. Pros were I do better with checklists. Cons were I would easily lose track of where we were in each subject/ book. The bottom line was my weekly setups were sort of a love/hate thing for me. This goes back to the beauty of bullet journaling my homeschool planner. I was able to change up whatever wasn’t working and try new setups.
Since my weekly spreads haven’t been the most beneficial, I decided to give reverse planning a try for this new school year.
RELATED POST: You can also check out my other bullet journal posts HERE.
Here is my 2020-2021 homeschool bujo!
First is the index, year at a glance, and future log.
I have a Website info page to keep track of all our educational websites login and password info. This is super helpful especially since I have a couple of kids who will be doing some studies online.
I like having a simple Rhythm/ Daily Routine. This is not exactly how things are at the moment but this is the goal of how I would like our day to look like. Everything is still in pencil till I figure out exactly how I want this page to look like.
After the website info and rhythm/ routine page, I decided to not add anything else and go straight to my monthly spread. If I feel the need to add any extra collections then I can do so later at any time.
After the current month’s spread, I start my weekly spreads. I decided to set up my weekly spread like a traditional homeschool planner’s weekly layout. The difference is instead of filling it out ahead of time, I am only jotting down what actually gets done. Here are a couple of weeks’ examples.
As you can see, we got a lot more done on some days compared to others. We are still working on getting our routine established and being more consistent. Recently my chronic idiopathic urticaria (spontaneous hives) acted up and was unable to get any schoolwork in that week. Weeks like that I try to at least just do our read alouds which I did not write down.
So far I am really liking this whole reverse planning thing. Writing down what we do has actually been motivating for me. I feel more satisfied with seeing what we have done compared to only checking off a list of what needs to be done. It also is helpful to easily see what we are not getting enough of.
Although I am not using my homeschool bullet journal to plan things out for the year, I have a binder that contains the year’s goals, master checklists, and procedures for everything. I don’t look at that every day like I do with my homeschool bullet journal. I will go into more detail about my homeschool teacher binder another time.