Using a Bullet Journal in Your Homeschooling

Monday, June 27, 2016

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I have been homeschooling for close to fifteen years. It has been quite the that changes with each semester and child. One of the most important aspects in getting homeschooling done is to be organized and to make sure I plan out our weeks. When there is no plan, not much will get done. Over the years I have used all kinds of homeschool planners. They have been good, but I have noticed that they mostly go unused. That isn't to say that I don't plan out each week, but rather that planners tend to have more pages than I would use. This year I wanted to customize my planner and have only pages I would really utilize. So instead of using a planner I have decided to create a bullet journal to keep us on task.

What is a bullet journal? It is a hand-written way of keeping everything organized. Here is probably the best post on the internet on how to set up a bullet journal. Keep in mind that in this post the author is showing you how to set up a bullet journal to replace your calendar or daytimer. Here I am going to show you how I set up a bullet journal just for our homeschool planning...

To create a bullet journal, you need a few items...a journal, some pens, and a ruler. You can get fancier with decorating it, but remember, that beautiful is not necessarily the goal...functionality is. I do add a little color to my homeschool bullet journal with Prismacolor pencils, but that is about it. As far as the journal goes, this one is my favorite, the Moleskine Squared Notebook (Extra Large), because it has tons of space and the paper in it is like graph paper which makes it easy to set up pages.

Here's a quick look at my set-up:

I start with an index page (actually I give my index about three pages). These pages are vital to any bullet journal as this is where you record where things are in your journal. As I write on another page, I make sure I number the page down at the bottom and then record in the index what is on that page.

The next page in my journal is a "Year-at-a-Glance" page. I start it in July and finish it in June since that works better for the school year. This page is great as you plan throughout the year. You don't have to go looking for another calendar as you setting up your months and weeks.

I then created a page that will list the classes or subjects my son will be doing. It will include space to list the curriculum I will be using for each class.

 After that page, I have a page for grades for the fall semester and another page for the spring. Because my son is high school I have to be more diligent about recording how he is doing. Even so, the only thing I really do is create a row for the class and then record the individual grades in that row. When I need an official grade I will average the numbers for that class.

When we start a new month I will create an overview page for the month. On this page I will write overall goals for the month, days when won't do school, and any special events. I will also include tasks I will need to do for the month in regards to our, for example, in July, I will write a list of curricula that I still need to order.

The weekly pages will be the heart of my homeschool bullet journal. Across the side, I list the days of the week; at the top of each column I write the classes (one class per column) and then I can fill out each square on what we need to accomplish in each subject. The weekly spread can be formatted differently if you are homeschooling more than one child or you can create separate weekly spreads for each child. Do what works for you!

So those are some examples of what my bullet journal looks like, but the beauty of a bullet journal is that you can create pages for almost anything! Maybe you need a list of books you are going to read. Or you need a field trip schedule. Maybe you need to have planning pages for a unit study. You can create any type of page you could possibly need!


Anonymous said...

Thank you for this article. I use the homeschooler's journal by Fergnus services which is laid out very much like your weekly school pages. This journal already has the grid for classes. It's simple enough that it could be used as a start to a bullet journal. Your post in giving me fresh inspiration as to how to utilize it better. I like the idea of colored pens and pencils:) since a friend of mine makes the homeschoolers journal I sometimes ask him to leave the front cover blank so I can decorate it according to whatever historical period we are studying that year. I have been homeschooling for 30 plus years and this type of grid system really helps me stay on task. The subject squares, 6 along the top, keep me on track. I only have time for 6 subjects. Bible, Math, Language Arts, Reader, History/Science, Literature. Those are my categories. If I have 3 different books going that fall under "Bible" I have to alternate them throughout the week or if I choose 2 different Language Arts workbooks they have to fit in the time slot allowed for language arts. This has been the best system for me by far. I tend to be too ambitious and choose too many books. Now I just juggle them within my squares:) works for me!!!

Amy Simon said...

Good ideas! Do you have a separate bullet journal for homeschooling or is it part of a general one? I have a general bujo but I'm trying to be more on top of things, such as having science experiment materials on hand when I need them. I homeschool 3 kids, the oldest will be starting high school in the fall. I'm thinking that my monthly spread should have a general calendar and a homeschool one maybe. I like your month overview idea.

Debbie P said...

I have two bullet journals. A personal one and then the homeschooling one. For me, it is easier to keep them separate.

Sarah Smith said...

Looks like your hosting page is out of date! Cant see what you did :)

Debbie P said...

Yes, it is Photobucket that I was using. They have decided to charge everyone $400 a year to host pictures. I can't afford that. But I have restored this post so you should be able to see the photos now.