Welcome!

I'm a wife to my "Mr. Right". A momma of five. A maker of slow food and simple living. A collector of memories, a keeper of books, and a champion for books that make memories. An addict who likes my half-and-half with a splash of coffee. A fractured pot transformed by the One Who makes broken things beautiful. I heart homeschooling, brake for libraries, and am glad you're here with me on the journey! Be sure to subscribe to my monthly newsletter. Or, follow along with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google +, Youtube, or Pinterest.

The Brave Homeschool Planner 2020-2021: A Planner by Homeschool Moms for Homeschool Moms

The Brave Homeschool Planner 2020-2021: A Planner by Homeschool Moms for Homeschool Moms #homeschool #homeschoolplanner #homeschoolmom #homeeducation

Extras always seem to weigh me down. They require work, rob me of my energy, and breed unnecessary guilt. As a busy, work-at-home, homeschooling mom, I don't have time for that. I'd rather focus my effort on things that bring me joy and add, not detract, from my day. And so I purge all the extras, guilt-free. I prune away any non-essentials...of my time, of my home, of my school.

Last year, I made the decision to paper purge. For years, I used a popular homeschool planner. And while I was happy with the basic set-up of the planner, I always felt a wee-bit burdened by the pages and pages of extras that I never really used. FOMO sometimes guilt-drove me to fill in the blanks. But all the time spent logging unnecessaries seemed like such a waste.


Then, I stumbled upon another popular planner. It was a bare-bones, basic planner--everything I thought I needed. It was sensible and functional. Workaday, you might say, like orthopedic shoes and brown paper lunch sacks. But just like those, the planner could not inspire or excite me. It did the job, mind you, but was so aggressively average looking that I may as well have been using a spiral notebook to schedule our days.

(This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for full details.)

I was at an impasse. It seemed I had two choices: flashy and overwhelming or prudent and blah.

It became glaringly obvious that it was time to break up with my underwhelming planners and forge a new relationship.

When I went looking around for a planner that could fit the bill--one that combined the appeal of my first planner and the simplicity of the second, I came away empty-handed. So, as with most of life, necessity became the mother of invention.

I needed a planner that would give me the bravery to chart a unique course for me and mine.

I needed a planner that would fit my life, not one that forced its way in.

I needed a planner that would adapt to the unique needs of homeschooling.

Enter the planner that was inspired by my book, Homeschool Bravely and it's scheduling companion, The Quick-Start Guide to Brave Homeschool Schedules: The Brave Homeschool Planner

The Brave Homeschool Planner 2020-2021: A Planner by Homeschool Moms for Homeschool Moms #homeschool #homeschoolplanner #homeschoolmom #homeeducation

What Makes the Brave Homeschool Planner Better


It's made by a homeschool mom for a homeschool mom.

I learned early on in my homeschooling journey that no run-of-the-mill planner would do for a homeschooler's schedule. A traditional classroom-style planner falls short too: the calendar grids don't align with a homeschool lifestyle, the lesson plan space only accommodates for one grade level, the emphasis is on grades and rubrics. The Brave Homeschool Planner, on the other hand, was designed by a homeschool mom with the specific needs of a homeschool mom in mind.

The Brave Homeschool Planner 2020-2021: A Planner by Homeschool Moms for Homeschool Moms #homeschool #homeschoolplanner #homeschoolmom #homeeducation

It's the perfect blend of pretty and practical.

As I mentioned, The Brave Homeschool Planner does NOT include a lot of superfluous extras that those expensive homeschool planners add on like menu sheets, budget planning pages, and Christmas gift lists...not because those types of lists aren't important, but because most homeschool moms prefer not to muddy the planning waters with all of those things. Having all of those extra home-keeping pages end up distracting from the work at hand. There's no fluff in the Brave Homeschool Planner. There's only homeschool specific planning pages that help to create homeschool focus.

The Brave Homeschool Planner 2020-2021: A Planner by Homeschool Moms for Homeschool Moms #homeschool #homeschoolplanner #homeschoolmom #homeeducation

It's a basic homeschool portfolio.

Because the Brave Homeschool Planner provides space for keeping accurate records of attendance, curriculum choices, field trips, book lists, as well as daily schedules and lesson plans, it acts as a basic homeschool portfolio. At the end of the year, it can be stashed away with work samples and projects to complete a comprehensive paper trail for the entire year.

The Brave Homeschool Planner 2020-2021: A Planner by Homeschool Moms for Homeschool Moms #homeschool #homeschoolplanner #homeschoolmom #homeeducation

It's firm but flexible.

In the past when you've used homeschool planners, you were probably faced with two scenarios. You could write down the lessons you hoped to accomplish on a particular date and then work yourself into a tizzy to complete all those lessons on that date in order to not get behind your plan OR worse yet, you could write down the lessons, not complete all of them on the date you had hoped you would, and then spend the rest of the year feeling a few days ahead in some subjects and a few days behind in others.

But, with the Brave Homeschool Planner, there's a Door Number Three. Unlike most planners, the Brave Homeschool Planner provides days, not dates. At the top of each weekly scheduling page is a small month-at-a-glance calendar to provide a bird's eye view of the month. But each scheduling column on the page only includes the day of the week, not a hard-and-fast date. That means, before the school year even starts, you can write down the lessons you hope to accomplish on a dateless column and then later, during the school year, you can write in the date when the lessons were actually accomplished. It's a small mind shift, but one that eliminates any unnecessary mom guilt.

Days are suggestions that help keep momentum on the school week. Dates are bullies that chain a homeschool mom to feelings of failure.

The Brave Homeschool Planner 2020-2021: A Planner by Homeschool Moms for Homeschool Moms #homeschool #homeschoolplanner #homeschoolmom #homeeducation

It provides room for the unplanned.

The "Notes" space that runs along the bottom of each 2-page scheduling spread provides space for jotting down any "unplanned" ideas you might have throughout the week like books you'd like to check out from the library for an upcoming unit study, words that you've found your kids consistently misspelling, or potential projects you need to buy supplies for. "Notes" leaves room for the detours of the week--the unplanned ideas that need space too.


The Brave Homeschool Planner 2020-2021: A Planner by Homeschool Moms for Homeschool Moms #homeschool #homeschoolplanner #homeschoolmom #homeeducation

What's Included in The Brave Homeschool Planner


In this 182-page digital download, you will receive a printable homeschool planner that includes the following pages:
  • Emergency Contact Info
  • Daily Chore Chart
  • Potential Field Trips
  • What We're All About
  • Daily Schedule Template
  • Year-at-a-Glance Calendar
  • Attendance Sheets (for 4 students)
  • Curriculum/Book Planning Sheets (for 4 students)
  • 2-Page Monthly Calendar Spreads (July 2020-July 2021)
  • Weekly Planning Pages (July 2020-July 2021) for 4 students
For your printing convenience, there are two versions to choose from: Full-Color and Black & White with Colored Accents.

The Brave Homeschool Planner 2020-2021: A Planner by Homeschool Moms for Homeschool Moms #homeschool #homeschoolplanner #homeschoolmom #homeeducation

Why You Need the Brave Homeschool Planner


With a planner like this, you can write all your homeschooling plans down and walk away! You can, in a very real sense, schedule your ENTIRE homeschool year, stick "homeschooling" on a shelf, and come back to it the next day knowing that all your thoughts and plans and preparations will still be there when you need them.

Education is a discipline. For your kids, but also for you. Just as a runner needs a clear and known track in order to know how best to get to the finish line, you need an organized and efficient plan for your homeschool day.

As I've said before, a plan brings freedom and lets you put your entire homeschool day on autopilot so that even when interruptions come, you can still have forward motion. It lets you slow down and enjoy the journey. 

So many of the pieces of a homeschool mom's day are out of her control. Homeschooling shouldn't be one of them.


The Brave Homeschool Planner 2020-2021: A Planner by Homeschool Moms for Homeschool Moms #homeschool #homeschoolplanner #homeschoolmom #homeeducation

Wanna Win a Planner of Your Very Own?


Of course, you do! Now's your chance to win one of six planner downloads I'm giving away!

To enter:

Leave a comment below telling me what part of planning/scheduling your homeschool year is daunting AND/OR head on over to Instagram. Be sure to follow @unlikely_homeschool. Tag at least one friend in the comments section. If you win, so does your friend! You can tag as many friends as you would like for additional chances to win. Just be sure to tag each in a separate comment. For an additional Insta entry, share about the giveaway in your stories, but be sure to tag @unlikely_homeschool.

No purchase necessary to win. Must be 18 years old or older to enter. Two winners will be randomly selected here on the blog and two winners and their friends will be randomly selected on Intstagram. All will be announced sometime after Friday, April 10, 2020. The winners will be notified here in the comments and/or Instagram and will have 72 hours to respond. If an email is not provided or the winner does not respond, the prize will be forfeited and a new winner will be randomly selected. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook or Instagram.

***Mandatory Entry: To enter, be sure to leave a comment in the "comments" section of this post telling me what part of planning/scheduling your homeschool year is daunting OR tag someone on Instagram. If you are logging in the blog comments section as "anonymous," please include at least your first name at the end of your comment.

58 comments:

  1. The most daunting part of the planning at the beginning of a new year is deciding how much to do each day.

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  2. I do a really good job in the beginning and then it goes downhill and off track. I have tried lots of planners- none seem to work long term.

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  3. The most daunting part of planning for me is planning for 3 children in very different age groups.

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  4. The most daunting part is planning what and how much to plan for each kid. A good planner helps that daunting part!

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  5. Stephanie HepflerApril 1, 2020 at 7:17 PM

    The most daunting part of planning for me is just taking the time to write things down and do the actual planning for each of my 8 girls (ages 17 down to 2)!

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  6. To be honest, it’s choosing a curriculum. This is my first year doing it and I’m overwhelmed at the choices!

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  7. The most daunting part of planning is the planning itself. My Instagram is @atticangelfurniture and I tagged a friend ❤️

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  8. The most daunting part is finding the balance between the kiddos, and finding things for little one to do while the other works. So having a planner that allows me to see it all laid out would be key!

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  9. Your planner looks amazing! The most daunting part for me is knowing how to arrange my days and how to account for what to do when life happens and we get behind in the plan. This planner seems like it would help me with that challenge.

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  10. This sounds like the planner for me. The dates make me feel like I have to do things on the dates and I like to be flexible. I have yet to find a planner suitable for my flexible homeschooling. Will this work for a large family of 7 kids?

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  11. The most daunting part for me is when things don’t go the way you’ve planned and time is not on your side. Using the right planner would help. I’ve been looking for the right homeschool planner but haven’t found any.

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  12. The most daunting part for me is to follow through with the planing when life distractions happened. Your blog has been an inspiration on how to use a planner and it’s admirable how you are consistent every year on planning the entire school year.

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  13. I have 7 children total & 5 are currently old enough to homeschool. Their grades are 8th to k & I'm always afraid I'm missing or forgetting something. I plan & I plan & somehow I feel like, there's something I'm forgetting

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  14. I am a (geographically) single mom and I am homeschooling my 4 children - all different ages, and simply juggling homeschool and self-employment is overwhelming most days! (I am not on IG, can I still win?)

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  15. The most daunting part of planning is figuring out how to combine subjects for different ages and how to add projects and activities that would make what we're learning more applicable or real to the kids, but at the same time won't move the regular curriculum too far off course. Marianne

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  16. The most daunting planning task for me is planning itself! I have been schooling at home for 7 years with 5 kiddos and I still feel as if I'm a beginner. I've tried writing it all down and then feeling awful when we can't seem to get it done (or making the kids do school on Saturdays to finish up the week's work) or just writing things done as we do them, and then looking back a week or two and realizing that I haven't written them down at all!

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  17. The difficult part is keeping it updated if things change.

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  18. I think the hardest part is having the confidence to CHOOSE and narrow down the options. I want to do it all and feel pressure to make sure I’m including everything they need and tend to over schedule or overload us. It’s hard to wean back.

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  19. The hardest thing to me is just keeping up with the planning and not last min getting it together

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  20. The most difficult part of planning is knowing how to weave in delight-directed learning alongside the fundamentals. All my kids have very different interests.

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  21. The hardest part is the overview planning for the year I know it is good but interests/plans change so quickly and they always seem to surprise me with what they want to focus on and we blow through that curriculum.

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  22. For me planning for my two high school students is the most daunting; especially since one of them is dyslexic.

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  23. i Have 2 littles who take turns strongly resisting too much routine or schedule, so as a planner the hardest part for me is that I don’t get to do much planning yet. I know it’s a phase that will pass, but I’m itching for a bit more structure. I know God is teaching me patience and to be more flexible which is more important than my desire to plan!

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  24. I think the most daunting part is first finding the curriculum.

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  25. The most daunting part for me is planning for multiple kids without overloading one and short changing the other.

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  26. Your new planner looks amazing! The most daunting part planning/scheduling our homeschool is not over-filling our days.
    -Kerilynn

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  27. For me, the most daunting part of planning is knowing how much to put down because our work is very dependent on the time and people we are meeting. So putting things down on paper often intimidates me as I feel guilty for not accomplishing things that are written down.

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  28. The most daunting part of planning, is organizing all my thoughts onto paper and then executing them.

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  29. Thank you so much for the daily schedule. It is saving my sanity. I have used yearly planners from teacher curriculum stores before, but have given up using them because their days are dated and it's frustrating trying to rework the plan to fit when interruptions happen. April

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  30. The most daunting part for me is trying to figure out if I'm cutting out "extras" that are truly not necessary, or if I'm just being overwhelmed by looking at everything and thinking I need to do it all at once, and therefore missing out on truly helpful things for my children.

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  31. Geesh, I'd say the most daunting part is planning for 3 little girls at different ages AND jumping in to actually DO what I've written down in my planner, for fear of failure. I've been a classroom teacher for almost 20 years, so I'm pretty good at writing lesson plans. The scary part is actually TRYING what I've planned for.

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  32. Knowing that what I plan won’t happen exactly as I plan it makes planning in the first place frustrating. I love the idea of assigning dates after the fact. Why haven’t I thought of this before!?! This isn’t genius �� -Kristen

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    1. It IS genius! I should proofread 😁

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    2. Congratulations, Kristen! You are a winner of a planner download. Could you email me at theunlikelyhomeschool@yahoo.com to claim your prize?

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  33. The most daunting part for me is juggling the schedules of multiple kids. Traditional planners don't help much with that!

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  34. The most daunting part is just starting and figuring out how to balance the outside activities with school work.

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  35. the most daunting thing for me is after I plan out our year and then the plan changes, trying to figure out what we can change to still finish by our planned end date.

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  36. When planning, the daunting part is evaluation and grading. I put it off many times, and when I finally get to it, the thoughts are not fresh in my mind. I should probably "journal" as I go to record my thoughts along the way. I keep a BuJo (Bullet journal), and I've really enjoyed that system for organizing! But, I still have a specific planner for my homeschool plans. Thank you for offering this give-away. I enjoyed your book and enjoy following your blog and podcast. Thanks again.

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  37. I find planning out long term and then the first cold, unscheduled trip, or rabbit trail we followed throws it all off.

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  38. I appreciate the chance to win you homeschool organizer download. The hardest part about organizing my homeschooling is that I haven't figured out how to work chores in. I end up doing them myself 😅

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  39. I alternate between worrying if there’s too much or too little. My eldest is academically gifted so wants to move faster and deeper - but she still needs time to be a kid! I then worry that I’m overloading my younger and not giving her enough play time.

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  40. I'm just getting started, but scheduling for 6 (gr.K-10) to get most of the work done in the morning has been challenging - especially trying to fit in the online time for each with two tablets, one lap top and lagging internet!

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  41. My most daunting task is how to incorporate chores (especially supper and other meals)in our homeschool days. I also want to be more intentional with my time with God.

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  42. My most daunting task for planning is getting past wanting the planner to look perfect and just getting started.

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  43. This will be our first year of high school, so my most daunting task is preparing for that!

    I also have struggled to find a planner that has what I need, but not extras.

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  44. I feel like the most daunting is making it all work together for three different kids!

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    1. Amy, Congratulations! You are a winner of the planner download. Can you please email me at theunlikelyhomeschool@yahoo.com to claim your download?

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  45. The most daunting thing is when we have an interruption and have to move things around.

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  46. How to get back into the groove when we've had to pause, is the hardest fir me. I would love a flexible that helps keep track of multiple kids, multiple curriculums, in multiple levels of progress (on week 17 in this one but ahead in that one on week 32). Also a good full overview of the academic career. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom! ❤️

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  47. This fall will by my first homeschool year, so the idea in itself is daunting. I know a schedule will help calm my mind and a plan with allow me to feel we can conquer this year with flying colors!
    Miranda Lester
    - Miranda Lester

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  48. I am considering homeschooling next year and I have no idea where to even begin! I have no idea what curriculum to use, how to plan or know what I should be teaching and when. It is all overwhelming!

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