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 2021-2022: A Planner by Homeschool Moms for Homeschool Moms

Looking at The Brave Homeschool Planner

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.

Some time ago, 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.

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The Brave Homeschool Planner 2021-2022: A Planner by Homeschool Moms for Homeschool Moms #homeschoolplanning #homeschoolmom #homeschoolorganization

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

Open Brave Homeschool Planner

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

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 are only homeschool specific planning pages that help to create homeschool focus.

Plans for homeschool

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.

Planning the homeschool year

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.

Homeschool reading list

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.

What's Included in The Brave Homeschool Planner

In this 173-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 2021-Sept. 2022)
  • Weekly Planning Pages (July 2021-June 2022) for 4 students
For your printing convenience, there are two versions to choose from: Full-Color and Black & White with Colored Accents.

Homeschool attendance sheets

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.

2-page homeschool calendar

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 Instagram. All winners will be announced sometime after Monday, February 22, 2021. 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 into the blog comments section as "anonymous," please include at least your first name at the end of your comment.


  1. I tend to plan weekly because I find it intimidating to plan too far ahead. Plus, I worry that I will fall behind and have to adjust things as I go. I really want something that is useful for the things I need it to be used for (homeschooling) without all the extras that just bulk it up, get in the way, and make it hard for me to find my place!

  2. This planner looks amazing! I’ve used a variety over the years but I haven’t found one that fits all my needs perfectly. I’m intrigued by this one though.
    Side note, to answer the question from the IG giveaway...I’ve been homeschooling my fellas for 5 years now and the thing that is still the most daunting for me is ensuring that it is still fun for my guys.

  3. The most daunting task for me is actually sitting down and documenting. Because it is manual, it takes time and effort but once it is done, I'm at peace lol!

  4. It looks like a great planner! I don't plan out very far but I use a planner more as a record of what we've done.

  5. I love to plan, so the only daunting part in my mind is giving myself grace when our days don't end up looking exactly like I imagine. ;)

  6. I love the look of this planner, it's exactly what I would want in a planner. So many planners do not fit homeschool needs, or for me that have way too much and I really hate unused pages (it's that check list personality thing ha!) For me the most daunting part of planning is deciding what is realistic for our homeschool and what is not realistic in my season of life and giving myself grace along the way.

  7. Trying to figure out how to efficiently blend routines and classtimes, as well as meals and housecleaning. So hard.

  8. I tend to plan weekly, and use a Mead planner then backtrack to what we actually covered. It’s a mess lol so anything to help with that would be awesome! _JennaJadeG on IG

  9. Writing down plans in a planner ahead of time is the daunting part of planning for me, ha! But I need and love to use one. It doesn't work for me like I would love for it to. I love to plan and prepare, but I have taken on a "do the next thing/page/etc." because it inevitably changes from day to day and I crumple with that. And all that has been put in the planner has to be changed and I don't like a messy planner day :) SO, I use a planner to write down what we have done in the day. I use a general notebook and a course of study-type page to write down general plans for my 6 learners. My high schoolers have planners of their own and I help them with time managing their weeks.

  10. I have fallen into the rabbit hole of curriculum choices and feel a little paralyzed over making a decision on what to do that will be my challenge for planning this year.

  11. I love this planner and have been using it this school year! My daunting task is the fear that I'll hate a curriculum choice and have to reschedule mid year! I've had this happen in the past and had to realize it's better to change things up (even though it requires more work) than to slog thru something no one is enjoying! Thank God for erasable pens!

    1. Congratulations, Megan! You are one of the winners of The Brave Homeschool Planner download. Would you email me at theunlikelyhomeschool@yahoo.com and I'll get that out to your inbox?

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  13. I think planning the curriculum and day-to-day assignments, especially math, is the most daunting to me. I've tried other planners in the past and have been unable to find a good fit. I would love to try this planner!!

  14. Choosing my planner is the most difficult part for me. I’ve searched and searched for a hybrid of sorts that will allow me to schedule school and personal events. I love that your planner includes a weekend section on the weekly spread. That’s just what I’ve been wanting!

  15. I've used another planner, and it serves its purpose just fine, however, this planner appears to better fit our homeschool plan. More too offer!

  16. I’ve used several planners, and I’ve found all the “extras” that you mentioned to be a drag as well. My biggest problem with planning is just sitting long enough to make myself do it! 😆but once I do-it’s amazing how much better I feel! It makes the overwhelming seem doable.

  17. I have been using just electronic planning through google docs, but I would like to be more intentional at looking and adjusting my plans in something more concrete.

  18. I have loved this planner for the past two years. The most daunting part of planning to me is leaving room for spontaneity.

  19. We got a planner for the year but I honestly don’t use more than half the pages and most days forget to fill it in. I feel like I have to use it just because I have it( oh bring on the guilt). I don’t love it and it’s just a record that we actually did something for my son in learning. Plus it’s all black and white and is pretty boring.
    This one sounds way more fun and attention getting but very practical as well.

  20. I have tried many planners. Nothing ever seems to be perfect but a basic lined notebook. I'm intrigued by your planner and would enjoy trying it out. The most daunting part of homeschooling to me is leaving flex time.

  21. I find the day daunting because most of the time I’m trying to preoccupy the younger kiddos

  22. Scheduling has felt overwhelming for the exact reason you mention in the article: dates are chains and if the planned lessons aren’t accomplished then I feel forever behind.
    I also struggle to even create lesson plans because my strong willed littles want to help decide what they’re doing and it seems to be the opposite of what I plan 🙄😒🧐
    This looks amazing! I love the bare bones idea and it looks beautiful! 🥰

  23. So, I’m new to homeschool this year like a lot of moms. In the beginning my husband wanted dates on the calendar for goal purposes but that seemed so daunting to me. I didn’t want to be shown my failures! Ha! But as we’ve come into February I’m feeling a bit more confident and a desire to plan more but still have flexibility. This sounds perfect!

  24. I have always been intimidated by the planners that I have looked at so for the past four years I have just used a blank notebook instead. I would love to find a planner that could add a little more beauty and structure to "my paperwork" part of homeschool.

  25. We homeschool all year, taking small breaks during our favorite times of year from fall through spring when it starts to get too hot in Texas! We aestivate in summer, best to just stay in and do school! So when my son was younger we decided he did better with not stopping his studies and our daughter is the same way now! Then I found out I had breast cancer and went through chemo treatment, surgery and radiation. I’m in the clear now, but I still find it hard to get myself organized now. I am a perfectionist and before I was so organized, but my organization went kaplooey when my chemo brain took over! I need something that is easy and engaging and can help get my order back!!

    1. - Comment above , Miriam(skidoo42283 on instagram)

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    3. Congratulations, Miriam! You are one of the winners of The Brave Homeschool Planner download. Can you email me at theunlikelyhomeschool@yahoo.com so that I can get your planner to you?

  26. I am pretty good at planning...it is the staying on top of it after we've totally gone off schedule because it doesn't go as planned. I get derailed and then I loose gusto and I just quit planning. :(

  27. Oh how I love a good planner! Sitting down to plan my homeschool year is my idea of FUN. The most daunting part is putting my plan into place and seeing how it all works together with my children.

  28. I'm new to homeschool so still figuring it all out. We know we are doing school Mon-Fri and that's about all the planning we've done so far. Would love a place to be able to look ahead and plan better for next year.

  29. The most daunting for me not being able to see the whole picture. I know what I want to get accomplished and usually my target end date. But life happens and things come up. Although I had scheduled a school day, I may have to skip because something changed. Then I'm erasing what I wrote in my planner to switch it all to another day! Your pages that don't have a specific date for planning homeschool days is genius! I can't wait to get my hands on this planner, one way or another!

  30. This is my first year homeschooling more than one so trying to figure out how to plan what each kid needs and keep them organized while dealing with my husband's severe broken foot (non-weight bearing for minimum of 3 month, likely closer to 6) has put me almost in a state of survival mode. That and I just have not found a good planner that helps me keep it all organized! Definitely looking forward to researching this one and trying it out for sure!

  31. I have gone thru other planners and nothing has fit us so far. We don't really have a very good schedule down (I'm terrible with that) and need help with organizing and planning our days!!! So far I have been overwhelmed with any others because they just have too much going on and spending that money just to throw all those pages that are nessecary away is a bit insane! Heres to hoping this beautiful planner is the one!!

  32. Actually putting my plan in place and following the schedule is my daunting part of using a planner, but I am trying to work on that:

  33. This planner looks awesome, only problem for me is that it goes from July to June, and here in NZ our school year goes from Feb to December, one of the (few) inconveniences about living down under, haha

  34. Is it possible to see a better picture of what the daily schedule pages look like?

    1. I would specifically like to be able to see what words are written across of each column and what words are written down the left side.

  35. I have loved using this planner! Thank you for making it available. Are you planning on making a 2022/2023 planner available?

    1. The new one is actually in the shop and ready to be downloaded. You can find it here>>>