I’ve always loved planners and calendars. When I was little, my favorites were ones with puppies on them. I didn’t really have much use for them at the time but I still loved them. I’d flip through the months, oohing and ahhing at the cute puppies. I marked all my siblings’ birthdays down, even though I knew them by heart.
As I entered high school and joined various clubs and sporting groups, got a job and a boyfriend, having a calendar became a necessity. It helped keep me organized and pointed in the right direction. When Mike left for boot camp it became my way of counting down the days until we were together again; later they would count down the days until I was due with a baby, would take a child to have surgery, or prepare for a graduation.
I have kept many of my calendars throughout the years and have enjoyed looking back on them with fond (and sad) memories.
As we have added more and more children to our family, I have found that my calendar has become even more important than ever before. To try and keep track of so many kids’ (and my own!) doctor appointments, activities, and other engagements became too much for my little calendar hanging on the wall. I needed something more.
Last year when Martina rolled out the new Catholic planner and calendar at Catholic Sistas I knew I had found exactly what I was looking for. As a writer, I was asked to test it out. I was in heaven from the moment I laid eyes on it! Not only was it pretty, but it was functional as well. On top of that, I could customize it for my needs. Because I got to print it off myself I could print as much or as little of something as I needed. Additionally, I could bind it anyway that I felt was right for me.
And so, my household planner took root and became the hub and mainstay of our family. I used my planner and calendar continuously throughout the year and eagerly awaited the new calendar for this year.
Martina has suggested that we could bind our planners. You can get them done relatively cheaply at office supply stores such as Staples. But I had another plan. I got a three-ringed binder and page protectors and got busy printing. When I was done, I held in my hand what would become “command central” of our household.
The calendar was the first thing in my binder. Using Vis-à-vis markers, I easily wrote down all our engagements on the calendar. I could change things or add them easily.
Next up I printed off the household management section. There is room for our personal information and an address book. Following this, I printed off the prayers section and added in a notes section. This way I could write down my own prayers or prayer intentions. The flexibility of printing it off on your own means you can print off as many notes sections as you may need! I love this!
In my notebook the third section I added was the organization pages. With a daily chores list and organizing challenges at my fingertips, I was sure to be able to stay more organized than before. I love that the planner also includes weekly and monthly chores. While I have daily chores listed out and laminated for the kids, these were chores that we often don’t think about and it’s good to have that check list to help me remember! I followed this section up with more notes too. This way if I need to remember we needed more furnace filters or more light bulbs (or whatever!) I would be more likely to add them to my list of things to buy.
I printed off several of the “around the house” project pages so that as we thought of things that needed to be done around the house (either that we really would do or that we were simply “dreaming” about) they would all be in a central location.
My next sections were budgeting, meal planning, and shopping. Seriously, when you have all of these together it helps you stay on budget and really keep track of what you are spending. In our house where we live on one income, it’s a necessity to make sure every cent is accounted for. This helped tremendously!
I included the Blog printout in my binder although I didn’t get to use them near as much as I wanted to. Because I was in school full time last year finishing up my degree, my blog seemed to suffer from neglect. I plan to change that this year! I will be in school again full time working towards my Masters of Theology and I believe the blogging package will help keep me focused and able to maintain both my blog and my grade point average!
Because I have made mine into a binder I am able to add pages as I see fit. I have empty page protectors to store receipts, pockets to add invitations as I receive them or appointment reminders I don’t want to lose. I can store my bills until they are paid or slip in anything I don’t want to lose. Additionally, my husband knows that if anything happens to me he can find all our account numbers and all the important information needed to run our house efficiently if I am not able to be here.
The final package I want to talk to you about is the homeschooling package. It’s no secret that I have a hard time finding things that can accommodate larger than normal families. Most planners are made for families that have a few kids (maybe even more than a few but never for as many as we have!). I have found with the Catholic Sistas planner that because I can print out what I need I am able to easily adapt it for my family’s needs.
The package comes with weekly lesson plan pages, each with an inspiriting quotation to keep you motivated and focused. If you are laminating them like I did you don’t have to print off one for every week of the year; however, you can do that as well if you decide you’d rather have one for each week. Something I am doing differently this year is to have my lesson plans in my own binder for each week, but I will also have a laminated version of the week posted on the bulletin board for the kids so they know what is coming up for the week.
In addition to the lesson plan pages, you have notes pages (love this of course!), grading sheets, evaluations (for both student and teacher!), and a report card. Because you print off as many as you need, you can have one child or 20 kids and still be able to use this planner!
The final part of this homeschooling planner is a homeschooling conference kit that gives you ideas on what to take to a homeschooling conference as well as a place to help you list and review all the curriculum you may be considering.
Have I convinced you yet that this is a wonderful (and necessary) package you need? Want to see more sample pages? Click here to visit the Catholic Sistas website to see more!
As part of the Catholic Through the Year Blog Tour Contest, I am lucky to be able to give away an entire “Catholic Through the Year” downloadable planner! Not only will you receive the calendar, but you will also get the home management, blogger, and the homeschooling bundles as well!
Want to enter to win? Simply leave me a comment below on why you would like to win. Want to increase your odds with extra entries? Go to my Facebook page and like the page and share the link to this post on your own Facebook page (or click share below!). You will receive 2 extra entries for doing so! The contest opens today and will end next Thursday, July 30th with the winner being announced Friday, July 31st.
Want a planner but don’t want to wait for the contest to end? You can order your very own planner, or any portion of it, at the Catholic Sistas website. Not only is this a great planner, but it is extremely affordable too. Check it out here.
Thanks for stopping by and don’t forget to leave your comment below! Good luck!