Organizing Mom’s Homeschool Notebook

by Jimmie Lanley

mom's notes

My Unassuming But Functional Mom Notebook

Notebooking isn’t just for the children. A homeschool mom needs her own well organized notebook, too. I have used one ever since my daughter began homeschooling back in Kindergarten.

Tips for Setting Up Mom’s Homeschool Notebook

  • Get yourself a fat three ring binder that you can add things to and shift things around in. You will always need a thicker notebook than you expect.
  • If you’re the fancy type, decorate the cover and spine of your notebook. (My notebook could use some fanci-fying.)
  • Stock up on sheet protectors. Go ahead an put a dozen or so empty sheet protectors into the notebook before you even need them. They don’t take up any room at all, and they will already be there when you need one to hold a great homeschooling article, catalog, or checklist.
  • Establish a home for your notebook and always store it there when it’s not in use.
  • Add blank paper to your notebook for journaling. You can record milestones, frustrations, and observations. Even if you lean towards unschooling, a journal has value.

Things to Include in Mom’s Homeschool Notebook

Enjoy your spring and your newly organizing mom planner notebook.

This post is the last installment of the Big Spring Spruce Up.

The first two posts are

Three Areas of Mental Clutter that Sabotage Homeschooling
Controlling the Homeschool Clutter


{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Heather March 23, 2011 at 7:42 AM

haha Jimmie- I have to tell you that I used to keep this amazing and really hard to maintain notebook with planner sheets for each of four children. Then I had some sort of epiphany. That was too much work! So, I went back to planning with a spiral notebook like I did in the first two years we homeschooled. I started this year with the same format. Want to take a peek?

However, one thing I’d like to do is print out the IHIP that NY requires- Individualized Home Instruction Plan so I can make sure we are hitting everything I said we would. : ) So maybe that will mean going back to the 3 ring binder method.

Great post! Thanks for the ideas.



Bridgette Booth March 23, 2011 at 10:05 AM

Great post and information! My binder keeps me sane. I’d been homeschooling for over 10 years before I ever had the sense to make one either. (What was I thinking?)

I keep our weekly schedules in the front. (Move the week’s schedule to the back of the binder after each completed week. It is SOOOO helpful to look back in April to see when I assigned certain projects in November.) I also have a tab where I keep that week’s tests or assignments or anything I had to make a copy.


Jodie March 23, 2011 at 10:22 AM

I’ve really enjoyed this series. Even after homeschooling for several years, it’s so helpful to see these things in print instead of just floating around in my brain!
Thank you!


Tanya March 23, 2011 at 10:32 AM

I absolutely love my notebook which is just like yours. I live in it daily! Having everything in one place is priceless. This is a great list of tips and things to include- thanks for sharing! =)


Carletta March 23, 2011 at 12:39 PM

I have a homemaking notebook that I use almost daily, but I really need to get my homeschool notebook in order. Thanks for getting me motivated!


Melissa Telling March 24, 2011 at 2:29 PM

I keep a year-on-one-page calendar in my notebook also, but I prefer to have the entire school year on one page, rather than the calendar year. I have a copy of next years calendar available for download on my Homeschool Launch page.

Also, Betsy Stout also has some free planning forms on her blog.


ShellieR March 26, 2011 at 5:56 PM

I LOVE my three ring binder for our homeschool, and I love Donna Young’s freebies. In addition to some of the things you mentioned, I also keep a list by year of curricula I have used/am using with a running book list of books we have. This helps tremendously as we have more than one child in homeschool at different grade levels.

Thanks for all the incredibly helpful homeschool tips! You rock!


Ginger March 26, 2011 at 9:37 PM

I LOVE your notebooking site!!! We just recently got our girls’ “keeper” papers from the WHOLE year (gulp) into 3 ring binders. Hopefully soon we can transition from just putting stuff into their binder to them wanting to make and put stuff in them for the intrinsic value. But you have inspired me to get myself organized and notebooking, too. What better way to teach my girls than by example?!?



Jamie April 5, 2011 at 8:25 PM

Updating my notebook, & came back here to review your super-helpful ideas! 🙂


Sparklee July 27, 2011 at 9:09 AM

OK, how did I survive without a Mom’s Notebook? My “notebook” is a big pile of papers on my desk. You have inspired me to organize it! Yay!


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