Keeping a Homeschool Bullet Journal: A Beginner's Guide

homeschool planner pages sit atop BookShark Instructor's Guide pages

Photo credit: Stephanie Bishop

Homeschoolers are record keepers! Depending on our state’s requirements and personal preference we fill folders and boxes, create portfolios and transcripts, write lesson plans, make charts, take hundreds of pictures, maybe even blog.

Here in Indiana, even though I’m not required to turn records into the state, I keep my children’s projects, encourage their goals, and document their learning. I want to capture our time together. I want my children to see and remember their progress. And when doubt sets in as to whether or not I’m doing enough with them, my records remind me that yes! Yes, I am.

A number of years ago I came across the work of Ryder Carroll. The creator of The Bullet Journal, Carroll offers an analog method to, “track the past, order the present, design the future.”

I love journals and organizing, so I immediately took to bullet journaling my grocery lists, to-do lists, goals, the books I read, the books I wanted to read . . . When I found that many of my pages included bits and pieces of our homeschooling days, I realized we needed a homeschool bullet journal.

I won’t go into specifics as to how to bullet journal, since you can find out everything you need to here. But remember that the point of bullet journaling is to make life easier, not harder. I have not found that keeping my calendar in my bullet journal is especially helpful.

I prefer an actual calendar and don’t have time to write our daily comings and goings multiple times. Instead, our homeschool bullet journal captures our past, present, and future more thematically.

Your BookShark Instructor's Guide could serve as a basis for your journal, but you may find it too bulky and inflexible for day to day record keeping. If you want to use bullet journaling, you'll probably want to use a separate notebook. A homeschool bullet journal typically goes beyond lesson planning and incorporates the extras from your larger family life.

What Goes in a Homeschool Bullet Journal?

There are so many answers to this question. The short answer is anything you want to remember, you need to remember, or you hope to accomplish:

  • The curriculum you’re using

  • The scope & sequence of your curriculum
  • The curriculum you want to check out

  • Books you’ve read each month/year

  • Books you want to read

  • Classes your children are taking

  • Your calendar

  • Deadlines

  • Field trips

  • Vacations

  • Websites

  • Movies or documentaries you’ve watched

  • Movies or documentaries you want to watch

  • Keeping a Homeschool Bullet Journal: A Beginner's Guide
  • Podcasts your children love

  • Simple meals you can make in a hurry

  • A list of rainy day activities

  • Goals

  • Achievements

  • Skills your kids are working on

  • Supplies you need

  • Supplies you have on hand

  • Expenses

  • Homeschool budget

  • Favorite memories

  • Strategies that help your kids

  • List of inspiring quotes

Using a Homeschool Bullet Journal

Once you set up your homeschool bullet journal, you just have to remember to use it. Put it on your bedside table and spend time each night recording and reflecting. Or put it by your coffee pot and use it to begin your day. Pull it out to help you plan for the week, month, and semester. If you have older children, let them add to it and check off the things they accomplished.

It can be challenging to organize all the information and remember all the things. A homeschool bullet journal won’t shrink your child’s LEGO model of the Seven Wonders of the World, but it will remind you they made it. It will keep your book lists, goals, grades, achievements, and reminders safe and sound and all in one place. They are both easy to create and to use. Give homeschool bullet journaling a try.

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About the Author

Kelly Sage of Curiosity Encouraged

Kelly left teaching middle and high school English to homeschool her children and reclaim how she and her family spent their time. Followers of interest-led learning, her family's days rarely look the same, but they tend to include a lot of books, art supplies, and time outside.

Kelly facilitates local writing circles for women and children and blogs about nurturing the love of learning on her blog, Curiosity Encouraged. She loves to journal, read memoirs, hike, and travel. She seeks quiet mornings and good coffee daily.