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The Old School House magazine has done it again! The SchoolHouse Planner is the perfect help for a homeschooling family. You will find plenty of useful pages in this planner.  The SchoolHouse Planner has large, two–page, monthly calendars for planning, helpful articles, classroom resource items, easy recipes, and more.

This planner is packed with wonderful information, calendars, and forms, but if you can’t find it quickly when you need it even a perfect calendar or form won’t help and can even slow you down. Whether you print it or use it digitally, everything is right at your fingertips for planning and day-to- day use during those hectic teaching moments. The organization has three overall sections: monthly calendars and resources for each month, homeschool forms, and household forms. The planner begins with everything you need for your summer planning such as a full calendar for the years 2008 and 2009 and a list of holidays for the school year. Each month of the year spanning across the school year from July 2008 to June 2009 has the two-page layout calendar for planning, a different teaching resource item, an article on homeschooling tips or home management, resources available for purchase for the Old School House store, and two wonderful recipes. This format makes it easy to have everything at your fingertips.

Using this format, finding the features are definitely easy and a few of those features really stand out. One is the resource supplement for each month. A few included are an inventions timeline, the Periodic Table of Elements, Famous Composers, and Kitchen Measurements. These can certainly jumpstart some teaching ideas. To further augment activities that can be done with the monthly supplement, another good feature is the list of e-books and other resources available for purchase from The Old School House Store. The e-books are really good resources to help add spice to any program and to have them listed where you can review them quickly online while planning is wonderful. Lastly to mention, though certainly not all of the features, is the large number of forms for both homeschool and household purposes. You will find every form needed to fulfill almost any state’s record keeping requirement such as annual goals, course of study, test scores, field trip information, craft activities, books read, etc. You will find neat forms that you might not have thought of either (unless you are a frequent reader of The Old School House magazine) such as an audio/video log, co-op information, curriculum and vendors list, and unschooling. Household chore lists, financial information, pet health information, and a loaned and borrowed list are just some of the household forms provided. There is a wealth of usable information and resources here all in one easy to find place.

In addition, one of the best things about all of these resources is that it is in an e-book or Adobe .pdf format. Unlike a print-only format, the ways to use this planner are numerous. The planner can be printed in whole or part. You can use it totally on the computer, too. You can type in your information and print out what you need if and whenever you want. You can even use the “save as” function to allow you to plan as a teacher and then allow your students to use the blank calendars and several of the forms for their own planner. E-books are so versatile. They can take the drudgery out of planning.

Well, drudgery is a thing of the past with The Old School House Planner. The staff did an excellent job planning their 2008-2009 School House Planner. It has everything you need to do the job right and easily.


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The Old School House Magazine has been producing an excellent print magazine for many years. It is a beautiful, full-color magazine filled with great product reviews, timeless homeschooling and life tips, and curriculum information. Now the staff of The Old School House has brought that same magazine into the digital world, so you have the choice.

The magazine opens on your desktop with a tutorial page that explains the various navigation symbols and how to use them. There are several ways to “flip” through your magazine or search to find a specific topic. The navigation bar at the top of the screen gives you a logo for The Old School House that you can click on to go straight to their web site. Next to that logo are tape recorder or VCR type navigational buttons for previous page, next page, first page, and last page for simple flipping page to page or jumping to the front or to the end. To the right of those buttons, you will find a menu bar similar to the one on your web browser where you click on the word to bring up a list of options. The menu items available are contents, pages, search, links, and settings. The menu boxes stay viewable and usable until you click the “X” for close in the top right corner. The menu boxes can be moved around the screen as well, so you can see the magazine pages when you need to access the information for use in choosing the option or typing in search information. In addition, the box is slightly transparent to allow you to see the page under the box enough to be of help, but not enough to affect the readability of the menu options. This is a really neat feature to have. The only menu item that differs from this is the “pages” item. Clicking on the “pages” menu gives you a page of fairly large thumbnail pictures of each page in the magazine. You can scan the thumbnails to find the page you want and click on it. You then automatically “flip” to that page. The “contents” menu gives you the Table of Contents listing articles or sections of the magazine. You click on the section to turn to that area of the magazine. The “search” is a simple search feature for items in the magazine. You can customize it some. The “links” menu is a great feature. You click “links” to bring up a box that lists the various links on the current page to readily click and access that link’s web site, or you can check the “show all links” box to see all of the magazine’s links. You can also use this “links” menu when on the thumbnail pages to quickly choose a page that has the links you are looking for on it. Click a page and the menu box automatically updates for the links on that page. In this fashion, you don’t have to change the view to allow for easier reading of the page to scan for the link. Finally, the “settings” menu item gives you a page to choose settings for the e-book such as one or two page viewing, standard and magnified text size, page turning speeds, etc. Check this page out quickly after opening the digital magazine to customize your viewing. Another cute feature is the page turning. It really looks like you are turning the pages of a print magazine. In fact, the wonderful color and eye-catching design and format are identical to The Old School House’s print magazine almost giving you that feeling of curling up in a comfy chair with a magazine to read.

Well, you can’t quite curl up with this magazine, but if you aren’t familiar with The Old School House, this is a good way to introduce yourself. The magazine is jam-packed with good information and uplifting articles to help beginning and experienced homeschoolers with their journey of educating children.

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