It is my favorite time of year! Time for the 2020-2021 Erin Condren Teacher Lesson Planner to be released into the world. This year they released the planner a bit early, and I am so thankful they did. Partly because this has been a really difficult spring with everyone being in their homes. Our way of life is completely different at the moment. And the other part is because I am already thinking about the next homeschool year. Yes, we are just wrapping up Last Year, but I am ready to move on. I think all of us are!
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This post includes affiliate links. If you click on one of these links and make a subsequent purchase I may receive a commission. Read Disclosure.
This will be my 6th year using this particular planner. The 2020-2021 Erin Condren Teacher Lesson Planner is going to give you a lot of options for the first time ever. Honestly, it was hard to decide which planner I wanted this year! I use every bit of the planner for my homeschool year. It has been a game-changer in my homeschool planning.
I want to thank Tori and the rest of the Erin Condren team for sending me the 2020-2021 Erin Condren Teacher Planner to review! As always, all opinions are my own.
2020-2021 Erin Condren Teacher Lesson Planner: Options
This year the 2020-2021 Erin Condren Teacher Lesson Planner comes in three binding styles.
- The classic coiled teacher lesson planner
- *NEW* 3-ring binder planner
- *NEW* Focused Collection planner
The coiled version allows you to choose between two designs – Oh So Retro! and Kaleidoscope. And of those designs, you can choose colorful or neutral.
I have chosen the classic coil option for my 2020-2021 Erin Condren Teacher Lesson Planner. It was a tossup between the coil and the binder, but I think that the coil provides me with the most functionality, while also being able to bring it with me when I am out at practices, lessons, and activities with the kids. Before I get to the walkthrough I want to take you through the other options
Last year was the first year that Erin Condren came out with a binder option for their life planner. However, it was not a traditional 3-ring binder, it had its own rings that were made specifically for Erin Condren. But, with the teacher planner binder this year, it is 3-ring. That means that you are able to add and take out what you need very easily, using only a standard 3-ring hole punch. And it is a 2 1/2″ binder – so plenty big for what you need to put into it.
You do get to choose your start month with the binder version. Either July 2020, August 2020, or January 2021.
I thought long and hard about the binder, particularly because I do create my own printables, and having the option to put them into the binder easily was something that really appeals to me. However, because I do take my planner with me at times, and because the binder does not open onto itself like the coil does, I realized I needed to stay with the coil.
If you have a lot of other pages that you want to put in with your teacher lesson planner, or if you are leaving your planner on your desk, for the most part, I think that the 3-ring binder option is awesome. In fact, I may get a binder just to try and see if I like it. I make a lot of printables for myself, and the Townsend House Community, so being able to keep everything together with my lesson plans, instead of just sticking them into my homemaking binder or the folder in the back of my teacher planner sounds like a good idea.
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Focused Erin Condren Teacher Lesson Planner
This is probably the biggest change to the lesson planner for the 2020-2021 year. It is an addition to the Focused Collection. The Focused Teacher Lesson Planner is a softbound planner with a vegan leather cover. It is smaller than the regular coiled planner at 8×10. This means that the month boxes and weekly planning pages will be slightly smaller than the regular coiled, or binder, versions of the planner.
There is one dating option for the planner – July 2020 through June 2021. And it includes two ribbon markers to keep your place. You are not able to add in additional checklist pages, it doesn’t have the folder or the sheet protectors at the back of the book.
However, this planner is beautiful. It is simple, and streamlined, and would look perfect on any professional teacher’s desk. I also think that it would work well if you don’t have a lot of children. The price point is a little easier to handle as well at $35. It looks like it would be the easiest planner to throw in your bag and go.
I think the Focused Teacher Planner would work best for a homeschooler who works off of other resource planning pages or grids and doesn’t need to spend a lot of time writing out lesson plans from scratch.
Coiled Version Customization
The classic 2020-2021 Erin Condren Teacher Lesson Planner is the coiled version. This is the planner with the most options. You can customize your coil color (platinum, rose gold, gold, black), you can customize your cover. You can customize how many checklist pages and page protectors you have. Lots of customization available!
- To get a coil other than platinum it will be a $10 charge extra.
- The extra checklist pages come in 7-spread increments.
- For 14 spreads it is $5, 21 spreads $8, and 28 spreads $10.
- You can get up to three page protectors. One comes with the planner, 2 is $2, 3 is $3.
As always you can choose your cover option at no cost, and also have it personalized with your name, the name of your homeschool, the year, verse or quote, whatever you want. The covers are interchangeable just like in the life planner.
Inside the 2019-2020 Erin Condren Teacher Lesson Planner
When you open up the planner you will see the inside of the cover, which is a lined dashboard. I do not typically use the inside cover, but you can write on it with a sharpie or a wet-erase marker. It might be nice to have a typical rhythm for whatever season you are in listed here – at least until that rhythm becomes a habit. Any time you can take decisions or thinking out of your day, and make it a habit instead, is a good thing.
The cover page is where you can write your name and e-mail, or phone number in case you misplace the planner.
Then your next spread is the all about me and events and volunteers pages. These pages are helpful for any small lists that you may have. As a homeschooler, I don’t have any volunteers in my homeschool (although I am always open for volunteers!), so I use these defined boxes for resources we are using. Any curricula that I am buying can go here. There is space for everyone to have a box. Then the classroom events box can easily be used for recording field trips – the date and where you went.
The next spread is the communication log. I do wish that there were more pages to the communication log because I have always used this as a reading log for each of my kids. However, as I have added a third child to the mix, I no longer have enough space to record all the books read for the year. I change the headings and use them to record books. It keeps everything in one spot instead of having to go throughout the planner to search for the books at the end of the year.
Year at a Glance and Year Plan
The next spread is a year at a glance spread. It has mini calendars starting with July 2020 and goes all the way through December of 2021. I use this primarily to plan out our homeschool year days. You highlight vacations, days off, birthdays, etc. as well as have a good idea of how many days you should be completing each month.
I love this spread. And this year the new Teacher Sticker book comes with transparent dot stickers to make this super easy to color code and organize. I do the same thing with my life planner. It is nice to be able to look at a full year spread and know how things should play out.
The next spread is the Year Plan. There is a box for each of the twelve months. I use this spread to plan out our big picture for each month of the year. You record any important days that you have going on that month (based on the year at a glance you just worked on from the previous spread) and then any themes that you want to focus on for the month.
I plan my years very seasonally, so there are certain things that we do certain months, no matter how old or young my kids are. It’s nice to have these down in one place so I make sure to work them into our monthly and weekly plans.
My only complaint about this page is that it starts with a January box, instead of July. I wish that it started with July. That would make life a lot easier. But, an easy fix is to print stickers and change the order. I have done that in the past with much success.
You then have 2 spreads of graph paper. This can be used for anything you want. I plan to use this as an additional book list space this year. I would prefer that all the book lists are together, however, this will work as well.
You then will have one full spread of lined paper. I love all the lined pages that are in this planner. It gives ample space for pre-planning, as well as a look back on the previous month.
Then we move into the monthly spreads for the 2020-2021 Erin Condren Teacher Lesson Planner. Each month starts with a page and a half of lined paper. At the bottom of the half-page of lined paper, there is space to list out “dates to remember.” This is a perfect place to write out birthdays, vacation days, holidays, etc. so that you are aware of them when you think ahead to your new month and planning.
The lines pages are perfect for writing out ideas for the next month. Are there resources that you need to purchase? Is there a unit you need to print out information for? Do you have a theme you are planning on for the month? And are there resources you need to look up for that theme? Books you may need to request from the library?
There are so many options for pre-planning your month, and I use this space primarily for that purpose.
After the pre-planning lined pages you move right into the monthly calendar spread. This has your entire month right in front of you. They removed the holidays printed in the monthly view last year, and now include stickers with the different holidays so you can put in what you need to see, and can let go of any holidays you don’t celebrate.
This monthly calendar holds any and everything that my kids will do in the month. This includes appointments, activities, music lessons, sports practices, youth group. Anything kid-related goes here. This is so that I have a good understanding of how their year went and what they were involved in when I go to put together my homeschool portfolio for the year.
I also use the calendar to keep track of our homeschool day count. I keep 2 counts. One for our year July-June, and one when we meet our count for the year. Because we school year-round, we can meet our count for the year very early depending on when our last 175-day count was met. We tend to have closer to 210 school days in any given 12-month year, so I like to keep track of when we meet 175 days so that we can take extra breaks if we feel the need to.
This year’s colorful version has a shaded notes section on the right side of the month. This was almost a deal-breaker for me. However, the neutral version font was a little more than I wanted for my teacher planner. So I went with the colorful for the year. I don’t necessarily use the notes page for anything more than our days count, so it isn’t that big of a deal.
2020-2021 Erin Condren Teacher Lesson Planner: The meat of the Planner
After your monthly spread, you move into the meat of the planner. This is the reason that I go to the Erin Condren Teacher Planner every single year. The weekly planning pages. These weekly planning pages are dated and have 6 blank columns at the top followed by a 7th column that is most likely designed as notes.
Each column on the first page gets one of my kids’ names. Then on the second page, I write our “together” subjects, which are Science, History, and Brave Writer. Yes, they have different levels in these subjects, but a lot of the work is shared. The 7th column I use for a habit tracker for our circle time.
- verse of the day
- Bible story
I try to do this each morning for Lucy, and Emma and Jack almost always want to join in. It gives us a fun start to the morning, and everyone enjoys it.
Under the dates, down the left side of the first page, I will write anything that we have to be out of the house for that day. This is so that when I am planning out my lessons for the week I make margin in our schedule where we need it, and beef up the days that we are home.
After the Weekly Planning Pages
At the end of the weekly pages for the month, you then have two more lined pages. These pages are great for notes, for a wrap-up of the month, or a list of anything you may need to get for the new month ahead.
I primarily use these pages to write down what went well, and what didn’t go well in the previous month. This is so that I can make the necessary adjustments needed in the next months.
The end of the Planner
After all the monthly and weekly planning pages you come to your checklist pages. There are seven 2-page spreads of the checklists, and you can add up to 28 checklist spreads. In the past, I have used these for a sort of habit tracker for my kids on a monthly basis. I will write down the days of the month along the lefthand side, and then all the subjects, habits, chores, character traits, I want them to work on throughout the month. This gives me a good idea of where we are spending our time. If we are light on science for one month, we can pick it up the next month.
This is a way that I do “planning from behind.” Using a checklist helps me to see what we are actually doing in a month. Sometimes during the month, you think you have accomplished nothing. However, when you look at your checklist you see that you actually worked on a lot of subjects!
Because I have three kids that I am doing this for now, I instead use my own daily habit tracker printable. This allows me to print out one for each child – and would be perfect in the binder version of the planner this year!
There are four pages of stickers after the checklist pages. I don’t use stickers a whole lot in my planner, but once in awhile it is nice to add a sticker here and there. I do like to use the functional stickers – conference, meeting, field trip. Those types of stickers I will use.
There are also three pages of holiday stickers. They give you the holiday stickers for July 2020-December 2021, so no matter what start month you get, you will have plenty of stickers to use for your monthly spread. There is also extra space for you to write your own holidays on the blank stickers that correspond to that month’s color.
There is a folder at the end of the planner. It was updated last year, and you can fit a lot of pages in it. It is nice and heavy, and I use this for a lot of papers that I don’t have any space for. If you have the binder version, you would be able to punch your extra papers and put them in the binder.
Finally, you get to the page protectors. One comes with the planner and you can purchase two more. These are really good quality page protectors, and you can fit a lot of paper in them. I have three, one for each child. This is where I keep copies of the paperwork for the current year that I have to send into the state and local school district here. I also put any letters our district sends during the school year here.
How does the ECTLP Cultivate Simplicity in your Homeschool?
The Erin Condren Teacher Planner has been one of the best tools that I have gotten for my homeschool. It is a tool that I have been fully using for the past 5 years now, and can say that it has been a game-changer as far as keeping track of my kids’ homeschool for the year.
It provides you a place to pre-plan your homeschool year, gives space for keeping track of what you are doing in a given month. The lesson planning pages allow you to drill down and be specific about which lessons you want your kids to be working on. There is space to journal monthly wrap-ups to make sure you are staying on track. Altogether it gives you an amazing overview of your entire homeschool year that can easily be used when and if you need to “prove” your homeschool year to your specific state.
This planner, combined with Sunday afternoon planning for the week ahead has been the best thing I have come to in my homeschool planning.
A Giveaway for You!
I decided that I wanted to share the teacher planner with one of the lovely members of the Townsend House Community. All you need to do is enter using the rafflecopter below! Good luck!