flatlay of white tabletop with plant, watch, bullet journal, pen, coins, small book with words "map of world", and incense in bottle

Do you love planners like I did before I discovered the bullet journal? Perhaps you have several sitting in a drawer somewhere because you try a few different ones every year just to find one that fits.

Judging by the fact that you have several half (or completely) unused planners, you are still searching for the perfect planner to meet all your planning needs as a busy homeschool mom.

Note: The way I use the bullet journal is just one method. If you are looking for more bullet journaling how-tos or inspiration, I recommend checking out the links at the end of this post.

I searched for the perfect planner for a long time and kept coming up empty-handed. With each successive child, I used my planner less and less. Instead, I turned to sticky notes, random sheets of paper, spiral notebooks, and google calendar.

These systems were less than ideal for obvious reasons. The sticky notes inevitably got lost under a fresh stack of mail.

The spiral notebooks? Uninspiring, to say the least (don’t we all buy planners for their inspiring covers and layouts?).

And I had nowhere to write down long-term ideas and lists: books I wanted to read or curriculum I wanted to explore down the road. I wanted something that could house it all: long term lists, daily to-do lists, appointments, thankfulness, and kid memories.

The Bullet Journal


The bullet journal finally solved all these problems. It frees you from someone else’s boxes, lines, and system. It’s the beauty of a new planner with the flexibility to create your own system.

I was first introduced to the bullet journal through Anne at Modern Mrs. Darcy, and found all the suggested how-to’s in a post by Kendra at The Lazy Genius (see “More Resources” at the end of this post). I ordered this notebook and jumped right in.

After a few failed attempts that looked like me spending lots of time trying to do artistic headlines and a calendar for the entire year (never ended up using it, and artistic I am not), I’ve figured out some systems that {currently} work best for me.

My favorite aspect is the ability to track the informal learning we do throughout the day, so I have decent records of our current relaxed homeschooling style.

Bullet Journal: Collections

Remember the big lists I mentioned before? Books you want to read, gifts ideas, curriculum you want to investigate?

Collections is the answer.  

bullet journal collection page up close with "Curriculum" at the top of the page, list of curriculum options

I actively use the following collections:

  • Books I want to read
  • Things I think I want (curbs immediate buying by letting it sit here for a bit)
  • Curriculum to explore
  • Games for Homeschool
  • Read-alouds

You can tailor them to your needs, but think of anything you would want to keep a list of long-term. What do you already keep a mental list of, something you might have jotted down in random memos throughout your phone or in million other scattered places? What do you want to add to on a regular basis and return to repeatedly as a resource and a reference? When someone mentions a great podcast or book that sounds interesting to you, where do you put that information so you don’t forget?

Bring it all together in one place: a collection.

Bullet Journal: Weekly Log (Part 1)

I heard on a podcast recently that for the stay-at-home mom with young children, a week is the perfect time frame to regularly plan for. I took that advice to heart, and now I mainly plan week by week, and my bullet journal reflects that.

This is my simple weekly lay-out. Events, appointments, and destinations go on the left, and any household tasks go on the right. Sometimes, I put the dinner plan in the right-hand blank section next to the day.

I still use post-its for those pesky lists I need simply because my memory is shot (constant interruptions from little kids make you forget everything). I put post-its on the day and sometimes toss them when everything gets done. But the post-its have a home, at least, as opposed to before when they were everywhere.

bullet journal weekly spread close up with days of the week and schedule

A Note on Monthly Logs (Or Lack Thereof)

You may be a busy family with multiple events and appointments scheduled a month ahead. If that’s you, you will want to add a monthly log.

Once you’ve written a log, you simply turn the page and enter weekly logs until you need to add a log for the newest month. See the website dedicated to Bullet Journaling for more about monthly logs.

My google calendar functions as my monthly log.

Bullet Journal: Weekly Log (Part 2)

bullet journal spread with "Lily-school", "Gratitude/Kid Memories" and "Blogging Ideas"

The next two pages following my actual weekly log leave room for everything extra I want to remember from the week. It includes:

Homeschool Tracking

Because we currently lean toward unschooling in our homeschool but that still honestly kind of freaks me out and I want to know my daughter is getting an education, I use a method calling back logging.

I log what we do each day that counts as “school”. I can look back over the weeks to see where there may gaps, and decide what subjects I want to hone in on through picture books, board games and library trips.

Gratitude List

When you’re raising a family on a single income, it’s easy to grow discontent, feeling like you’ll always be scraping by and never achieve any financial goals, let alone lofty ones. This list keeps my bad attitude in check, keeping a physcial record of any little provision, no matter how small.

A neighbor brings a gallon of milk because they don’t need it? On the list. Someone offers to buy me a coffee? Definitely goes on the list.

I reread it when I need to remember that God provides for us always, in small ways that are usually beneath our notice.

We wait impatiently for the big provisions…the big bonus, the generous Christmas gift, the unexpected inheritance, but it’s often the little, forgettable things He’s waiting for us to see. 

This list helps me see.

Kid Memories

Last year, my daughter asked me what her first word was. Mouth opened; nothing came out.

I could not, for the life of me, remember my daughter’s first word! I was mortified and determined to come up with a better way to keep track of those little things that we swear we’ll remember, but inevitably four kids later, just don’t (cue memory dump scene in Inside Out).

Adding this to my weekly log at least gives me a place where I can hopefully write these things down…we’ll see how that’s working a couple years from now.

Blog Post Ideas

Often, blog post ideas will come to me at random moments, sometimes in a flood, so I add this to my weekly log.

Upcoming Events

While I mainly use Google Calendar as my monthly log, I’ll use this space to transfer any appointments and playdates for the following week, especially if I’m likely to forget them. Then, I have them for easy reference when I’m writing out my next weekly log.

Final Thoughts on the Bullet Journal for Homeschool Moms

It’s still a work in progress. Some weeks I honestly don’t even touch my journal. I think every homeschooling mom has weeks where everyone is sick and you end up doing laundry and cleaning up bathrooms multiple times a day. Those weeks, you just survive, and look for the light at the end of the tunnel.

Bullet journaling gives you the flexibility to just drop a week. In planners, there is a whole blank week of evidence screaming that you accomplished absolutely nothing (other than caring for your sick precious kiddos).

The bullet journal? It doesn’t yell at you like that. It’s blank pages simply invite you to pick up the next week right where you left off.

More Bullet Journaling Resources & Inspiration:

orange notebook on white with text overlay "why you should try the bullet journal as a busy homeschool mom"

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  1. LOVE THIS! I google bullet journal homeschool mom because of exactly the situation you described–too many half-empty planners that just didn’t work, and a growing intrigue around the bullet journal method. I totally could have written this–four boy homeschool mama here with too many bits of paper floating around trying to keep up with me! Gonna combine this journal with my AnyList app and the Mind Organization for Moms principles, and see how it works… Thanks for the tips here! Would love a video of your journal/tips sometime, too!

    1. Author

      thanks for stopping by Elisabeth! I wish I had more to offer in the bullet journaling area. I DO know that Rebecca at Homeschool On has so many great resources on bullet journaling. I would definitely give her site a look. I think she even released a book recently on bullet journaling/organization/planning.

  2. “back logging” THIS is me. For so long I tried to play things out. It just doesn’t work like that for me. So thank you for giving my system a name. Your style sounds a lot like mine!!

    1. Author

      you’re welcome, Rebecca! I hope it helps!

  3. Thank you for this post! I have been homeschooling for a year and bullet journal for a little bit less than a year. I am always looking of Pinterest for other homeschool moms that bullet journal. Your post is perfect. It’s exactly how I want to use my bullet journal with homeschool. I love that is practical.

    1. Author

      Im glad it helped you Katie! I hope your bullet journal helps you stay organized this homeschool year.

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