Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The TOS 2011-12 Special Needs Planner

sn planner
It's finally Spring - a time of renewal.  For homeschoolers, this applies to more than gardens and trees.  This is the time of year that we look both backward and forward.  We take a look at our progress and achievements, and we set new goals for the coming year.  This includes choosing new curriculum, and for most of us, purchasing a good planner.

The Old Schoolhouse Magazine has the best planners I have ever seen.  Available as either a digital download, or a CD, these planners are fully customizable.  They also allow the user to print what they'd like, and use the rest on their computer.  Beyond great organizational pages,  they are a wealth of inspiration, homeschool help and encouragement, budgeting assistance, recipes, crafts, live links and more.  If you aren't familiar with the TOS planner, I highly recommend taking a look at some sample pages.

In addition to the main planner, there are student planners for all ages, and a Special Needs Planner as well.   I have had a chance to get a sneak peek at it, and it's wonderful!  Designed with a lot of input from real special needs homeschooling families, this planner is a true must have item.  As you would expect there are calendar pages, and the academic necessities, but in true TOS fashion you will get so much more.  I would want this even if I wasn't homeschooling!

The Special Needs Planner is full of brand new pages and forms that have never been included in a planner before, and the majority of them will not be in any of the other TOS planners, either.

For example, there are some fantastic articles from some well known special needs writers and speakers - names you've seen on convention flyers and internet seminars and blogs.  There are also articles from ordinary parents sharing their experiences.  These pages will motivate and elevate as well as help explain some of the "Why do they do that?!" questions about our extraordinary children.

Then there are the forms and charts.

sn planner
These pages were very well thought out.  Again, there are the academic pages, including a 12 page Individualized Education Plan (IEP) form, a Co-Op form, a page for measuring progress, and another for documenting the student's best learning styles.  You'll find daily planning pages, month at a glance, and long range goals.  There is also an end of the year evaluation, and a page for keeping notes about any concerns or questions for the professionals we work with.

The forms to keep medical issues organized are very helpful, too.  Like a medical history record from gestation and birth until the child's present age.  Complications, surgeries or procedures, immunizations, and allergies can be documented here, as well as developmental stages and concerns experienced during each time period.  There are also pages to keep a food diary or behavior diary.

Of course, we can't forget the specialists.  It's nice to have a place to keep all of the "ists" organized.  I can make a copy of this page so that they can all share information and results with each other, and I have all of their information in one place as well.  I can see when we have had appointments, what we discussed, and  what changes were made.

If the children take medications, there is a form to document the name of the medication, the dosage and frequency, which doctor ordered it, and the pharmacy information.

For children in special therapies, there's a form for that too.  This will help the parent and therapists with communication, and help the family to reinforce the exercises at home.  There are even record keeping pages for service animals!

I think parents will really like the life skills task analysis pictorials, too.  These bright full color photos can be made into booklets, wall charts or checklists to help little ones with getting dressed, cleaning their rooms, preparing for school, and bathroom routines including washing hands, brushing teeth, and using the toilet .

picture cues

cleaning my room



For children of all ages there are step by step photos for checking books out of the library, showering and doing laundry.

shower routine 2
shower routine


Does your child have a hard time staying on task during the school day?

school checklist


Another great addition are the areas to list favorites and document routines.  These will be a big help for other caregivers.

As you can see, I was not exaggerating when I said this was a wonderful resource.  I have not even covered all of the included items.    Here you can see a portion of the table of contents dealing specifically with special needs issues:

contents

The TOS Special Needs Planner has really covered all of the bases, and of course, because it is a TOS Planner, it's got quite a bit more as well.   

If you pre-order your Special Needs Planner now, the price is $19.00 (regularly $29.00)  for the digital eBook download, or $24.00 (regularly 34.00) for the CD-Rom :


All of the 2011-12 Planners will be available soon.  Ordering now reserves your copy at these special prices, and TOS will also include two bonus items with your Special Needs Planner order;  the eBook, Someplace Called Special;  Homeschooling Special Needs Children ($12.50 value) and excerpts for the main TOS Planner ($25 value) for FREE.

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**I was given a TOS Special Needs Homeschool Planner in order to write this informed blogged review.  I was not paid.