Heidi Homeschools: Magnet Board

Newt is a planner.
She wants to know what’s going to happen, when, where, why and how.
Every night, she has to check the calendar to see what’s going on the next day and Walt’s iPhone for the weather forecast before she can go to bed.
Even with all her advance preparation, Newt still starts each day with:
What’s happening today Mama?
What are we doing for school today?
I bought her a planner to help her keep track of her schedule, but it never really caught on. For one thing, it kept getting misplaced. Then I’d get:
Mama, I can’t find my schedule.
What are we doing today?

In an effort to help preserve my sanity her keep track, I created a big magnetic board that holds all of her activities and lessons for the week.

I looked around for a big magnet board, but they were all more expensive than I wanted to spend. Instead, I contacted a local heating and sheet metal place and asked them to cut me a 3′ x 5′ piece of sheet metal. That cost me $34. Walt and I hung it using six picture-hanging strips (click link to see product on Amazon).
I made a list of our main subjects and activities and figured out how many I might need. For example, we do spelling three times a week, so I planned for three spelling cards. I also planned for several blank cards that I could use to write in subjects or activities as needed. I created the cards in a word document using a business-card template, with Newt helping to choose fun fonts. In order to make things easier on myself, I added a light colored border around each card to aide in cutting.
I printed the cards on plain white copy paper, cut them out and stuck them to self-adhesive business card magnets .
A strip of packing tape over the top (which just happens to be the same width as the cards) turns them into little dry erase boards.

Every weekend, Newt and I take a few minutes to review the upcoming week’s calendar. We place cards for activities (horseback riding, girl scouts, 4H, etc.) on the appropriate days then fill in the rest of the week with the lessons I have planned. Each day as Newt completes the lesson, she moves the card to the “Done” column. Any that don’t get completed for whatever reason get shifted to another day in the week.
My total cost for this project was about $50, but it’s worth so much more. Though it has given Newt a new thing to check before bed every night…

How do you keep track of your schedule?


  1. Love it!!!
    We use a big dry erase board with a typical calendar layout and each month we fill it in together so Ian knows what is going on for the month.
    We don’t plan out lessons at all. Maybe in the future that will happen but now lessons are planned as they happen.
    I noticed you have Khan Academy 30 minutes on there. Does Newt just watch any Khan video she wants to or do you search through and save links for her to know what you want her to watch? Basically, how are you using that resource?

    • Right now, she using Khan completely self directed 2-3 times a week. On the other days, she does a lesson from teaching textbooks. She is not as thrilled about those because she can’t just pick and choose concepts that are interesting to her – it’s more linear.
      Just a note, I don’t feel that math 5 days a week is absolutely necessary, but she her interest in math is high now, so we are capitalizing on it.

  2. I love this idea. Right now I have a printed sheet stuck in a sheet protector that the kids refer to since their days are basically the same every week day.It works but it does not allow as much flexibility as yours does.

    • Thanks Victora! It took a little bit of effort to get set up, but it is so worth it.

  3. I have done the same thing using post-it note strips and poster board. I like your idea MUCH better! It has more longevity, but still allows for flexibility. I had tried doing the same thing on my white board, but it smudged and wiped off too easily. Thanks for the great idea!

    • I’m glad you liked it! I hope it works out well for you.


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