How I Use BiblioPlan {Putting the Year Together}

by GfG on May 15, 2014 · 6 comments

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I switched to BiblioPlan a few years ago for a variety of reasons and can’t forsee leaving it.  I’ve found a long term niche for us and that makes me pretty stinkin’ happy.

I’ve been asked more than a few times about how I organize and use BiblioPlan, so I decided it was time to answer that question.  It actually requires a few answers.

This post will address how I put the year together.  I spent $132 on BiblioPlan materials and $200 on books for five students for an entire year of history, literature, Bible and geography.  That’s pretty great and other homeschoolers want to know how I do it.

Here ya’ go:

Step 1: I buy my BiblioPlan materials.  For me, that means the BiblioPlan Family Guide (lesson plans plus book blurb and thorough resource list), Companion, Cool History Questions (I buy for all levels second grade and above), and Hands On Maps (for junior high and up) in PDF format.

I do this because it saves me a ton of money since I have six kiddos that will use the program.  I can print out for each kid and/or have them read on the computer.

Step 2: I print out the BiblioPlan Family Guide and start reading it.

Family Guide

No, I don’t read every single thing in there.  I know, I’m a slacker. I read lots of it, though. My main goal is to read the book lists and resource lists.

I start pencil marking books I think I already own, books I’m curious about, and books I definitely want to buy.  It’s a lot like Christmas shopping for myself.  Paul just rolls his eyes.  And grins.

Step 3: I decide  literature choices for each level.

This step gets its own post next week, so be sure to come back for it.   This  is where I save a whole lot of money, so you’ll want to read it. No, it doesn’t use the words public library.  You’re welcome.

I start with high school and work my way down.  I start with high school for a couple of reasons: I am still building a high school homeschool library and my kids have stated they want to go to college so I must choose literature and history books that are credit worthy.

Step 4:  I write in or check off each literature/history choice for each level in my master copy of the Family Guide.

Master Copy Lesson Plans

Each level gets noted: book and how much of it that week (ex: 1/2 of 1/3).  I write in pencil because I may change my mind or want to edit mid year.

In the beginning of the Guide, I note the grades of each child for that particular year of use.  Since I will cycle around in four years, I will be able to use this plan again.  Yea, me!   Yea, BiblioPlan.

I failed to do this my first year with BiblioPlan and really kicked myself.  I will not remember what books I used at each level, so I will have to do that all over again when I get to Modern.  So… learn from my mistake, friends!

Step 5: I order the books I want to buy from Amazon.

We use a ton of books from our home library (step 3 decides that), but there are still purchases to be made.  I use Amazon because it has the best prices, delivery, availability, and customer service.

We have Amazon Prime which means the books usually arrive in two days.  If I ordered the book used, it arrives later, but since I’m doing this waaaaay before school starts, I’m fine.

If my posts bless and equip you, I’d sure appreciate you using my Amazon Affiliate link for your Amazon purchases.

Click this link and then save it in your toolbar/quick links:  Mindy/Grateful for Grace’s Amazon Affiliate Link      You can search for anything you want after that and I will get credit for purchases.  Thanks!

Step 6:  I print out my BiblioPlan materials.

This means different items for different levels, but it all gets printed out and hole punched.

Step 7: I set up the binders for the kiddos. 

This means that I do this.  It’s super fun for me and leaves me with open and go lesson plans for most subjects for the entire year.

This step doesn’t really take all that long since I have already decided everything (step 3) and written it all in the master copy (step 4).  It’s mostly printing and highlighting.  Man, oh, man does it save me a ton of time during the school year.

Which translates to: I/we actually get all of our history, literature, geography, and Bible work done for the year.  Suh-weet!

Step 8: I place Amazon ordered books on the appropriate shelves as they arrive.  And smile.


Every kiddo has a shelf.  This photos shows their shelves for next year, but we are still waiting for books to arrive.  Also, the middle two girls use the same books, but I put them on the older girl’s shelf.  Seniority and all.

We love books here.  Seriously.  So, even though they are “school” books, we all enjoy checking them out when they arrive on our doorstep.  It’s sorta like Christmas.

I have said many times, “No, you can’t read that yet. It’s for school next year.”  This makes me very happy.

So… that’s it.  That is how I organize, shop for, and plan our school year with BiblioPlan.

Also check out these posts: How I schedule and shop for the books for all four levels, How I plan high school choices,

I hope this helps you use BiblioPlan!

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