Guest Post :: Planning our Homeschool Days

*editors note – blogger is not cooperating with the planner photos today! Please go visit Sanctus Simplicitus to view the planner pages, they are beautiful and really will add so much to your school year this year!

The Holy Simplicity Planner – A traditional Catholic Planner for living the Liturgical Year
Jennifer has so graciously asked if I would write a guest post for her lovley blog!  I’ve been asked to share a bit about the Holy Simplicity home-school-liturgical year planner that is available at Sanctus Simplicitus.
The Holy Simplicity Planner was an invention of necessity for our little family. As with all homeschoolers a good lesson planner makes the homeschooling year go that much easier. We strive in our little house to follow closely the Church’s Liturgical Year and we were looking for something that incorporated both homeschooling and the Liturgical Year along with our regular household duties especially our weekly menu. In our search we found nothing that fit our needs and so this is how the Holy Simplicity Planner came to be.
Along with all the above mentioned qualities, is added the book Catholic Life, that details each of the most important Feast Days in the Church along with the seasons of the Liturgical Year. This book is an oldie but a goodie from 1908. Beautiful traditional art work is added to this imprimatured book to inspire even more devotion and bring the Faith to our daily lives. 

Every month has a double page spread calendar that is color coded according to the Liturgical Season (Advent- lavender, Easter- Gold/white Time After Pentecost – Green etc.). Ember Days and other fasting days are marked with a fish or half fish and are color coded lavender. Each day has the Saint listed as it appears from the St. Andrew’s Daily Missal from 1945. There are also prayers for whom the Church dedicates the month to and that dedication is listed at the top of the month’s calendar.

Each week has its own double page spread starting with Monday and going through Sunday. There is space to write down a weekly dinner menu, a notes section, Feast day reminders on each day of a major feast/fast. Also located at the top left of the page is a weekly saints quote and to the right top is the Introit for the previous Sunday taken again from the St. Andrew Daily Missal of 1945.
Each planner allows room to schedule up to 4 children’s lesson plans. Eventually we hope to have out additional Catholic planners following the same style that would be for the individual child as they get older and are able to supervise their plans easier on their own. Three subjects are pre-written on the side of the planner leaving the other 7 locations available for writing in your own subjects. (The photo shows more subjects writen in than there are in the actual planner for example’s sake.)
Summer months are included in the Holy Simplicity Planner (June 2012 – July 2013) for those who homeschool year-round. For those who take the summer off the space is still very useable. Use this space to create a daily tasks schedule, write plans for mom, or just general notes for the day such as what you did on such and such a day this summer.
Why keep the Liturgical Year in the home?
“As the great feasts come round we 

should take up the fitting exercises and implore the prayers of the Saints with greater earnestness; from feast to feast we should renew ourgood resolutions as if we were soon to leave this world and arrive at the eternal festival.”-Thomas A. Kempis

The answers to this question are best found in Holy Mother Church’s writings, for Christ sent her as our teacher on this earth. Dom Gueranger’s Liturgical Year is by far our favorite our household, a most worthy investment. As in the quote above by Thomas A Kempis the reason for keeping the Church’s Feasts is to keep our minds and hearts on our eternal goal. For the Catholic Homeschooling family it also lends as a natural ‘curriculum guide’ to teaching our children about the Holy Catholic Faith. 
To read more about the benefits on a family and their faith when celebrating the Liturgical Year in the home read an article from Catholic Life (also included in the Holy Simplicity Planner) and this one by Maria Von Trapp.
I have my Holy Simplicity Planner, now how do I start planning the Liturgical Year in our home?
No doubt celebrating the Liturgical Year in one’s home is something that requires time dedication. It can also be an overwhelming task! A task that we are still working on by a family and by far have not perfected. 
There are many different ways to go about planning the Liturgical Year in one’s home. The most important thing is to keep the goal in mind. To bring the Church’s teachings in the home according as they fall in the Church’s Liturgical Calendar. The focus should be more on prayer and learning how to know, love and serve God an attain Heaven. Sometimes it is easy to loose site of the goal when there is this or that craft, or this inspiration that creates a fog over the actual Feast or fast day. Dom Gueranger’s books are wonderful for keeping a Catholic mind frame and mood.
To start planning Liturgical Celebrates our little family started with the basic Feast days, years ago. Christmas, Easter, All Saint’s Day, Lent. Then we slowly added things. The first year was spent reading about the Catholic celebrations during these seasons. The next year we implemented some traditions. By the time the third year rolled around we were much more familiar with the Church’s year and our new traditions. This year I expect that they will become more ingrained into our lives and we can slowly add other traditions and projects that we didn’t get to in previous years.
Over time other Feast days are added such as Pentecost, Feasts of Our Lord and Our Lady, special Saints Feast Days such as St. Anthony, Name Days (Feasts of our Patron Saints) and others.
When we are planning feast days in our home (and there are many other ways to go about this, our way is not necessarily the right or only way) we start with knowing when the feast day is, what day of the week does it fall on. This decides if it is a full family affair, if other plans must be considered, if it is a Holy Day of Obligation etc. Then we read what Catholic sources we have on hand about the feast/fast/season (Catholic Life, Liturgical Year Set, St. Andrew’s Missal are some favorites). Those books will offer prayers and perhaps even old traditions for that day as well as a detailed history and the mood or attitude the Church wants us to have at this time.
The Feast Days are marked in our Holy Simplicity Planner on both the monthly page as well as the weekly page with a note a week prior to start preparing for the Feast/fast. If it is a seasonal preparation this takes much more than a week, such as with All Saint’s Day, Christmas and Easter.
From there we look for other resources to help our children ‘see’ the feast/fast/season in the home. Statues and/or other decorations are brought out, special foods (either symbols or a countries traditional food for that day), activities and crafts are sought after that will help give a visual to the special day or time. In the back of the Holy Simplicity Planner you will find a Liturgical Season planning page in the reproducible section that will help guide through the planning stages.
To view more on the Holy Simplicity Planner, download the FREE PDF and/or get ideas for various feast/fast days please visit our website and blog at Also take a look around for the DIY Liturgical Year Bulletin Board, free Catholic File Folder Games, A Catholic Child’s Daily Journal and more. As always we try to keep many resources free and provide the Holy Simplicity planner at the lowest cost in order to spread the Holy Catholic Faith with truly Catholic homeschooling and Liturgical Year Resources.
May God bless the Liturgical Year in your home,
Our little family at Sanctus Simplicitus


  1. Patty says

    I am hosting our annual back-to-school meeting for our local homeschool group. I think I will give this away as a door prize. It would make a lovely gift, don’t you think?

  2. Laurie says

    Wonderful post! I appreciate the practical advice on living the liturgical year. I have looked at the planner several times and even pinned it a while back. What a useful resource!

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