With so many different planners on the market, it is simply overwhelming!
So when I recently was blessed to review the Ultimate Homeschool Planner from Apologia Educational Ministries, I was a little bit excited. Okay, I squealed and carried on like a fan girl at a concert, if you must know!
I received the pretty yellow planner that is spiral bound with the sweetest purple binding. It is a hefty planner that is just over 8.5 x 11 inches with a flexible but sturdy plastic cover. The front and back cover has a slip pocket for you to utilize with extra papers that you might need. It has an incredible 279 pages for you to use!
Here are some of the features that you will find in this planner:
- Durable construction with convenient pockets and coated covers.
- Calendars for long-term planning (from 2015-2023)
- One-Year Planning Grid for the year ahead
- Student Goal pages to set academic and character goals for each child
- Family Priorities page to keep track of the important matters for your family
- Resource List pages to track the numerous items needed for each child (for up to six children)
- Two-page planning grid for each month
- Special Notes, Supplies, & Appointments space for each week
- Wide margins to record prayers and answers to prayers
- Scriptures and Encouraging quotes throughout
- Exclusive Lord’s Day feature for making God’s Word an integral part of your plan each week
- Planning space for up to six people
- Memorable Moments and Evidences of Grace pages for keeping track of the most important moments of what God does for us
- Pages to record grades for up to six children and six subjects
- Reading List pages for up to six people (six days only)
- Field Trip and Outside Activities log
- High School Planning Grid with a sample plan
- Year-End Review pages for reflection and next year’s planning
Compliments of Apologia here are some screen shots of this fantastic planner –
The Table of Contents is full of information as well:
How This Worked for Me
I must admit, I am a planner junkie and I have way too many scattered around my office. But, this is the first one that I have found that is specifically geared towards homeschool mama planning. I have used other ones that are for homeschooling but this one has some excellent features that I absolutely loved!
I loved the pages that had the student character goals as well as academic goals. This was a wonderful resource for me as I took some time to delve into what kind of realistic goals I could set for each child this school year. Without going into too much detail I made some notes for each child in relation to their age and spiritual age. After some prayer time I was feeling more confidant in my note taking. It is encouraging to see each one of my children develop into strong Christians and by keeping their goals in mind I can help them achieve those goals.
My favorite feature is the two-page monthly calendar grid. This so works for me as I plan out my month in regards to what reviews I have coming up. I used this monthly overview more for myself than I did for the kids. It helps keep me on track for the month so that I can be more in focus during each week with the kids and their schooling.
When I get my month planned out as the reviews are dated and it makes it easier for me to then take the time to break down each week.
I totally took advantage of the fact that there are six places for students and incorporated my five family members into my weekly planning. My husband works a funky schedule that changes each month, so it helps me keep track of when he will be home. By adding myself into the weekly planning I can keep more on track with my house keeping schedule and important things like paying the bills! (So far so good!)
The weekly planning was used for an overview of the subjects that each child needed to complete that week. I use a different weekly unit that works for the kids, so this weekly planning was for the benefit of keeping me a little less scatterbrained through out the week.
I found it interesting that each weekly breakdown was only for six days a week. I’m not too sure about that since I had a hard time deciding if I should leave Sunday off of my weekly calendar or if I should leave off Saturday. As you can see by my picture I had to white out my first attempts and rewrite me days of the week. I ended up deciding that I should keep Saturday on the weekly plan and leave off Sunday due to the fact that most of the time we limit our plans for Sundays anyway.
A most helpful section in this planner was the example high school transcript and the available room to write out the beginnings of Isaiah’s (I cannot EVEN believe that this is the first year of high school for him!) transcripts. This is the rough draft that I will use for the actual one that gets printed down the line. So far, I like it because I am a visual person and seeing it all laid out like that helps me to not be so overwhelmed! I appreciate the samples that are written in, it is extremely beneficial for me.
Overall, this is a wonderful planner for any homeschool mama!
It is just “girly” enough with all of the beautiful flowers and swirly designs throughout but it is also stuffed with incredible resources too! I have enjoyed using this planner and all of the extras that have come with it. It is a “make-it-your-own” kind of planner without leaving out all of the important things a homeschool mama needs.
A few pictures of the inspiring quotes and Bible verses that are through the entire planner – a wonderful touch and a beautiful way for me to keep my heart in the right place!
Visit my fellow Review Crew members to see what they had to say about this sweet Ultimate Homeschool Planner!
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In His Grace.