Hello, my name is Diane and I'm addicted to planners, calendars, and homeschool planning. Not just any type of planner, but to be specific - paper planners. Give me something I can write on any day over online stuff. Very old school in that arena. Everyone in my family kids me about the fact that my spiritual gift is organizing and planning. I was pleased as punch to be chosen to review The Ultimate Homeschool Planner from Apologia Educational Ministries.
Apologia is very well known for their science and Bible curriculum. We currently use both in our home, but not many people are aware of their product, The Ultimate Homeschool Planner by Debra Bell. This planner is for the homeschool moms, although similar versions are also available for the teen students in the household. The Ultimate Homeschool Planner is 279 pages and retails for $29.00. There are three versions available in blue, orange, and yellow (I got yellow) - all constructed well, durable, and very pleasing to the eye.
This planner has all the options for planning in the modes of daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, or all of the above. Quite frankly a planner's paradise at your fingertips. It accommodates up to six students (perfect for me with Grace and 5 tutoring students). Forty - eight weeks are available for all the weekly planning needed to make a home and homeschool run smoothly.
The first two pages equals eight years of calendars at a glance. This is has been very helpful in the recent days as I have used it numerous times to help plan our spring Cooperative schedule.
The planner begins with a letter from the author and then immediately goes into the user's guide which includes: how to use the product, yearly planning retreat, monthly planning sessions, weekly planning breaks, Monday morning tutorials and Friday afternoon reviews. The morning tutorials and Friday reviews are actually found in the student planners, but the Ultimate Planner shows the moms how to incorporate it into your their routines.
Between the users information and the monthly calendars you will find two page layouts for one year planning grids, student character and academic goals for the year, list areas for family priorities, and resource/curriculum lists for each student.
The next section includes all the monthly calendars. They are blank templates where you can write in any month and dates. Following this is all the weekly planning sheets. They include areas to write down all your information for the weekly Bible and Battle Plan, who to pray for, and who you might need to help in the areas of hospitality and outreach as well as the accomplishments the family has made during the week and all the academic plans. This is actually the bulk of the planner.
The end of the planner has a small section devoted to recording student's grades, multiples pages for reading and field trip lists, information about motivating learners of different learning styles, thinking skills, planning for the high school years, and year end review pages.
The parts I have used the most is the monthly calendars, gleaning information about motivating learners, pages related to setting academic and behavior goals for the year, recording scores, and adding to reading lists. It has been hard for me to remember to utilize the weekly planning sheets as often as I would like and figure out a way to make them best work for me. For my unbelievably crazy schedule I do need more space in the squares of the monthly calendars than what is provided. I do love the two sturdy pocket areas in the front and back of the book. They come in very handy for holding school calendars, appointment pages from doctor's offices, and other miscellaneous items that are needed to plan all our lives. Unlike a lot of moms I carry a really big purse. When I go to buy a new purse I always make sure it is large enough to accommodate my planner. Luckily my current purse is big enough for this planner and it stays with me at all times. My days and weeks are so busy I would be lost without a planner. The Ultimate Homeschool Planner has fit right in with my planning and scheduling. All in all I believe it is a beautifully put together planner that I hope to use throughout this school year and find more ways to make it have a balance of working for my home and tutoring students.
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Remember to visit this link to the TOS Review Crew and check out how other families used this product in their home.