Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Ultimate Homeschool Planner Review

Lists. Planning. Details. Those words speak to me. I am known for making lists of everything--grocery, vacation packing, daily chores, projects, party planning, school assignments. It helps me to see the tasks or items concrete in written word, and it gives me enjoyment every time I cross something off my list. Now that we have 5 children and homeschool, it is vital that I keep a calendar to track our family, church, and other responsibilities. Currently, I am using The Ultimate Homeschool Planner - Yellow Cover.

Apologia Educational Ministries is well-known in the homeschool realm for their science curricula and other biblical worldview products. This Christian company believes "that every educational subject in your home school can and should be taught from a biblical worldview built on the solid foundation of God’s Word and centered on Jesus Christ." It's always best to use products that reinforce your beliefs. We have loved everything we've gotten from Apologia in the past, so I was looking forward to this product, as well.

Not only do I want a functional planner, but a pretty one as well. I know, the way it looks doesn't change its performance, but it makes me happy to use something lovely. We are visual creatures, aren't we? The first thing I noticed about this one is how feminine it is. The color scheme consists mostly of pale yellow, avocado green, and plum in floral accents. (There is also an orange option and a blue option, if you'd prefer those.)

The first few pages are filled with tools to help you plan. There are tips for prioritizing your time, scheduling your days, how to teach your children independence, and how to maximize the use of the planner. There are pages devoted to listing both character and academic goals for each student and their resources you are implementing. All throughout the pages are Bible verses and inspiring quotes for encouragement.

There are many options for scheduling your time. The one-year planning grid lets you see the entire year at once by using a two-page spread. There is just enough room to write one main activity for each day. The monthly planning section allows you to view each month and gives you 4 small lines to write information. The weekly planner is where you have the most room for individual tasks and personalization. In this portion, each week gets a 2-page spread. The grid is 6x6. You can customize the planner to what best fits your needs by listing days of the week across the top and students down the side or students across the top and subjects down the side or whatever you choose. After each week, there are pages that accompany where you can keep track or your personal Bible plan, Battle Plan and Fighter Verse, Prayers, and Hospitality/Outreach. These pages are set aside for Sundays, the Lord's Day (that's why the weekly grid has only 6 spaces). There are also places to record the week's memorable moments and evidences of grace.

I think this is a beautiful planner with many options to personalize it to your desires. I love the quotes throughout, and even though the Bible verses are not from the version we use, I appreciate those as well. Having the sections for the memorable moments and evidences of grace are wonderful reminders to live in the moment and not to take our blessings for granted. The only thing I don't prefer about this planner is the cover. The cover is about 1/2 inch bigger on the sides than the pages. Both the front and back covers have a pocket folder slot so you can store whatever printed pages you need. However, because of that extra 1/2 inch, the cover tends to bend and catch on things.

This planner has been working well for me. I had always preferred a physical planner that I could write in and flip the pages, but I've recently switched to an online one. Comparing the two, I now favor the digital version (trust me, that shocks my husband!) If you are in the physical planner camp though, this one would be perfect for you.


You can connect with Apologia Educational Ministries on the following social media sites:

If you'd like to see how other homeschool moms used this planner, please read the reviews on the schoolhouse Review Crew blog.

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