The Ultimate Homeschool Planner: TOS Crew Review

Apologia Ultimate Homeschool Planner
Between homeschooling, extracurricular activities, and working from home part-time, I juggle a lot, as do most moms.  The only way I can keep everything running smoothly (well, as smoothly as I can) is by having a planner to keep me organized.  I am currently using two planners–an electronic one to map out our homeschool assignments, and a paper one with appointments, extracurricular activities, and my to do list.  If you think juggling two planners sounds like a pain, you’re right.  But that was the best system I had found until I got to review The Ultimate Homeschool Planner (orange cover) created by Debra Bell.

Debra Bell has written several books about homeschooling, so I was excited to try out this planner produced by Apologia Educational Ministries.  As a busy homeschool mom, Debra Bell would know what we homeschool parents need in a planner, right?

Yep, and she didn’t disappoint.

About the Planner

Apologia Ultimate Homeschool Planner
The Ultimate Homeschool Planner comes in three different covers–yellow, orange, and blue.  Since we were sent the planners at random, I received the planner with the orange cover.

This planner is meant to be used in conjunction with The Ultimate Weekly Planner for Teens ($19) for 7th to 12th graders and The Ultimate Daily Planner for Students ($19) for 4th to 8th graders.  The idea is that mom uses the Ultimate Homeschool Planner for herself and the younger students, and older students use their own planners to gradually learn to take on more responsibility for their own education.

Yearly Calendars

This planner has an inside pocket, and a yearly calendar for 2013-2014, 2014-2015, 2015-2016, and 2016-2017.

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How to Use the Planner

The planner starts with a lengthy planning guide that explains how to use the planner and how to set aside time yearly, monthly, and weekly for planning your homeschool.

Setting Goals

Unlike other planners that you can buy from the office store, this planner is so much more than a planner.  There is a space for you to write character goals and academic goals for each of your children.  There is a place to write family priorities.

Monthly Calendars

There are 12 blank monthly calendars, so you can start with any month.  Love that feature, especially since I think we’ll be switching to this planner entirely in November.

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Weekly Calendars

Then, there are the weekly planners.  Each weekly planner page includes a Bible Plan, a Battle Plan, Prayers, and Hospitality/Outreach.  Then there is a spot for you to write This Week’s Memorable Moments and Achievements as well as Evidences of Grace.

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Finally, there is a blank weekly calendar to write younger children’s assignments as well as your own responsibilities.

Keeping Records

At the end of the planner, there is a section to keep records and grades as well as a reading list of books read for each student and field trips that were taken or outside activities that were done.

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Planning High School

Finally, there are a few pages filled with teaching tips as well as a grid to plan out your student’s high school career as well as a sample high school plan for a competitive merit scholarship candidate.

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Year End Review

The last section is a year end review.

How I Used the Planner

I used this planner for myself and my two youngest who are in K and 1st grade.

Debra Bell suggests two ways to use the weekly planners, and I tried both.  The first way is to give each child a vertical column (I also gave them a “together” column since they study a few subjects together) and each day of the week a horizontal column.

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The other way she suggested, which is the way I preferred, was to give each subject a vertical column and then I gave each child two horizontal columns.  By arranging the page this way, I felt more organized and writing in assignments was not so difficult.

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My Thoughts on This Planner

I loved this planner.  Finally, I have a planner that will hold all of the information that I need.  I can write Cuddle Bug and PB & J Girl’s assignments, I can keep track of the work each child is doing and the progress that they’re making, and I can also keep track of my to do list as well as appointments and extracurricular activities.

I love that everything is contained in one planner.  I am switching over to this planner now.

I’m also planning to buy Bookworm his own corresponding planner.  He’s in 6th grade, so I just need to decide which of the two student planners to buy since he falls right in the middle of the two options.

I was one of 100 reviewers to review this planner.  For more reviews, click on the link below:

Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal Review
 

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