Monday, October 26, 2015

Apologia Ultimate Homeschool Planner

I had the opportunity to review The Ultimate Homeschool Planner ~ Blue Cover, a planning system designed by Debra Bell, and published by Apologia Educational Ministries. This 48 week planner is just one of three planner choices available from Apologia for homeschool (moms).  

The Ultimate Homeschool Planner has everything a busy homeschooling mom needs to organize the family. Included in the planner:
  • How To Use The Ultimate Homeschool Planning System Guide
  • Yearly Planning Grid
  • Monthly Planning
  • Weekly Planning
  • 2015-2023 Calendars
  • Scriptures and Quotes
  • Notes Pages
  • Year-End Review
  • Field Trip/Activity Grid
  • Reading List
  • Bible/Scripture Study
  • Memorable Moments/Achievements
  • Evidences of Grace
  • Wide Margins for Notes/Supplies/Appointments
  • planning for up to 6 children 

This spiral bound planner has a flexible, vinyl cover that is durable to withstand daily wear and tear. The inside front and back cover have built in pockets. The planner pages are colorful and provide plenty of space to work with. The planner can be purchased in three different colors: yellow, blue, or orange. 

As a mother juggling six kiddos, our schedule is crazy! Not only do we have the normal schooling, co-op classes, extracurricular activities and church activity schedules, but we have LOTS of medical related appointments. It is imperative for me to have a schedule system that works. While many people keep all of their schedules on their phones or electronic devices, I prefer to have it written out in a physical calendar/planner. This planner is easy to customize for your family's needs. 

One of the favorite parts of this planner are The Lord's Day and Week's Memorable Moments and Evidences of Grace pages. These pages provide the perfect opportunity to journal, meditate of God's Word, and count your blessings amidst the business of life. It was very uplifting to look at all of the amazing moments, achievement, and evidence of God's grace each and every day. These pages also serve as somewhat of an accountability for me to remain faithful to pray and stay meditating on God's Word and promises. 

 I really liked the long term priority pages. At the beginning of the school year it is helpful for me to set goals that I would like for my children to attain throughout the year. While some of the goals are academic some are not. These written goals are not only good to have written out but are a great visual resource to have as I pray for my children throughout the year. 

Because of our complicated life with children facing chronic medical conditions I chose to not use the planner to schedule out daily academic plans. I unfortunately do not have the luxury of much stability when it comes to routine and schedule as my children's health conditions somewhat dictate how the day or week will go. Years ago I realized that planning ahead too much only caused unnecessary stress for both me and my kiddos. 

I also used the planner for meal planning. In the craziness of life I often come to the end of the day and wonder, "What am I going to make for dinner tonight?" This is an area of my life that I have been wanting to try and simplify. I used the planner to list meal options and ingredients needed. I often find myself ready to cook only to realize that I don't have everything I need to prepare the meal. I utilized the weekly pages to accomplish this task. 

Overall Thoughts
I would recommend this planner to other homeschool parents. This planner is full of great scheduling helps that are easy to customize to your family's specific needs. If you are looking for a system for everyone in the family, The Ulitmate Homeschool Planning System, has planners for students in 4th-8th grade and 7th-12th grade.  

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