Review: The Ultimate Homeschool Planner

The Ultimate Homeschool Planner

Apologia Educational Ministries has another winner!  I reviewed their Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal earlier this year, so I had high expectations for this homeschool planner.   Apologia sent me not just a homeschool planner, but The Ultimate Homeschool Planner.  And, yes, it has lived up to its name.

I’m a rather techy girl, so a lot of my life revolves around being online.  I’ve tried a variety of online resources for planners, and I’ve recently found myself coming back to pen and paper.  I would miss an appointment, or finding an appointment in my digital planner on the wrong date, minor things like that.  #hideseyes   I picked up a little planner from a big box store for my daily calendar needs, and have stuck with using that all year.  I recently found myself wishing I already had a 2016 calendar, so I was excited when Apologia sent their Ultimate Homeschool Planner my way.

Awesome feature #1: there are no dates.   It’s October.  I have yet to meet a planner that begins in October.  So, if this was a dated planner, I would have wasted Jan – Sept by starting now.  But these Apologia folks are smart, and they let you start whenever you like.

Awesome feature #2: this planner is designed to be used in combo with their student planners.  (But you don’t have to).   More independence coming my kids way!   They have both a weekly teen planner and a daily student planner.

This planner starts with a user’s guide, designed to help you get the most out of this planner (and of organizing your life!)   They suggest having a yearly planning retreat (4 – 8 hours), monthly planning sessions (2 hours), weekly planning breaks (30 min), Monday morning tutorials (20 min per child), and Friday afternoon weekly reviews (15 min per child).   During the yearly planning retreat, they suggest planning both academic and character goals for each student.  For the monthly planning sessions, they suggest things like scheduling rest(!!!), and praying over family priorities.

The rest of the planner is broken down into the following sections:
* One Year Planning Grid
* Student Goal Setter
* Pre-planning Guides
* Monthly Planners
* Weekly Planners
* Records – Grades
* Records – Activities
* Teaching Tips

The One Year Planning Grid helps you plan your year – you can see vacations, etc all at a glance.  The Student Goal Setter section allows you to plan both academic and character goals for each child, and gives you space to record both.

The Pre-planning guide gives you space to reflect on and record Family priorities, and then a Resource list for each child to record what curriculum you’re going to use.   I’m excited for this space, to help me remember which programs I liked best.  I think I’m going to remember what I did with Super D in kindergarten, so I can try those same programs with Sweetheart, but, ahem, I’m not remembering them all.  This will be a great way for me to go back and look!

The monthly planner is just that, a spot for you to record monthly commitments and priorities.  (I love that there is at least one beautiful Bible verse sprinkled in on each page.)

The weekly planners use 4 pages each and they are my FAVORITE part of this planner!  Each set has the typical weekly planning pages where you record homework assignments, appointments, etc.  The next two pages are beautiful:  They include space for you to record your Bible Plan, Battle Plan, Prayer, and plans for Hospitality/Outreach.  The next page has a spot for The Week’s Memorable Moments and Evidences of Grace.   What a blessing this book will be to go back and look at all the ways we saw God moving in our family.  It will be a treasure for us and for our kids!

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Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal Review