The Ultimate Homeschool Planner from Apologia

Planning is something every homeschool mom has to do, whether it is with dread or excitement!  Apologia Educational Ministries has so many awesome resources available.  For this review, I got to give The Ultimate Homeschool Planner – Blue Cover a spin.

The Ultimate Homeschool Planner Review by JennsRAQ.com

I admit, I’m not much of a pen and paper planner, so I wasn’t sure what I was going to think prior to trying this planner out.  I often get overwhelmed with it and ditch it after a week or two.  Right off the bat, I knew this one was a bit different.

The planner itself comes spiral bound with a thick, plastic coated front and back cover.  Inside both covers, there are pockets.  I used these for holding things I needed each week, like books to remember to get from the library and notes from our homeschool activities announcing events where I would need more information than just a little blurb in the planner.

There is an amazing section at the beginning with ideas on how to fully and effectively use the planner.  It gives ideas on doing planning sessions yearly, monthly, and even weekly.  I really felt like the author, Debra Bell, was giving me a bit of a mentoring session.

I honestly fly by the seat of my pants so often that I needed this little nudge to start putting more thought and effort into planning.  The tips and advice made it seem easier than I had truly perceived it before.  I put some of the tips into motion right away and was even able to get our lessons and goals planned and written all the way through the holidays.

The planner itself is pretty low frills compared to some I have seen.  I liked that it didn’t come with pages and pages of devotionals, recipes, or other distracting and unrelated information.  Like I said, I’m not a paper and pen planner kind of girl, so those sorts of things make it just seem like too much and I can’t handle using it after a while. 🙂

Luckily, this planner pulls together all of the necessary planning material and information and leaves out the rest.  It includes planning space for 52 weeks, a one year planning grid, a great student goal setter (I had never thought to do this before!), monthly planning pages, weekly planning pages, a place to record grades, a spot to write down books that have been read, room to record activities, information on high school planning, and so much more.

The Ultimate Homeschool Planner Review by JennsRAQ.com

I loved that it could hold information for up to 6 children.  You could organize it by day or subject for them, and could record individual information for each child (such as their own personal book lists).

Another thing I liked about this planner was the Christian slant that it had.  There were Bible verses throughout, but what I enjoyed was that it gave me room to write my own words in relation to Scripture and Bible study.

There was space in the planner to reflect on the week, the Bible, and even plan outreach activities.  It was refreshing to see so much empty space for my ideas rather than the devotionals angle that I’ve seen in some other planners.  If I’m going to use a paper planner, I’d rather it be a keepsake to look back on years from now to see how things have changed through my written prayers and concerns.  I want it to be a tool for learning and reflection rather than for it to become a Bible study on its own! 🙂

When I started using the planner, it was easiest to begin by putting all of our activities on the monthly calendar.  I included our extracurricular activities, church meetings, travel we had planned, holiday plans, and things like that.

Next, I started on the daily planning pages and did these about one or two weeks at a time.  There was plenty of space to write out more specific plans, like which chapter to read for history or which lesson to work on in math.

I also jotted down any grades the kids happened to get (we don’t do grades for many subjects) in the grade section.  It’s nice to have those all in one place instead of just saved within their individual subjects and programs.  This also gives me a way to write a date next to it so I can keep track of when things happened and quickly see if there are any patterns going on with the grades.  That can be easy to miss when looking at it day to day, but to have it written over time makes everything more noticeable.

I’m looking forward to using the year-end review pages.  I wish I’d done something similar the last few years we have been homeschooling.  I think that’s an awesome idea to see how things worked, what was best, and what we might want to tweak in the future.

Overall, I like the planner.  It has just the right amount of “extras”, but spends the most space on the basics of planning.  I enjoy the extra information and coaching/mentoring from the author.  I also like the Christian feel of it and the neat reflective activities throughout, from reflecting on good things throughout the week to reflecting on the school year.  Having 52 weeks of planning is great, too, since we tend to homeschool year round.

See what the rest of the Crew thought of this planner!  Click the banner below:

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See some other Apologia reviews I have done, for their Field Trip JournalChemistry and Physics curriculum, and another resource for moms called Flourish.

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About Jenn L

Jenn lives in Fort Worth, Texas with her husband and 5 children. The family likes to eat healthy and try new recipes. Jenn homeschools all of the kids. She is heavily involved with local bloggers and is slightly addicted to social media.