A planner is like gold to a homeschool mom. They are the most valuable tool, after the bible, and it is hard to find the right one for you. While I have found the right one for me when I found The Ultimate Homeschool Planner (Yellow Cover) from Apologia Educational Ministries.
What It Is
This is a gorgeous, spiral bound planner with a beautiful bendable plastic cover. There are pockets in the front and the back of this planner that will help you hold some of your loose pages. This planner has 48 weeks worth of planning pages available to use.
But…that is not all! There is so much more in this planner that make it my planner! Take a look at this table of contents! There is so much good stuff included in this ultimate planner!
First of all, you need a user’s guide when you get a planner like this! You need to know how to reap the benefits of using something like this! Don’t let this user’s guide scare you. This is something that is going to help you understand how to utilize all the aspects of the planner. There is even pictures to show you what they are talking about!! The best part, Debra Bell also tells you how to use your planner with your child’s planner, whether they are using the planner for students or the one for the teens.
After learning how to use the planner, it is time to start planning! This is where I have fun! Now, in The Ultimate Homeschool Planner, you are first going to take a look at your whole year and pencil in all those vacations, holidays and breaks that you have planned. Don’t forget the field trips! This lets you see your year quickly. I was able to see when we were busy and when we could focus more on the tougher subjects.
Debra includes 6 spaces for goal setting for your students. And not just the academic goals, but also their character goals. This is something that I have never actually sat down to do before. Since I agreed to review this planner, I knew that I was going to do everything like Debra said to do. Let me tell you…I have been missing out on the goals! I love looking at what I want each child to accomplish and see how close or far away that they are from that goal. They kids love looking at this as well and seeing what I want them to reach for!
Debra does not have anything dated. This works, because you can start your classes whenever you want this planner! I was able to start it in the last week of September and not waste half of the planner! The monthly are the simple blank monthly calendars that are great for filling your family’s priorities. This will help you figure out the homeschool for the month. Family first before homeschool! This is where you can look back to when you are working on your weekly schedule.
Your weekly planning starts with sitting down and thinking about the week ahead. You are going to be looking at God’s faithfulness during your week while you keep track of your memorable moments and the evidence of God’s Grace in each week. (I love having a spot to write these things down).
When you sit down to plan out the week, you are going to look at what you want to work on for your Bible plan for the week and your fighter verse for the week. This was key for me. I loved finding some great examples to look at. This part for me was a mommy planner. While I have always focused on the kids learning their bible, mommy never took the time for mommy to learn her bible. Now the kids have their memory verse, and I have mine!
Once you have spent that time alone with the Lord and thought about your week, it is now time to plan for your kids! Just like the monthly pages, the weekly pages are blank. Here is where you have time to decide how to use the planner your way! Do you want to plan daily or weekly by subject? Do you want to work on unit study subjects together as a family? This is all up to you! There is no one size fits all when it comes to this!
We decided to plan daily by student, but I did have to start over that first week, when I wrote one thing while thinking another!
Now, while that is the “main” part of the planner, it is not all of it! At the end of the planner, Debra has included some record spots, spots for you keep track of grades for your children. She also has the reading lists and field trip lists. There are also some teaching tips for you mom! While I have been homeschooling for a few years now, I still found new tips to help me be better for my kids and their growth!
As much as I don’t want to say it, there is even a high school planning guide for those of you with kids like Moe Man who are growing up too fast!! This is a great chart to have handy when planning out your years. This will let you see what needs to be done and by when.
What We Thought of This
Oh my! I was beyond excited to be able to open this planner up and use it right away! I was surprised by the user’s guide, but loved it! I kept looking back on it and using it to help me find the answers to the questions that I was coming up with. This planner has it all and all in one place! I really enjoyed trying all the different sections, sections that I would not specifically pick out if I were putting my own planner together.
Debra takes the important parts of a planner, puts them together and then adds in the word of the Lord to help support you along your journey. All the verses were the right fit for a homeschool family and the struggles we go through.
I found everything in this planner to be useful. I love the layout, the openness of it and the versatility for all the different homeschool styles. There is no one homeschool style, and Debra knows this, making a planner that fits us all!
I got to use the pretty yellow cover, but there are also orange and blue! Check out the other reviews and the pictures of those planners!