Presenting the The Ultimate Homeschool Planner from Apologia Educational Ministries ~ http://www.Apologia.com/. I started home schooling about 4 years a go. Since that very first day I have been on the constant look out for the perfect homeschool planner. I have decided that there probably is not any one perfect planner. That is because every family needs get something different out of there planner, but thankfully there are options. For me the Ultimate Homeschool Planner is one of the best non computer based options that I have found. Right now it sells for $29.00 comes in different colors, Yellow, Orange, and Blue. I received the blue one for my review which just so happens to be my favorite color.
The Ultimate Homeschool Planner is a 52 week planner that allows you to plan for up to 6 children in one neat spiral bound book. It includes a whole host of features so I am just going to list my favorites for you:
- Spiral bound construction with coated covers and pockets.
- Plans up to 6 children with 6 years of calendar planning.
- Resource List pages.
- Student Goal setter pages and character goals page for each child.
- Pages to Record grades for up to 6 children for 6 subjects.
- Reading list pages for up to 6 children
- Field trip and activity Grid
- Wide margins for notes and prayers
- Ability to organize activities and lessons for up to 6 children by day or subject
- Scriptures for thinking on (I need these they help to remind me of the important things.)
- Directions on how to use the thing (yes I actually needed these directions I know I'm a dork)
I actually read the directions on using this planner. When it first came in it was so thick it felt a little overwhelming. So I just started with the directions on how to use it. Turns out the planner is rather simple to use. The directions how ever were easy to understand and got me going with it quickly. I like it when something comes with easy to understand directions.
I will probably never get around to using all the features of this planner. But I am using a good portion of it to help me get started with planning the next school year. Right now I am using the resources list. Its basically a place to list all the resources you will be using. I am using it to get together a list of our main curriculum's for the new year. This is a huge help I tend to write them down on little scraps of paper then loose them before the year is over. Now they are all in one place and I can add and change them as needed, I recommend writing in pencil.
The weekly planning grid is where I will be keeping all of the girls daily assignments and how long they spend on each class. The grids are big enough for me to be able to write all there assignments in for the day. There is also a side area for notes supplies and appointments. I am using this note area to total the amount of time the girls spend on lessons each day. That way at the end of the week I can just add them up quickly and carry the total over to the next week. I also love the inspirational verse at the bottom of the pages. At the end of each week there is a memorable moments/achievements and a Evidence of Grace section. This is where you can make notes of the kids achievements or document things they have done for others etc. I like to write down little notes, like when Hotrod girl finally mastered her 2's in multiplication or when Snoopy made it to another reading level.
I am using the monthly planner for writing down things like Dr. appointments, Field trips and co-op days etc. It also has a little notes section along the side and bottom, and it has a bible verse at the bottom right. The months and dates are left blank so that you can fill them in with the months and years that you need. Since ever homeschooler starts there school year at a different time the blank calender's are a big bonus. I don't have six blank months at the beginning of my planner. My planner starts with July 1 instead of January 1. I don't usually have much to write down in this section but it is handy to have just as a calendar of your school year. It is also nice to have a place to mark down your scheduled holidays and or vacation days.
The Records section is a big area for me. The one in this planner does several things that are useful to just about anyone. I am required to keep a record of how many hours they spend in school each year and I also need a way to show progress. I do this by keeping grades for each class the girls take and noting how much time we spend on each class. The records section has a place for grades so this is where I write down the actual grade they are getting in each class. The record keeping section also has a place for a reading list and field trips or outside activities. We do lots of field trips so I like to be able to keep track of where we went and when. I love a good reading list, we read lots of books from the library so this is super handy to document what books we have checked out and read for the year. Many planners leave out the Reading List and for us this is important and a huge plus. Hotrod girl now does more writing in the reading list area than I do. She has discovered that she like keeping track of how many books we have read for the year.
I have been trying to decide what my favorite feature of the planner is. Its been a tough decision but I think my favorite feature is that I can keep track of both girls in one book. Everything is together and I cant misplace anything. It also doesn't require internet or a computer so it can go with me where ever I need to go. Even camping!
I want to encourage everyone to click the link below and read what some of the other crew members are saying about The Ultimate Homeschool Planner. Each of us use it in different ways so come take a look!