Apologia Educational Ministries: A Schoolhouse Crew Review

Is your life color coded? I received the blue cover (my favorite color!) version of the Ultimate Homeschool Planner from Apologia Educational Ministries to fill in with my color coded markers, and I love it! The Ultimate Homeschool Planner designed by Debra Bell was just what I needed to help me get my plans organized. When my oldest daughter was very little, she claimed purple as her favorite color. Her sister picked pink, their brother picked green, and when I need to have a little order to my plans involving the kids it has been color coded that way for years. It was natural to carry that over into this planner. 

The dates are blank to be filled in by you, so whenever you start using this, you can start at the very beginning of the book without having to waste pages of dates already passed. Even the time slots can be customized to fit each of us, which is another bonus with our crazy schedule. It has columns for up to six students, 12 double page grids for planning by months, and the bulk of the book is the 52 four-page weekly planning pages. My favorite part is one of the pages in each weekly section with spaces to jot down memorable moments and evidences of grace. Those will surely be the pages I most enjoy looking back on later. I found it helpful to keep my phone handy when filling in the dates and also referred to the included calendars which go through June of 2023. All three of my children will have graduated by then! Our first graduate's big day has been duly noted.

The planning guide also suggests blocking out time for family priorities. I appreciate the wisdom in that. We like doing things together as a family, and the next month is already filled with practice, competitions, and events together. 

I like the colors included on the pages of the Ultimate Homeschool Planner; it added a bit of cheerfulness to planning. Along with the cheerful floral print, passages of Scripture and inspiring quotes are printed on pages throughout the book. This planner is sturdy. The front and back covers are heavy plastic with built in pockets on both inside covers. For the past few weeks I've been spending a lot of time in doctor's offices and hospitals with my parents. When trying to figure out important dates like when my dad's back surgery was done, my mom had me search her phone. Old dates were missing! That proved he point that actually writing down key events in a physical planner such as this can be a more reliable record keeping system. I've been carrying this planner with me to each waiting room, squeezing in planning time where I can find it. I just found the drawing by the doctor of my dad's foot which I saved for my son (a real-life anatomy lesson) tucked into the front folder flap.

We live an incredibly busy life. This planner includes ten pages of how to use it including a recommendation to have a 4-8 hour planning retreat, 2 hour monthly planning sessions, 30 minute weekly planning breaks, 20 minute Monday morning tutorials with each child, and 15 minute Friday afternoon weekly reviews with each child. I crave order and feel like I am constantly working on bringing orderliness to our home. This guide shares tips on bringing order to our homeschool. Though I missed having a focused yearly planning retreat, I still gleaned some nuggets of wisdom from the advice shared about that. I have written in our multiple other commitments that we work our school time around. It is a workable option to find two hours each month and thirty minutes each week to focus on planning, though lately those minutes have happened in hospitals and waiting rooms. 

Connect with Apologia on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+.

There are currently three cover options for this planner, and members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew received a surprise selection. Click the banner below to read other reviews. 

Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal Review

No comments:

Post a Comment

comments from friends: