Review: The Ultimate Homeschool Planner from Apologia

apologialogo_zpsb033acf0I’m really excited to tell you about something I have had the privilege to review these last few weeks.  It is something that has added a lot of focus to our homeschool plans and my record keeping.  This product has filled a void in how I capture our week to week schooling.  It is The Ultimate Homeschool Planner – Yellow Cover from Apologia Educational Ministries.

When the opportunity to review this planner first came along I really didn’t think I was interested.  I have a planning system.  This is a spiral bound physical plan book for the homeschooling parent.  I was already using an electronic system that records what pages and topics and lessons my children complete each day.  I still use that system.  Now let me be clear…  The Ultimate Homeschool Planner is ABSOLUTELY fantastic to use for this purpose too. But I’m using it a different way and I want to tell you all about it.  I think I may be getting a bit ahead of myself though.  Let me back up and tell you some more details about this planner.

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This planner comes in three different colors including orange, blue, and yellow.  I was blessed with the yellow cover one.  It has a lot of purple on it and I just love purple.  It is a very pretty planner.  The cover is made for a nice durable laminated/plastic material with inside pockets that has held up well and wipes off easily should I ever get a coffee ring or something like that on it.


There is room to record information for up to six children.  They have thought about just about everything when they put this thing together and yet it is so incredibly flexibly that any homeschool mom should be able to really make this their own.

Long Term Planning

There are six years of calendars for your to be able to take a the long view in your family and homeschooling.  There is a planning grid for one year.  Student goal setting pages let you record your thoughts on where you want your individual children to head in their learning and faith over the coming year.  There is even a page for family priorities.  I love this.  It helps me to remember to keep only true priorities in our yearly, monthly, and daily plans.

Shorter Term Planning

There is a monthly planning grid that covers two pages.  There there are the weekly planning pages.  These pages provide not only the space to write down the exact agenda for each child for each day but also a place to remember how to keep close to God in your day to day life.  There is space for making a plan for Bible study, important scriptures, prayers, and even a block to write down a plan for outreach.  On another page you are encouraged to record all of the positive things that happened during the week.   Family funny moments, victories, progress, finished projects, evidence of God’s grace, mercy, faith fullness, protection and provision.  These are by far my favorite pages.

Other Wonderful Features
There is resource list for each child.  A place to schedule any hiccups or changes you expect your routine.  Lots of space to jot down just about anything you just want to keep in mind.  For example each week I write down what review products we are working on so that I don’t drop any balls as they say. You can find encouraging scriptures throughout the pages.  Pages to record grades, field trips, and books the children have read. A high school planning grid with a sample plan you might find interesting. Plus year end review pages.

How I’m Using This Planner

When the planner arrived I asked my husband to sit down with me and help me fill in some of the pages.  I wanted his input on things like our family priorities and goals for the children.  It was a wonderful discussion (late at night after the kiddos were in bed).  It made me feel confident that we are on the same page for our family and homeschool and that we have a bit of road map for the year ahead.

At the start of the month I fill in the appropriate pages with calendar details like appointments, events, reviews I have due, activities and field trips I have planned… all of the typical stuff.  Every Sunday night I do the same making sure I have am on top of whatever is waiting for me in the week ahead.  It is also during these Sunday planning sessions that I take the time to reflect on and pray about what God’s plan is for us for the week.  Some of the scriptures and prayers I record come from whatever I feel like God is placing on my heart after church or my daily time in prayer and study.  Either way these pages help me keep God in our family and homeschool and that is vitally important.

Throughout the week I am making it a habit to fill in the page where family funnies, victories, progress and other great events can be recorded.  It is also amazing to take the time to reflect on the evidence of God in our lives.  Taking just five minutes a couple of times a week to fill in these sections makes me view the world with different eyes.  So uplifting.

The daily planning pages are a great place to write down what math pages, or chapters or lessons you want your children to complete.  I don’t use them that way.  I am still using the electronic planner to plan out the nitty gritty of the day.  I use the daily planning pages to record more of how that child did overall that day.  Thins like… Ezra resisted writing today but persevered and did an excellent job.  Or… Joyanna was just not able to concentrate on her spelling today.  Another example would be… Noah is just plowing through his math pages these days.

My husband was flipping through some of these pages the other day.  He was thrilled to see what I had recorded.  With a standard planner I could always show him grades or a checklist of things we finished that day or week.  It has always been much more difficult to help him understand how things flow.  It is the more intangible things that I’ve never successfully recorded before. The things that make our homeschooling life rich.  I had no way to record what makes my kids excited or frustrated. This planner gives me a tool to do it.  When the long winter sets in and I start to wonder if we’ve actually accomplished anything in our homeschool or as a family I’ll be able to flip back through and see that we really have.


This planner is a fantastic tool that I don’t want to be without.  It has become essential to me because it helps me keep our family life, priorities, schedule, and homeschooling on track.  It helps me keep our family focused on God and the good He is doing in our lives. It helps me focus on the positive things in life and homeschool and I’m enjoying everything so much more.  Finally it gives me a place to record the rich events, reactions, trends, and memories that make our homeschooling lifestyle so rewarding.

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