Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Ultimate Homeschool Planner
a planning system designed by Debra Bell

I was recently given the opportunity to review The Ultimate Homeschooler Planner ($28) and the The Ultimate Daily Planner for Students (19.99) by Debra Bell and published by Apologia.   These came at the perfect time since for a few weeks prior I was going crazy keeping track of all of my homeschool commitments and other obligations.  I had no written organization plan and I felt disorganized and spent much time double checking what I had to do each week.  

"Order brings peace" is a traditional saying attributed to St. Augustine.  I tend to agree with his logic whole heartedly.   This planner will not only help us survive our call to homeschool, but will allow us to "thrive in the pleasure of God's calling in your life".   This product was designed to be easy to use and will help us in our homeschooling journey.    This planner focuses us not only on lesson planning but wants us to be constantly aware of God's presence while homeschooling.
When I first got my planner in the mail I got excited because it's just beautiful.   I love anything floral and feminine and I knew this was something I would use.  Now that I've been using it, I can most certainly say that "I LOVE IT",  Here is what this planner comes with:
*Can be used from 2013-2016
*How to Use Guide
*Yearly Planning Retreat
*Monthly Planning Sessions
*Weekly Planning Sessions
*Monday Morning Tutorial and Friday Afternoon Reviews
*One Year Planning Grid
*Student Goal Setter
*Pre-planning Guide
*Monthly Planner (you fill in the dates)
*Weekly Planner
*Teaching Tips
*High School Planning Guide
*Year in Review

At the start of each month I simply fill out the dates in the box provided.  I then break down our weeks on the separate planning forms.   I'm able to document our bible plan, outreach, notes, supplies, appointments, etc.   Each week there are thoughtful prayers and verses written on the calendar that gave me moments of quiet reflection that I found very enjoyable.
 I love how there is a section each called "Motivating the Reluctant Learner" and "Checklist for Raising an Independent Learner".  Both are filled with great tips and feedback.  The reading list and field tip log are great additions so I could easily document extra items that we did.   The handy pocket folders in the front and back made keeping my "extra" paper easily organized.

 I was also asked to review The Ultimate Daily Planner for Students ($19.99).  This is a perfect planner specially for 4th-8th graders and will help foster their independence.   My son "Batman" instantly started to fill our the "All About Me" section and took pride in keeping his new organizer neat.  In addition, this planner allowed students to learn about:
*Writing in assignments each day
*Document Reading Lists
*Timeline of U.S. and World History
*Map of U.S. including Capitals and Time Zones
*World Map
*Scientific Method
*Capitalization, Punctuation
*Writing Guidelines
*Greek and Latin Roots

My son actually made it a point each day to write in his homework or logged a book that he had read.  We both did our planners at the same time.  That made us both accountable.

Overall, I enjoyed both planners and found easy to use.   When I first saw the asking price I admit I was hesitant in the fact that I wouldn't ever spend that much money on a planner.   Now that I've used both of these, I can easily say that this is money well spent out of our homeschool budget.   I feel more at ease and less stressed being led by God in my homeschooling journey.     

1 comment:

  1. Great review! Those tips for reluctant learners were great extras in Debra Bell's planner