Thursday, October 29, 2015

Apologia Educational Ministries: The Ultimate Homeschool Planner Schoolhouse Review Crew Review 2015 #hsmommas #hsreviews

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Apologia Ultimate Homeschool Planner

Apologia Educational Ministries has quickly become over the years one of my goto companies for many of our homeschooling needs, they have many different subjects but they also have things for ME! The Homeschooling Mom! I was offered an opportunity to review The Ultimate Homeschool Planner -Blue Cover $29.00 from Apologia and was so excited when it came in the mail. There is nothing like a fresh planner to get the organizational juices flowing in my brain. I have tried many different types of planners and I always seem to come back to the tried and true in my hands paper planner for our homeschool and family organizational needs.
Apologia Ultimate Homeschool Planner

   I did not know which one I was going to get in the mail, there is a yellow, orange and blue cover. I received blue which is normally not my favorite color but there was something so calming about the shade of blue it comes in, kind of like a country blue with pretty sherbet toned flowers. I love the whimsy of it. One of the characteristics I notices right away is that it is spiral bound so it lays flat and the cover is a "drip" proof. Meaning if my coffee misses my mouth in the wee hours of the morning or night and I happen to dribble on my planner while it is closed I can simply wipe it off!! Or if I set my mason jar water jar on the cover which I absentmindedly do sometimes it won't wrinkly the cover. I really need to stop doing those things but life is hectic and things happen, I am sure you know what I am talking about.

  So what is so special about this planner... There is a folder pocket in the front and back covers, this is great for papers that come home from outside activities and also for receipts and other straggling papers. Keeps them all in the same place. The first couple  pages each have a 2 school year calendar, on them so for instance page one is running from July 2015-June of 2017. This was a huge reality check as it had the rest of  our school days laid out on one page, our Youngest will be graduating in May of 2017. How can we only have this short time left.

  After the calendar pages you then have an info page to put how this planner belongs to and your students info. There is a welcome letter from the creator, Debra Bell and a Table of contents. Not you are probably wondering why there is a table of contents in a planner?  This is simple, this is a planner and so much more. There is also instructions on how to use the planner and get the most out of it. I think this part was wonderful.  Weekly Planning Retreats, Monthly Planning Sessions, Weekly Planning Breaks, Monday Morning Tutorials and Friday Afternoon Reviews, it explains it all both verbally and visually with graphics and pictures. I am totally a visual person so this was a fantastic tool for me.

There is a one year planning grid, this is helpful for outside activity tracking, well at least that is what I am using it for. where to be on what days for every month of the year. Fantastic. Character and Academic goals sheets for each student, this was a great way to sit with each of the boys and really chat about what goals they have for their last year and last 2 years and we could record them together. Family Priorities list. We have been focusing so much on this lately so it was wonderful to have a place to add it to our planner. Of course then you have your blank planner calendar sheets, this is of course a planner. You can start it at anytime by just filling the dates in the blank sheets. My favorite part of these pages is the prayer list column. So many of our friends have needed prayers lately and this is so nice to included it in our calendar so they are there at any glance to remind us who and what to pray for.

Another of my favorite pages is the Week of Pages,
There is an inspirational quote or scripture verse in the top left corner, there is a Bible plan row, Battle plan and a place to put your fighter verse. This lends wonderfully with the theme in my MOPS group, We are following a Fierce Flourishing, Being a Fierce Fighter for the Lord lends itself to this beautifully, Then there is the hospitality and outreach, We have been focusing a lot on this as well, so it is nice to be able to plan and record these events in our planner. There is also a section of This Week's Memorable Moments and Achievements. Looking for goodness and celebrating even the smallest of victories. This helps us to focus on the good. Evidences of Graces is the second half of that page. Here we could share when we have received God's Grace and faithfulness. Being able to showcase when he protected us or provided for us. I appreciate the ability to record these for us to look back on. This has sparked us to create a Gratitude Journal. We are excited to start that soon.

  In the back of the book there is a place to record the grades for the kids, as well as track what classes they are taking and curriculum they are studying, Reading lists, and Field Trip records, as well as outside activities, which for us is Guitar and CAP and Enrich our homeschool Co-op.
There are some pages for reading, they hold inspirational messages and help keep you motivated and let you know you are doing a great job and that when you have certain feelings you are not alone in those feelings and that others have felt the same way. Lastly there is a year end review section as well as pages for notes and a Bibliography.

I am so excited to keep using our journal and to see what other things it leads us to, such as our gratitude journal. Be sure to check out the social media pages for Apologia and also to click the banner below to read all of the crew reviews.
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