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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Mosaic Reviews: The Ultimate Homeschool Planner



Do you ever wish you could have "All things Homeschool and Family" in one place for yourself and for your children?? Are you a fan of "old fashioned printed" planners and resources? Well I have a great tool to introduce you to: The Ulitmate Homeschool Planner . The Ultimate Daily Planner for Students is a companion for your child(ren). I was given the opportunity to use and review both of these planners recently as part of my involvement with Mosaic Reviews.

I have been using many different methods to stay organized and on top of all areas of my life, many of them being online and computer methods. The thing is I haven't found an "all in one" site, method, plan so I have to use many. I am always completely mind boggled trying to remember if I updated everything so that I am on top of things for my family and myself. I received the planners from Apologia and immediately started glancing through the planner and really LOVE what The Ultimate Homeschool Planner has for BUSY homeschoolers! I haven't started to use this planner as of yet as I am such a perfectionist and don't want to start using a different method so close to the end of the school year. I did read through the planner and I know this will be a GREAT fit for me.

The main things that I really like about the Ultimate Homeschool Planner are:

  • Planning System Monthly and Weekly Calendar pages are NOT dated. The undated calendar pages give the flexibility of buying and using this calendar at any point of the year, a very unique aspect that sets this planner apart. 
  • Planner is spiral bound and the covers are made of a hard, rigid material that won't tear or wear down easily. 
  • "How to Use" Guide in the front is extremely helpful. This is much more then a "planner" it is more of a SYSTEM, so the users guide scores points!
  • "Yearly Planning Retreat" pages are really nice. Every August I sit down and do some planning for the year ahead and I usually lose those pages as it is written on regular notebook paper. 
  • "Family Priorties" pages is SPECTACULAR. Family should always come first as that is one of the main reasons for homeschooling. I have never thought to list Family Priorities down. 
  • Scripture and Quotes are printed on almost all the pages and this is a wonderful encouragement for busy homeschoolers. 
  • Weekly Assignment Grids have a wonderful layout and are designed to be used in 2 different ways. I also like that the right side of page has places for Note, Supplies needed and Appointments. 
  • Weekly "Lords Day" Pages are a SUPERB part of this SYSTEM. The pages have places to record the weekly Bible Plan, Battle Plan, Prayers, and Hospitality and Outreach. The pages also include a place to record Memorable moments from this week and Evidences of Grace. These pages remind me of my prayer journal! 
  • The Checklists in the back of the Planner which include a place to record grades, field trips, reading lists are very handy! I also like the teaching tips pages! 

The only downside to this planner is that everything monthly is together then the all the weekly are together. I think it would make it easier on BUSY homeschoolers if the pages were together for a month at a time format.

I am super excited to put this Planner to work for myself and my family!! GREAT layout and great functionality!

My 5th Grade son is also a "planner and tracker" like myself. He likes to keep things organized and be "in the know" of upcoming things. I gave him Ultimate Daily Planner for Students that I received and had him read through and tell me what he thought of it. His response:
"WOW, this is cool. I won't have to have the calendar on the wall anymore for Nathan and Danny to be seeing my stuff. I can keep track of things and hide the planner from them. I really like the stickers. Mom check out these really cool charts for me to use when doing assignments." My son is excited to use this although we haven't started yet. He is also a perfectionist, like myself, and we like a clean start each year. We are almost finished with our current year and current method of tracking so we are going to begin using these when we begin our next school year.

The main things I really like about Ultimate Daily Planner for Students are:

  • The Ultimate Daily Planner for Students has many of the same features as the Ultimate Homeschooler Planner and they are companions when it comes to Monthly and Weekly planning. 
  • Very durable and constructed well. Boys are rough on anything, but I think this planner will endure that roughness. 
  • Weekly Assignment pages are well laid out and easy for young students to read and understand. 
  • The Charts in the back of the planner are a GREAT addition. The students won't have to online to get the info and therefore not wasting time. 
  • The stickers for the calendar pages or assignment pages are very cute. 

I, Kendra Neal, a person who is very much into "all things digital" really LOVES the Printed planners that Debra Bell has designed and published via Apologia. We like to do school "on the go" a lot and having printed materials is much easier then digital when "on the go". My son and I are SUPER excited about putting these planners to use in the very near future!

Are you interested in the planners by Debra Bell for your family? Here is a bit more info about them:

The Ultimate Homeschool Planner: $28.00 (download a sample of the planner on this page also)
The Ultimate Daily Planner for Students: $19.00  (download a sample of the planner on this page also)

Apologia:
Website
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You can also visit Debra Bell's site to learn more about her.

I give both Planners a 4.5 out of 5 stars. I would have given a 5 to each but the Calendar pages format is the only con for me!


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3 comments:

Liberty Hudson said... Best Blogger Tips

Excellent review! I love having things that are easy to take on the go as well.That way we can easily school at our local pizza place!!

Raquel Dunn said... Best Blogger Tips

I am in awe of you raising 3 boys!!! I have 2 and sweat it out daily!! LOL! Great review and I agree the weeks grouped with the month woud be a great idea!

Blessed momma! said... Best Blogger Tips

I love that your 5th grade son is a planner himself! We are working on our 3rd grade daughter with these to be independent and start to be organized! Great review!

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