Thursday, April 11, 2013

Apologia Ultimate Homeschool Planner & Ultimate Day Planner for Students {Review}

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Ok, I admit it I love office supplies! Pencils, pens, notebooks, markers, post-it notes you name it. When it comes to planners for homeschooling…well….not so much.

I have tired several planners from print your own to those you can purchase in the office supply store to just a simple spiral notebook. You know what? I never seem to stick with them. Most of what I tried just does not work well for me.

So along came the opportunity to review the Ultimate Homeschool planner and the Ultimate Day Planner for Students from Apologia and created by Debra Bell. I was curious about these planners.

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Ultimate Homeschool Planner, available for $28 on the Apologia website. 10.8 x 9 x 0.3 inches

What I like about this planner. First and foremost for me is that it is an undated planner, meaning you fill in the dates! That may be insignificant to you, but to me that is a must for any planner that I use. We school year round and having an undated planner means I can start and stop when and where I choose! The second thing I really like about this planner is that it is a 48 week planner and not a typical 36 week planner. So great for us year round homeschoolers!

The planner cover (front and back) are made from a durable plastic and spiral bound. The planner pages are made of very nice paper that does not seem to tear easily.

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visual guide on using the Ultimate Homeschool Planner

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weekly planner pages

Some of the wonderful features of this planner are:

  • In the front and back inside covers of the planners there is a pocket for storing any loose papers you may need on hand or use in conjunction with your planner.
  • A four year at-a glance two page calendar, 2012-2016 (2 years on one page and 2 on the other)
  • a page for information on your school year, name, address, phone number, email, students names and grading system
  • A how to guide on how to use the planner. In this section there is a wealth of information. There are topics such as Plan for Peach ad Guide Your Kids toward Independence.  How to implement monthly planning sessions, Provide Monday Morning Tutorials, finish with Friday Afternoon Reviews. There are also picture tutorials that guide you through these steps, which for someone visual such as myself is wonderful!
  • A One year planning grid (two page spread)
  • a student section for listing character goals and academic goals. (up to six students)
  • a family priorities page
  • a resource list for up to six students
  • Monthly planner pages with large blocks of space that have a nice open space at the bottom of each page for notes. (two page spread)
  • weekly planning pages with a space for Bible Plan, Battle Plan, Prayers, Hospitality/Outreach-on the opposite facing page- This Week’s Memorable Moments/Achievements and Evidences of Grace
  • Week of pages-this is a two page spread that have blank blocks for you to fill in along the right side of the two page spread there are three sections: Notes, Supplies and Appointments
  • Records-grades pages. Again this is a two page spread with enough space to fill in grading for up to six students
  • Reading list pages for up to six students
  • Field trips/Outside Activities

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weekly planner pages

In the back of the planner there are more tools for helping your students: A Checklist for Raising and Independent learner, Motivating the Reluctant Learner, Learning Styles and Thinking Skills, a High School Planning guide, Year-End Review Guide and A Notes page.

Pros: I think this is a great planner. There are many tools to help you along with planning your school year and teaching your student to be an independent learner.  I love that throughout the planner are encouraging quotes and Bible verses.

The edges of the planner are color-coded to allow for easy location of each section of the planner.

Cons: the cost of the planner could be prohibitive for those of us on strict school budgets. 

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The Ultimate Daily Planner for Students, $19.00 on the Apologia website 8.5 x 6.9 inches (grades 4-8)

The Ultimate Daily Planner for Students works in conjunction with the Ultimate Homeschool Planner.

The planner cover front and back are made from durable wipe-off plastic and spiral bound. The student planner is more compact and a really nice size for students. As with the planner above the paper for the student planner is very durable and does not seem to tear easily.

There is a page for the student to fill out his or her information: school year, name, address, phone number and email, classes section for first and second semester.

Here is what you will find in the student planner:

  • An All About Me section-students can share about themselves by filling out the favorite music, favorite books, favorite places,  favorite sayings, favorite teams, and much more.
  • The Future “Me” I want to be section-here the student can fill out things he or she would like to do: Books I want to read, Places I want to go, topics I want to investigate, Talents I want to develop, Adventures I want to have and more. There is also a section for My Personal Goals This School Year.
  • Study Smart Tool Kit-this section of the planner gives the student tools to grow and learn: Some of the topics covered are: The Gift of Curiosity, How to Build a Brain, Break a Sweat, Manage your Time, and much more!
  • Monthly planner pages. A one page calendar, laid out horizontally.
  • Assignments for the week-a two page spread covering an entire week. As in the Ultimate planner above, this planner is undated!
  • Grades section-for entering grades
  • Reading list pages
  • Activity pages
  • Activity log
  • Timeline of U.S. and World History-4 pages
  • U.S. Map with State Capitals and Time Zones, Population, State Ranking, Capital and Nickname
  • World Map with current political boundaries (2 page spread)
  • Scientific Method
  • Multiplication and Division Chart, Conversion chart
  • Measurement Equivalency Chart
  • Fraction Chart
  • Guide to Punctuation and Capitalization
  • and more!

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Student toolkit pages

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Monthly Calendar page

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I really like this little gem of a planner! Justin has never had a planner before and I think this will be a perfect fit for him! we have not started to use our planners yet, as I am going to be filling them in when we start our new school year in June.

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timeline

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world map

One little item I have not mentioned is the little removable ruler that comes with the planner. I can be taken out and used and popped back in. In addition to using the ruler for its intended use, you could also use it as a book mark to keep track of where you are in your planner.

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ruler that comes with the Student Daily Planner. Easy to remove an replace.

Pros:

There is so much information in this daily planner! The size is perfect for a student who does not want a big and bulky daily planner and yet there is so much here.

I especially like the Study Smart Student ToolKit and  the study helps in the back. My oldest son loves facts and has been pouring over the facts in this planner!

On the planner pages you will find Bible verses and questions that your student can answer. (answers to the questions are on the following page)

Again as with the planner above, the edges of the planner are color-coded to allow for easy location of each section of the planner.

Even with the compact size, there is more then enough room for planning. In the back there are also stickers if your student prefers to use these as reminders for specific dates and times in their planner.

Cons:

Again the cost may be a bit prohibitive for someone on a strict budget. I am not crazy about both horizontal and vertical pages, but that may be more of a personal preference.

I really like these planners and think they are a very useful tool for homeschool families!

Looking for more information about the Ultimate Homeschool Planner and Ultimate Daily Planner for Students? Visit Mosaic Reviews where you will also find reviews of the Ultimate Weekly Planner for Teens!

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