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Friday, April 5, 2013

Planners? Yes Please! Apologia Planners~A Mosaic Team Review

Can I tell you just how excited I was to realize that one of the Review Team items was coming from Apologia? We LOVE all things Apologia around here and use a lot of their products in our homeschool! And a planning system? Oh my! 

We were given the opportunity to review The Ultimate Homeschool Planner, The Ultimate Weekly Planner for Teens, and The Ultimate Daily Planner for Students. They can be combined and used as a complete system, the instructions are in the Users Guide section of The Ultimate Homeschool Planner, or any of them can be used alone. Prices vary from $19.00 each for the Student/Teen planners and $28.00 for the 'main' planner. You can check their website for ordering or call 888-524-4724. Other vendors offering the planner include: Christian Book Distributors and Amazon.

I am a wee bit on the obsessed side when it comes to organizing and planning things. Sometimes, I plan too much and end up more lost than I was when I began. I have used many planners in the past and actually had my eye on this one last year.

These planners were created by Debra Bell, and I actually own her book The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling Teens. The first thing I appreciate is the binding of The Ultimate Homeschool Planner book. It is slick, (read: spills roll off), and bound so that it opens fantastically!

(The complete system)

This is no ordinary planner! Inside The Ultimate Homeschool Planner, you will find helps, tips, insights, quotes, goals, records, and guides! The author has went all out to provide you, the teacher, with all of the amazing insights and helps you could need.

Upon opening the Ultimate planner, you find pockets on both the front and back inside covers. A great place where we stored worksheets, quiz papers and test papers. Handy for us--instead of searching, the kiddos could just pull them from there! A two year at a glance page comes next. A handy tool to also record your attendance if required in your state-just circle your school dates! Moving from there is all of the things that I mentioned above. 

Prior to starting your weekly planning, you will see an amazing section with more quotes, a Bible Plan, Battle Plan--complete with 'Fighter Verse', Prayers, Hospitality/Outreach sections, Memorable Moments and Evidences of Grace. I told you--this is no ordinary planner!

The Ultimate Planner itself is undated (LOVE!!) so you can fill in your own information. The sections are blank. You can choose to plan by child, by date, or by subject. I tried a combination of all of the above during my review weeks. The sidebar has room for Notes, Supplies, and Appointments.

(Here is an example of my planner, arranged by subject)

Next, we move onto The Ultimate Weekly Planner for Teens. Binding similar to the main planner, it is smaller in dimensions. There is a section in here for the students to write "All About Me"-all of their favorite things for the year. While labeled as a Homeschool Planner, these could easily be used by students anywhere. The planner itself is undated, set up by Month and Week, similar to the main planner. It is set-up in a grid format for the week. In the back, there is a place to log grades, activities logs, a credit tracker, handy grammar guide, citation information for papers using the various styles, math chart, periodic table, history timeline, and SO MUCH MORE! Once again, you are NOT getting an ordinary planner here. We used this planner with my 9th grade son. We wrote his subjects in the left column, and I transferred the info from my planner to his. Due to the various curriculum and books we use, his handwriting is too big for him to fit his daily lesson plans in here himself. That is the only drawback we had while using this planner. There wasn't enough room for him to do it himself. So, we let him use it for other things and ran off of the main planner. He just checked off on it when finished.

Finally, we used The Ultimate Daily Planner for Students. Similar in style to the Weekly Planner for Teens, the inside is quite different. There is an additional section with "The Future Me I Want to Be" for them to fill out, as well as Personal Goals for the Year. The planning part itself is set up by day of the week with room to write assignments, plus a place to check-off their 'quiet time'. We used this with our 6th grade son. Again, I ran into the same issue of his handwriting and not having the room to write it himself, so I took the info from the main planner and plugged it in for him. This one also has amazing 'helps' in the back, such as maps, timelines, scientific method, greek and latin roots, and more!

We thoroughly enjoyed reviewing these planners! However, as I stated, we had an issue with their handwriting not being small enough to fit in what they needed to and mom had to write out assignments three times. That is the ONLY negative that I could find to this planner and it really isn't a negative at all. We just use the main planner and they can check off their work from there.

Apologia is well known and loved for many things-and for a good reason! They offer Science, History, Language Arts and Worldview Training Curriculum. They also offer on-line courses. We have used and loved a variety of items from them and will continue to for as long as we homeschool.

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