Monday, October 10, 2011

Review & Giveaway! The Ultimate Homeschool Planner

You know how you feel when you’ve struggled with something for so long, then one day out of nowhere is the help you needed? 
Relief.  Peace.  A full in-breath, followed by that wonderful out-breath. 
I struggle with the day-to-day planning of our homeschool, in a mighty way. When I stumbled on The Ultimate Homeschool Planner, at some blog 5 miles south of somewhere (you know how it is with reading blogs!) I honestly blew it off, because I have viewed so many other homeschool planners.
SO. Many.
But then, some things happened over here, that required that I rethink the HOW of our homeschool.  And I have full confidence that it was God that planted the seed in my mind.  In the midst of Who-Knows-What, that random blog came back to my mind and I *had* to find it.  I could remember nothing of the planner, or the blog. 
Still I searched.  And when I found it, I read through the entire sample. 
And, friends, I wept.  This is no lie.  There are many, many homeschool planners out there, put out by phenomenal woman.  But this one had what I needed, and I have waited to get some weeks of use under my belt before I shared with you.
Here is what I knew I  needed in a planner:
  • plenty of room for each of my children and myself (at this time, I need 4 spaces)
  • weekly spaces as well as month-views
  • space for longer-term planning
  • no frills or fillers at all – I will be carrying this with me everywhere!
The Ultimate Homeschool Planner offers all these things – and more!
Moms-Planner-Horizontal-Spray
~~ Click on the image above to view a wonderful sample of The Ultimate Homeschool Planner ~~
What this planner has between its covers that literally made me smile and do a happy dance in my living room seems so simple – but it’s anything but!
Inside you will find:
  • detailed explanations of how to plan with a year-long (or longer) view, down to the day-to-day lessons
  • Pictures of what this all looks like!  Pictures, friend, pictures!  I am so visual, that simply reading it doesn’t work for me :)
  • all the charts needed to plan your year, down to your day
  • Incorporating check-in and review sessions with each child – brilliant!
  • pages for listing materials, resources needed for all your children
  • goal-setting pages for each child, for academics and character
DSCN9980DSCN9982DSCN9983DSCN9985(You will notice that my planner is in a 3-ring binder.  It comes spiral-bound, but I am the odd one in the bunch, and need a binder, haha!)
At the core of this entire planner is…God.  Not curriculum, not plans, not projects or grades.  My favorite part of the whole planner – what literally brought me to tears – is what this planner has each and every week!
Before you look to the 6 x 6 grid for the week’s learning, you see a two –page spread that, on the left page, includes ample spaces for:
  • your Bible plan for the week
  • What you feel you are struggling with AND a space to record a verse (or more) to help you overcome!
  • prayers
  • and here’s the best!  Hospitality & Outreach!  Debra Bell makes a point to equip us with His word in different ways, but gives us the space to actually  make service a part of our week! I could just hug Mrs. Bell!
DSCN9988   DSCN9987
On the right page is a space for recording memorable moments and achievements throughout the week, as well as evidence of God’s provision, mercy, love, grace, faithfulness!  This alone sets The Ultimate Homeschool Planner apart and has made all the difference in our homeschool!
Are you excited about this planner?  I AM!  I have loved sitting down with my planner and my Bible and thinking about those things that I need address in my life, and the life of our family.  It’s hard, sometimes, because it’s just so much “easier” to just focus on the lesson plans, and not challenge ourselves to look our struggles straight in the eye and come up with a plan of attack!  And I think that adding service to study and prayer makes the Devil positively furious!  (my children love to imagine what he’s doing when we don’t fall for his nasty schemes!)  As I begin to train myself to see God’s hand in our days and to live in the moment with my children, my pages are slowly beginning to fill! 
God is so good!  I am so thankful that I have this planner, because it has helped me to keep God at the center of our homeschool, which in turn as helped me be a more productive homeschooling mother!  We have actually had a couple Nature Study outings, even!  :)
IMG_20110915_163935 IMG_20110915_164020
The Ultimate Homeschool Planner has been so helpful to me, that I am thrilled to announce that Apologia is giving one copy of The Ultimate Homeschool Planner away to one lucky winner! 
This giveaway will be open until Saturday, October 15, 11:59pm Eastern Time.
~~  To be entered into the drawing, please leave a comment sharing one evidence of God’s goodness in your homeschool!  ~~
For additional  entries, please share this giveaway with others and come back here and leave an individual comment for each one completed:
  • Share this blog post on Facebook and/or Twitter
  • post about this giveaway on your own blog!
For more chances to win, follow along as you like, but please don’t forget to come back here and leave an individual comment for each action taken!
  • Follow through Google Friend Connect
  • “Like” us on Facebook
  • Follow on Twitter
  • Subscribe to the RSS feed
(This giveaway applies to US addresses only)
I was given a copy of this homeschool planner to use and post an honest review.  As you can see, the only thing I changed was the binding, which is just me being difficult.  :)  )
Ultimate-Homeschool-Planner cover
Best wishes, and I look so forward to hearing of your blessings in your homeschool!


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I am linking up!!
Giveaway Day

2 comments:

  1. God has been good to us through homeschooling in so many ways, but the one I'm most thankful for is how close we are as a family. Yes, I think the education is better, particularly in the long run, but it is the relational aspect of homeschooling that has had the most impact on us. Relationships between parents & children, siblings, friends & even aquiantces is much more real& natural than when I was in public school. But, the ability to really focus on our relationship with God that is the most important. I am thankful!

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  2. God's goodness in our homeschooling I think has been seen in just how much our kids love each other and get along. I am not saying that everyday is perfect. :) Just that compared to other families that we know of the kids don't like each other, they would NEVER want to play with each other, and treat each other very meanly. Our kids have fights and times when they "Don't like" the other person, but for the most part they love to play together and do things for each other. I think that is one way that God has been good to our family through homeschooling.

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