Friday, April 5, 2013

Review of Apologia planners

I have been excited about most of the reviews with Mosaic Reviews so far. This one made the top of my list when I found out we were going to do a review for Apologia Planners. If you know me, you know that I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to use planners.

I have taken to making my own, because I am so particular on what I want my planner to do for me. This one is no exception. There are things that I love and things that I would change.

Pros of Apologia's Ultimate Homeschool Planner:
1. It is beautiful!
2. Very well set up.
3. The front and back covers have pocket folders.
4. Has a users guide right at the front, so you know what to do with all of it.
5. The quotes for inspiration throughout are a wonderful touch.
6. Dates are filled in by you, so you can start your year whenever you like.

Cons of Apologia's Ultimate Homeschool Planner:
1. Cost. At $28 dollars, it's a little restrictive when having to budget for the homeschool year.

This planner is truly beautiful! It's almost hard to write in it, it's so beautiful. That being said, I will write in it because it is so well set up and useful! It really walks you through the planning process, so you can have a productive and fruitful year in your homeschool. It starts you out planning your year, then the month, then the week. This makes it so easy to stay on target. The users guide walks you through all of it, so you are not alone. Reading through the users guide gives me the feeling of having Debra right next to me, talking me through it all. 

After the planning section, there is a record keeping section. Though I do not grade my children's work at this time, I will use this section to keep track of our progress. This will just be for me to see, as I don't want my children basing their education upon my evaluation of them. I will use the reading list pages and love that there is a generous amount of room for 6 different reading lists. The Field trips and outside activities pages will be super helpful also. Sometimes I forget to write them down, and I want to be able to remember what we have done throughout the year. 

Also included, is a "Teaching Tips" section. Most of all, I love that Debra wrote this with raising an independent learner in mind. This is ultimately what we need to be doing with our children. I want my children to be able to spread their wings in the world, on their own. Debra included a "Checklist for Raising an Independent Learner." Each family and child will look different, but this is a great list to start with.

As for the cost, that's just something that we all have to decide what is right for our family. Twenty-eight dollars does seem like a lot of money to put into the homeschooling budget, and I am honestly not sure if we could swing it each year. I do feel that it is worth it though. With the amount of wonderful helps and guidance throughout the planner, it really sets it apart from other planners. 

I also received "The Ultimate Daily Planner for Students." This really is part of the system for creating an independent learner. The idea is that the student meets with mom weekly to record their weekly assignments and to mark their progress. 

Pros of The Ultimate Daily Planner for Students:
1.Very well set up.
2. Durable plastic cover.
3. Glow in the dark spiral binding
4. Scripture and trivia questions printed on each assignment page.
5. Area for the student to keep track of grades.
6. Place to record student's reading list. 
7. Informational pages at the back, to include a U.S. and World history timeline.
8. Stickers for use on the calendars. What kid doesn't love stickers?
9. Dates are filled in by the student, so you can start your year whenever you like. 

Cons of The Ultimate Daily Planner for Students:
1. Cost = $19

This planner is really neat! I love how it is set up, with an "all about me" and "the future me I want to be" in the front. It really helps to focus the student on improving and moving forward. Then comes a "Study-Smart Student Toolkit." This is also a wonderful addition to the planner. I like that the monthly and weekly pages are separate, so you can plan ahead easily and you don't have to cram everything into one space. 

The weekly assignment pages have two places to check off each item. One for the student and one for the parent. I love this. That way they get the satisfaction of checking off a completed task, and the parent can still make sure it was done correctly.

I feel the same for this planner as I said above as far as the cost. If you can swing the $19, it's so worth it!


Doreen said...

Good job on the review! I like how you shared the pros and cons clearly. The personal pictures is a great added touch!

Christy said...

Great review! I agree with Doreen...your pros and cons are very clearly stated. (Reminded me of something I left out. ;) )

Anonymous said...

Great review!!

benbidder said...

I agree! With myself and three children, it would be quite expensive to buy all four. But I do love them!! :)

Proverbs 22:6 Academy said...

Great job laying out the pros and cons of the planner. Thanks for sharing your opinions. I know folks will be helped by them.