The Ultimate Homeschool Planner (Crew Review)

Ultimate Homeschool Planner
One thing I have learned through my years of teaching both in a classroom setting and at home is that good planning makes things run so much more smoothly than when I try to fly by the seat of my pants.  I’ve developed my own systems of organization that work pretty well for our family, but when I heard about The Ultimate Homeschool Planner available from Apologia Educational Ministries I decided to take the opportunity to review it.  I was curious to see if it would help me consider new things and help fine tune our well-oiled machine.

About The Ultimate Homeschool Planner

3 Planners Collage
Right away, this planner, designed by homeschool veteran Debra Bell, impressed me just with its physical features:

  • plastic cover for durability (available in the three colors shown above)
  • spiral bound so it stays on the page you want
  • pockets on both inside covers for stashing papers
  • school year “at a a glance” calendars from 2015-16 through 2022-2023
  • weekly planning pages that allow you to choose how you want to organize your children’s work (by days of the week, subject, or individual student)
  • room to plan for up to 6 children

UHP Table of Contents 001As I got into the planner, however, I realized it is about more than just jotting down weekly lesson plans.  It guides you through planning on three levels: yearly, monthly, and weekly.  A yearly planning retreat (4-8 hours), one planning session each month and about 30 minutes a week can make the difference between thriving and surviving, and this planner has specific pages for working through all those times.

Beyond lesson planning, The Ultimate Homeschool Planner also helps you focus on matters of the heart:

  • places for Bible reading plans
  • character and academic goals for individual children
  • places to record prayer requests and gratitude

The Ultimate Homeschool Planner is a wonderful stand-alone resource for moms, but it is also designed to be used in coordination with The Ultimate Daily Planner for Students (designed for 4th-8th graders) and The Ultimate Weekly Planner for Teens (for 7th-12th graders).

My Thoughts

There are so many things to love about this planner.  My favorite is the One Year Planning Grid, which allows me to see the entire year on one 2-page spread.


It’s a place for marking holidays, vacations, days when Daddy’s off work, birthdays,  the kids classes, etc. to help me quickly see how our school year is going to look.  Mapping all that out helped me set more realistic expectations for milestones I’d like the boys to reach in various subjects.

I also really liked the flexibility of the weekly lesson plan pages.  There are enough to cover 48 weeks, so it works well regardless of whether we choose to follow a traditional school year.  I chose to make daily checklists for each child, though with Arianna (who’s only 3) I didn’t plan anything but rather jotted down notes about what she did that day that was preschool-related.


I was impressed by the thoroughness of Debra Bell’s system and enjoyed getting familiar with it.  I’m not sure it will replace what I’ve been doing, simply because I prefer keeping my plans on the computer so I don’t have to re-write everything each week. However, for people who prefer a pen and paper method of planning, I would highly recommend The Ultimate Homeschool Planner.  

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