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The Ultimate Planning System: Apologia Planners – Review


Apologia is a family-owned corporation which offers homeschoolers Christian textbooks, books about homeschooling, retreats, and online classes. Their mission is to help you stay the course in homeschooling. Apologia now has a set of planners to help the whole family get organized, The Ultimate Planning System!


Debra Bell, creator of The Ultimate Planning System, is also the author of The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling. This is the system she used to homeschool her own children K-12 and raise them as independent learners. The Ultimate Planning System consists of:

A planner for mom (I received one of these) – The Ultimate Homeschool Planner:

Or choose this alternate cover style:


A planner for any student (my 9 year old received one of these) – The Ultimate Daily Planner for Students:


A planner for your teen (my 14 year old received one of these) – The Ultimate Weekly Planner for Teens:


The planners are designed to work together. They are undated so that you can pick them up and use them at any time of the year. Deb illustrates in The Ultimate Homeschool Planner, how to organize a monthly planning session, and weekly planning breaks – great ideas to get more organized and include the children in planning!

Mom’s Planner
I love my planner! The one I received is perfect for me, because I love the bright colours, and purple happens to be my favourite colour (I like writing in it using my coordinating purple pen). One of its best features is two pockets, one on each inside cover!

planner pocketI don’t know about you, but I am always stuffing papers in the front cover of books etc. and they always fall out, so this is a great feature. The covers are sturdy and wipe clean and The Ultimate Homeschool Planner is also a full 8 1/2 by 11 inches, so there is plenty of room for including pretty much everything you could possibly want inside its pages. I also like that it’s a printed and coil-bound. I’ve tried digital planners and computer-based planners, but I never seem to use them consistently.

There are yearly pages, monthly planning pages, and weekly planning pages. During your weekly planning break, you write down your plan for the week from your monthly plan. Weekly planning pages include 6 blank columns across the top and 6 blank rows along the side. You can break them down per child, subject, day, or however you like to organize your time on the page. I had to sub-divide the rows so that we could fit in all our subjects, but if you work on a semester system like Debra, there are more than enough. There are 48 weeks included, so you can even use this planner year-round if you like.

The Ultimate Homeschool Planner is more than a planner and academic record. Because we homeschool moms tend to focus on the struggles in our homeschool, there is room each week to write about our victories and the hand of God in your life and homeschool. The “Battle plan” included weekly is for areas you want God to work on in your own life. Are you looking to be less quick to anger this week? Write a verse here that will help you with that.

Also included in the back of The Ultimate Homeschool Planner are teaching tips and so much more! It’s impossible to show you everything here, so download the Table of Contents and Sample pages of the planner on the Apologia website to see more.

Student Planner:
The student planner is designed for the child to copy the daily schedule from Mom’s planner into their own planner. Meet for a Monday morning Tutorial/Meeting. The student gets 20 minutes of face time with you, to discuss what they need to do each day and let them decide in which order they would like to do them. They have 8 lines per day to list what they need to do, a place to check when it’s done, and a place for Mom & Dad to check off to approve that it’s complete. There are 6 days per week listed, and you can also include chores if you like. There are also fun trivia questions throughout these weekly planner pages.

My 9 year old daughter loves her planner and has spent much of her time filling out the About Me section at the front of her planner.

The Student Planner can be used for all ages. For very young children, who aren’t yet writing easily, you may want to just stick with the planner for Mom and share it with them. Some teens may prefer having this daily planner instead of the Teen version.

The Ultimate Daily Planner for students also includes a history timeline and so much more! Check out the Student Planner page on the Apologia website for sample pages.

Teen Planner:
The Ultimate Weekly Planner for Teens is small enough to fit in a backpack or a purse. It assumes teens are working independently, learning how to plan their time in preparation for university or college. Your teen can meet for 20 minutes each Monday morning with you, to discuss the week together. Tell them what they need to accomplish that week, and let them decide what they’re going to do each day – great for fostering independence.  Semester planning pages, weekly planning pages, monthly planning pages are included. Monthly planning pages also include some brain science snippets about how our brains work. Weekly planning pages also include SAT words at the top. Time circles are included on each weekly planning page to help them manage their time if counting hours for credit time is something you’re doing. It can also help you know what subjects they need to spend more time on, or if they’re under or over-challenged. These weekly pages also include space to doodle and make notes – perfect for my fidgety children 🙂 There is a place for credit tracking, algebra and physics review pages, a guide to Punctuation, and more! Check out the Teen Planner page on the Apologia website to download sample pages.

All Planners are available on the Apologia website Planner page. The Ultimate Homeschool Planner is just $28.00 US, and the Teen and Daily planners are each just $19.00 US.

Love, Luck &


I received the Ultimate Planning System from Apologia in exchange for an honest review as part of the Mosaic Reviews team.



Kimberly is a homeschooling mother of two living with her dear husband of over 25 years in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She works from home as a homeschool coach and offers OBM, writing, editing, social media, and tech services. In her free time she likes to hand-spin, knit, read, volunteer in local theatre, and horseback ride.

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