May and June

I haven’t blogged very much the last few weeks except for a few reviews. I have wanted to blog but life just keeps getting crazy. I have been so busy, but would like to get back on track. So I decided to try another blog challenge. This looks like it will be a good one because there is not a list of things to write about. The challenge is simply to post 30 times in the month of July, and I think I can do that. While I was unable to complete the last challenge I tried, I plan to do my best with this one. If you are a blogger sign up here.
So what have I been up to???
In a simple answer A LOT!
May was a busy month full of doctor appointments, my birthday, AJ’s birthday, grandma’s birthday, Mother’s Day, a gymnastic meet, and a few other things.
AJ’s birthday went very well. She turned 10, it feels like just yesterday I was teaching her how to read and now she is ten, boy does time fly. The day started off with her opening presents, then we went out to breakfast with grandma.
A little while later we headed to gymnastics. She had an inner squad on her birthday and she did very well. After gymnastics AJ and her friend were able to go to John’s Incredible Pizza. This was the first party that she has ever had.
We normally spend our birthdays at Disneyland, but because my leg and foot keep getting worse that wasn’t an option this year. They had a great time together.
The next week we had grandma’s birthday and a Meet. We took grandma to Knott’s Berry Farm for lunch to celebrate. She likes to get out of the house and it was a nice change. AJ did amazing at the meet. She got a rainbow ribbon (9.0 and above) for the first time on the bars. She was so excited. It was great to see her hard work pay off. She also received a rainbow ribbon on the beam and floor, and a 8.9 on the vault.
The next week she had a birthday part to go to. It was a sleepover party, but AJ didn’t spend the night. She had a blast playing with her friends and making new ones.
The following weekend June 1st she had another meet. ( I said we were busy) That meet didn’t go as well for any of our girls. The meet was late in the afternoon and it was hot. I don’t remember exactly what ribbons she got but I think it was 1 rainbow and three pink (8.5 – 8.9).
After a month of weekend activities she still had one more party. This time it was a water slide party at the neighbors house. She was there all day. They had one of those huge blow up water slides that is made look a jumper and for almost 5 hours straight the kids kept climbing up it and splashing down. She slept well that night.
Just when I thought she was done, she was invited to a play date with another friend from gymnastics.
The two girls went to color me mine and each painted a ceramic animal. It was a nice day and I was able to meet a few new people as well.

We have had a busy last two months. My leg hasn’t cooperated very well and it has been frustrating that I can’t do the things I need to. AJ has done quite a lot but I hate the fact that we can’t do more because I am in pain all of the time. I am thankful that a lot of the things she has done recently do not require me to walk more than just a little bit.

I know this was a long post I think I am basically caught up now.

Ancient History Go Fish Game – Review

History has never been my strong suite. In school I remember reading out of the book and then having to answer questions. In fact the only year I actually liked history was in seventh grade. I had one of those teachers who brought history to life. That is something that I am trying to do this year with AJ. We play games to learn in math, grammar, spelling, and vocabulary, but I had never thought about using games to learn history. Prior to this review I had never heard about the Classical Historian but they offer quite a few different products including:

  • Online classes
  • Curriculum
  • Go Fish History Games
  • Memory History Games
  • Constitution Game
  • and more

The Go Fish games come in three different versions, Ancient History, Medieval History, and American History. The memory games come in the same versions. We were given a set of the Ancient History Go Fish Game. It retails for $11.95 and right now they have a deal if you  purchase all 6 history games it is only $59.99.

The Ancient History Go Fish Game comes with 48 jumbo cards featuring different topics.

  • Ancient Asia
  • Roman Empire
  • Mesopotamia
  • Political Leaders
  • Seven Continents
  • Rivers of Early Civilizations
  • Native American Homes
  • Ancient Hebrews
  • Roman Republic
  • Pre History
  • Ancient Greece
  • Ancient Egypt

Each topic has four cards and a different color. There are four different games you can play with the cards. AJ has never learned about Ancient History before so I was a little skeptical of how she would react to the game. She loves it and asks to play every day.

We started by playing Go Fish. It is Just like the regular version except you have to ask for the category instead of the number. (Do you have any Pre History?) The goal is to collect all four cards in a category. While we had fun with the game I didn’t see too much learning. Each card has a picture, the word and three hints about the word on it. The issue I saw with that was that the hints didn’t really explain much about the topic.

Take this card for example. If you had studied Ancient History before then you might know what the Celtic Village is, but if you had not then the hints would not explain it. The only thing that you would know is that it is made of stone, it is in Europe, and it has many families. On the other hand the lack of information in the hints could lead to further discussions and learning. Some of the cards are more helpful with the hints, such as Cave Paintings.

The next game we played was Collect the Cards. Basically one person reads the hints on the cards and the other player tries to guess what the card was. We only played this game a few times. The second time that we played AJ was getting almost every card right, then I discovered that she could see through the cards. I think with the Go Fish game and this one, if you had previously studied the period in history it would definitely be a learning tool.

Then we tried the Continents Game. In that game the player that can put the cards under the right continent the fastest wins. We took a different approach. We went through the cards and tried to figure out with her prior knowledge where each card went. She knew that Egypt was in Africa so then she knew that the Nile River would go in the Africa pile. I think by far this was the most educational game. She had to use critical thinking skills and really think.

The last game was the Chronology Game where you have to put the events in the order as they happened. We couldn’t do that so instead we used the answer key and learned the order that things happened.

Over all I think the game is worth it for $11.95. I would have liked to see a category card for each category (like the instruction cards) that gave a little more information about the cards, that way even if you hadn’t studied the era in history you could still play and learn. If you are planning to study the era in history it will add a bit of fun to your studying. We will not get to Ancient History for a while but when we do I think these cards will be used a lot.

How Do We Know God is Really There? – Review

We can’t see God so how can we know he exists. To me the easy answer would be faith, but sometimes that is a hard concept for adults let alone kids. I was recently given the opportunity to review the book How Do We Know God is Really There written by Melissa Cain Travis, illustrated by Christopher Voss, and published by Apologia. (The same company who publishes those great planners I reviewed).

A little about the book:

This book is the story of a little boy Thomas and his dad. After looking at the night sky Thomas begins to talk to his dad about God and how a friend told him that there is no proof that God is real. The book goes on with Thomas’s dad asking questions which leads to Thomas understanding that there is a God.

It is a 24 page hard cover book with a lot of illustrations. Every other page is full of vibrant colored pictures. Aside from the funny looking people, my little one enjoyed the pictures. It is available Here for $16.

I really liked how the book is written in a kid friendly tone. It does not come right out and preach at you but lets the child think for themselves and uses the science of Edwin Hubble to explain that God is real.
I read the book by myself the first time because I was not sure what to expect, but I felt that it explained things clearly and then began to read it to my 10 year old. She didn’t seem too interested so I waited a few days. The second time I read it to her she liked it but became very defensive telling me that, “Thomas’s friends are just crazy because there is a God and he did create the earth.” This book definitely brought about a good conversation. I was glad to be given the opportunity to review it.


The story is great the quality of the book however is another story. We have read through the book about 5 times and the pages already have small holes near the center. There are strings from the binding sticking out, and the picture is tearing off of the middle from the pages sticking together. Overall the copy that I received seems to have been put together poorly.

These are some of the holes.

I am a little mixed on if I would recommend this book or not. The story is wonderful and I feel it will bring great conversation, but the quality of the book is poor.

This is the strings coming out of the book.

My Home School Grades – Review

I am still fairly new to home schooling, and very new to having to keep track of all the work my little one completes. Even though the state I live in doesn’t require records to be kept, I think it is important to have some kind of a record of all the hard work we do. AJ is in fourth grade so although the need to make a transcript is quite a few years off, it is something I will need in the future.

I was given the opportunity to review My Home School Grades. It is an online program that lets you keep track of your home school in one place. You can keep track of grades, extra curricular activities and even create a transcript. It is very simple to use and has four different videos that explain how to do everything.

The set up is very simple. You impute basic information and create your student. You can even upload a picture of them. Then you add a class for the student. Here you are given numerous options. You can select the school year, if the class was an entire year or semester, and if the class was an honors course.


The next step is to decide how to grade the class. There are many options here as well. You can select to just enter a grade for the class, make the class a pass or fail class, or enter in each lesson and have the system calculate the grade for you. If you use a well known program to home school with such as: Math U See, or  Apologia,  you are even able to import the lessons so that all you have to do is enter the grades. There is also the option to ask for a curriculum to be added to the list. Right now I don’t use a program that is listed we are doing a lot of work books, and next year we will be doing a unit study. I was able to put in my own lessons. It did take a little bit of time, but I entered each lesson into the system and now when AJ finishes an assignment I can enter in her grade. Even entering a grade has options. You can type in the grade (A, B, C), a numerical score (100, 95, 87) or the fraction they got correct (8/10, 51/60). No matter how you enter it the system will change it to your default setting for the class. Once you are ready you can also print out a very professional looking transcript.

Once you have the system set to your liking entering grades is quick and simple. You can create a different student for each of your children and have all your information in one place. There is also a screen to enter all of the extra curricular activities that your child participated in that year.

My Home School Grades is still being improved. One major improvement that is being worked on is a place to record attendance. I can’t wait for that to be finished.

You can access My Home School Grades from almost any device that connects to the internet, so not only is the program simple it is also portable.

You can get a lifetime subscription for My Home School Grades for only $49.99. That price includes all future updates to the program as well. I think that $49.99 for a complete record of your home school is a very reasonable price, but they are giving a FREE 14 day trial so that you can check it out for yourself and see if it is something that will work for your family.

I really like this product. I love the fact that all of my grading records can be kept in a safe place. One thing that I really liked was that you can enter information from prior years. We started home schooling mid year so it was nice to be able to input the grades that she received from the other school. I also liked that there were so many different options because no two home schooling families are the same. I would definitely recommend this program.

Waterproof Bible – Review

When I think of the Bible, I think of a holy book full of God’s word. I have had many Bibles over the year and in fact at the moment I have three of them sitting on my bookshelf. They are in fairly good condition because other than church they never really left my house. When I received a Waterproof Bible from Bardin Marsee Publishing to review, I didn’t exactly know if it was a product that I would use. The version I received was the King James Version of the New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs.
It has a very nice pink cover and is very well made. It is not the entire Bible but the small size would fit nicely into a purse or backpack.

There are five different versions available

  • ESV – English Standard Version
  • KJV – King James Version
  • NIV – New International Version
  • NKJV – New King James Version
  • NLT – New Living Translation

The Waterproof Bible is available in two forms.

  • The Full Bible for $44.95
  • The New Testament with Psalms and Proverbs for $24.99

The amazing thing about this Bible is that it is WATERPROOF inside and out. It is stain resistant, and tear resistant. The synthetic pages of the Bible will stretch before they tear and to help ensure the durability, each page is sewed in and then glued. They say you can hold the Waterproof Bible by one page and shake it around and that the page will not fall out. We decided to test it out. This Bible is so well made that even with a little bit of pulling the page stayed intact.

I didn’t know what to expect with waterproof pages, but they are beautiful. They are crisp and clear and the text is very easy to read. One of the things that I liked was the fact that I could not see the print from the backside of the page as I was reading.

Since I received the Waterproof Bible I have dunked it in water a few different times, each time after it dried it looked brand new. Today was the first time we went swimming this year so we decided to take along the Waterproof Bible and test it out some more.

AJ took it in the pool and the water just squeezed right out of the pages. As you can see the text on the pages is still clear as can be and the cover looks like new. The only thing I was disappointed with was the fact that the Bible sank to the bottom of the pool instead of floating.

The new products do float but I received an older version, one that was printed before they made the change to the floating materials. I have heard from many others that their Waterproof Bibles do float but ours didn’t.

Overall I think this Waterproof Bible is a great idea. It is sturdy and will stand up to just about anything. For now I don’t have any major plans to use this Bible. It will probably sit on my bookshelf with the others, but I love the fact that if I ever have the need or desire I can take this Bible anywhere. I could definitely see this Bible being great for those who are the outdoor type or for people who want to put their Bible in a book bag and not have to worry about it getting ruined. Sunday school teachers, missionaries, and kids away at camp would also have great use of this Bible. If you are looking for a new Bible that is durable, stain resistant, and waterproof, then this is the one for you.

My Birthday

We have another busy week around our house. Today was my birthday, Thursday is AJ’s 10th birthday and her inner squad at gymnastics and then Mother’s Day on Sunday.

Lunch at Olive Garden

I had a very nice day today. I went out to lunch kid free and had a wonderful time with my mom and my best friend. It was nice to get out and not have adult only conversations. I haven’t seen my friend since Easter so it was very nice. I got a flash drive which I definitely needed to store some of my pictures on and a new camera. I am so excited about the new camera. It is a Nikon Coolpix with 20.1 mega pixels and a 5x zoom. I played around with it a little tonight and I can’t wait to try it out on Thursday.

I can’t get cake from the store and have yet to find a good recipe for frosting that doesn’t require powdered sugar or cornstarch so I decided to try something different. I made a Double chocolate hot fudge sundae cake. It was actually very easy. I got the recipe from the Betty Crocker Cookbook 1500 Recipes for the Way You Cook Today.

Heat the oven to 350

1 Cup flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 TBS Coco
2 tsp baking powder
 (that has corn so I have to substitute 1 tsp cream of tarter and 1/2 tsp baking soda)
1/4 tsp salt

Then add:

1/2 cup milk
2 TBS melted butter
1 tsp vanilla

Mix with a fork until smooth.
Stir in 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips ( I used milk chocolate) and 1/2 cup nuts ( I left those out)
Put that in the bottom of a 9-inch ungreased square pan

Then sprinkle the top with:

1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup coco
Top with 1 3/4 cup hot water or strong coffee (I used water)
Right before it went in the oven.
Bake 35 to 45 minutes until the top is dry and let cool for 10 minutes.
Waiting the LONG 10 minutes for it to cool.
It turned out so good. It was sweet, moist and melted in my mouth. I was expecting it to taste good but WOW this cake was amazing! I was even able to use my new camera to take pictures of it.
Topped it with ice cream and it was ready to eat.

We took the easy way out and ordered cupcakes for AJ’s birthday but we hope to have a fun day.Tomorrow will be filled with school work and cleaning so that on Thursday we can relax and have fun.

Gymnastics and a Bike

It has been a busy couple of weeks around our house. It seems like we are always on the go between doctors and gymnastics.  I had to see a new doctor regarding my work injury to my leg and foot. This doctor couldn’t believe I was still working and decided to keep me home. It isn’t going to be good money wise, but maybe it will give my foot a chance to heal. They are going to send me for more tests and hope to figure out the problem. I hope they can because three years of this is enough to drive anyone nuts. It is sad that there are so many hoops to jump through just to get better, and that those few bad apples that want to cheat the system make it harder on the rest of us. Well I guess that is enough complaining. We had a few good things happen this week.

On Tuesday my little one {from now on I plan to refer to her as AJ} had her second inner squad of the season. She has been practicing very hard and really trying to fix those little mistakes in her routine that get points deducted. Up to this point she had never received a score of 9 or above on the bars. She normally gets a pink or purple ribbon on the bars during competition and honestly I didn’t thing a rainbow ribbon would be possible. Well I was wrong! On Tuesday she got a score of 9.2 on the bars and she was beyond excited. She was so proud of herself. When we got home she started to call everybody to tell them she finally got a 9 on the bars. He routine was very good and aside from her leg hitting the bar during the leg cut it was the best I have seen her do. This was not a real meet but it was judged by a real judge. She doesn’t have another official meet until the end of May so her goal is to get a rainbow ribbon in the next competition. I think that score gave her the confidence boost she needed.


AJ has been saving her money since Christmas and finally spent it this week. She bought herself a bike. She has had a small bike for a while but it has training wheels and she couldn’t ride the bike without them. Since I have not been able to walk very well for the last three years, teaching her to ride a bike was something that just couldn’t happen. She was determined to ride though and after a few minutes struggling she got it. She can’t turn very well yet but she is getting the hang of it.


School work has been about the same. Her reading comprehension skills are getting better and she is doing a lot better at reading out loud. In multiplication she is doing well. This week she will be focusing on her sixes. I am anxious to see how she does once she gets to the “harder” facts. Problem Solving is coming around and I can see her using her thinking skills to solve the problems. We finished the second week of spelling and she got 100% on the spelling test. I really like the Soaring with Spelling program and hope it continues to work for us. We started our volcano lap book and so far she likes the lap book idea. If this one goes well I plan on doing more of them with her. We are taking a break with Spanish now that the review is done and plan to pick it up with the start of next year.

We have decided to try and make a menu plan for the month of May and stick to it. We are going to do a big shopping day for the month and hope to cut out all of those last minute trips to the store. I am hoping by doing that we will eat out less and save some money. I will let you know if we are able to stick to our plan.

That’s how our week went. It never seems like there are enough hours in a day but we get through it.

Spanish for You! – Review


Living in California, there is a great need to be fluent in Spanish. Spanish is everywhere and my little one has picked up a lot of words and phrases, but she needs more. For the last two years she was taking a Spanish course at school and while it was great for vocabulary, that was about all that it taught. Now that we are traditionally home schooling I have been searching for a good Spanish program that teaches more than just vocabulary. I wanted a program that was not all on the computer and one that taught conjugating verbs. I found a few programs that fit my specifics, but they had very high price tags. Then I was given the opportunity to review Spanish for You.  It seemed to meet all of my needs so I was very excited to try it.

Spanish for You is a Spanish program designed for kids in grades 3 – 8. It comes with a soft cover book, downloadable worksheets, downloadable flash card pictures, lesson guides, and MP3 downloads that have the author reading the pages in the book and a native Spanish speaker reading as well. It also includes downloadable self checking worksheets.

There are three different themed books; Fiestas (celebrations), Estaciones (seasons), and Viajes (travel). At the time of this review Viajes is not quite finished and will be available soon. The books can be used in any order as they are not leveled. The interesting part of this program is that the same book can be used for your child in third grade and your child in eighth grade. There are lesson guides to use for grades 3/4, 5/6, and 7/8. While your students in different grades will be learning the same things, there are worksheets available that will be at each ones grade level. I only have one child and we used the 3/4 lesson guides but I did look at the higher level worksheets and they looked grade level appropriate.

I was given Estaciones to review. It contains 5 lessons; The Calendar and Weather, Fall and School, Winter, Spring, and Summer. Each lesson covers new vocabulary, verbs and how to conjugate them, and grammar. Each lesson takes about four to six weeks to complete depending on the child and the pace you take. The lessons are short and to the point following a four day a week schedule.

I have to say that I really like this program and so does my nine year old. She actually asks to do Spanish now. I like the fact that while there are some worksheets to complete there is not an abundance of writing. A lot of the work has to do with memorizing the vocabulary and there are quite a few fun games suggested in the book to practice the vocabulary. I think my favorite part of the program is that they are learning the Spanish language not just select vocabulary. On the second week they are already learning how and why to conjugate verbs.

  My little one is learning things that I didn’t learn until high school Spanish, but the learning is being done in a way that is easy for me to teach and for her to learn. Each page in the book is read by the author as well as by a native Spanish speaker so that there is no confusion on pronunciation. I liked having the opportunity to listen to both recordings of the book because I felt that it gave a solid understanding of the pronunciation of words.

There is not much prep time needed to use the program. Each week I printed the lesson guide, printed any worksheets that needed to be printed and found which audio files we would need. I would say it took less than ten minutes to prep for the week and I found the program self explanatory and easy to use.

The program has a few different pricing options shown here. The entire program for a single grade level (3/4, 5/6, or 7/8) is only $39.95 while the entire program with all grade level lesson guides is only $64.95. I feel this product is definitely worth the price. It is a solid Spanish curriculum that I think most anyone would benefit from. I feel it would also be great for those older than eighth grade who were looking for a way to learn Spanish that wouldn’t break the bank.

There was only one small thing that I wish was different when it came to this Spanish program. I wish that there was an option to purchase the audio downloads on a CD and the workbook pages in a workbook so that they didn’t have to be printed. I understand that it would cause the price to increase, but I personally prefer to buy real books and not print page by page. There was not a lot to print, but if that option was available I would definitely choose it when I purchase our next set.

This program has been great and we will continue to use it next year when we start school again in the fall. I feel that this review came at the perfect time as I no longer need to search for the perfect Spanish program, for us this is it.

End of the Week Review

We are about three weeks into traditionally homeschooling and so far so good. We have been using our student planner and have basically stayed on track for where I wanted to be. Here is what we have been doing.

For reading we are working on two different workbooks. Reading Skills grade 4 and Reading Comprehension grade 4. Both are from Flash Kids. For each of those books she reads a story and then answers questions about the story. The best part about these workbooks for us is that all of the stories are nonfiction. My little one really likes learning new things and so far the stories have kept her interest. Both workbooks also have color pictures that she really seems to enjoy. Reading Comprehension covers various topics, where Reading Skills focuses on one major aspect of reading at a time. She has finished the section on facts and opinions and is now working on sequence.

She is really good at math and can figure out problems above grade level, but she still doesn’t have her multiplication tables memorized. Last year her teacher suggested we just go on in math as long as she understood how to do multiplication. So we did, and we put up a chart for her to use when she needed. Unfortunately that backfired and she became too dependent on the chart. So we decided to really focus on multiplication. I got her a Kumon third grade multiplication book. It started out very simple with just repeated addition and then went on to the 2 times tables. She works on each set for about three days and then has reviews after each two sets. It seems to be helping and I am hoping that by the time we start fifth grade she is proficient in multiplication. Oh and we took down the chart too.

I also got her a grade 3 Problem Solving workbook from flash kids. I got the third grade book because the store was out of the fourth grade one at the time, but I am glad I got this one. I feel it is easy enough to help her gain confidence but hard enough to make her think. Everything is in word problem form. She does two pages in this book each day with about 3 to 5 questions on each page. She can usually do the work by herself or with a little bit of help in talking through the problem. I like this book and think we will use the 4th grade book when this one is finished. It covers many different types of math; charts, graphs, time, money, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and more.

For Spanish, we have been using Spanish for You Estaciones. It is an item I received to review so look for my review sometime next week.

We are not focusing too much on grammar right now, but we have been going over the punctuation and capitalization rules found in the planner we have been using.

I hadn’t planned on doing any spelling for the rest of the year, but soon changed my mind. I was planning on buying Soaring with Spelling for next year after looking at a bunch of different programs that one looked really good to me. Since she still has a little bit of fourth grade left I decided to order fourth grade and then move up to the fifth grade level when she was finished. Well that isn’t what happened. I could have been positive that I ordered 4th grade, but the 5th grade book arrived. So I looked at my receipt and sure enough I ordered the 5th grade book. I decided we would just start it a little early and have used it for one week. She loved it. She actually asked to do spelling and that is not like her. Today she took the test and got 13/14. She was so proud of herself and I was proud too. It was only one week but I have hopes that this spelling program will work for us.

Cursive writing is another thing she has been working on. In the past it always seemed to be pushed to the back burner, but I found a really neat e-book during the Scholastic Dollar Days Sale. It has little jokes written in cursive for her to practice like, “Why did the computer squeak? Because someone accidental stepped on it’s mouse.” We haven’t done too many of these yet but she likes them so far.

Writing, oh how she hates writing. It is one of those subjects where she procrastinates, I get mad then she can’t think of anything to write, then she takes an hour to write a paragraph. Not our favorite subject but we are going to try a different approach. Someone recommended the story-starters from Scholastic site and after looking at it she seems to like the funny story suggestions it comes up with. You pick the type of story you want to write about, and then pull the lever and it gives you a topic. While we were looking at it today it came up with the suggestion, Write a store about a pink whale who stars in a play. We are going to try to using that site this next week and see if that makes writing time a little less painful for all of us.

Science and history have not really been a priority. She is learning both from her reading workbooks and for the time being neither of those subjects will be a main focus. I did however download a lapbook on volcanoes that we plan to work on a little bit each week.

I think she is learning a lot and I feel that the more scheduled we get the easier it will become.

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Ultimate Homeschool Planner – Review


    Debra Bell’s Ultimate Homeschool Planner - Review

It’s already April, and chances are if you are a homeschooler you are looking at, thinking about, and even purchasing items for the next school year. Next year will be the first time I will be traditionally home schooling my little one for the entire school year. I have started to get my curriculum ready for next year, so when I was given the opportunity to review Debra Bell’s Ultimate Homeschool Planner, I was excited. To be honest the only thing that turned me away from it in the beginning was the price. It costs $28, but I soon realized it was much more than an ordinary planner. To start with it has a 12 page user guide in the beginning. It gives details on not only how to use the planner but how to plan your year. Inside the planner there is a place for yearly, monthly and weekly planning. All of the pages in the planner are undated which is nice because not everyone follows the same schooling schedule. With room for information for up to six students the pages leave plenty of flexibility so you are able to use them as you see fit. Each week there is a place to put down the good things that happened throughout the week along with places to put bible verses and prayers.

Pages are easy to use and are full of information!

The back of the planner is filled with more great information and teaching tips. To go along with the Ultimate Homeschool Planner there is a teen planner (which I did not review, but it looks nice) and a Student Planner.

 The Student Planner is smaller in size and easy to carry around. It has undated monthly planners as well as weekly planning pages. We used the monthly planning pages as a way to track attendance. Each day she did school work I put a sticker on the calendar, since we don’t follow a Monday through Friday schedule it was nice to glance at the page and see how many days she had worked on school.
The Student Planner is a perfect way for kids to stay organized

On top of the weekly planning pages there are scripture verses and trivia questions. The weekly planning pages are broken down so that there is a separate place for Monday through Friday and another place for Saturday and Sunday. I was happy to see that there was a spot to put weekend work. I really love how there is a place for the child to check off that the assignment was completed and then another place for the parent to approve the assignment. My little one loves stickers, so instead of just checking off the assignments, I put a sticker in the area once her work was completed to my satisfaction. It seemed to make her finish her work a little quicker and take more ownership in it. It also forced me to grade it daily.

The back of the planner has all kinds of facts and learning tools. There is a world map, USA map, punctuation rules, Greek and Latin roots, a history time line and much more. I felt that those were very helpful in trying to create an independent learner; I feel that the student planner would actually be great for non homeschoolers as well.

Much more than just a planner, it is full of study aids too!

With only one child to home school, I  found myself using the student planner more often. I liked the size and didn’t feel the need to write my plans in my planner and then the same plans in the student planner. I am however using the Ultimate Homeschool Planner to plan and get ready for next year. Next year my plan is to put independent items in the student planner, and work that we will do together or that might require my help in my planner.

Overall I feel that the Ultimate Homeschool Planner would be a great fit for those with more than one child. It has a lot of space and keeps everything in one place. If you have younger children I would recomend getting just the Ultimate Homeschool Planner. For those who have a child who is more independent I would recomend the Student Planner as well.The Student Planner is full of information and my little one really enjoyed using it. The only problem that I found with the Student Planner was the ruler bookmark. I loved the idea and at first I liked how it stayed in place in the spiral binding, but ours has already broke and will no longer stay in place. Other than that the planners have been a blessing.

Product at a Glance

What is it?

A planner to help organize your home schooling year.

Who would use it?

The Ultimate Homeschool planner could be used by anyone wanting a better way to schedule their home school. The Student Planner is geared towards kids grades 4 – 8.

Where can I get it?

It is available from Apologia. Click Here

How much will it cost me?

The Ultimate Homeschool Planner is $28
The Student Planner and Teen Planner are each $19

Why this product?

It was created by Debra Bell author of The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling. It is easy to use and contains a lot of information.