Tag Archives: organize

The Ultimate Homeschool Planner Review

Planning your homeschool day, and setting goals for your home, can be so so much easier if you choose an amazing product like The Ultimate Homeschool Planner – Orange, Blue, or Yellow, from Apologia Educational Ministries.

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We were recently sent the Ultimate Homeschool Planner to review and I am really impressed with this useful tool that helps homeschool families.   Homeschool Resources from Apologia Educational Ministries never cease to amazing me with their quality and helping families maintain their focus on the Lord.

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Apologia Educational Ministries

Apologia is a publisher and distributor of Christian education curriculum.  We love their science curriculum!  Everything we have used from Apologia in our homeschool has been top notch in quality and character.  The kids enjoy everything we have received from them and they always look forward to using their products.   This time though, this product was to better equip me to be a better mom, and help equip my children in their faith and oversee their education with a plan in hand.

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The Ultimate Homeschool Planner

Personalize your color choice (orange, blue, or yellow) for the cover.

263 pages, Spiral Bound Planner.

Yearly, Monthly, Weekly, and Daily Planning Strategy.

Use for planning with up to 6 children.

Retails for $29.00

This planner can work alone, but is designed to work perfectly with the The Ultimate Weekly Planner for Teens (grades 7th-12th) and The Ultimate Daily Planner for Students (grades 4th – 8th) so that your kids also have their own planners too.

How To Plan:

  • Once a year 4 to 8 hour planning “retreat”.
  • Monthly 2 hour planning sessions.
  • Weekly 30 minute planning breaks.
  • Monday mornings, 20 minutes tutoring each child.
  • Friday afternoons, 15 minutes to review.

The Author, Debra Bell, goes to great length to explain each step in planning.  She walks you through examples that are very practical and easy to follow. Through out all of the planning, she constantly brings you back to your primary focus of keeping “first things first” in your walk with the Lord and focusing on what God is doing in your family’s life.

How We Used The Ultimate Homeschool Planner

This is a great planner with many unique features built in just for Christian homeschool families.  It is more than just a planner, it is an actual planning system and has a methodology to promote your faith through out every day of the year in everything you do.


The Ultimate Homeschool Planner with the orange cover option.

I was given the option to chose my cover color and I chose to work with the planner with the orange color on the cover.  When I open the planner, the first thing I see is a pocket on the inside cover that has a quote that reads: “Order brings peace.” ~St. Augustine.  Also on the pocket written in a faint and whimsical font, is a pivotal line of inspiration and the strategy that will set the pace of this planner for the rest of the time you put it to use.  ” Count Your Blessings.  Encourage Independence, Record Your Progress”~ Debra Bell.  There is also a pocket for extras on the inner back side cover too and it is a quote from Deuteronomy 5:7 about teaching your children in the ways of the Lord.   From the beginning all the way through the end, this planner is filled with inspirational quotes, scriptures, and encouragement.

The next section is 4 yearly calendars that start and stop with the school years.  So the calendars begin in July of one year and finish in June of the next, such as July 2015 – June 2016.   You can see everyday of the year for four years in a glance.  This simple visual aid is motivation to help you stay the course and not loose sight of the overall goal of training day after day the precious children God has put into our home.

The next section goes over, in great detail, the planning system and walks you through lots of examples to help you understand.  Then there is a one year planning grid for every day of the entire year, a student goal section for Character goals and Academic goals, family priorities and goals, monthly planning for all 12 months.

The next section is the weekly planner.  This covers every day of every week for 48 weeks.  Each week covers four pages.  There is room for writing everything down each day.  Along the side there is also room for notes, supplies needed, and upcoming appointments.


weekly planning pages

The next two pages are really unique.  I love this section of the weekly plan, because in addition to writing down everything for each day, it also has scripture, and room for a Bible Plan, Battle Plan and Prayers and Hospitality / Outreach. Then on the following page there is lots of room to write down even more notes, like a journal where you record special things that happened with your family during the week that you want to remember.  There is also a place to record what you want to remember about how God showed up in your life that week.  How you experienced his grace, mercy, faithfulness, protection, and provision.  This my friends is what sets this planner experience above the rest, a place for you to record your experiences connecting with God and your family.


weekly planning pages that focus on Christian faith, action, and understanding the experience

The next section is for recording student grades on quizzes, lists of books they are reading, field trips and outside activities.  And then there is a section on Teaching Tips with some great information about all sorts of subjects. There is a highschool transcript planning guide, room for more notes you might want to write out, and also a bibliography section and a biography about the author of the planner, Debra Bell.


teaching tips section

I am grateful to have been given this opportunity to review this planner.  I am not one to go looking for planners.  I usually just print off a month at a time from my computer and hang it on my bulletin board and though it is terribly inadequate, it is the method I use.  But I want to do better and I want to have a system that functions in running an effective homeschool and being the hands and feet of Jesus in our home and community.   This planner has given me the strategy to intentionally plan both of them and then a place to record how it is going on a regular basis.

Debra Bell is a homeschool mom who has been right where I am at and she knows the challenges we face first hand.   I am excited to read about her life and learn how she homeschooled successfully by using this strategy to plan it out.  She is a super hero.  She achieved homeschooling 4 kids k-12 who all graduated and went on to graduate from college too.  She is an inspiration.   I would encourage you to check out this wonderful planner for your homeschool.

Social Media

Be sure to follow Apologia Educational Ministries on the Social Media links for all the latest news and updates.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/apologiaworld/timeline
Twitter: https://twitter.com/apologiaworld
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/apologia/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/105053356034237782125

Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal Review

Check out what others on the TOS Review Crew had to say about using The Ultimate Homeschool Planner in their homes.


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The 7 Minute Life Review

Thankful is all I can say about receiving The 7 Minute Life Daily Planner to review. It is produced by The 7 Minute Life company which helps women around the world manage their daily goals in 7 minutes of prep time a day.

7 Minute Life Daily Planner Review
The 7 Minute Life Daily Planner
Spiral Bound and contains 269 pages.
Cover daily planning for 90 days, as well as other planning forms.
Retails $24.95


I am so excited to share this resource with you because it is way more than just a monthly calendar and more than just another daily planner. This is a resource for your tool chest for managing life goals as well as daily tasks to reach those goals.  Plus if you use the free videos and extras that are available, learning this material is like taking a college class with lectures, text, and workbook in time management I would call “Life Management Course 101”!  How cool is that? Seriously, they should offer college credits, or CEU’s for this.

So why would I care about a another daily planner, or focusing on tasks to achieve life goals, or even care to take a course in time management? Because I am always struggling to prioritize and organize what does matter in my life.


There are so many little and big things that happen through out the day.  I need to identify and let go of the things/thoughts/clutter that takes away my time and really doesn’t matter in the big picture of life. If all my time, energy, skills, and potential are used on the things that don’t matter, then I am left feeling empty and unsatisfied when the day is through.  If this goes on and on, then in a few weeks, months, years you can definitely feel defeated about my life.

But what if for the next 90 days, I spend 7 minutes of prep time a day to tackle the “Giant Time Sucking Monster” with a strategy taught in The 7 Minute Life Daily Planner, and manage tasks that do help me reach my goals? That is what this planner is about.

The goal of the planner is to equip you with a strategy to make positive change by pre-planning your priorities and tasks in 7 minutes a day. Mental clutter, chaos, disorganization, and a lack of productivity can get anyone off track of their purpose and joy in life. This planner provides women with the process and tools to “Prioritize, Organize, and Simplify” to overcome.

7 Minute Life Daily Planner Review

The process of getting life under control in 7 minutes a day for 90 days involves:

Set your priorities and stick to them.
Learn to avoid interruptions and distractions.
Master the chaos of endless unfinished tasks.
Declutter your mind and your life.
Beat procrastination.
Get rid of stress and anxiety.
Stop feeling overwhelmed.
Have time for the people and things you love.
Live according to your true purpose!


This planner is filled with helpful pages to keep you on track. Some of the planning pages / planning sections in the 7 Minute Life Daily Planner include:

Yearly Calendar
Monthly Calendar
Daily Progress Report
Financial Goals
Life Goals
Meeting Planner
Notes Pages
Annual Exercise Progress Report
Home Repairs
Annual Projects and Tasks


7 Minute Life Daily Planner Review

My favorite page in this planner is the two page Daily Progress Report page. I love it because it is so much like ME! It has places to record my daily contacts, appointments, 5 things I will do before 11 am, a place for unfinished tasks, what I ate, what I did for exercise, water / hydration, sleep, reading, reflection (prayer time), money spent and on what, appointments, thank you notes (birthday, get well, ??) to send, and a place to write down voice mails (or other contacts you need to respond to, like texts, emails, facebook, etc), and an empty place for journaling. All of this is on a two page spread, that lays flat thanks to the spiral binding, for each day. You can easily see the whole day and keep track of what is going on in your life from day to day for a whole 90 days. At the end of each day there is a place to mark if you got done what you said you would (that 7 minutes of prep time where you listed out your plans ahead and 5 things you planned to achieve before 11 am.


As a wife and homeschool mom of six kids, life is really busy everyday. We get up, eat, do chores, get school work going, take care of multiple ages in different subjects with different needs, keep a toddler and preschooler occupied, and make lunch all before 12 each day. Except for homeschool coop and class days days wich we are gone all morning until 12 or so. In addition to the usual things in our daily life, we have also moved across the country several times so part of our life is still packed away in boxes, we have ran several businesses (Construction, Healthy Foods Store, Healthy Foods Coop, etc) as well as have worked for others, volunteer teaching classes in the community, volunteer visiting nursing homes, and attend homeschool clubs, 4-H clubs and attending church. All of this adds up to a really busy week, busy month, and busy life with multiple responsibilities competing for our time. If I didn’t say it enough, let me say it again, life is busy!

I am definitely not a “type A” personality, so being organized does not come easy to me. Oh…no…I hate to admit it, but I am not organized to the point I want to be in my life. It could be better. I get a lot done just because I am motivated and “jump in and do”, but it is not always because it flows with the bigger picture of our life goals. I am not as organized as I want to be in life. Lately, with school starting and new demands on the schedule, stacks of books and supplies for 6 kids, looking for a new church home, and still having several unpacked boxes, I feel like the clutter and disorganization is about to drown me. It can get overwhelming real fast to keep everything running smoothly and keep the clutter at bay. I try to keep up with activities we are involved in by using a calendar on the bulletin board and it is synced with a digital calendar on my computer, but that is about as far as I have come in keeping plans organized since we moved to a new location last year. I just feel like I can’t get on top of life right now and I am letting go of so many personal goals (personal physical fitness, my desire to write songs, my desire to write children’s ministry curriculum, my desire to complete graduate school, to teach 4H, to teach youth ministry, to teach healthy focus workshops, etc.), because there is no time right now for me to work on them. Life is so busy and everyone needs me constantly that it just doesn’t seem that I have any time to get organized, let alone have an extra 7 minutes a day to devote to planning.

7 Minute Life Daily Planner Review

But with this planner, I am getting a whole new education.  I have been on The 7 Minute Life YouTube channel (see link below) constantly listening and learning about how to better use this planner, and the skills they share to organize my day and my life. This information is invaluable. It has all the “gear” I need to climb my mountain of life and keep my priorities in check. At the beginning of the planner, you are encouraged to write down your “big picture” priorities. There is a list of 75 different things most folks feel are important. You are to check off ALL of those that appeal to you. Then you select ten of those priorities and write them down as your most important focus for your life. This helps you come up with your purpose, and what makes you feel satisfied so that you will know what to focuss your time on.


Again, I can’t stress this enough, this 90 day planner and the additional free resources that are available, is much more like a life strategy course rather than just a daily planner. 3 months is all it takes to learn and master this new strategy. Learning this strategy is life changing. It is like the way I felt when I learned the method of “how to study” when I took a college level study skills course.  I learned a secret, a key, to successfully take any course in any subject. Suddenly, I had a whole new lease on my determination to master my classes in college, because I knew the key to successfully completing them.  Reading through the 7 Minute Life Daily Planner, completing the steps to establish life goals, priorities, and pre-planning 5 daily tasks to keep me on track, taking one step after the next to accomplish the tasks, is helping me break down my overwhelming to do list and learn what to keep and what to let go of.

This is why I am so thankful. This planner is an answer to prayer for myself, and for many women, to learn how to get on top of the mountain of life. I am thankful that God has placed this key of wisdom in my lap at this time in my life. Thankful to get the “key” to gain access to a wise strategy to organize and prioritize my life, and prioritize my focus, examine what is important to me, and get rid of the rest.

If you need a better way to organize your life and your day, I would encourage you to give the 7 Minute Life company and their 7 Minute Life Daily Planner a try.

Resources and Media Links

Be sure to follow The 7 Minute Life on their media links for the latest news and product updates.
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