Monday, June 18, 2012

More from Debra Bell

What I love even more than The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling by Debra Bell is The Ultimate Homeschool Planner! Cannot wait to start using it! As a classroom teacher for 6 years, I am used to doing lesson plans and long term planning for my classroom. Certainly with homeschooling, I would like to continue the trend. Of course, the curriculum I am using (ABeka for Alex and Hands On Homeschooling for Will) are both very well planned with scope & sequences and daily plans, so I probably could get by without an additional planner, but as a teacher, I know I would feel lost without some sort of plan!

The Ultimate Homeschool Planner is published by Apologia Educational Ministries, Inc. ( I purchased my copy from The planner contains some of the information from her book, such as Checklist for Raising an Independent Learner, Motivating the Reluctant Leaner, and Learning Styles and Thinking Skills. She includes a multi-page how-to use the book section. The book contains a one-year planning grid to plan things that are certain like birthdays, holidays, vacations. One of my favorite parts comes next - Student Goal Setter, in which you can plan character and academic goals for each of your children. Pre-planning guides include family priorities and a resource list for each child, which would be a great place to make notes of resources from books like her Guide to Homeschooling. A monthly and weekly planner (like a lesson plan book) follow. The Planner concludes with a place for test scores for each student, reading lists for each student, a guide to planning your teen's high school course requirements, a note section, and a bibliography.

My favorite thing about this book is found in the weekly planner section. Debra Bell recommends planning for your homeschooling success yearly, monthly, and weekly.  She suggests taking some time each Lord's Day (Sunday) to renew yourself spiritually and put a "battle plan" in place. Her weekly spiritual planner includes a Bible plan, Battle plan (with "fighter verse), prayers, and outreach plans. Wow! That warms my heart as a believer. Also included are sections to record each week's memorable moments and achievements and (warm heart again) evidences of grace (God's grace, mercy, faithfulness, protection, and provision). If we would be conscious of these "graces" each week to be able to record them, what would that do for our Spiritual life and for our ministry to our children! I can hardly wait for school to start so I can start using this book.

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