Make It a Planuary-January


Kick Off the New Year with a Planuary!

If your home school year runs like mine did, then you‘ve been using your Christmas break to retool and recharge. This time around the Apologia gang wants to make it a festive occasion for you. We’ve got a Planuary January on tap; including Facebook parties, giveaways and some new products to help you out. So stick around and enjoy the fun. (Get in on the fun here.)

Let me get the party going with my recipe for a no fail New Year’s resolution:

  • Resolve to focus on God’s faithfulness in your home school in 2012. I can guarantee that He’ll keep His promises.

Even when we home school moms know well that God is caring and providing for our family in all other areas, we still tend to put the burden for our home school success on ourselves. Am I right? Too often at Christmas, I spent the holidays mulling over all the things that had gone wrong during the first semester.  There is nothing wrong with reflecting on our home schools thus far; but my solutions were fatally flawed: I would resolve to turn over a new leaf come January—I’d make lists, posts schedules, buy new stuff, throw out the culprits I’d cornered and talk myself into a do or die disciplined lifestyle for sure this time! By golly, by gosh!

Why did all that resolve dissipate within two weeks?

Because I was putting my faith in my faithfulness (for which I had no objective evidence).  I needed to functionally put that faith in God’s faithfulness (for which I have plenty of objective evidence). How to do so? I need a daily reminder to look for God’s activity in our home school.  And I need to resolve to point that out to myself and my kids, and to let that testimony build faith in me.

Don’t You Know? Have You Not Heard?

Faith in God — the immutable qualities of His eternal character (His faithfulness, His love, His mercy, His righteousness) —is the fuel our souls were designed to run on. That’s when our joy can be complete and our own faithfulness secured. Knowing that God is at work within us both to will and work for His good pleasure (Phil. 2:13) will produce Christian maturity. And that in turn produces fruit in our home schools—God’s fruit, in His way and His time.

Note to Self

So how do we remember not to forget? Post these reminders where you start your day – the bathroom mirror, the coffee pot, the kitchen cupboard, the screensaver on your computer, etc. Find the verses that focus on who God is and what He has promised to do that feed your soul and make sure they are in plain sight.

Talk About It, Talk About It

The next step is to write down weekly what God has done as a record of His faithfulness to your family. This in turn is your source of encouragement when doubt and disappointments assail you. The new Ultimate Planning System I’ve developed for Apologia Press is designed to help you do this. Here is where you will have a memory book of God’s unique activity in your home school journey. And this testimony can be a part of your family heritage that is passed on to future generations.

Celebrate Good Times!

The start of a New Year should not be a painful reminder of past resolutions that came to naught. But a joyous occasion to begin a new season of recording God’s trustworthiness once again.

Now that’s something to celebrate.

Have a Happy New Year!

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Ultimate Planner Review


This review made my day! And there is an Ultimate Planner giveaway attached.

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FREE Starter Kit for Student and Teen Planners


The Ultimate Homeschool Planner for moms will be widely available next week. But the student and teen planners are still (at the outside) a month from being released. We are working diligently to get them to you sooner. In the meantime, I secured permission to create a starter kit. The attached file includes planning pages from both the student and teen planner so you can use these to get your homeschool under way. I had to watermark them to prevent viral copying, but I tried to make that as light as possible.

You are free to reproduce these pages for your personal use — and you are free to distribute the starter kit on your own blog or Facebook pages. Actually — thanks so much in advance for doing so.

Student and Teen Planner Starter Kit

In case you missed our most popular post: That’s a sneak peek inside the Mom’s Planner, now available for purchase from Apologia and CBD.

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The Ultimate Homeschool Planner for Moms Is Out!

Ultimate Homeschool Planner

Yes, we all got our first edition yesterday.  They look beautiful.  The fastest way to get one is by ordering it directly from Apologia over the phone. As soon as I get my supply next week, I will make them available here. And yes there will be giveaways – so make sure you are following me on Facebook and Twitter. The first event is a Facebook Party! thrown by Apologia at 9 PM EST tomorrow night. I’ll be there.

I need to give a shoutout to the many, many homeschooling moms who gave us such helpful feedback during the development process. These include family and friends in each of the production team’s locale ( This was a multi-state venture.) And in particular, thank you to a wonderful group of homeschooling families serving throughout Eastern Europe and Central Asia who spent a long afternoon months ago with Zan Tyler, my editor, and me pretty much reinventing the first prototype we showed them.  So this planner will work for your family, we pray :), both here and abroad!

We are thrilled to finally have these ready to ship. So far, everyone we’ve shown the real product to comments on the beautiful colors, the bright purple spiral binding (which makes it easy to spot on the shelf) and the emphasis on God’s grace in our lives. Enjoy.

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Sneak Peek: Ultimate Weekly Planner for Teens


I want to give you a quick look inside the forthcoming Ultimate Weekly Planner for Teens. ( While part of the Apologia team is on vacation, I grabbed a few pages to show you. I didn’t ask, hope that’s okay.) I think it is so hip and cool… and by association I am therefore (possibly) still hip and cool. (Are you buying this.) Anyway, here it is:

Sneak Peek Teen Planner


So far, the teen focus groups have loved the design, and moms have loved the organizational system. I am particularly excited about all the study aids we’ve put in the back. My goal is to make our planners for students and teens the Swiss army knife of the planner world (which I did not realize is quite vast.)

Besides plenty of space for monthly planning and weekly assignments, we’ve created lots of forms for the record-keeping collegebound teens need to do (and not you). We’ve also given them checklists for high school graduation and a timeline for college admissions so they don’t miss something important. And there is a big study aid section with the kinds of information teens repeatedly use in each subject area.  Notice how I managed to sneak in some SAT vocabulary practice, too.

Finally, we’ve made it small enough to fit into a big purse or backpack — no excuse then to leave it behind.  Feedback before we go to press? Should we print a gazillion? (This should be out before the end of summer.)

Related: Sneak Peek Inside Mom’s Planner.

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