The template itself provides guidance and milestones so that you can measure your progress. If you are not achieving the results you want, you can revisit the template to check that you have not overlooked something or misinterpreted what is required.
A good plan template is also great for keeping parents informed about their kids' activities as well. While this doesn't apply so much for college courses, it's deeply important for preschool through middle school at the very least. Not only does this give parents a way to know what their children are learning about, but it also gives them a chance to participate as well, such as acting as a field trip chaperon or an assistant for a class event. In the unlikely event that a parent objects with the subject the student is learning, the parent will be able to learn this right away rather than in the middle of the semester.