Archives for August 2012

Weekly Wrap-Up ~ It Begins


It is time to begin doing a weekly wrap-up, as the boys get older!  I will continue on with Tot School posts for Ladybug, and then preschool and Kindergarten with her, like I did with Krash.  But I am doing some fun things with the boys, and the kids as a group,  and I don’t want to leave those things out since they don’t technically fit into a category.  The Weekly Wrap-up is a perfect way to throw some random things together each week!  I don’t take photos of everything we do, but here is where I will share what I do capture, either with the boys, or with all of the kids together during our group activities.  It will look different each week, or every other week, depending on how much I keep my act together!

Homeschool Class

I got our new morning board updated to adapt to what we are focusing on this year.  Target had this lovely shiny foam board and Pac was shopping with me, so of course we got it. 

My main focus during this time is Ladybug and working on the basic calendar type skills {counting, days, months, weather, seasons, etc.}.  She is also beginning with the Songs for Saplings verses, you can see letter A in the photo {a few sung by us years ago are in a video on this page}.  The flashcard below the verse is from our Tot School Printables set. The yellow page is our  “______ of the day” chart which is mostly a review for her too {color, shape, letter, animal, character trait, state}.  You can see more about that in this post

We are learning hymns together {top right} our first is Holy, Holy, Holy.  You can see my hymn study pins on my Bible board.  I am making some hymn display printables, will share later! We are doing Seeds Family Worship verses too {those are mainly for the boys}.

Morning Board

Ladybug’s favorite part is when we sing the Name-O song {scroll down for video} and she runs the length of the room with her name!Name-O Song

Krash has a few focus areas during morning time, one is making the date with money.Make the Date with Money

The state of the day is just a quick way to continually review the names, capitals and locations of states.  Here Ladybug is coloring on our page {included in our calendar notebook set} She loves to join in with the “big kid” stuff.Color the States


World Geography is another group activity, which is based around our current continent box, which is Europe.  We don’t really have a plan for this, just explore the box together.  Here we were playing an impromptu “find the animal” game.  These cards are from our Montessori Print Shop Europe set.European Animals


We are using We Choose Virtues as a springboard for awesome discussion.  We are also using the Kids of Virtueville Coloring pages.  Here the kids were coloring a couple of the kids we have done.We Choose Virtues Coloring

We Choose Virtues Coloring

Krash 1st Grade

Krash completed his 2nd week of Calvert 1st grade {he completed the first week back in May}.  Here are his completed sight words for the week…Calvert Sight Words

His Draw, Write, Now drawing was a pig, we take about 3 days to complete it {1-pencil drawing and word tracing, 2-coloring, 3-background}.Draw Write Now Pig

The completed pig…Draw Write Now Pig

We had a science experiment flop, one called floating pasta.  It didn’t work, but we still had fun trying!1st Grade Science

1st Grade Science

PacMan 5th Grade

We love our Who Is God study time together.  Here he was typing out some Bible verses.Who is God


Thanks to Marci from The Homeschool Scientist, we are now actually doing our science experiments.  Confession ~ I ignored all science experiments until this year, mostly out of a silly fear.  After meeting Marci at the 2:1 Conference, I felt empowered by our little chat and vowed to make an effort this year!  Science is one of Pac’s favorite subjects, so he is thrilled that I met Marci!

Our first experiment {from his 5th Grade Calvert science} was using eggs, vinegar, water, and corn syrup.  The purpose was to relate the egg shell to cell membranes and how they take in and let out liquid.  First, the eggs spent 3 days in vinegar, came out looking like this…Egg Experiment

Then they went into water {left} and corn syrup {right} for one day.Egg Experiment

They came out looking like this!Egg Experiment

Of course, we touched, and poked and really had a great time with the gross-ness.

Egg Experiment Egg Experiment

The little ones get to watch too, Ladybug thought it was nasty, Krash was pretty interested in it all, but also disgusted.Egg Experiment

Egg Experiment Egg Experiment

That’s certainly not everything we did, but a glimpse of what my camera captured!  To see more weekly wrap-ups, visit…

Daily Routine ~ Fall 2012

Homeschool Routine

Our routine is constantly evolving, and it takes me many weeks to decide on the actual routine.  I don’t have what I call a schedule, I have a routine with “cornerstones” ~ things that stay the same daily, while there is flexibility in the other hours.  What are our cornerstones for this year? I figured you might ask that!

Family Prayer & Bible Reading ~ with Daddy at 8:30am

Snack and Story Time ~ 10:15am

Lunch ~ 12:00

Although many other things are listed on the chart below, those are the main things that rarely fluctuate.  Everything else is free to be moved around if necessary, but I try to stick with the plan as much as possible. It took me almost all summer to decide on this plan, which we have been testing out for 2 weeks now.  So far, it is working well.

Homeschool Routine 2012

Code for small print…


Does Ladybug nap?

Sometimes.  She does have room time each day, and I try to encourage napping, but it’s hit or miss these days at age 40 months.  I read her a few books and we snuggle, spending about 30 minutes just together.  Then I shut her door and leave her in bed.  About 75% of the time she doesn’t sleep but will sing, play with her stuffed animals, read her books, and occasionally come out of her room.  Depending on her mood, I either send her back upstairs, or let her play the iPad quietly or watch a tv show while I need 1:1 time with the boys.

What are Contributions?

Chores.  We learned to call them contributions from my pal Amy.  It makes them feel more a part of the family team, and we really emphasize this now.  Each boy has a set of morning contributions and evening contributions.

Current Contributions for each boy, green is Pac, blue is Krash {ignore the point part, that was for summer challenge}Summer Challenge Krash

Summer Challenge Pac

What happens after 3pm?

Daddy comes home!  Our official school day ends at 3, but sometimes Pac has more independent work to finish up.  Daddy is home from 3-dinner and that is my personal/work time.  He leaves again most nights right after dinner for his night ministries.

Is Pac able to get all of his schoolwork done in that amount of time?

Yes, on most days.  Pac is in 5th grade and we use Calvert, which a pretty intense curriculum.  I still use a blog for his lessons, although I don’t list them daily anymore.  In order to help prepare him to manage his assignments more on his own, I post a week at a time, subject by subject. Here’s a screenshot of a small portion of his blog from last week.5th grade school blog

We use Calvert’s ATS assessment service also which gives thorough assessments every 20 lessons.  These take much prep/review time and actual test taking time.  I dread and love these assessments for obvious reasons. 

Pac is a daydreamer but he does enjoy school.  We have battled, but finally last year he really turned over a new leaf with school and his strong will.  I can’t lie ~ K-3rd was a battle with him, but we are definitely on the other side of that.  He is fun to teach now and for the most part we get along well and enjoy learning together. If he can stop daydreaming, he gets his work done quickly. 

I found that if I let him have breaks in the day {play with Ladybug for 30 minutes while I work with Krash, art, What’s in the Bible, snack and story time, etc.} he works harder and better during his independent school time.

Want to see more about what our days look like {looked like}…

Homeschool Life Button Before School Homeschool Life Button Morning School Homeschool Life Button Afternoon School 

Yes, I realize I totally slacked on the Part 4, but I have about half of it written, I just need to get it done!

Even older routine posts: Routine 2009, Routine 2011

One final note about schedules and routines…

Every family is different!  Because I believe in this fact so greatly, I hesitate to even write a post like this.  You can glean wisdom and ideas from looking at other homeschool routines, but know that yours can be dramatically different and still be OK!  Some of the homeschool moms I admire and respect the most have entirely different routines and different teaching methods and beliefs.  I know myself and have to do what works for not only my kids, but also me so I don’t go crazy!  A good example is homeschoolers who lean towards a Charlotte Mason method, I admire this greatly and honestly wish I could do homeschool that way, but I know myself.  I am more classroom oriented {probably because I was a classroom teacher for 5 years} and I need a different routine.  I believe you do what works for you and your own kids, your own home, your own lifestyle, and your own beliefs.  Do the best you can and that’s all you can do!

Also-please know that this glorious routine may change in a week!  I am constantly evolving and adapting to our seasons of life. 

Check out other homeschooling moms and their homeschool days! nbts-blog-hop-calendar-20124

Raising Rock Stars Kindergarten Bundle

RRSK Bundle

The RRSK Bundle is finally ready!  This has been a long creation process for me, mostly because Krash stopped using the RRSK program for a few reasons.  One-he finished up all of his K work early and the extra work was too easy for him.  Another reason-I am now using these the My ABC Bible Verses book and many of the RRSP/RRSK printables to teach our children’s church class-and he is in it!  He was becoming a bit of a “know-it-all” so I decided to stop doing the verse memory at home and have him review the verses with the rest of his class!  So, the units are only free through letter P,  since that’s all we did at home ~ although Ladybug will probably use them in the future!  But, the RRSK Bundle is ready and includes all of the units and a few extras packaged in for easy access. This post will share the details about what is included.

A note about purchasing, the bundle is $10, and gives you a private webpage where you go to download the files in bundled format {a zip folder}.  If you purchased RRSK Early Access, you do NOT need to purchase the bundle, the private page you already have was updated to include the bundle links! You can purchase the RRSK Bundle here. Remember, lessons A-P are free, in case you want to try it out first!


For each letter of the RRSK program you will have the following printables shown below.  Want to know more about the printables and the RRSK program, you can see the intro post here!

Verse tracerSlide3


Cut and Glue the Verse {with a tracer option if desired}…



Words that begin withSlide7

You can be creative with these and find small objects to put in the ovals.  Or simply draw pictures, or just write words!

Glitter and trace the sight word…



We chose to use glue and glitter, but you can use these however you like!

Use the sight word and vocabulary word in a sentence…Slide9

On these pages, your child will show they know how to use the focus sight word in a sentence and also a special vocabulary word pulled from the memory verse.  This sheet gives a platform for discussion between teacher and child.

Sign LanguageSlide10


Listen and Color {review shapes and colors}…Slide11


Math Fun {a different Kindergarten skill is reviewed each week}…Slide12


Math skills reviewed: Counting 1-20, patterns, sorting, measuring, counting backwards 10-1,number line,fractions,temperature,addition, ordering 1-30, graphing,estimation,calendar,times of day,money,days,months,clocks,ordinal #s,word problems,before/after #s,count by 5/10,positional words, andsubtraction.

Phonics {circle things that start with the letter}…Slide13


Tell a Story {gives your child an opportunity to tell a story aloud while you write it down}Slide15


A few extras…

Master Spreadsheet


Notebook Covers


Verse Tunes

Bible Verse Tunes

Verse Checklists



I already purchased the RRSK Early Access, do I need to purchase this too?

NO!  The bundle downloads are located on the same webpage you were given when you bought early access!  Log back in and you’ll see them!  If you lost your info, just email me and give me your PayPal email and I can resend your info!


Should I use RRSP or RRSK with my child?

I used RRSP with Krash when he had just turned 4.  We added in the RRSK printables when he was in Kindergarten, at age 5.  If you work with the verses and the book for 2 years, it really gives your young child a solid foundation of 26 Bible verses and a good understanding of what they mean and what our faith is about.  The My ABC Bible Verses book is awesome and definitely worth going through twice!


What is the difference between the preschool{RRSP} and the kindergarten{RRSK} version?

You can see the intro to RRSP here to see what is taught. You can see the RRSP Bundle to see what extras you get when you purchase the bundle.  RRSK just extends the Bible verse work with more kindergarten level skills {tracing, various math skills, vocabulary words, phonics, story telling, sign language, listening skills, and more.}


What if I already have a Preschool or Kindergarten Curriculum, can I add this in?

Yes!  That is what we did!  We use Calvert as our base and used RRSP and RRSK as a way to bring in the Bible!  I often cut back on some of the Calvert work in PreK and K, and used the extra time to add the RRSP/RRSK work in.


What is the Members Only section and is that separate from all of this?

The Members Only section hosts PowerPoint shows.  You can see what is there now here.  This area hosts the PowerPoint shows that were made specifically for RRSP.  You could use them for RRSK also, but the colors, numbers, and a few other things were focused on RRSP skills.  The MO section is a separate purchase.  You can see more about the different items I offer for sale here.

1plus1plus1 Store2


Back to School Sale!

I am excited about back to {home} school time and I know many of you are too!  In honor of this time of year, I thought I would have a sale to help any of you who are on the fence about purchasing anything I have for sale. A majority of what I offer on my site is FREE, but there are a few things I do sell.

I created a brand new “store” webpage which outlines all of the different items and now has a shopping cart feature, so you can make one purchase, instead of one for each item. The shopping cart feature is new, as well as the store page, so please let me know if I made any mistakes!  I linked and typed for days to get it all on one page to make it easier.  I know I probably messed something up! 

1plus1plus1 Store Sale


From now through August 31, 2012, with the code backtoschool you will receive

30% off of your entire shopping cart! 

Click here to shop and enter code: backtoschool

I am also hosting the same discount in my Teacher’s Notebook Shop, where I have a few smaller items for sale.  The discount is already applied over there, you’ll see the sale prices for each item. Below is just a few of the items on sale and their sale price shown!  


Thanks to all of you who support our family and the work I do online through your purchases of my items! 

Please remember, if you have any trouble downloading or printing anything from my site {or others} I have a PDF troubleshooting post!

Troubleshooting Tips for PDF Printing

Tot School

~Ladybug is currently 40 months old~

Tot School

Other than attending our staff retreat, which was at a camp, Ladybug did nothing Tot School wise!  Get ready to be impressed, the most creative thing we did was, a My Little Pony activity book!  Tot School -1231

Tot School -1240

We are scheduled to be back on track next week!

More Tot School Links…

Tot-Books-10052222222222222222222222[1] Tot-School-Printables-10052222222222[1] Tot-Trays-10052222222222222222222222[1] Tot-School-Ideas62222222222222222222 smaller-rectangle-blog-button6222222[1]

  • Tot School 2011/2012 Blog Roll
  • Behind the Scenes ~ Where Do I Begin with Tot School?
  • Tot School Webpage {including links of all participants}
  • How do I Link up to Tot School? Please be sure to read this BEFORE you link up for the first time!!! If your blog is not linked back here to Tot School {within your post, not just on your sidebar}, and/or your post is not specifically a Tot School post, your link will be deleted to help Tot School surfing moms. If your link was deleted, please email if you don’t know why.
  • Please put your tot’s age (in months) after it, like this: 1+1+1=1 (41 mos)