Weaving with Home Art Studio and a Giveaway!

We have been using Home Art Studio for a long time now.  You can see all of the projects I have blogged about here! Home Art Studio sent us curriculum to review years ago and has been a blog sponsor ever since.  We love working with them and sharing Home Art Studio with you!

Home Art Studio 1st Grade Project ~ Weaving

Ladybug loved her next art project from the Home Art Studio 1st Grade DVD, weaving!  We watched the DVD lesson together and she got to work painting!

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On another day we watched part 2 of the lesson and did the weaving.  She tried to cut the paper on her own but ended up needing me to help. Love the tongue.

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She was thrilled with her final project!!

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For a look back, here’s our post from when my boys did this same project! As you can see below, she joined us on the painting day, but at age 3 the weaving part was a bit much for her!

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Home Art Studio Giveaway

Home Art Studio is an award winning DVD/ROM based art education program, taught by Lindsey Volin,  designed for homeschooling families. Every fun art project teaches students experience, but who want to ensure that their children receive a well-rounded arts education.

Here are some helpful direct links:

Home Art Studio Giveaway 3 DVDs Winner Choice ends 10.5.15

I am thrilled to be able to give one of our readers 3 Home Art Studio DVDs, winner chooses grade levels!  use Rafflecopter to enter to win below.  Giveaway is open to US addresses only and ends 10/5/15.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Inspire Me! Story Starter Photo Cards ~ Fall Fun Theme

Inspire Me! Story Starter Photo Cards feature a simple photograph on the front, with word ideas on the back.  You can see more about why they were created and how we use them here in our original post!

Free Fall Story Starter Photo Cards


We have a brand new FALL FUN set for you today, with 12 different photographs. Six of the photographs are of people in fall, and the other 6 are all funny squirrels and a chipmunk. We haven’t used these yet, but I wanted to share them since it is fall for much of the world right now!

Below you can see the photographs included in this set, there are matching word idea cards for each photo also! If you look you’ll see my boys in a few of the photos!

Fall Fun Story Starter Printable Photo Cards Fall Fun Story Starter Printable Photo Cards


See a video walk through here showing you how we use and organize our cards, and the extra printables we use alongside of them.

We have more themes coming and many will be released here on my blog for FREE.  I am also listing sets in my Teacher’s Notebook Shop.  Be sure to subscribe to our blog posts so you don’t miss any of our free printables!

Have a theme idea for a set? Leave me a comment!

Download your free Fall Fun Story Starters here!

Inspire Me Story Starters Fall Fun

The printables shown below were were created to go along with our story starters! 

Choose-your-Own-Writing-Paper43121  Choose-Your-Own-Alphabet-Chart4121  Young-Writer-Printables21

Grab our other Story Starters…

Summer-Fun-Story-Starters-Printables[1]  Bugs-Story-Starters-Printable-Photo-  Cats Story Starters Printable Photo Cards

Looking for more FALL fun?


See more Fall ideas here on our Pinterest board!

Follow {1plus1plus1} Carisa’s board Fall Theme on Pinterest.

Science IS Fun!

We have added something new to my daughter’s 1st grade curriculum thanks to an awesome book we were sent to review!  I loved Asia’s first book, which we shared here and jumped at the chance to receive an advance copy of her next book, The Curious Kid’s Science Book.

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My husband is now the homeschool science teacher around here so I handed him the book and told him to look through it and tell me what he thought.  I also told him to pick any activity to do with our daughter so I could feature it in this post.

He loved the book, and she did too.  She was begging to do it all as she flipped through with him.  The photos alone are enough to draw anyone in! They ended up choosing an experiment that involved seeing which soap would produce the most bubbles. You can find all of the details in the book.

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He set up all of the supplies, all we had around the house.  I get asked about our big blue mat a lot, it’s called a MessMatz and I got it on Zulily.

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Then they got to work!  Watching her throughout the experiment was such a joy.  She absolutely loved every minute and begged for more!

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I took a little video clip of her in action and shared on Instagram here. You can see her BIG smile!

A video posted by Carisa (@1plus1plus1) on


We have decided to add this book to Ladybug’s curriculum this year.  They are planning to freely choose experiments together based on her interests. I definitely recommend this book for a unique and refreshing twist on science for kids.  It isn’t your normal textbook style, but more of a launching pad for great ideas all in one place.  It focuses on discovery and exploration and is very child-led.  I love this style of learning and it is honestly very freeing!  The book is geared towards 4-8 year olds, my daughter is 6 so it’s just perfect!

The book is available worldwide. You can get a copy here on Amazon!

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Tot School Gathering Place Week 141

Welcome to Tot School™ Gathering Place! Gather together here, gather ideas from other blogs, share your own ideas on your own blog. Browse around at the other posts linked up, leave a few comments if you have time, and be sure to check back to see if your blog was featured!

Each week we will feature photo{s} and ideas from blogs who link up. Remember, provide a link back to Tot School Gathering Place within your post that you link up, so you can be considered for the feature!


I seriously can’t believe how FAST this month is moving! We are already more than half way through it! Fall officially starts on Wednesday! While the month is speeding by I hope that you are enjoying each moment with your Tot! Make sure to link your wonderful ideas here to the Gathering Place so that we all can be inspired!

At one time or another, dinosaurs seem to find their way into our Tot’s hearts! It has been no exception for Mama Katelynne’s Tots! Head on over to disguised.as.a.supermom to see the fun dinosaur activity she put together with Tot M!

9202015 disguised.as.a.supermom

Perhaps your Tot is more into things that go rather than things that go ROAR! Check out #TeacherMom to see the activities that Mama Denise put together for her Tot Beckett. One or more may have your Tot loving things that go.

9202015 #TeacherMom

Does cooking with your Tot make you nervous? Or maybe you keep making the same cookie or cupcake over and over again? Take a peek at what Mama Alison from All Past Midnight is cooking up with her Tot Wee Girl this week and see if your Tot might enjoy it!9202015 All Past Midnight

Were you featured? You are welcome to a button but you certainly don’t have to use it! Totally optional! Tot School Feature

<center><a href="http://bit.ly/W32RDO" target="_blank"><img alt="I was featured for Tot School!" src="http://bit.ly/13tsB2r"/ ></a></center>

Do you have your FREE

Where to Begin with Tot School eBook?


See the Tot School webpage here!

Follow {1plus1plus1} Carisa’s board Tot School Ideas on Pinterest.

We have loads of free ABC printables, here’s just a few!  Find them all here!

ABC Dot Fun  Color By Number ABCs  ABC Wall Posters

 Are you NEW or have never been featured? Read this! Basics: write a specific post about what you did with your tot, link up the permalink from your post, link back to Tot School within that post, put your tot’s age in months in ( ) like this: (43 months).

Sparky’s Brain Busters Free App and Fire Prevention Week Resources

Sparky's Brain Busters Free App

{disclaimer ~ we were compensated for this post}

Last year we were introduced to the Sparky apps and website and recently had the chance to review the new Sparky app, Sparky’s Brain Busters.  This is a free app geared towards 3rd-5th grade kids, so I had my son try it out with me!  He’s a bit old for the app but he was challenged by some of the questions!  Even I got a few wrong!

After choosing your game level {Rookies – 3rd, Stars – 4th, or Legends – 5th}, you spin the wheel to get a question based on either Science, Math, Social Studies, Fire Safety or Sparky’s Choice.

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You are then given a question with multiple choice answers. Our favorite question was definitely one that popped up about Minecraft!

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I am very competitive, so I personally enjoyed the challenge feature.  We connected his iPad with my iPhone and played against each other!  As you can see, I WON!!!! You compete both for who got more questions {out of 15} correct AND who answered them faster!

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The Sparky apps are very well done.  I am picky about graphics and features, especially with free apps.  There are so many bad ones out there!  I really like how the Sparky apps are created and this one is no exception!

There are many neat features to this app and it’s FREE so why not try it out! You can see more in the Sparky app trailer here on YouTube.

You can find the app on iTunes 

or on Amazon for Android

Sparky's Brain Busters App

Fire Prevention Week is coming soon {October 4-10, 2015}, it’s a great time to bring some of this fun and free learning into your homeschool or classroom!

There is SO much on the SparkySchoolHouse site for teachers, including this awesome video teaching about the Great Chicago Fire, which features Lauren Tarshis who writes some of my son’s favorite books, the I Survived Series! This video is such a simple and great lesson for kids showing how fires are better prevented now from what we learned from the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.

Need some lesson plans to use during Fire Prevention Week?  Sparky has you covered!  Be sure to see the awesome lessons here, there’s even a section specifically with lessons to go along with their videos, including the Great Chicago Fire video I shared above! You’ll also find free printables and so much more.  This website is a great tool to help us teach our kids about fire prevention!