Our Favorite Homeschool Lesson Planner

You may have seen my color-coded piece of paper in the background of many of my homeschool photos. We have three of these lovely papers each week and they are a constant sight in our homeschool. I rely heavily on these awesome pieces of paper and so do my kids. The actual magic occurs on a Saturday afternoon when I sit at my computer and easily copy/paste, drag/drop and create lesson plans for each of my children. I click print and we are ready!

Homeschool Lesson Planning with Lessontrek


We have used Lessontrek for years now and have no plans of switching to anything else. I have blogged about Lessontrek several times, and honestly when we were first given the chance to review it I thought it would be a passing review, I had no idea I would continue to use it for this long! I am grateful for the sanity this online lesson planner provides to me.

You can see sample lesson plans from this homeschool year in our 2nd, 5th, and 9th grade wrap-up posts! I type up plans on a weekly basis, so I can easily adjust and make changes as needed. I then print the plans for each child and we use the paper copy during the week to keep us on track.

2nd Grade Homeschool Lessontrek 5th Grade Homeschool Lessontrek Lessontrek Lesson Plan 9th Grade


Lessontrek has been building new features for its customers and wants to include Shared Subjects, Attendance Tracking, Grade Reports, and many other useful features that improve the functionality. They need to hire a small team of software programmers to help make this program even better!


Have you ever heard of Crowdfunding? Lessontrek is lowering their one year subscription price for the first 10,000 customers to $15 for the first year. They want to make this tool for everyone so they plan to use the proceeds to hire programmers in order to quickly add all the new features listed above, and other features customers want to see in the program. All new features are included in your $15 price!

Not sure you want an entire year, give the FREE 2 week trial a shot! Then come back here and use the discount code to get your first year at a fabulous price!

If you want the most amazing lesson planner on the market, sign up with this great price while you still can!

Lessontrek Online Lesson Planner Discount

Discount Code must be applied to the Yearly subscription plan,

use code:150P

offer ends 1/30/17

Tot School Gathering Place Week 202

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!


Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you all have an amazing day celebrating with family and friends! I am so thankful for every one of my readers! You make this segment possible and such a joy! My prayer is that you would enjoy reading other bloggers’ posts about Tot Schooling and gain inspiration to teach your own Tot! Keep on making those memories with your Tots, Mamas! You all are doing a great job! And don’t forget to link up your own post about what you and your Tot have experienced this past week! We love to what you are up to!

Are you looking for fun and easy ways to teach your Tot to count? Look no farther! Head on over to SmartE PartE and check out the different trays Mama Kristin has created for Tot E. Some of them are bound to excite your Tot!

11202016 SmartE PartE

Have you ever taken time off from schooling and have had trouble getting back into a routine again? Take a look at Learn 2 Live Life and how Mama Ria handled that same situation.11202016 Learn 2 Live Life

With Thanksgiving upon us, Christmas is soon to follow! We have a bunch of traditions that we enjoy doing as a family each year! How about your family? One tradition that Mama Isabel from Uno Zwei Tutu enjoys is making Christmas ornaments with her Tot! Take a peek at the ornament she and her Tot created this year!

11202016 Uno Zwei Tutu

Do you have your FREE

Where to Begin with Tot School eBook?

New-for-2016-Early-Childhood-Gift-Id[1]   Ultimate-Early-Childhood-Christmas-G[1]

Indoor Activity  Gift Ideas   Let's Create! Gift Ideas

See the Tot School webpage here! Tot-School-early-learning-through-pl[1]

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

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).

Home Art Studio Project ~ The Blue Dog

Home Art Studio Project -The Blue Dog


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 I bought the 2nd Grade DVD to use with my daughter this year.

Recently she completed the Blue Dog project and loved it! First, she watched Ms. Volin read a story and then explain how to do the art project.

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She likes to change things up a bit and make it her own, which I love. She often likes to do a test drawing before using her real paper which is what she is doing below.

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Then, I set her up and let her work! She is pretty independent now and loves creating. The blue mat under her is something we use a lot!

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Her finished project!

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Home Art Studio Information

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:

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Gift Ideas to Inspire Creativity

We have our next new Gift Guide for 2016, featuring Creativity Gift Ideas! I have a daughter who absolutely loves to be creative, so we have developed a few favorite products over the years!

Let's Create! Gift Ideas


{disclaimer ~ affiliate links are used}


See some of our favorites on Amazon below {jump over to the blog if you are reading in email}. We own all but one, the Paint by Sticker! This will be a new addition to us this Christmas!

Kwik Stix ~ we got these to review last year and have been in love ever since! She uses these a LOT!

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Beados ~ I love that she can manage her Beado creations all on her own now. She creates, sprays and cleans up all by herself!Crafts -9632

Perler Beads ~ we have been Perler Bead fans for many years. All 3 of our kids have loved them, especially our daughter. She is constantly creating.


Dot Paint ~ a long time favorite. It isn’t used as much now but in the younger years we used it ALL the time!

Paint by Sticker  ~ hope she will like this!


Stay tuned for the remaining  categories! I am excited to share all of our new gift ideas with you! See our  Family Game Night Ideas here, our Brain Games here,  our Indoor Activity Ideas here, and our New Early Childhood Gift Ideas post here!

New-for-2016-Early-Childhood-Gift-Id  Family-Game-Night-Gift-Ideas3412

Brain-Games-Gift-Ideas38  Indoor-Activity--Gift-Ideas3


Follow along with us on Facebook to get some sneak peeks as I share individual products we love from now until Christmas. Be sure to subscribe to daily or weekly email updates to be sure not to miss the full posts for each category!


5th Grade Homeschool Wrap-Up, Oct. 2016

5th Grade Homeschool Wrap Up Oct 2016

This year I am doing individual grade level wrap-up posts instead of all three kids in one. I shared our first month of 5th grade here. This post will share highlights from October!

Here is the post about the curriculum choices we made for him.




Our 5th grader has an odd homeschool schedule due to his gymnastics training schedule. He practices most days and we organize his school time carefully to fit it all in. Somehow we get it all done, it amazes me!



Writer’s in Residence continues to work well, but the “I don’t like writing” has set in. He has told me that if he has to do writing he definitely prefers this curriculum but he would rather just not do writing.

5th Grade -7761


Personally, I LOVE it. I am so glad I gave it a try! I don’t like the complaining, but at least it’s less complaining than previous years! Below he was working on a family tree as a part of his recent assignment.

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See his book list and reading record printable here.

We are almost done with reading The Sign of the Beaver together

He also reads books on his own at night and currently reading Dash.

His completed reading list so far this year…



He does Apologia Swimming Creatures with his 2nd grade sister and his dad.  They often watch videos that Daddy finds for them to bring the sea creatures to life!

A video posted by Carisa (@1plus1plus1) on



He also does The Mystery of History with his sister and Dad. The interest varies depending on the lesson.

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Oh how I love Teaching Textbooks and I love that it works for him!  He continues to use just the program with very little help from us! He loves it when the dog snuggles next to him while he is working!

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We are using Spectrum Vocabulary again because it worked well for him last year. Not his favorite, but he does it with little complaining.

Vocabulary Grade 5



We are using All About Spelling Level 5 this year and he is doing very well. I continue to love this spelling curriculum!

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See our review of Evan Moor Geography here, there’s even a video peek inside. I continue to be so thankful I chose this book for him, we both enjoy it!Evan-Moor Daily Geography Practice 5th Grade





His competition season begins this weekend and we are all excited! Keep up with him on Instagram here where I try to share clips from his training and also from his meets! Here is a video from his recent testing, they test once a week to prepare for meets.

A video posted by Carisa (@1plus1plus1) on

Strep Throat and Lots of Play

He had Strep this past month and was wiped out for several days. He did LOTS of building during his downtime while home. He built so many cool things with our Citiblocs!

5th Grade -8866 5th Grade -8872


EEME Projects

He finished Q the Robot, see our full review here!

Q the Robot from EEME


A Recap of his 5th Grade Subjects

Follow along with us on Instagram to get peeks at our homeschool life {and our life in general!}. Stay tuned for an October wrap-up all about 2nd grade! See 9th grade here!

9th Grade Oct. 2016 Wrap Up

Linking up with Weekly Homeschool Wrap-Up