Our First Week of Homeschool ~ with a video peek at our 1st day!

Homeschool 2016-2017


We just completed our first week of 2nd, 5th, and 9th grade! Before I share a bit about our first week, let me give you the direct links to our curriculum choices so you can easily refer to them if needed!

2nd Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices 5th Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices 9th Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices


Of course, I forced my babies to take back to school photos, using our grade level signs. You can print these for free here.

Obviously, they were SUPER thrilled with my idea.

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They know to cooperate quickly so it will be over quickly. Winking smile

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I am happy to say our first week went well. It doesn’t always go well, so I am VERY grateful.  We have to have a very detailed routine mostly due to our son’s odd gymnastics training schedule. I spent so long figuring out how to fit it all in and was a bit concerned it wouldn’t all get done, but it DID!

We use Lessontrek for planning and each child has a clipboard with their weekly assignments that we use as a checklist. You can see 2 of them in this shot from Instagram. I have a very detailed daily subject schedule for Krash, the gymnast, since he has to be the more scheduled one. That’s what you see in the blue notebook cover.

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I will share more in our monthly homeschool wrap-up post, so for now I leave you with this video peek at our first day back to homeschool.  I took random video clips for you throughout our day to give you a tiny peek at what it is like around here.


If you want info about our homeschool room, see this post!

Homeschool Room 2015-2016


Follow along with us on Instagram to get peeks at our homeschool life {and our life in general!}.1plus1plus1 on Instagram

5th Grade Reading List

5th Grade Reading List

I spent the most time creating a book list for my 5th grader, since he is my slightly reluctant reader. I read tons of books this summer to carefully choose books I thought he would enjoy. After deciding on many book choices for him, I created a page with each cover so he can browse and choose his next book easily.

5th Grade -5085

The books on the top row are his required reads and ones we are reading together and going in depth with {comprehension questions, vocabulary, etc.}. Those are the same books I used with Pac when he used Calvert in 5th grade.

The rest of the books are books he can choose from. He may or may not get to all of them and that’s fine. Some are actually books that were on his 4th grade list that he didn’t get to last year. I have read most of these books or took my recommendations from trusted sources, but be sure to look into the books yourself {some have intense subject matter}, all kids are different!

Below you can see Amazon links to all of the books on this list {click over to the blog if you are reading in email}.


I am writing more detailed reviews for some of the books he is reading. So far this year {he began a few weeks ago} he has completed…

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I have a few downloads you are welcome to use if you’d like. First, here is a copy of the book choice page featuring the books I chose for him. If you want to create your own visual list, it is easy!  Just grab the book cover images online somewhere {I used Amazon} and then copy them into a document and resize how you want!  I use PowerPoint to create my documents, I like their positioning tools the best.

5th Grade Book List


Next, here is a blank reading record like his. I just have him write the title, author and rate the book 1-10 based on his opinion.

Reading Record


Here’s another reading log we used when he was younger.  It is very similar to the one we are using now.

Free Printable Reading Log

See our Book Lists Pinterest board here!

Learn to Draw a Swan, Turtle, Unicorn, Vampire Bat, Whale and X-Ray Fish! Free Printables!

Let's Draw Printables - S, T, U, V, W, X

We have a new set of Let’s Draw A-Z Printables for you! Letters S, T, U, V, W and X  are free to download here and other free sets will be coming. If you don’t want to wait, you can grab the full set here in my Teacher’s Notebook Shop.

Each page features a heading which can be colored, the drawing tutorial, and a space for drawing. The space is at the bottom of the page so you can easily trim it off to just keep your child’s drawing. Let’s Draw a swan, turtle, unicorn, vampire bat, whale and x-ray fish!

Swan Drawing Tutorial Turtle Drawing TutorialUnicorn Drawing Tutorial Vampire Bat Drawing TutorialWhale Drawing Tutorial X-Ray Fish Drawing Tutorial

Download S, T, U, V, W, X for free here!

Grab the entire set here in my Teacher’s Notebook Shop

Let's Draw A to Z

Teachers-Notebook-Animal-Alphabet Teacher's Notebook ASL Alphabet Letter Mazes

Looking for more ABC ideas, check out our ABC Pinterest board here!

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

10 Free Dot Fun Alphabet Printable Sets  Choose-Your-Own-Alphabet-Chart-Print[1][2][2][2]  Perler-Bead-ABCs8222[2][2][2]

Q-Tip-Painting-Alphabet-Printables72[2][2][2]  Hands-on-the-Alphabet7222[2][2][2]


Home-Preschool-A-to-Z-from-www.1plus[2][2][2]   Tot-School-Printables-A-Z14222[2][2][2]

Peel, Play and Learn USA Map Set Review

Peel, Play, and Learn USA Map Review


{disclaimer ~ Educents is a blog sponsor and provided the USA Map Wall Play Set for review}

Educents is the trusted resource for every child’s education. Whether you’re looking for curricula and science experiments, or tips and ideas, we hope we can help you discover new ways to make learning fun! logo-highres12621

Click here to find innovative products and ideas created by a community of experts in education!

We were excited to get the USA Map Wall Play Set by Mona MELisa Designs for review! I was very excited about this and just knew it would be perfect as we review our states this year! Our set came rolled in a sturdy tube, rolled up smoothly.

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I decided to put it on our dry erase board but it can be put right on the wall we just already had the board mounted and this was the perfect spot in the school room!

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I got it set up in preparation for the homeschool year to begin and my 7 year old daughter spotted it and immediately became engaged. Yes, the dog likes it too.

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I told her I was going to add 3-4 more states on the perimeter for her to place each day.  She begged for more right away!

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My ten year old son took notice a few days later and got in on the action, although she was pretty territorial with her map.

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She shooed him away after kindly letting him place a couple of things and got back to work on her own.

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See a video here sharing Ladybug’s first impressions and a bit of my thoughts!  You can also see what a great homeschooler I am as I make an error in state labeling in the video!


Mom’s Final Thoughts…

My main concern was durability and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the small pieces to see if I felt they would really resist ripping and wrinkling. I am pleased to say that I am very impressed so far. They really do bend and twist as shown in the video on this page.

Here’s a bit about the material the map is made out of. As a mom I was concerned about these things. Now that I have seen it and felt it, I can say it’s true!

  • A fabric that is endlessly adhesive because it’s cleanable – all it needs is a little rubbing alcohol
  • A fabric that is durable – tearing and ripping is out of the question
  • A fabric that has maximum versatility – walls become a creative canvas
  • A fabric that is safe for every family – No BPA, lead or PVC

My goal in using this map for our homeschooling this year is to consistently review state locations, names, and capitals. We learned all of them last year and this map came at a perfect time for a fun way to provide hands-on review. I am thrilled!

I definitely recommend investing in this map if you are looking for something interactive like this. Initially I thought it was a  bit pricey but now that we have it I see it is totally different than other wall decal sets we have used in the past.

You can buy the USA Map Wall Play Set here on Educents.

See more Mona MELisa Designs play sets here!


Tot School Gathering Place Week 187

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!


The Summer Olympics are finally here!!! We will be watching the different events (especially men’s gymnastics!) throughout the next 15 days! What is your favorite event to watch? Do you have any plans for implementing the Olympics into your Tot School? We’d love to hear and see what you and your Tot are up to this coming week! Don’t forget to share with us here at the Gathering Place!

Are you looking for some alphabet activities to help your Tot recognize or learn sounds? Head on over to SmartE PartE to see several different Tot Tray activities to help your Tot discover the ABC’s!

08072016 SmartE PartE

Are you looking for an interesting art project your Tot will enjoy? Take a look at what Mama Swapna from The Practical Mom put together for her Tot! It’s sure to please!

08072016 The Practical Mom

Are you curious about what other families plan and how they do their Tot School? Take a peek at Hoosier Homestead and what Mama Vanessa and Tots Meghan and Katie Grace did throughout the month of July. It may inspire and encourage you in your Tot School journey!

08072016 Hoosier Homestead

Do you have your FREE

Where to Begin with Tot School eBook?


Tiny Tot School Ideas for Ages 9-12 Months Tot School Ideas Ages 12-18 Months Tot School Ideas Ages 18-24 Months

See the Tot School webpage here!

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).