Lately in our Life ~ Glimpses of Spring

Instagram has been much more fun to look back through this past week!  Spring is popping up down here in the south and I LOVE it! I am a warm weather girl and my heart soars when the sun is shining! I love how quickly things change down here.  My last post shared our snow play!

Lately in our Life March 2015


The Yard

Man I love our yard.  Just having a yard is such an amazing gift to us.  We are still in awe of the beauty, especially now that spring surprises are popping up!  The previous owners planted some beautiful flowers that are blooming right now! 

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My kids have that outdoorsy smell most of the time now and I love it!

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Such a different life than they’ve lived until now! 

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Happy 16 Years

We celebrated 16 years of marriage last week and enjoyed a night out to dinner together thanks to my mom babysitting.  It was so relaxing and nice to be out together. So very thankful for what God has done in our marriage and that we continue to add years to the tally! Spring time is a busy season for us with our anniversary kicking off the celebrations.  All of our kids have spring birthdays

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We have birds!  Lots of birds!  We finally got our bird feeders hung and put them right outside our schoolroom window.  Thankfully the birds don’t seem too scared of us and are frequent visitors!  All of these photos were taken through the window, as we learn to identify our bird friends.  Bird watching has become a very popular activity in our home! The kids are getting bird journals, more bird books, a birdbath, a birdhouse, and maybe another feeder for their spring birthdays!

Lately in Our Life Birds

See more of what’s been going on lately in our life here on Instagram!

See our other Lately in Our Life posts here!

Easter Q-Tip Painting Printables

Easter Q-Tip Painting Printables

We have a new Easter Q-Tip Painting set for you! This set has Christian and secular symbols of Easter. Personally, we don’t do “the bunny” but I used to be a public school teacher so I fully understand the restrictions of using certain symbols around religious holidays!  I also know many of you do the bunny in your home, so I put him in this packet.  If you are like us and don’t do bunnies, just ignore him!

There’s a color and BW version of each word, with the beginning sound at the top for Q-tip painting!

Easter Printables  Easter Printables


We use water colors mostly, but sometimes use Tempera paint too.


I hope many of you enjoy these printables with your kids or in your classroom!

Download your Easter Q-Tip Painting Printables Here!

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

WHY use Q-Tip Painting Printables?

The big answer is fine motor skills! You’ll notice how we focus on not only the tiny dots, but also using small items in painting or adding to the dots. All of this works on hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills

The letter identification is a secondary bonus!

See ideas for using these here!



Looking for all of our Q-Tip Painting Printables? Click on the images to see the free printables for each theme shown below! I am always adding more, so be sure to subscribe to my blog so you don’t miss new themes!

Slide4  Jack and the Beanstalk Q-tip Printables

Despicable Me Q-tip Printables  Lalaloopsy Q-tip Printables  Tinkerbell Q-tip Printables

  Sofia Q-tip Printables  Noah's Ark Q-tip Printables

Mouse Paint Q-tip Printables  Thanksgiving Q-tip Printables  Slide542

Christmas Fun Q-tip Printables  Nativity Q-tip Printables  Slide24

Slide272  The Mitten Q-tip Printables  Slide2522

Q-Tip-Alphabet-Painting  Q-Tip-Painting-Number-Printables

Follow {1plus1plus1} Carisa’s board Q-Tip Painting Printables on Pinterest.

Bible Verse Printables Letter M

Our Raising Lil’ Rock Stars Bible Verse Printables for the Letter M are available to download for free! M  is for MIGHTY! This set is based on Ephesians 6:10, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.” 

Bible Verse Printables M is for Mighty Ephesians 610

Here’s a peek at the work she did at home.

The coloring page,  we worked together on this one.  Lots of discussion about the meaning of the verse occurs during our coloring time.

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Color ~ Trace ~ Write the letter Mm…

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Cut and Glue the Verse ~ this is a great word work activity for her, identifying individual words and sounds she knows as well as the Bible verse as a whole. She uses the printable that has the light gray matching words on it.

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Here’s the work Ladybug did at home…RLRS Letter M -5365



And, here’s Ladybug singing the verse for you!  The verse tune printables are only available in the bundle but you can hear the tune for Letter M in this video!  In case you don’t catch it, the tune is London Bridge.


The free version is ONLY for home use.  If you will be using these printables in a church setting, private group, co-op, preschool or other group you will need to purchase the group bundle here.

Download your free Letter M printables here!Raising Lil' Rock Stars Letter M for Mighty


 Scroll down until you see the graphic for letter M and click on it to download the PDF file.

Download or printing trouble? See tips here!

These printables are from Raising Lil’ Rock Stars, see more info here!



See other letters in action by clicking the graphics below!

RLRS-Letter-A-Philippians-2-5-Bible-[1]  RLRS-Letter-B-John-3-16-Bible-Verse-  RLRS-Letter-C-Genesis-1-1-Bible-Vers

RLRS-Letter-D-Isaiah-48-17--Bible-Ve[2]  RLRS-Letter-E-Philippians-2-Bible-Ve[1]  RLRS-Letter-F-Matthew-4-Bible-Verse-

RLRS-Letter-G-Matthew-28-Bible-Verse[1]  RLRS-Letter-H-Psalm-33-Bible-Verse-P  RLRS Letter I  Bible Verse Printables  RLRS Letter J John 1 Bible Verse Printables

Bible-Verse-Printables-Letter-K-is-f  Bible Verse Printables L is for Light John 812

Linking up with Preschool & K Community

Tot School Gathering Place ~ Week 113

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!



Has your Tot been keeping you busy? By the looks of all the different posts linked up to the Gathering Place – you’ve been keeping THEM busy! A busy Tot is a happy Tot! There are a lot of amazing activities – so be sure to check them out! Don’t forget to link up your Tot School posts so we can see all the fun you are having!

March is the theme over at Welcome to Mommyhood! Check out the fun activities that Mama Yuliya put together for Mr. Toddler and see if any may work for you and your Tot.Welcome to Mommyhood (2)

Saint Patrick’s Day is right around the corner and Mama Kori put together some simple activities for her 15-month old tot – Squeaker. Head on over to Just Another Mom to see if they may appeal to your Tot.

Just Another Mom

St. Patrick’s Day was also the theme over at Cutting Tiny Bites. Take a look at the entertaining activities that Mama Ellen put together for her Tots, Lena and Maggie.

Cutting Tiny Bites

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="" target="_blank"><img alt="I was featured for Tot School!" src=""/ ></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.

Easter is early this year, April 5! Here’s some Easter ideas for you!

   Easter Fun in Homeschool

Just Color Easter  Just Color Eggs and Bunnies

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).

We would LOVE to feature you, but only feature those posts with a link back to us within the post they link up! Read all of the details about our linky here!

Monthly Homeschool Wrap-Up ~ February 2015

Monthly Homeschool Wrap Up February 2015

Another month of learning!  Below you will find highlights from our February homeschool fun!

You can see our detailed curriculum posts by clicking on the graphics below.

All-Together-Subjects-Homeschool-Cur 7th-Grade-Homeschool-Curriculum-Choi[1] 3rd-Grade-Homeschool-Curriculum-Choi[1] Kindergarten-Homeschool-Curriculum-C[1]

{disclaimer ~ affiliate links are used}

All Together School

We have a wide grade and age range between our three kids, but I am thrilled to say that we have found quite a few subjects to learn all together! 

We do the following subjects all together, and I will share mini updates below!


Mystery of History

Our Mystery of History time together continues to be a favorite of mine.  We do lessons 3 days a week, and then work on our timeline and review on the 4th day.

At the end of February we had completed through week 17, lesson 51.  I just love this time of learning with my kids!


U.S. History ~ William Penn

We use YWAM’s Heroes of History as our U.S. History foundation. It is novel based and a perfect fit for us.  We finished John Smith and are almost done with William Penn now.  We all have loved this book, lots to learn about this amazing man of such integrity!

We read together 3 times per week at least, and the kids all get to play with something quietly while we read.

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Sometimes I find some interesting shots on my phone when we are done.  My kids will sometimes play with my hair while reading.  Apparently this day my oldest had a little too much fun.

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World Geography

We finished the book Passport to the World!  I also shared our geography country cards printables here!

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We have moved on to using Children’s Atlas of God’s World!

7th Grade



PacMan is almost entirely independent this year.  I teach him writing and Who is God? and the rest he does independently.

Daddy continues to be in charge of overseeing Pac’s science {Apologia General Science}! I caught them one day learning together. They were both obviously so very thrilled with me.

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He is doing really well with Teaching Textbooks Pre Algebra. Daddy oversees this too and helps when needed.

We are really enjoying reading The Hiding Place together, I don’t normally read aloud to him but I love this book so we are reading together this time!

3rd Grade



All About Spelling continues to work really well for him.  We are well into level 3, and he is really absorbing the rules. Below you can see him working on a page from the Homophones workbook.  We pull these out whenever they show up in the lessons.

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He is reading a book he is really enjoying now, The Wright Brothers.  I just love when he gets into a good book.  It is hard to find ones that really lure him in, and thankfully this one did!

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We continue with Write Shop D for writing and it is going well.  Still not my favorite thing to teach but we are moving along. The hands on lessons are our favorites, but he still struggles when it comes time to write.  Not his favorite thing.  Although if you give him a blank notebook and no rules, he will write his own chapter book!

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We are almost through First Language Lessons {starting with book 1 and moving quickly} to work on oral comprehension and solid grammar skills.  In addition to this he is using Growing with Grammar 2 which I am loving. I like to do both with him since one is auditory and one is a written workbook style. Below he is working on Growing with Grammar.

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I do specific posts for much of Ladybug’s Kindergarten.  Here’s direct links to the posts showing her in action during January {click on the graphic to see the posts}.

ig word family fun 2  op Word Family Fun 2

A Color of His Own Unit Study in Action  You Can Read Sight Words Unit 11  Playful Learning with Spielgaben February 2015  Bible Verse Printables L is for Light John 812


She also has other Kindergarten fun that we don’t blog specifically about, and I will include in the wrap up posts here!

Recently I bought the Daily Literacy pack from one of my favorite TPT sellers, Lavinia Pop.  I just love her work and whenever I want something in my head but don’t want to create it myself, I check her store.  I had been wanting to create daily literacy work for years and finally figured it was too late for me to make my own and I just loved hers, so I bought it! Ladybug does one page a day {most days} and it reviews handwriting, letter ID, sight words, CVC words, and beginning sounds.

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I’ve gotten some questions recently, since my Instagram has been showing Ladybug using All About Reading Level 1. I did not give up Logic of English Foundations A to switch to AAR, we are using both.  It’s complicated, I know.  But you see, I was given AAR to review back when Krash was younger, and we loved it.  Then this past fall I was given LOE to review and decided to use it with Ladybug, and we loved it.  So I used LOE up until I felt she had a solid phonics base {all letter sounds, how to blend CVC words, identify beginning/middle/end sound} and then we put LOE away and started AAR 1.  We still have ten more LOE lessons left and we will do these during AAR 1.  The last ten lessons of LOE pull in consonant blends, and when AAR gets to that point we will tie the two together.

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With Krash I began AAR 1 a little too early and he struggled in the beginning and we had to slow down a lot.  With Ladybug it was perfect timing and she is soaring! The foundation she got from LOE was awesome.  So, I know the big question is, “"which one do I like better?”  The answer is both!  If money wasn’t a struggle for someone,  I would recommend using AAR Pre, then LOE Foundations A, then AAR 1. They are both amazing programs, based on similar thinking in regards to teaching literacy. You really can’t go wrong with either one of these programs.

So, for now we are using AAR every day, she begs for lessons.  At the end of February we had completed through lesson 10.

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Anyone who has used AAR knows the fluency pages are a struggle for some kids.  I had this struggle with Krash and after the first day of struggle with her, I decided to make it the best time of the reading lesson and pull out the fruit snacks.  I am not a big fan of rewards of food during school and rarely do this, but in some cases I do and this is one of them.  She gets a snack anyway when we are done, so we just use the snack to make it more fun! She collects her snack one section at a time. Here’s more ideas for making the AAR fluency pages more fun!

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I love, LOVE the All About Reading readers.  They are beautifully illustrated, simple and fun.

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I still use Lessontrek for all of our weekly lesson plans.  It’s so simple and I love it.  For Ladybug, I have general subject areas and then add in what we actually did each day in pencil on the sheet.  I have a very loose plan for Kindergarten and this method works well for us. {use code OPO3 for 3 months free to try Lessontrek yourself!}.

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Lately she has been reading on my bed a lot.  I give her a stack of books and often she will be there for an hour or longer! Lately she has loved getting a stack of AlphaTales books, Brand New Readers, Bob Books, and Scholastic Folk & Fairy Tales.

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You can also see much of our everyday homeschool life on Instagram!



Old Wrap Up posts from this year are below!

Monthly-Homeschool-Wrap-Up-K-3rd-and[1]  Monthly-Homeschool-Kindergarten-Wrap  January-2015-Homeschool-Wrap-Up4

Linking to ~ Weekly Wrap-Up