Monthly Homeschool Wrap-Up ~ Aug. and Sept. 2015 {1st, 4th, 8th}

Homeschool Wrap-Up The First 6 Weeks with 1st, 4th and 8th Grade

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

1st Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices 4th Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices 8th Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices

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All Together Learning


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We do 3 subjects all together and really enjoy our time with our kids all together {most of the time}.

Daddy has begun teaching Mystery of History which is awesome.  We are still finishing the 1st book and will move on to part 2 when we are done. My kids use the notebooking pages, and my daughter colors the coloring page.  Daddy teaches and I write notes on our board to help guide the kids with their note taking.

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We still love our Heroes of History books.  We have extended our learning with the Liberty’s Kids DVDs, to help deepen our American Revolution knowledge, and the kids love it.  My oldest doesn’t sit with us to watch these but the younger 2 love them and learn a lot!  We finished up reading Ben Franklin and really took our time, discussing so many different aspects of history together.  I absolutely love this time with my kids.

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You can see our entire World Geography plan here.  We are LOVING this so far.  We have been focusing on South America and have had fun learning about Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Chile and Venezuela so far.

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We have several Little Passports packages that we haven’t opened {I save them for when we study the country}.  I pulled Argentina and we had a blast!  The little 2 loved the dinosaur fossil!

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1st & 4th Together Learning

Ladybug and Krash do 2 subjects together and it is working well!  We do Picture Smart Bible {K-3 Old Testament} and US Geography twice a week.

They absolutely love US Geography and I think it’s because they both really love coloring and they love birds.  Seeing the bird for each state is very exciting for them! We have completed states through Georgia and they each have a beautiful notebook for review!

8th Grade

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Pac is by far my least photographed child because a majority of his schooling is done independently or with his Dad.  All of my photos of his are usually taken during his science experiments, since that’s the most exciting thing to photograph of an 8th grader’s homeschooling! As you can see, he often has little faces watching him as he works on his experiments.

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He is a pretty easy student and we are thankful.  Sure, we have issues, but overall he does what he is supposed to do. His dad oversees his math, spelling and science completely.  I oversee everything else.  Writing is the only subject I am still teaching directly.

One of my favorite portions of his homeschooling is his reading.  So far this year he has read more books than he read during the entire year last year!  His favorites are in bold, with Peace Child being the absolute favorite so far.

Here’s his completed list…

All of his other subjects are going well, we are pleased with our choices for him this year.

4th Grade

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This young man continues to amaze me with his dedication to his love in life – gymnastics.  He has homeschool practice days that occupy him 3 days of the week, leaving him only 2 full days at home with us.  In order to stay committed to his sport he doubles up on his schoolwork on those 2 days so he can be free to practice the other 3 days. This is not a schedule we ever thought we would have but it is working, thanks to his determination to make it work. 

He does have a couple of subjects he does 5 days a week, getting them done in the morning hours before heading to practice.  He is moving along with Teaching Textbooks 5, which is his main 5 day a week subject. He also does history with us in the mornings before practice.

On his intense 2 school days, he works with both Daddy and me.  Daddy teaches him science and Life of Fred math {a supplemental review for him to help work on auditory processing skills}. He is loving science and we are both happy with our choice of Evan Moor for him. Below they were learning about muscles and made an arm model.

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I teach all of his other subjects, below you can see him working on Write Shop D, and First Language Lessons 2. He is using the Poem PowerPoint to work on memorizing his poem, The Goops.

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Growing with Grammar is a great fit for us.  He does well with the format and is learning a lot.  He has taken 2 tests so far and did very well. 

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We are almost done reading our first novel together, Robinson Crusoe.  He loves this book!  We rotate me reading to him, him reading aloud to me, and him reading on his own. 

He also reads books on his own at night and currently really enjoyed 2 books from the I Survived series {The Shark Attacks of 1916 and The Sinking of the Titanic 1912}

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1st Grade

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I continue to use Lessontrek for her weekly planning and then build her daily work grid from my lesson plan.  She chooses the order of her subjects each day.

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In no particular order, here’s a recap of her past month.  You can see her very first week of 1st grade in our post here.

First Week of 1st Grade Homeschool FB


    We have been enjoying her science together.  On a whim I decided to use an Evan-Moor science book and I love it!  It is simple, and has a project at the end of each chapter.  She particularly loved the shadow picture she made recently! You can see a video of her telling you about her project here!

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After reviewing The Curious Kid’s Science Book we decided to add it into our curriculum.  She chooses one project to do with Daddy per week.  Here she was exploring how different liquids reacted with baking soda. Here is a video clip of her working on this project with her Daddy.

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I have been letting her choose an animal to study which has been really fun.  We completed our OWL unit and are now almost done with FROGS.  I will share a full post with all of our frog fun soon!

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Surprisingly handwriting has become a joy!  She struggled to get the hang of things early on but with the addition of the Handiwriter grip helper, she has now finally corrected her grip and holds her pencil correctly.  She was holding ALL of her fingers on the pencil at one time and I had tried many things.  I ordered this as a last try and it worked!  Within less than 2 weeks of using it, she is grip-corrector free and naturally holds her pencil better!

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We are using Logic of English Cursive.  We begin by introducing each letter in the salt tray, she loves this!

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We use our own handwriting paper now instead of the papers that come with LOE {some we have left over from a friend who gave it to us years ago}. I use a highlighter for her to trace a few samples.

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Here’s a little video from Instagram showing her writing and making a joke. Winking smile

A video posted by Carisa (@1plus1plus1) on


My favorite part is an idea she came up with all on her own!  She makes a little card after we learn each letter by turning the letter into some sort of shape!

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Here’s her collection so far!

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We do a few different things for math and our combination is working beautifully for her.  She LOVES Life of Fred and is one chapter away from completing the first book!

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Mathseeds has been a great fit for her, she has advanced beyond what I ever expected!

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I don’t always follow along with what she does in Mathseeds but when she struggles I bring in some hands on help, like these 3D shapes we had!

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Spielgaben rounds out our math resources, and we do about 2-3 lessons per week, mostly using the worksheets.  See our recent posts here…

Exploring 3D Shapes with Spielgaben  Playful Learning with Spielgaben September 2015


Growing with Grammar has been a great fit for her and she is breezing through. We do one simple lesson a day and I like the easy workbook approach. There is also a cyclical review included which I also love.  I had a sappy mom moment the day my baby learned subjects and predicates.  Such big words. Such a big girl.

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First Language Lessons is also a great fit for her.  We use both because they are different, yet similar.  Both are very short lessons and I think compliment each other really well.

Here’s a video clip of her reciting her first poem she memorized, The Caterpillar {she’s using our Poem PowerPoint}.

A video posted by Carisa (@1plus1plus1) on



All About Reading is a great fit for her and have completed through lesson 14. She is moving along as a reader at a pretty rapid pace now, it’s exciting!

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Here’s a video peek at how we have been making the fluency sheets more fun!  I choose a secret drawing and draw a tiny portion for every word she reads correctly. The drawing grows as she reads and she loves this!

Ways we supplement reading development…

She has an easy reader Bible that she is reading independently and loving! 

We go to the library at least twice a month, sometimes more! Her library books are read daily both independently and aloud!

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We are reading the My Father’s Dragon series aloud together and she loves it!  We are just starting the 3rd book in the series. Below she is working on a knapsack craft to go along with the book.

Below you can also see her reading aloud to her Daddy.  She reads aloud to one of us almost every day.  She struggled at first reading aloud to Dad since she was only comfortable with me.  We want our kids to be comfortable reading aloud so we encouraged her through her fear and now she reads with him too!

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She is breezing through All About Spelling Level 1, we probably should have started this sooner!  She is up to lesson 15 and most of it has been a review for her so far.  I don’t even have any pictures of her working!


She is enjoying Home Art Studio and recently completed her weaving project

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We Choose Virtues has been a hit!  We add one virtue per week and focus on discussing the meaning and story as she colors.  We also use the songs {see on my iPad below}. She talks about these a lot and they have really helped her grasp some concepts!

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Whew!  I think that’s it! It takes me forever to write these posts but they are my favorite to look back on!

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


Linking up with Weekly Homeschool Wrap-Up

A Simple World Geography Plan ~ with Notebooking and Map Printables

World Geography Printables Country Notebooking Pages and Printable Maps

Near the end of last year we began a new world geography plan and completed North America, I even shared the free printables here.  Over the summer I did some revaluating and realized we needed a simpler plan this year, so I got to work.  I chose a new book, made a new set of printables and am thrilled with the new plan!

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Instead of making a different printable for each and every country, I made a blank notebooking page that can be customized for each country we study!  The new book I chose to use is the National Geographic Kids Ultimate Globetrotting Atlas.

Here’s a video walking you through my thoughts behind the plan {it was just too much to try to type out}…

There are a few different notebooking pages offered and the video explains why.  There are also several map options, thanks to this awesome website!

We started last week and this went SO much better than our previous plan.  So far I love this like I loved our country cards using the book Passport to the World which you can see here!

I chose to begin with South America and we learned about Brazil first.  The kids colored it on their printable map, drew/colored the flag, and wrote in the country facts the first day.

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My original plan had us completing this in one day and I soon realized I was overly ambitious.  We ended up doing the 3 attractions the 2nd day, and the 5 Cool Things to Do on the 3rd day.  All together we spent about 10-20 minutes per day and finished Brazil in 3 days.

I write the facts up on our large dry erase board and the kids copy the board to fill in their sheets.  I found that giving them time to copy it all and THEN discussing it worked better.

This is Ladybug’s page, she is in 1st grade.  She does a lot of drawing, it’s cute!

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My kids are in 1st, 4th, and 8th grade.  This is a shot of their pages from the first week.

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My plan is to take about 3 days per country like this, maybe 2.  I’d love to fit in 2 countries per week.  I am not looking for deep knowledge, just a basic exposure to the world.

My Simple Geography Goals

  • Find the country on a large map
  • Identify the capital city
  • Identify the continent the country is on
  • Color the flag
  • Know some key facts about the country

Download the Country Notebooking and Maps here!

Look for this graphic and click!

Geography Notebooking Pages and Printables Maps

    More Geography Resources

World Geography Country Printables Free Cards   Continent Boxes  Continent Box Challenge Editable Printables

USA Geography PowerPoint Updated

USA PowerPoint

Years ago I created the USA Geography PowerPoint and used it to teach my oldest son basic facts about U.S. states.  I will be using this PowerPoint show this coming year with my youngest children {1st and 4th grade} and updated it to be used on our iPad via the PowerPoint app!  I also made a few other changes, which I will share below.

Changing the font to Century Gothic was one of the big changes.  This change allows the shows to be viewed on iPads with out font distortion.



The other major change was making the capital city clearer.  I changed the graphics and text to showcase the name of the city more, which you can see below in the top left corner.

USA PowerPoint


This show is included in my Members Only PowerPoint section, which is currently a one time fee of $15.  This private section, containing this PowerPoint show and many others, is getting a complete makeover and will be increasing in price very soon {going up to $20}. If you aren’t a member of our PowerPoint section yet, now is the time, before the price increase!

The PP shows are animated, which makes screenshots a bit pointless. So, I made a little video walking you through how it looks on our iPad, it will look the same on a computer too. I just used our iPad for this video.


I also made a tutorial for how to get PowerPoints playing on your iPad.  If you are already a member and interested in using PP shows on your iPad, this is how!


What about Android? We don’t have any Android devices but there is a PP app in the Google Play store here.  So, it should work the same.  Sadly, Kindle Fire does not support the PowerPoint app, so it won’t work on a Kindle Fire. We have one and I tried.

Grab your lifetime membership for $20.00!   Click here to see other PP shows included in Members Only PowerPoint.

Members Only PowerPoint Shows from 1 1 1=1

See the rest of our USA Geography plan here

United States Geography Homeschool Plan for Elementary

Group Homeschool Subjects Year-End Review

All Together Subjects Homeschool Curriculum Choices Year-End Review

The homeschool curriculum choices blog posts are great, but what I really want to know is what families thought AFTER they used the curriculum they chose!  I will be sharing a series of posts with you; evaluating our choices in each grade level and our group subjects.

As a reminder, here is our original All Together Homeschool Curriculum Choices post.

World History ~ Mystery of History Volume 1

I love Mystery of History and it was a great fit for all three of my kids. We did not get through all of Volume 1 as I had planned, but that’s OK!  We will pick up where we left off and move on to Volume 2 when we finish with 1.

We brought the notebooking pages in later in the year and I enjoyed using these with all three kids.  We will use these next year too.

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US History/Geography ~ YWAM US History

We read 4 books, and enjoyed them all!  I had hoped to read at least 4, with a hopeful goal of 6.  I am pleased with 4 given the crazy year we had!  We read Christopher Columbus, John Smith, William Penn and Benjamin Franklin. We did a few extra things for our Christopher Columbus study, and had some fun toys we used during our John Smith book.  But overall, we learned through reading and didn’t do many extras.  I enjoyed this a lot and I think it’s because it was very low planning and low pressure.  Just pick up the book, read, and learn as we read!

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World Geography ~ Geography & Cultures, Little Passports, Continent Boxes 

In the beginning of the year we used the book, Passport to the World and our country cards.  This was such a nice and simple way to explore the world together, I really enjoyed it. After finishing that, we began another book and method and honestly it just wasn’t as fun as the first method.  I even shared our first set of printables here, but I have decided to use a different book with my kids, and yes I have a new set of printables coming.  Sadly – for those of you who liked that first set, the rest will not be coming, since we won’t be finishing that book. I like the book, it just wasn’t a great fit for us to focus on as our main book for world geography. Stay tuned to see what we have chosen to use!

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Bible ~ Picture Smart Bible, What’s in the Bible? DVDs & Coloring Book

We stayed consistent with What’s in the Bible through the first half of the year and honestly with all of the busy-ness it just faded away. We never even started Picture Smart Bible, mostly because of our crazy life. I will be using both of these with my younger kids this coming year.

Music ~ Young Scholars Guide to Composers

I totally let this one go after 2 lessons.  The boys weren’t really into it and I didn’t need anything extra on my plate so I let it go, for now at least.  I like the curriculum, it just wasn’t the right timing for us.

Want to see more of our All Together time in action? Browse through our wrap-up posts, they are listed in order here and there’s a section for each of my kids in each post.

Stay tuned, I will be sharing our year-end review for our All Together subjects.  I will also be sharing our curriculum choices for 8th grade, 4th grade, 1st grade and All Together subjects.

We already shared our Kindergarten Year-End Review, 7th Grade Year-End Review and our 3rd Grade Year-End Review.

Kindergarten Homeschool Curriculum Choices Year-End Review 3rd Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices Year-End Review 7th Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices Year-End Review

USA Geography Homeschool Plan ~ Elementary

United States Geography Homeschool Plan for Elementary

I didn’t focus on USA geography for the past couple of years, but we did intensely when PacMan was younger.  It’s time to bring it back as Ladybug goes into 1st grade and Krash into 4th.  It’s a great time to combine them together and I developed a plan that I think they both will enjoy!

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I combined a few different resources together to create my plan and I will share those with you in this post, there’s a video below too!  Here’s the short list of what we are using…

USA PowerPoint  StatePack


I liked the printable pages from USA State by State and we already owned StickerUSA which came with a disk of downloads {this no longer comes with the book so you’d have to order extra stickers or make copies}.  On the disk was a printable set of state birds and state flowers, so we are using those.  We are also using the flashcards from the StickerUSA book. Rounding out our plan will be my USA Geography PowerPoint Show, which has been redone recently.

Here’s a video I made sharing all of our resources with you and how we plan to use them.



These are the books we will be using to reference during our learning time together.

NG Kids United States Atlas   Student Atlas



  • Locate state on a map
  • Know the capital
  • Know the abbreviation
  • Be familiar with – bird, flower, resources, special facts

Weekly Plan

My goal is to learn 2 new states per week, but I say that loosely!  I know we probably won’t do more than that, but we may only get to 1 per week.  I will do this with Krash and Ladybug at the same time.  We will go through the PowerPoint together, read from the books I chose, and fill out the notebooking page together!

Games & More

We have a few other great USA resources and will fit them is as time allows!

Want access to our USA Geography PowerPoint?

It’s a one time joining fee of $20 for lifetime access to the Members Only PowerPoint site!

Members Only PowerPoint Shows from 1 1 1=1