A Super Mario Student Planner

PhotoGrid_1470319637689Joshua is starting fifth grade (WHOA-when did that happen?) and I really want him to be able to work independently. I don’t want him to have to wait on me and his [non-morning person] brother. I really wanted a simple system using a spiral notebook like Sarah and Pam talk about here to have his plan laid out for him. He prefers to work independently and we have tried for many years to do a curriculum altogether, but my boys just don’t learn the same. Another issue is that Joshua is an early riser, and he is ready to go as soon he is awake. Nikolas likes to sleep in and ease into his day, and I’ll write more about what I’m doing differently with him in another post.

I thought of using the spiral notebook but I really wanted something a little smaller, and also to have a fun design just for Joshua. He would’ve preferred Minecraft but there weren’t many quality images to use. He settled for Mario. Inside his cover I typed in the Doxology, Lord’s Prayer, National Anthem and Pledge of Allegiance, these are what we’re working on for memory during the first half of the year. In the copy I am sharing, the back and inside cover are blank so you can use them however you’d like. The inside pages have planner on one side and notes on the opposite. There are 4 different note pages, just the images are different. The planner page has 5 boxes and they can be used for subjects or each day of the week. I will be doing them by subject (as shown in the picture) for Joshua because he prefers to do one subject per day. On the note side, I will have him write new words for vocabulary and spelling, prayers, and gratitude. PhotoGrid_1471014054250

I printed the cover, then the planner pages double sided and cut them in half using this paper cutter. {consultant link} I printed enough for the first semester, so about half the school year. I used my binding machine {affiliate} to put it all together, using an acetate (overhead sheets, if you’re old school like me) sheet for the front cover and cardstock for the back cover.

I created this planner in Microsoft Publisher, and I used images that were public domain (according to Microsoft). Super Mario and all his pals are trademarks of Nintendo. I don’t intend to make money from this planner, I just wanted to share it with people that would like to use it. Please don’t sell it, just use it for your family.

These links will take you to Google so you can download yours.



If you like this planner, please let me know by commenting and sharing. I’d love to see your planner on Instagram!


A New Bible Cover for a New Bible

bible cover picsLast month, I finally purchased an ESV Journaling Bible {affiliate} and I looked for covers but couldn’t find anything that I really liked. I didn’t want a handle or closure, this isn’t a Bible that I carry anywhere but where I do the majority of my Bible study. So I searched Pinterest and found some easy (!!) tutorials. I read all of them and kind of created my own. I really love how it turned out, just don’t look too closely at those seams. I got this fabric from Fabric.com a couple years ago. It was in a fat quarter pack.

These are the tutorials I found helpful:

Life with my Littles

Stitch by Stitch

Delia Creates

Homeschool Plans for Grades 4 and 5

homeschoolplansbannerJoshua (5th Grade, Age 10.5) {edited 8.5.16}

Bible- Daily Devotion TBD

History/Geography- America the Beautiful from Notgrass

Science-A Reason for Science Level E

Language Arts- Writers in Residence

Math- Mathematical Reasoning Level F


Nikolas (4th Grade, Age 8.10)

Bible-Winter Promise: Adventures in Sea and Sky

History/Geography-Winter Promise: Adventures in Sea and Sky

Science-Winter Promise: Adventures in Sea and Sky

Language Arts-Winter PromiseSpell Well C, A Reason for Handwriting D

Math-Mathematical Reasoning  E



Bible Memory and Study- Grapevine Studies New Testament

Nature Study-Unit Studies Rocks and Minerals, Bald Eagles, Sand Dollars

Fine Art/Music-Art Pastels from Southern Hodgepodge and Recorder

Composer Study-Zeezok

Art History-Intro to Art * and Famous Paintings *

Shakespeare-World of Shakespeare * and Shakespeare Collection *

Memory- The Doxoloy, The Lord’s Prayer, The Pledge of Allegiance and The Star Spangled Banner


*Most of the links in this post are for reference only, but those with * after them will take you to my personal Usborne Books and More website. I am an independent consultant with Usborne and if you purchase books through my website I will earn a commission. That commission goes right back into books, just so you know. So, thanks for that!

Easing Back into School


Winter in Rio is tough…

Sunshine filled and mid-seventies…

It is odd to hear our friends and family back in the US complaining about the ridiculous heat when it is so nice here. And then, when we are covered in sweat on Christmas I’ll try to remember how lovely it is here during the winter.

We’re on a little break between school years and I haven’t ordered curriculum yet, so I decided to ease back in and do some lapbooks. We are doing some math, science and a literature study right now.

I let the boys choose which science lapbook they wanted to do. They went with Rocks and Minerals from A Journey Through Learning. I love this choice because we have loads of books and also some great rock and mineral samples to explore, but the even better thing is we don’t need anything extra. Everything we need is in the lapbook, everything we already had is just a bonus. We have this game  {affiliate} that we have had fun playing. It is nice to touch the specimens and compare them.

A while back I bought A Cricket in Times Square for Kindle and decided we should finally read it. I added the audio version to our Kindle book and we’ve been listening to a chapter a day. Tony Shaloub reads the book that is on Audible/Amazon {affiliate, you can try it for free!) and he has a great voice for this story. We are using this lapbook from Knowledge Box Central. I love the graphics in these, and you can purchase them already printed and ready to go. We printed ours and I’m really impressed with the quality and instructions included. Good stuff.

Last but not least, we are doing some math fact review, that is fun and laid out different than worksheets. They can also put this in a binder to use as a cheat sheet later. The Multiplication Lapbook and Division Lapbook are from Homeschool Share and are FREE! They also offer addition and subtraction.

The boys like doing lapbooks, it is less school-y. So, I think I’ll incorporate them more throughout the year as well.