September 2023 / Mainly Marta :: A Motherhood + Lifestyle Blog



What started as a digital diary to document a newfound journey as a stay at home mom / wife has quickly evolved into my own little corner on the internet where I share all that life brings my way -- the good, the bad, and everything in between. Thanks for stopping by; I hope you stay awhile!


2023-2024: Rhythm + Vision


Hi friends!

It’s been a few months since I last checked in and so much as happened in the meantime! The biggest thing is that we’ve moved and are now living in Meridian, Idaho. The move happened at the end of July, but we’ve finally settled in our new home — just in time for the school year to commence!

So, I thought what better way to check in than to share my plan / vision for the 2023-24 school year? I have compiled some planning sheets that I’d like to share with you at the end of this blog post too and the good news is that they’re free!



Let’s talk school stuff! This year in the schooling haus, we have a first grader (6), a kindergartner (5) and a preschooler (4). This year my plan is to be schooling the boys one on one instead of altogether when it comes to certain topics — like literature and reading lessons. 



first up, our base curriculum is going to be Literature from The Good and the Beautiful. All that means is that this is the book work that I plan on doing every day with the boys.

Because I didn’t focus much on reading and sight words in the early years of our schooling journey, I have chosen to do Level K with my first grader. I’ve read several times throughout my research that the good and the beautiful is advanced as a curriculum, so starting at Level K seems to be a good idea for us especially since we are building the foundation to reading comprehension this year.

Depending on how fast we go through the book, I’ll order Level 1 soonish too. My preschooler and kindergartner will be completing the preschool book.

Next up, I am using Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Easy Lessons with each of the boys. The goal is to have my first grader to be a fluent reader by the end of this school year and expose the younger ones to the concept sounding words out.

I bought Charlotte Mason’s Elementary Arithmetic: Book 1 for our math curriculum and will be using that for our mathematics this year. I am not very good at math in general, so I am going to enlist the help of my husband on that one.

When it comes to science, we’re holding on strong to our Treehouse School House Nature Studies and adding in elements from Exploring Nature With Children. This is the part where I love to get “unschooly” and let the kids pick what we learn.

So when it comes to the circula, insert lots of crafts and time playing outside with the resources I’ve just listed and boom, that’s the plan. 



I like to start our schooling my 8:45, but some days we start at 10 or even after lunch even. When we start earlier in the day, we usually do language arts and the one on one lessons before lunch. If we start after 10 am, then the day becomes a little bit more cohesive and we do all the schooling together that day. 


a normal day looks like this:

  • We always start the day with a prayer and then lead straight into calendar time; where we formally rehearse the date and talk about the weather outside.


  • Next to the calendar, we have what I call the weekly shadow box – a small shadow box on the wall where I display seasonal treasures as well as the letter + sight word of the week. After calendar time, we move into identifying the letter of the week and practice it’s sound whether it’s listing off words that start with that letter or just sounding it out with rhythm sticks. Then, we recite + spell the sight word several times.


  • Next, we recite the memory verse of the week and talk about what it means. We are using these flash cards each week and they correspond with the letter This is the perfect lead into our first formal lesson of the day.
  • Bible / Devotional Time: we read a page Notes from Jesus, or a few pages from The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories. After, we talk about the story and I ask the kids to tell it back to me. I try to get them to talk about what we can learn from and about God from it too.


  • Next, we have a little snack break where I set up the stations for the next part of the day. I encourage the kids to drink water and go to the bathroom during this time as well because the next chunk of time is meant to have as minimal interruptions as possible. 


  • We start one on one time where a child and I sit together in the schoolroom to work on the more formal lessons for about 50 – 45 minutes — think the good and the beautiful, reading lessons, unit assessments, etc. and the other two are at their stations. 


  • The first station is the the child listening to an audio-book via their yoto mini player + an activity because they are not at the age where they treasure sitting still and listening to a book. I try and have them commit to listening to classic books like The Chronicles of Narnia, Winnie the Pooh, Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little during this time because they gravitate towards the funner stories like Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Star Wars often. 



  • To accompany the story, I’ll give them grapat pieces and encourage them to make patterns, or have them build with legos. Other days, it’s a detailed coloring page and some days it’s play dough. Again, it depends on the day. 


  • I have the child listening to the audio book use headphones because the other child is working on penmanship or some type of activity that requires their attention. Because my kids are still little, this station is short lived and involves tracing letters and repeating the sound it makes. Sometimes I can get them to do letter mazes, but more often than not, they want to go join their brother in the next station for twenty minutes after they finish their worksheets. for my first grader, this is where the practice math sheets happen too.


  • After a child’s formal lesson time is up, we rotate and start again. we do this one more time so each child has some one on one time with me and then, it’s lunch time! 


So, that’s the first half of a “normal” day for us if we’re lucky lunch ends right around 2 pm for us. The second half of the day is spent together.

I know what you’re thinking, the first part of the day for us sounds so formal, but trust me when I say it’s usually filled with chaos! My kindergartner and preschooler are loud, they leave their stations often and if left unattended long enough, a fight is bound to break out to where I have to pause and redirect. I know that they are still little and though it can be frustrating to do this, I feel like consistency is key. I want them to learn to do things independently and quietly. Eventually they will treasure this time.. but for now, I firmly believe that one day we will get through all the stations without a hitch — one day in the far and distant future, but alas! THERE IS HOPE! 


the second half of the day is spent together:

  • on the days my husband is home, he might take the kids to the park for a few hours, so I can get some work done around the house + have some quiet time to myself. 


  • if it’s just the boys and I at home, I try to implement something fun for us to do together. the boys may help me bake a treat or help me curate a cozy soup with the veggies we have in the pantry. 


  • we may opt to paint / do some type of artsy craft during this time or a fun activity outside in the backyard weather permitting. on rainy days, we find an exercise video to do together in the middle of our living room. 


  • this part of the day is also where the nature studies happen. the sensory bins, the seasonal activities usually end up here too.


  • we usually wrap this part of the day with the boys listening to me reading aloud from a living book. 


On collective days…

  • we still start with calendar time + the devotional part of the day. it’s very important to us that the boys lean in and learn about the Lord at the beginning of each school day. 


  • we watch one or two cartoon interpretations of the story on collective learning days :: I typically pull the cartoons from The Beginner’s Bible, SuperBook, or The Greatest Heroes + Legends of the Bible. These are all cartoons that I watched on VHS as a kid and have access to via a streaming service or my own personal collection. But you can find a lot of them on YouTube! For example, when we read the Creation Story / Adam + Eve, we watched these cartoon: ONE, TWO, THREE and FOUR

  • I may try to insert a craft in or set up a little skit for them to do to retell the story, but some days we use a coloring page. or if I can find a song to sing / a movie to watch that reflects the story, we may do that too, but it really depends on the day. 


  • collective days are also where we may opt to take a field trip to our local aquarium, farm, or museum. 


  • these are the days where a lot of errands get done. the boys may help with house and yard work. we take trips to the grocery store and pick up supplies we need for upcoming projects. 


in short, collective days are used as buffer days when we need a break from the regular routine and rhythm. It’s great when someone is feeling under the weather or comes down with a bug because.

I treat them as a reset day if things are just not going the way we need it to go that week. I really lean into these type of days with no guilt and if I’m honest, there are some weeks where the whole week is a collective learning week and that’s okay.

Another thing I want to do is finding a local homeschooling group / families to partake in some kind of co-op that will become a treasured part of our collective days. Since we’re new to the area, I am still scouting for the right fit.

So, yes! that’s our schooling rhythm for the year. our vision is just learn while having fun + spending more time outside. it sounds simple, but in my honest opinion, that’s exactly how it should be! 



I actually don’t own a homeschooling planner because I rarely use them. Don’t get me wrong, I love planners and being organized, but a lot of the ones on the market have a lot of things that I don’t use, so spending money on them is a waste.

Instead, I’ve curated several simple sheets that I use as an organizational / planning tool I as need them. I fill them out on the computer (or by hand) print them out and then place them in a binder where it becomes a planner + schooling log.

I’m sharing them with you below!

just right click, save and then print at your own leisure!

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