How To Make Your Own Visual Reading List

How to make your own visual reading list for your kids

We have been making visual reading lists for a few years now and they really help my kids. I spend the summer choosing books for each child and then compile the book covers on a page so they can choose throughout the year. Last summer I shared a video about these visual booklists, and why we love them! You can watch that here!


In that video I offered to make a tutorial video and many of you asked me to do that! I finally got it done and hope many of you will be able to make your own visual book lists now!

Here is the video tutorial and below I will share basic written steps.

  1. Download the book cover image to your computer
  2. Add the image to a document in PowerPoint
  3. Resize the image by dragging the corners and moving the image around
  4. Align the book covers by using the align feature {align middle and distribute horizontally}

We print 2 copies of our book lists, one for the front of their grade level notebook, and one for the rating stickers. After a book is finished a colored dot sticker is placed on the book image with a 1-10 rating.

Our Book Lists


Here is a blank reading record for your child to write the title, author and rate the book 1-10 based on his/her opinion.

Here’s another reading log we have used. It is very similar to the one we are using now.

See our Book Lists Pinterest board here!

    Library Book Reading Corner and Favorite Library Books for 1st Graders 1st Grade Library Book Favorites 2nd Grade Homeschool Reading Plan147704087 Reading Readiness Signs for Young Children Free Printable Reading Log

    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.

    Back to School 2016 -4964-2


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

    Back to School 2016 -4968-2


    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.

    Homeschool -6142


    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

    Daily Work Grid ~ A Visual Schoolwork Plan for Homeschoolers

    Daily Work Grid Schoolwork Plan for Homeschoolers VIDEO Tutorial included in post!


    This idea has been brewing in my mind for years, I just never took the time to create it until now.  It is similar to methods we have used in the past and resembles methods other homeschoolers use.  It isn’t a totally new idea, just a new twist on methods I have both used and seen, adapted to suit our current needs.

    Many of you saw my photo on Instagram several months ago when I created the cards and grid. There were tons of questions about it and I promised a blog post!

    Daily Work Grid -7254 

    It did take some time to set up and I explain how I did it in the video below…

    Daily Work Grid

    Many have asked about our Daily Work Grid that I am using with our 1st grader and I finally got a video together for you! See how we use it and a tutorial for how I made the grid and the subject cards in PowerPoint.Blog post coming soon!**See more VIDEOS on our YOUTUBE Channel ~**SUBSCRIBE to our blog posts ~

    Posted by 1+1+1=1 on Sunday, August 30, 2015


    I shared this photo the night before we began 1st grade, which shows our Lessontrek plan and our Daily Work Grid ready to go for her first day of school.

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    We have now been using this method for over 3 week and it is working very well for us!  She loves the visual choices she has, and also seeing how much she has left each day.

    Daily Grid -8733


    Having a visual daily grid like this for a young child helps us in many ways. The biggest help for us is the fact that expectations for the homeschool day are crystal clear.  There are many ways to do this, a simple list on the board or in a notebook works well for many families. 

    For our 1st grader, this is a visual intro to following a daily homeschool plan. For us Kindergarten and below is much more play-based and child-led so the lesson plans are really only for me up until now.  With an end goal of more independence in homeschooling, this visual daily grid eases her into this.

    By showing her clearly what is to be done that day, she knows what to expect.  The cards coming off give her a feeling of accomplishment and also help squash the “how much more do I have to do today” questions {and sometimes attitude problems}.

    Daily Grid -8735


    Using a daily work grid like this may be beneficial for you if you…

    • have a child who likes to know what is expected each day.
    • have a child who needs a visual rather than written version.
    • have a child who whines or complains about how much is left to do.
    • have a young child who is easing into following a daily homeschool routine {usually beginning in K-2}.
    • like creating things on your own and have the time {this takes time to prepare}.

    I would not recommend this method if you…

    • have an older child who can easily read a written list and doesn’t really need visuals. No need to go backwards.
    • have many children and would struggle to keep up with the consistent routine of this.
    • don’t have time to even put this together.
    • have a young tot or preschooler who is more play-based and child-led, they don’t necessarily need a grid like this.  I don’t recommend being this planned out in the early years.  Having freedom to go with the flow during those early years is more important that following the daily plan.  This is exactly why I never give lesson plans for any of my tot programs {Tot School Printables, Animal ABCs, etc.}  I believe in a more flexible plan during those years. Every child is different and the pressure of a daily plan doesn’t allow for this as much. I personally would not have used something like this until Kindergarten.  It would have been great last year I just didn’t have time to create it.

    Here’s the video sharing how we use our daily grid and how I created the grids and subject cards in PowerPoint.  I am sorry fi you don’t have PP, this is just what I use mostly to create my printables and I can only share how I do it.  Many aspects will be similar in another program, hopefully you can get the general idea!

    Math Play with Spielgaben

    Playful Learning with Spielgaben is our monthly post sharing Spielgaben in action, this month we have a MATH PLAY post for you as we have been really enjoying the new math guide!  If you missed the introduction to this series, you can see it here and also see links to our past posts. We were given the Spielgaben set to review and are honored to have them as a blog sponsor.  I will be sharing once a month a detailed post featuring Spielgaben.  You can also see my Learning with Ladybug posts to see what my daughter has done with this learning set!

    Math Play with Spielgaben - ideas for learning addition to 10

    This month we used a few math activities to learn and review addition.  These are all from the new Math Guide.  Below you can see screenshots from the pdf file we used. She absolutely loved all of the lessons!

    Spielgaben Math Guide Lesson 6


    For this lesson, the circles were the egg carton and the spheres were the eggs. You can see through the photos how the lesson progressed as we worked on making 10.

    Spielgaben -7042


    After just using the manipulatives for awhile, we then added in the addition fact written on the dry erase board.

    Spielgaben -7048


    She then moved on to doing the activity on paper only, figuring out the missing number to make 10.

    Spielgaben -7057


    Here’s a video clip of this in action…



    Spielgaben Math Guide Play 4Spielgaben Math Guide Play 4b

    How many are missing was a BIG hit!  We started with just 6 balls, and used those to work together.

    Spielgaben -7184

    We went back and forth together taking turns hiding.

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    We then moved on to 10 small dots, making it a bit harder.

    Spielgaben -7187

    She really loved this!

    Spielgaben -7192

    Here’s a video clip of us in action…



    Spielgaben Math Play 7


    For this lesson, we had a stick and 10 “marshmallows” which was a big hit! I told her how many I was going to eat, and then she had to figure out how many she would get.

    Spielgaben -7266


    “If you get 3, I get 7, 3+7=10!”

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    The lesson got a bit advanced and I wasn’t sure how she would do with it, but she did great!  It moved from adding two numbers to adding two and figuring out the missing 3rd number to make ten.

    Spielgaben -7271

    We pretended her little bird was the other one eating marshmallows and we had to figure out how many he got after she knew what we got.

    If you get 3, I get 5, then blue bird gets 2!  3+5+2=10!”

    Spielgaben -7275


    Here’s a video clip of us in action…


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    Shooting Sight Words ~ Learning to Read is FUN!

    Shooting Sight Words with a Nerf Gun!  Great Word Fun for Kids!

    Years ago when Krash was learning to read, my husband took over homeschool one day.  This was what I walked in and saw ~ shooting sight words with Nerf guns!

    Shooting Sight Words with Nerf Gun! Shoot Sight Words with Nerf Gun!

    Needless to say, this was a FAVORITE way to practice sight words for my son and we brought the idea back recently with my daughter who was reviewing her You Can Read sight words! She LOVED it and Krash helped her out and enjoyed being a part of the fun again.  He remembered doing this when he was younger!

    You Can Read Review - Shoot Sight Words with Nerf Gun!

    We just write the words she is reviewing in bubbles on a dry erase board.

    Shoot Sight Words with Nerf Gun!

    She uses the Nerf darts with the suction cups on the ends to shoot the word I call out! Simple, effective and FUN!  Lots of giggles too!

    Shoot Sight Words with Nerf Gun!


    See a video clip of us playing here on YouTube, or the shorter version here on Instagram! In the longer video below you’ll see we switched to sentences instead of bubbles in the end.  This is another variation of making the game work in different ways.

    See more Word Play ideas here!

    Word Play -  Learning to read is fun!