Inspire Me! Story Starter Photo Cards ~ Summer Fun Theme

Summer Fun Story Starters Printables

Sometimes young writers have a hard time putting their thoughts on paper.  When I used to teach Kindergarten, writing was actually my favorite subject to teach, but many children struggled with it.  In my homeschool, my boys have struggled the most with being free writers.  My daughter is much more willing to write and I am trying to find unique ways to encourage and inspire her to just have fun with writing. I have been brainstorming for awhile; trying to come up with a consistent, fun, and engaging way to have her writing for fun on a regular basis. 

I love photographs and using them in teaching.  Many of our printables feature real photographs in place of cute clipart. The idea of using a simple photo to inspire thought for free writing is where my brainstorm ended up. I decided to create a series of printable story starter cards featuring photographs based around a theme. Inspire Me! is the name I landed on.

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Each set features a simple photograph on the front, with word ideas on the back.  The word ideas were added as a way to give young writers confidence with a few key words spelled correctly right there for them to refer to. Often children feel lost and dislike not being able to spell.  For my boys especially, this would cause them to freeze.  The word ideas are to help that type of child, the one who loses all ideas, mostly due to their fear of not writing correctly.

For our first set, I chose a summer theme since it is HOT where we are!

See a video walk through here showing you our cards and the extra printables we use alongside of them.

Below you can see some action shots of my daughter using these.  She chooses a card from the set, chooses her writing paper {I allow her to choose if she feels like drawing that day or not}, grabs her Try-It Sheet, and starts writing.  Right now she is only writing one sentence but this will increase as we move along.

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We have more themes coming and all will be released here on my blog for FREE.  I will also be listing sets in my Teacher’s Notebook Shop.  Be sure to subscribe to our blog posts so you don’t miss any of our free printables!

Themes coming soon…

  • birds
  • bugs
  • cats
  • people
  • flowers Have a theme idea for a set? Leave me a comment!

Download your free Summer Fun Story Starters here!

Inspire Me Story Starters Summer Fun

Recently we shared a few other printables that were created to go along with these new story starters! 

Choose your Own Writing Paper[4][3]  Choose Your Own Alphabet Chart[4]  Young Writer Printables

4th Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices

4th Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices

My middle son is 9 and going into 4th grade this year.  Below are the 4th grade homeschool curriculum choices we have made for Krash!

Curious to see what he did in the past {since I’ve been blogging}?

{disclaimer ~ affiliate links are used below}

4th Grade Subjects

FLL 2 TT 5 GWG 3 Spectrum Vocabulary 4AAS 4 WS_Junior_D Evan Moor Science 4th PSB Elementary United States Geography Homeschool Plan for Elementary


These are his required reads for the year.  We will be going through each of these together.  All are from Calvert’s 4th grade program which I used with PacMan.

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Optional choices from the books we own are pictured below.  You can see I sticker our chapter books with an approximate grade level to help with sorting and choosing. These are the ones marked 4th grade. We will also utilize the library a lot for other books!  He usually reads at night, and that’s when he will choose his own books from our stack and our current library stack.

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There may be more to come, or some changes, but this is our list for now and all of this has been purchased! We will see what the year holds!

You can see our 1st Grade choices here and our 8th grade choices here.

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

Stick around and see our homeschool year unfold!

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8th Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices

8th Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices

My oldest son is 13 and going into 8th grade this year.  Below are the 8th grade homeschool curriculum choices we have made! 

Curious to see what he did in the past {since I’ve been blogging}?

{disclaimer ~ affiliate links are used below}

8th Grade Subjects

Sonlight Core 130 American Historical Literature Write Shop 1GWG 8 Apologia Physical Science Teaching Textbooks Algebra 1

There may be more to come, or some changes, but this is our list for now and all of this has been purchased! We will see what the year holds!

See our 4th Grade choices here and our 1st Grade choices here.

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

Stick around and see our homeschool year unfold!

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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!

Christopher Columbus -0755  Monthly Homeschool Wrap Up -3335

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

Tot School Gathering Place Week 130

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!


Happy 4th of July (a day late!). I hope all our American friends enjoyed celebrating the birth of country with friends and family and maybe some fireworks! Did you do anything special with your Tot to celebrate the 4th? Make sure to link up your post about it to the Gathering Place so we can share in the fun!

Is your Tot in the pre-writing stage? Head on over to Adventures in Tot Schooling to see the many wonderful activities that Munchkin’s Mama put together to help strengthen those fine motor skills needed for pre-writing!

Tot School Adventures

Have you been curious about the Spielgaben Educational Toys? Are you looking for a review other than mine? Check out Living Montessori Now and Grandmama Deb’s review of Spielgaben and how grandTot Zoey is enjoying the summer activities.

Living Montessori Now (4)

Were you able to see Venus and Jupiter this past week? Does your Tot enjoy looking at the stars at night? Take a look at the free printable that Mama Michelle from Research Parent put together to help your Tot understand the size of each planet. They are stunning!

Research Parent (1)

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.

Beach Fun Coloring

 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).