Inspire Me! Story Starters ~ Dogs in Costumes

Inspire Me! Story Starter Photo Cards feature a simple photograph on the front, with word ideas on the back.  You can see more about why they were created and how we use them here in our original post!

Dogs in Costumes Story Starter Cards

We have a brand new DOGS in COSTUMES set for you today, with 12 different photographs of goofy looking dogs. These dogs crack me up and I figured many kids would get a giggle with these.  Funny photographs often draw a child in and make writing more fun!  I hope these silly story starter cards inspire may young writers to write fun and silly sentences!

Below you can see the photographs included in this set, there are matching word idea cards for each photo also!

Silly Dogs in Costumes Story Starter Printables Silly Dogs in Costumes Story Starter Printables

Word ideas print on back if desired!

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

We have more themes coming and many will be released here on my blog for FREE.  I am also 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!

Have a theme idea for a set? Leave me a comment!

Download your free Dogs in Costumes Story Starters here!

Inspire Me Story Starters Dogs in Costumes

The printables shown below were were created to go along with our story starters! 

Choose-your-Own-Writing-Paper431212  Choose-Your-Own-Alphabet-Chart41212  Young-Writer-Printables212

Grab our other free Story Starters…

Summer-Fun-Story-Starters-Printables[3] Bugs-Story-Starters-Printable-Photo-[2] Cats-Story-Starters-Printable-Photo-[2] Free Fall Story Starter Photo Cards[1]

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

{disclaimer ~ affiliate links are used}

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

Tot School Gathering Place Week 143

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 October! I hope you are enjoying the cooler weather and maybe some chances to snuggle up with your Tot!!! Make sure to share with us all your fall fun and link up to the Gathering Place!

Are you looking for and easy and fast fall sensory bin to put together? Take a look at the one the Mama from Tiny Tots Adventures put together for her girls.

10042015 Tiny Tots Adventures

October brings to mind creepy crawlies and Tot Ethan and Mama Lindsay from You Are the Roots enjoyed a week studying this theme! Check out all the different activities Mama put together – the sensory table looked like lots of fun!

10042015 You Are the Roots

Does your Tot enjoy the farm theme? Check out the various activities that Mama M from SmarteParte put together for Tot E! Some may just interest your Tot!

10042015 SmarteParte

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.

Pumpkin Fun!!

Pumpkin Songs  Pumpkin Tot SchoolBaby Food Jar Pumpkin Craft  John 155 Pumpkin Vine Craft  Marble Paint Pumpkin Craft

 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).

Costume Kids Coloring

We have a brand new set of Costume Kids Coloring printables for you! Many children will be planning their dress up outfits this month, so I thought kids in costumes would make a fun coloring set!

Costume Kids Coloring Pages

The idea behind “Just Color!” is simple ~ theme packs all focused around coloring. There are mostly coloring pages, and a few coloring activities. The coloring pages are all in one download to make it easier to download and print all at once, in case you have coloring monsters like I do!

If you want to make a mini coloring book, you can scale down PDF files.

Here’s a peek at the different dressed up children in this free printable set!

Costume Kids Coloring (1) Costume Kids Coloring (2) Princess Coloring PagePirate Coloring Page Costume Kids Coloring (5) Costume Kids Coloring (6)Costume Kids Coloring (7) Costume Kids Coloring (8) Costume Kids Coloring (14)Costume Kids Coloring (9) Costume Kids Coloring (10) Costume Kids Coloring (11)Costume Kids Coloring (12) Costume Kids Coloring (13)


Download the Costume Kids coloring printables and more here!

Look for this graphic and click to download!

Costume Kids Coloring Pages

If you have any problems downloading or printing these or other PDF files, see troubleshooting tips here.

Some Fabulous Companies ~ September 2015

Homeschool Blog Sponsors Sept 2015

We are so thankful for our blog sponsors and want to share them with you each month!  Read below to see what reviews & giveaways we have coming soon, and about any special discounts our sponsors are offering right now.

Educents has incredible deals for homeschoolers!   I even set up an Educents shop and am working on adding more products! You can see my Educents Shop here! We have another fun giveaway planned for you, stay tuned!



We love Home Art Studio! We are working through the 1st Grade DVD with Ladybug right now, our latest project is here along with a giveaway!

Home Art Studio Giveaway 3 DVDs Winner Choice ends 10.5.15


Spielgaben is a long time blog sponsor and we are still enjoying our Spielgaben set!  Our monthly posts share what we have been up to with our set, we’ve been loving our set this year for 1st grade math!

Here’s our recent post sharing the fun we have had this past month with Spielgaben.



Have you tried Lessontrek yet? See our video walkthrough here and see more about why we love it.

Get 50% off of your first year using discount code: OP50



I have loved Rainbow Resource for many years!  I am honored to have them as a blog sponsor and I’m excited about our upcoming review and giveaway!



Barker Creek  publishes the Sticker USA book we are using for our USA geography this year.  They also carry tons of fun school, office and homeschool supplies!

Be sure to check out Barker Creek’s Teacher’s Pay Teachers site, they will be running a sale this Friday-Sunday!



Betty Lukens is back with us as a sponsor and we have a fun review and giveaway coming next month!  Be sure to check out their educational magnets, felt play sets, and Bible felt sets. One of our very favorite educational felt sets is this ABC set!



We love Friends and Heroes and are happy to have them back as a sponsor! We  own the entire DVD series {bought the rest after we were given the 1st for review}.  I highly recommend these, my kids love them!

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Want to be on this list?  Email us for more info about becoming a sponsor on 1+1+1=1!