First Grade with Audrey

I previously talked about switching curriculum midyear with Sydney, and a reader commented to ask about Audrey! So, here it is. Miss Audrey Thyme is now 6 years old and she’s in the 1st grade.


Audrey is currently taking the following classes as part of her first grade curriculum; reading, grammar, history, science, math, art, dance and piano. She does piano with a lady from church who puts together a wonderful Harry Potter themed piano curriculum and we LOVE IT. Audrey is a Hufflepuff πŸ˜‰ She’s currently taking ballet and musical theatre with out beloved Teacher Annie.

PicMonkey Collage

Audrey was not reading at the beginning on first grade. So our main focus was on getting her ready to read. So we focused on reading, math and art. At the beginning of the school year we were doing science with Book Shark but I didn’t love it, especially because Sydney was doing a different level and it left me feeling exhausted trying to teach two different sciences. She joined in on Story of the World history lessons, but they quickly lost her attention. Slowly, but surely she started picking up on reading. In February she completed All About Reading Level 1 and started on Level 2. Since she was starting to read we decided it was time to add in some grammar. Sydney had just started The Good and the Beautiful for Language Arts and since they offered a free download I went through the table of contents to figure out which lessons to teach Audrey. The Good and the Beautiful have their own reading curriculum and spelling involved in their Kindergarten and First Grade LA. I didn’t want to include that since she was doing well with AAR, so I combined the lessons from K and Level 1 for a modified version for Audrey. She is absolutely loving their curriculum!

Like I said, Story of the World just wasn’t holding Audrey’s attention and my brain works very similarly to Audrey’s. So it also wasn’t holding MY attention. Since I was absolutely loving G&B I decided to give their history program a try. And guess what?! It totally rocks. My girls are loving it. It’s basically my dream curriculum, I really wanted to teach history in a “family style” setting so that all my kids could go through history together and then have assignments based on their age. This is perfect for that and even has the assignments listed out by ages! Big win.

Since I wasn’t loving Book Shark with two different science curriculum I decided to give Real Science 4 Kids a try. Even though the name really bothers me, I don’t like reading bingo. But it offered the opportunity to teach multiple children at the same time so I decided to give it a go as well. What we were doing wasn’t working. So if it’s not working it’s time to figure out why and how to fix it! This curriculum is VERY different than how I’ve ever taught science before, and it’s too soon to say for sure if it’s working or not. But I am enjoying it, and it’s not leaving me as exhausted as Book Shark was.

Math-U-See is one of the few things we’ve kept the same this year! It’s also the only math curriculum we’ve ever used. No complaints, ever. Audrey loves it, she’s whizzing through Alpha this year and is amazing at her addition skills!

Home Art Studio is in the same boat as MUS. We’ve used it since the beginning of our homeschool journey, and we aren’t changing it now!

So there is Audrey’s official curriculum list. It’s a bit smaller than Sydney’s load was when she was in 1st grade, but we like to tailor everything to the needs of the child. Audrey is flourishing with this load and honestly I think I probably overloaded poor Sydney when she was in first grade. Audrey benefits being the second child πŸ˜‰


Dear Sydney | The End of First Grade


Dear Sydney,

This year was tough. But you overcame some incredibly obstacles. Sometimes I feel that your biggest obstacle is having me as a mother. I tend to push you too hard at times, over schedule and under prepare. That was very much the case with this school year. Add into that being tired, unmotivated and then ending the school year with being exhausted because of pregnancy.

But you overcame them all. You are such an incredible person, and as always I am humbled that Heavenly Father sent you to me. You are the sweetest girl I know, and you are so smart! You are flexible, and you put up with me. Usually with a smile on your face. I spend hours planning and working on your curriculum, and you make it totally worth every second.

At the beginning of this school year you tested at a 4th grade reading level. For being six and only reading for the past year and a half it just blew me away, as you always do! By the end you tested at a 6th grade level. I enjoy watching you devour books. Especially books that I enjoyed when I was younger. This year you read so many Magic Tree House books there’s no way for me to count them. You ended the year by starting The Chronicles of Narnia, The Magician’s Nephew. You learned about space, and loved hearing about planets. You took the debate about Pluto being a planet seriously, and still sided with your mama. Hearing you spout off addition and subtraction facts brings a smile to my face, you do it faster than Daddy! We did something different this year for history, and you made the transition well. Just recently we watched The Prince of Egypt and I was thrilled to hear that you still remember about the two kingdoms of Egypt. You were brave and tried a bunch of new foods this year from China, Japan, South Korea and India.

You never cease to amaze me, darling girl. You are so brave! This year you lost your first two teeth, but you did so in an unconventional way. Both teeth needed to be pulled because your permanent teeth popped through but didn’t make the baby teeth wiggly. The second tooth the dentist removed, which included getting laughing gas, which you did all by yourself! I think I was more nervous than you were.

I love and adore you, my Sydney Capri, and I look forward to next year with you. Second grade, are you ready?!

Love, Mama

[Here are some page stats for you! During school this year Sydney and I read a total of 2,762 pages together. And by herself Sydney read 3,381 pages!]

Dear Sydney, Kindergarten Edition


All About Learning

Yup, here’s an update for you!


Sydney passed off All About Spelling Level 1! I think she already spells better than I do πŸ˜‰ She was so excited to pass off the last of her lessons and then help me get prepared for Level 2, her favorite is the Word Jail for those pesky rule breakers. After her first lesson in Level 2 she complained that our jail didn’t have anyone in it.

Jordan told me I’ll need to devote a whole room to all the rule breakers in the English language. He’s very supportive that way.


This year Miss Audrey has been working her way though All About Reading Pre-Level 1. They have it divided into 3 sections, capital letters, lower case letters, and then the sounds. She just passed off all the capital letters, so we were getting ready to change our chart, and start reading a new book! She was very excited to be 1/3 of the way done. She can’t stop talking about how she can’t wait to learn to read next year. <3


First Day of School

We started school on August 19th, Sydney is in 1st grade. As as per tradition, we made up our white board.


It’s become a bit of a tradition to torture all children take pictures of these beautiful siblings on the first day of school, regardless of who is actually being formally taught. I’m not exactly sure why Zachary wasn’t in this picture….


This year we are participating in a church co-op preschool called Joy School. Audrey’s first day happened to be the day before her tonsils were removed, so she missed the second day, unfortunately. Her first day was September 10th.


This sweet girl could probably have fit in her Hello Kitty backpack, but she insisted upon having it, and she LOVES it. She had a blast and was so excited about Joy School. I didn’t tell her she would be missing the second day or that she would be missing her first day of dance class. Shh, it will be a secret πŸ˜‰

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See? I tortured them attempted to get a picture of the three of them together.

Audrey and I debated for almost an hour about her outfit for her first day of Joy School. She HATES jeans, and even sweat pants. She recently discovered leggings and told me, “I like it when my pants are CLOSE to my body!” She has about 10 pairs of adorable Sydney-hand-me-down jeans that she refuses to wear. And all the leggings she has go with specific outfits (I’m kind of a fashion police to my kids…) but we finally agreed on an outfit. I’m glad too, because the last time I tried to force her to wear jeans she tried to take them off in the doctor’s waiting room. That was awkward.


Curriculum for 2013-2014

webSydney is a First Grader!!!

Writing: Writing With Ease, Level 1 & First Language Lessons, Level 1
History: Story of the World, Ancients
Spelling: All About Spelling, Level 1 (we are repeating to make sure it’s solid.)
Math: Math-U-See, Alpha
Gospel: Discover the Scriptures: The Book of Mormon
Read Alouds: Sonlight Core B
Readers: Sonlight 3rd grade readers
Science: Apologia Astronomy
Art: Home Art Studio, 1st Grade
Geography: Expedition Earth
Handwriting: Handwriting Without Tears, 2nd Grade

Continuing with piano and dance (ballet/tap III)

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Audrey is in Pre-Preschool!!!!

Um, yes, that’s a thing…

Pre-Reading: All About Reading, Pre-Reading

She also joins us for Expedition Earth and Gospel.Β She is participating in Joy School this year with friends from church, and continuing dance class (ballet/tap I.)