09-21-2015

Audrey’s Bob Books| {Freebie!}

We are five weeks into school now and I decided to give Audrey another go with Bob Books. Previously we’d tried a few different approaches to reading with Miss Aud, and unfortunately she became super frustrated with all of them. Since I didn’t know where she was skill-wise with the Bob Books we started having her read them all, which helped me figure out where she was and also boost her confidence.

Audrey loves stickers, and she loves the accomplishment of adding a sticker to a chart. With Sydney we used this Bob Book process chart and it was fantastic. But Audrey is overwhelmed a little more easily and can get discouraged quickly. So I started looking for a single book set process chart and was finding very little success.

So what do you do? You make one! I also figured I’d share with all of you. She just finished the first set of beginning readers and tomorrow we will start the Kindergarten Sight Words set. In our house after every single book set they get to have a date. They get to choose who goes on the date with them and what the activity is.

Audrey’s first chosen date is taking the whole family out to ice cream. She’s such a kind hearted considerate little girl <3

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08-25-2015

2015-2016 Curriculum List

Yesterday marked the first day of our 5th year of homeschooling. And this year is Audrey’s first day of Kindergarten. Every single year I wonder how I got here, how is it that my kids are even old enough to be in school?

But here we are, and here is the list of curriculum that we will be using this year!

Sydney is in the THIRD GRADE. Like Whoa.

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Math: Math-U-See Gamma

Science: Sonlight Science D (Biology, Taxonomy and Human Anatomy)

English: Writing With Ease Level 3, First Language Lessons Level 3, All About Spelling Level 3+

Reading: Ginger Pye, School Story, B is for Betsy, Enyclopedia Brown, Betsy & Tacy, Along Came a Dog, The Lightning Thief, James and the Giant Peach, Ramona Forever

Handwriting: A Reason For Handwriting Transition

Art: Home Art Studio 3rd Grade

Read Alouds: Little House in the Big Woods, Stuart Little, The Cricket in Time Square, Tales of a 4th Grade Nothing, Prince Caspian

History: Story of the World Volume 3 (Early Modern)

Biographies: This year we are focusing on some biographies and she will read one each month from the Whoe Was…? Series.
Clara Barton, Helen Keller, Mark Twain, Sally Ride, Louis Braille, Claude Monet, Queen Elizabeth, Franklin Roosevelt, Daniel Boone, Babe Ruth.

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Math: Math-U-See Primer

Science: Sonlight Science A (Biology, Biotoany, Physics)

Reading: Bob Books Box 1+

Handwriting: A Reason For Handwriting K

Art: Home Art Studio Kindergarten

Read Alouds: Sonlight A

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Together they will be reading Old Testament Stories and doing Expedition Earth: Europe!

07-15-2013

Dear Sydney | The End of Kindergarten

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Dear Sydney,

Have I ever told you how much I love having you as my first born? You have taught me how to be a Mama, which is the best title I hold. I am honored to be your mother. I can’t believe we have finished up your first year of school, Kindergarten is over! I love that I have gotten to be there for all of your important “firsts.” I was there when you took your first breath, when you learned to roll over, learned to walk, and said your first (and favorite) word, “Hi!” I am glad that I was there when you first learned to read last year. I have enjoyed watching as the world of words has opened up to you, and watched as you devoured book after book. I love that you use your gift of reading to read to others, you are an excellent story-teller already! Audrey and Zachary love it when you read to them, and I love that you do it often.

This year you learned to skip-count by 2s, 5s, and 10s; you learned how to tell time. You’ve almost mastered shoe tying. All of your teeth are still in your mouth 😉 You learned to add and subtract numbers. You, my dear, are brilliant, and I hope you never forget that. I hope you always enjoy reading and making up stores. I am so proud of you when you play piano, “Old Pig Donald” is my favorite. We raised caterpillars into butterflies, Olive went from tadpole to frog, and we hatched chickens.

Thank you for being my first born, thank you for being my practice child. You have been incredibly patient with me this year when I wasn’t always sure what I was doing, thank you! And most of all, thank you for taking this homeschooling journey with me, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I can’t wait for 1st grade!

I love you very much, my Sydney Capri!
Love,
Mama <3

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Dear Sydney, First Grade Edition

05-09-2013

Chickens!

A friend from church has a chicken farm, and several months ago she hatched some chicks. I had said that I wanted to do that with Sydney, but couldn’t because we don’t have any place to keep chickens. She offered to let me borrow her incubator, lend me some eggs, and take the chicks back when we were tired of them. What an amazingly generous offer! We were pretty excited!

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   We started out with a total of 16 eggs. And during the 21 days of incubation Sydney and I researched and read about the chicken stages, and what the chicks looked like at different points.

Unfortunately (or fortunately, however you look at it) only 2 chicks hatched. We woke up on March 28th, 2013 to chirps, and found a sweet little chick all hatched and walking around. Several hours later the second chick hatched, and we got to watch him come out of his shell.

The second chick (named Buttercup) was very weak from it’s hatching, and we thought for sure that it wasn’t going to make it. It just laid down, not lifting it’s head for the first 36 hours. So we went to the feed store and bought our chicken supplies and we bought two chicks that were female. We knew it wasn’t good for chicks to live alone, they need buddies. If Buttercup made it then my father-in-law had offered to take the female chicks. We named this little yellow hens Lemon and Clover.

On March 31st we woke up and found Clover dead. We were told later by my friend that it is very common for feed store chicks to die, they go through so much in the first few days. Well, we didn’t want Lemon to be by herself, so my friend said she would take her as well. At this point Buttercup started to do really well! Walking around, moving, s/he was going to make it for sure! He was running around with Lemon and Kookaburra. Until April 2nd, when s/he died in the middle of the night :(

We kind of lived in fear about Lemon and Kookaburra for the next several weeks, but they got bigger and stronger and became great buddies.

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About a week before we gave the chicks back to my friend she called and told me she had gotten a bunch of feed store chicks and all had died except one, and was wondering if we could adopt her, so that she would have buddies. We agreed, and Sydney named her Cougar.

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I’m pretty sad that the only pictures I have of Buttercup and Clover are on my cell phone. And that the only one of Buttercup is of him(?) very weak and laying down. But this was a fun science lesson, and the kids LOVED it!

02-11-2013

She Thinks She’s Big Too, Part Two!

Last school year Audrey would (sometimes) sit quietly at the table and read books. This year she wants to be part of the fun!

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01-19-2013

A Day in the Life of a Homeschooler [Day 10]

  8:00 AM – Stayed up too late the night before (story of my life) and am purely exhausted. I get up when the girls do, and realize we are on our last bit of oatmeal. I gotta go to the store…

9:00 AM – Breakfast is done, dishes are done. And Zachary is already ready for a nap. He’s so cranky lately! I blame teeth. I ask the girls to go play upstairs so I can finish the last few edits of a post-partum hospital shoot that I did a few weeks ago.

10: 00 AM – I give the girls some crayons to color with and some Goldfish to eat while I finish up. It’s taking longer than I thought. But they are turning out awesomely! So I guess I shouldn’t complain.

10:15 AM – Both girls come downstairs with pens in hand, and wave them at me in unison making “wand” noises.

10:30 AM – Bribe the children with cookies while I print off the CD label. And recheck another order that I had to make sure it was perfect as well.

11:00 AM – Girls are rewarded for their good behavior. And we have lunch. I check on Zachary to make sure he’s still alive. He’s alive and wake, just chewing on Batman. I bring him downstairs so he can eat something more substantial.

NOON – I help the girls clean their room, during which Audrey has a melt down. Time for her naptime!

12:15 PM – Audrey is down for a nap. Or rather she’s kicking and screaming. Sydney and I go downstairs to start school. We only have a few subjects today since it’s Friday. Zachary happily eats rolls while in the highchair.

We start every day of school with a prayer, and the Pledge of Allegiance.

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While doing math I am reminded, yet again, how much I would like to buy a bead holder and use it for the Math-U-See blocks.

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 For gospel we watched a NEST movie, to illustrate what we had been learning about. I love these movies! After she finished the movie she took their DVD quiz.

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While she was watching her movie I found a sticky note from her in my New Testament binder. I love that girl :)

After she finished her few subjects for the day she got to do her favorite. ART TIME! She finished her water color painting from last week. I adore Home Art Studio, it’s really the best for elementary ages. I love all the projects!

Fridays are a great day of school. They are usually very easy light days! Sydney was thrilled when she finished her All About Spelling reader and understood that she had read every page of that book, all 146 pages! She felt SO proud of herself!

Now, I’ve got to find my bee stickers that Audrey has run off with!

(Am I allowed to say I’m proud of myself for finishing this challenge? I hope you all enjoyed reading about crazy days!)

01-18-2013

A Day in the Life of a Homeschooler [Day 9]

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7:30 AM – I realize that I might have stayed up too late the night before. I am SO exhausted. I decide to listen to a General Conference talk while I eat my breakfast. I could use some of the Prophet’s wise words to help me get through the day.

8:15 AM – Girls wake up, and I ask them to clean their room before breakfast. They haven’t been very good at cleaning it before breakfast this week, and we have a “if your room isn’t clean, you don’t eat rule.” There room has very few toys, and no books in it. All of the books are in Zachary’s room to avoid the mess. The only thing they have to have picked up are their clothes and their stuffed animals.

8:30 AM – Zachary wakes up and I feed him.

8:45 AM – Play with Zachary on the floor for a while. He likes to eat Batman.

9:30 AM – We still haven’t made any headway on that bedroom. In fact the girls took the toys out of Zachary’s room, and have put all their stuffed animals and blankets in the hallway and down the stairs. I become VERY angry. I pick up all of the toys/blankets/stuffed animals and put them in their room. I also threaten the livelihood of their toys if they are found on the stairs again. Ahem. I’m not always perfect…

10:30 AM – After getting my dining room clean and doing a load of dishes I check back at the girls. Still no progress.

11:00 AM – Ugh! We are bordering on neglect now. Zachary is getting tired and I know those girls are hungry. I put him down for a nap and I stand in the doorway of the girl’s room and stare at them. This confused Sydney and Audrey. They seemed to think that it was time to talk to mama and tell her all about their day.

11:15 AM – I set a timer and tell them that anything left on the floor will be thrown out.

11:16 AM – Hysterics have ensued. I remind the girls that the longer the spend crying the less time they are spending cleaning, the more stuff that will be thrown out.

11:20 AM- With 15 minutes left on the clock their room is now spotless. It’s amazing what they can accomplish when threatened properly motivated. Beds aren’t made, but really who cares? I declare it to be breakfast time (brunch?) Audrey sings a song about it.

NOON – After our oatmeal breakfast I am reminded that I probably should go to the store and buy some more cereal, we are still out and now we are almost out of oatmeal. It’s also naptime, Audrey is very unhappy about this. “But I just had breakfast!” She tells me. I remind her that she should have cleaned her room sooner.

12:30 PM – Sydney and I start school. Thursdays and Fridays are our light days around here, to play make-up with whatever we have missed during the week. I am glad that I moved the “Days of the Week” calendar down so that I can easily reach it. Except, I don’t have to! Sydney now moves the chair by it and moves the pieces and tells me what Yesterday/Today/Tomorrow are.

Sydney learns how to perfect her penmanship with the letter “k.” Her handwriting is becoming superior to her father’s. She’s impressive! 😉

All About Spelling has readers to add into their curriculum to reinforce the spelling rules. Sydney loves to read these books to me! I love that they are quick and easy for her, and she hardly needs any help with them at all.

While she does her Math-U-See worksheet I put together our binder for Confessions of a Homeschooler’s Expedition Earth. Upon looking at it I realize that our 1st Grade Yearbook will probably be huge. But it’s still exciting!

2:00 PM – Despite the crazy schedule that we’ve been doing this week, Sydney has remained amazing and has gotten through her work very well! Audrey and Zachary are still sleeping so I deem it to be quiet time, while I take a nap.

2:30 PM – Ugh, nap time is over. Zachary has woken up. He’s been napping for long periods of time this week, I think he’s cutting more (giant) teeth. I come downstairs to find that Audrey woke up during my nap and her and Sydney are playing quietly downstairs while eating goldfish. I have some great kids.

I expect to find a hidden disaster as the day progresses.

01-17-2013

A Day in the Life of a Homeschooler [Day 8]

7:30 AM- Boo, that alarm! I go downstairs and realize that I’m out of cereal. Ugh! So I heat up some water for oatmeal. I do not like instant oatmeal very much.

8:00 AM – I wake the girls up, and ask them to clean their room.

8:30 AM – Girls are not cleaning, they are playing on Sydney’s bed. I become frustrated and ask them again to clean their room. Zachary wakes up, and I get him up and feed him his breakfast.

9:00 AM – Zachary is finishing his breakfast, so we go to check on the girls. Room still isn’t being cleaned. In fact I think it’s messier. Ugh! More stern words.

9:30 AM – Audrey is grumpy, hunger has set in, and she’s not happy with me. Sydney is also unhappy. I ask them to just clean the Barbies and I’ll call it good for today. Wednesday always end up crazy, so I should just let it go for today.

10:00 AM – Girls are finally eating breakfast and I realize that we have to get ready to go to a playdate. So much for getting school done beforehand!

10:45 AM – Play date it up with some friends! :)

1:00 PM – After a fun play date and lunch with our friends I tell Audrey to take a nap, and Zachary goes down too. I tell Sydney we will do as much school as we can before we go to dance class.

2:00 PM – Still working on math. Making Sydney rewrite her numbers, she has a hard time remembering that handwriting should be neat and legible, even when the subject isn’t handwriting. Audrey only fell asleep about 10 minutes ago. She is not going to be happy when I wake her up.

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2:15 PM – Finally finish math. I decide we will stop here until later. I run upstairs and get the girl’s dance clothes together. I tell Sydney to practice before her piano lesson.

2:30 PM – I wake Audrey up, luckily her first words were, “I dance with Teacher Annie?!” She’s not too upset.

2:40 PM – Finally get the children into the car, and realize I need gas. Audrey has a meltdown getting into the car. So, I guess she is upset.

2:45 PM – Internally cry when I fill up the mini van.

3:00 PM – Piano lessons and dance class. Annie told us to choose a woodland animal for Audrey to be in the June performance. Do they have the option of a bunny? Why, yes, they do have bunnies, yey!

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5:00 PM – Pull into my drive way wondering what on Earth I am going to make for dinner. Then Lauren calls and asks if I want to go to McDonald’s and then go to Goodwill to shop for props.

7:00 PM – Get home after shopping and eating. Audrey is pretty much in hysterics and Zachary isn’t too happy either. Luckily Audrey went down quickly. I pushed my luck with their lack of naps today. Zachary is still hungry, and after he finished his bottle Sydney gave him a roll. (I was in the bathroom at that moment.) He was a happy boy then!

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Sydney wizzed through school. And I discovered a new way to keep track of all the subjects we have to get through. Normally, I write them on the white board, but they get erased by an over zealous two-year-old. So instead I wrote the subjects on a piece of paper and put them in the binder, and I mark them off with a white board marker.

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01-16-2013

A Day in the Life of a Homeschooler [Day 7]

7:30 AM- The usual alarm, hit snooze, get up, read scriptures. Everyone is awake this time, so I just eat with the kids. Audrey and Sydney scarf down breakfast, and then Audrey asks if she can have mine. I seriously consider eating in the bathroom.

8:30 AM – Clear the table, Sydney does the breakfast dishes. I start a load of cloth diapers while Sydney practices piano, Zachary screams in his bouncer and Audrey tries to make him happy. She gives up and tells me that Zachary “hates” her.

8:50 AM- Helped the kids make a video to send to Grandpa Smith for his birthday. They are ADORABLE. <3

9:00 AM – Organize kids clothes. My goal is to get them all in labeled organized bins that are easy to keep up with. It’s slow going, so it looks like a tornado went through Zachary’s room. Zachary screams at me in his crib while I clean his room. So I get Audrey and put her in his crib. They giggle together.

9:30 AM – Audrey and Zachary stop giggling. Zachary becomes REALLY angry. So it’s nap time! Audrey is given the option of sitting quietly at the table and playing with puzzle or playing in her room. She chooses to play in her room.

We start school. I feel guilty because the “What day is it” calendar says it’s still Friday. The thing is too high that I have to stand on a chair and still stand on my tip toes. During the prayer I decide to move it. So after morning exercises are done I ask Sydney to work on her thank you cards while I finish rearranging.

BEFORE:   Homeschool

AFTER:

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Sydney finished the last of her Thank You cards from Christmas. Yeah, they are a little late, but she wrote them herself, so I am proud of her. :)

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She wanted to show you all her Scripture Journal. Her Grandma Sherman made it, and she loves it because it’s pink. I’m glad she likes it so much. We use Discover the Scriptures, and I LOVE it! We are currently studying the New Testament, and although it says it’s for 1-3 Grades Sydney is doing so well. And I am impressed with how much she knows!

The brightly colored papers on the wall (that I moved) are all New Testament scriptures that Sydney has memorized this year.

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Today was another good day, and it didn’t take too long to get through it. In math she started doing addition, and she is doing SO well with it! She never ceases to amaze me. Normally on Tuesdays we do handwriting, but since she finished her Thank You cards I counted that.

While today was a good day, we didn’t get to our Read Aloud until much later that night. We got distracted by daddy coming home, Zachary woke up, lunch had to be eaten (Audrey asked for my lunch when she finished her lunch) and dishes that needed to get done. It was also Cub night, so I was busily reading over notes and lessons and trying to stay organized. So when I came home from scouts I read Dolphin Treasure as the bedtime story.

01-15-2013

A Day in the Life of a Homeschooler [Day 6]

6:44 AM – wake up to Audrey screaming her head off. Okay, maybe it wasn’t that dramatic. But it was 6 am, so it felt that way. Regardless, Audrey came crying into my room bawling. I told her to go back to bed. She stopped crying and said, “Okay!” and went back to her room. Not sure what happened, but I have another 45 minutes until my alarm goes off.

7:15 AM – wake up again to girls screaming. Run into their room, and both girls are on the top bunk. Audrey bit Sydney. Again. I grumble at them to stop biting and to clean their room. After my “stern talk” I fall back onto my bed.

7:30 AM – my alarm goes off, and I wake up, get dressed and eat my Kix downstairs while the girls are still cleaning their room.

7:45 AM – I hear a thump, a crash and then Zachary screaming. I run back up the stairs in a panic. Luckily the thump and crash didn’t belong to Zachary. They belonged to Audrey. She’s crying too. She jumped off her bed and landed on a lego that she was suppose to be cleaning up. Stern words about picking up blocks are issued. Zachary is a happy boy, and expresses said happiness by patting me on the back. Love that kid.

8:00 AM – Sydney comes down to tell me that the room is clean. It’s not.

8:15 AM – Audrey tells me the room is clean. Sydney yells down the stairs that it’s not.

8:25 AM – Both girls claim the room is clean. It is! Breakfast time.

8:45 AM – Sydney does breakfast dishes. Audrey is instructed to go upstairs and get dressed. Zachary screams in his bouncer. I clean off the table to get ready for school.

9:00 AM – I wonder if we should start school now, or wait until after Zachary’s doctor appointment? I decide now, we’ll just see how much we get through. Audrey comes downstairs wearing different pjs, I tell her to try again.

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We start with our prayer, pledge, and calendar time. We skip our “what day is it” and I just ask. I hate having to stand on the chair to change the days around.

Sydney choose Gospel to be first, because “it’s the most important.” Smart girl I have!

Next up is math. She loves playing with the colorful blocks. Today is the last lesson in section 11. I’m shocked at how quickly she remembers which color block is what number. I still have to count them!

Science is about under the sea life, and she is super excited about crabs. But sea urchins are her favorite.

Reading about Anna and Jack in her Bob Books readers makes her happy. I think she might actually be getting bored at the slow pace with the Bob Book. She goes through it so quickly!

Finish the second half of her spelling test with AAS today. Every single day I am amazed at her spelling skills. Every day. She is incredible. And I am so grateful that I get to spend everyday with her, and marvel in her awesomeness. I don’t like sharing 😉

And lastly, we started our new read aloud, Dolphin Treasure, she was so excited to see that we are reading another dolphin book!

Today was a good day.

10:15 AM – I tell Sydney to practice piano for the next 10 minutes while I get everyone ready to go. Audrey has since changed her pjs a few times, and mix and matched jeans with pj tops or pj bottoms with everyday shirts. Or tried to get away with a skirt. So I help her get dressed, I change Zachary and get him ready to go.

10:25 AM- Sydney puts on the outfit that I lay out for her. I announce that today is going to be a Converse day. NO rubber boots (AUDREY!) Audrey cries about the declaration, and then asks if she can wear her pink shoes. I realize we are running out of time and I can’t find the second pink Converse, so I tell her she has to wear the red ones. More tears. Sydney gets her shoes on quickly, I scold myself again for not getting her the Velcro Converse so that I don’t have to tie shoes. I also scold myself for not teaching her to tie her shoes yet. But hey, she’s beautiful AND smart, that counteracts her inability to tie shoes, right?

11:00 AM – Get to the doctor’s office exactly on time.

Noon – Leave doctor’s office, and realize that it’s snowing. I enjoy driving in the “snow” and watching the flakes bounce off the windshield. The snow is light and perfect and doesn’t stick. Yey!

12:30 PM- Have a lunch, put Zachary down for a nap.

Oh, and have a dance party.

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What a lovely Monday! :)