Preschool with Zachary

ย Well, I’ve since talked about Audrey. I guess it’s time to talk about everyone else’s curriculum choices in depth. So next up is my youngest homeschooler, Mr. Zachary! Zachary went to a fabulous preforming arts preschool last year, so when I started trying to do our Letter of the Week curriculum I realized that he was getting bored very quickly, often asking for more work to do, and whizzing through it very quickly. So, again, we changed midyear.Zachary


Zachary is currently working his way through The Good and the Beautiful‘s Pre-K course book. We are also using some of our favorite supplements from Confessions of a Homeschooler‘s LOTW curriculum, along with using worksheets from Preschool Mom. I absolutely love the silly worksheets! They trace the letter, write the letter, circle the letters, color a coordinating animal, and then try to draw their own! Zachary LOVES these worksheets and has so much fun trying to draw the animals. The suppliments we are using from LOTW are the Do a Dot worksheets, Zachary loves the dot markers and is so excited to work on those. He actually asks daily to do them, but he only gets to do them every other day. He also does all cut and paste worksheets and coloring pages from LOTW. We do them as we learn the letter with Pre-K from The Good and the Beautiful. He should be finished with Pre-K in a few more weeks, and when he’s done we will move on to All About Reading‘s Pre-Reading to prepare him for Kindergarten next year. We are also using the Coconut Tree from previous years, putting up the letters are we pass them off. This spring he is also participating in t-ball, which will be a new adventure for our family.

PicMonkey Collage


Preschool Day by Day | Day 4

Did you think I forgot about this challenge?

Well, I didn’t :)

Last Thursday (1/15) we went to a play group that was at the same time as school, and then we had lunch, nap and did chores until it was time to go to my grandparent’s house to celebrate my grandpa’s birthday. In other words; school didn’t happen.

Which was fine, because we can make it up on Friday, right? Unless Sydney wakes up throwing up and you spend the day tending to a sick child. And then school doesn’t happen again.

That’s okay, we’ll make it up on Monday.

Unless it’s a holiday in which your husband is home and you have maternity pictures, decide to have a family swim day and then take Audrey to gymnastics.

So TODAY (Tuesday) is the first day we’ve had school in almost a week. Time for some serious catch-up! No worries though, seriously. We’ve got this.

First things first, finish up our N packet. We did this by starting with our magnet page. This is one of my kid’s favorite activities, they have a ton of fun with this one.


Following this we did some tracing practice. I tried to do formal handwriting practice with Audrey during preschool and it was AWFUL. Poor thing was so frustrated and it often resulted in tears. So we nixed that and we just do a handwriting tracing page once a week, it goes much smoother and Audrey loves it. Most of it is shapes and different lines, with only two letters, but I figure it’s helping her with those fine motor skills required to have nice penmanship later. :)


Next we did a Do A Dot activity, which is another favorite. Audrey loves to play with the markers. In fact she spent about 10 minutes having the markers chase each other around the table in a very exciting battle. I had to remind her to get back on task. When Sydney was in preschool I had to make the rule that it was required that they use each color at least once. Because otherwise we’d have 26 pink only letters. The other colors get jealous. ๐Ÿ˜‰


And lastly we did a cut and paste activity. Audrey cut out a nest and 3 eggs and glued them to the paper. I’m really amazed at her scissor skills and how much she enjoys these projects! She had it all planned out on how she wanted her nest to go.



And with that we finished off the last of the N activities. Thursdays and Fridays are typically our light days, they are kind of built in catch-up days for when we need them. Tomorrow we will have to get done several activities for the letter O to catch completely up, but with preschool this is fairly simple. It’s a little harder in say 2nd grade, just ask Sydney ๐Ÿ˜‰

After she finished up the Letter N, Audrey read a Bob Book. I’ve said it a few times but I’m so grateful when I have good ideas to help my children learn and grow. Taking a step back and working on reading skills that are considered “easy” has been a huge help to Audrey. Next week when we go back to All About Reading I feel like it will go a lot smoother.


First Day of School!

Today was our first day of school for the 2014-2015 year!

And what a year it will be, not only is Sydney now in the 2nd grade but AUDREY is joining us at the table for preschool!

Lets take a moment to reminiscence about my babies, shell we?

Baby Pictures

Aren’t they cute? Well, they grew up into these beautiful young ladies!First DayToday went extremely well! I’ve always had great luck when it comes to the first day of school, they leave me feeling excited and ready for the new school year! Unfortunately, there are days which make me doubt my decisions, my abilities, and my sanity. So it’s good to blog about those days that are awesome, and try to forget about the bad ๐Ÿ˜‰

I’ve been worried, nervous, excited, and very anxious about how school was going to work this year. Not only this Audrey’s first year in “official” school, but in February I’ll be nursing a baby while I teach math (and other subjects, of course!) While this was a breeze with master-champion-nurser Zachary, I was only teaching Sydney and preschool only took 30 minutes.

Oh, and Sydney is very good at sitting still. She’s extremely patient.

I love it when I pass down traits that I do not actually posses. It’s a great thing.

This year we have preschool with the girl who shares more than just my nose and my name. She also shares my lack of patience, and my inability to sit still. Maybe not inability, but she and I share a mutual disinterest when it comes to sitting still.

But much to my surprise and delight the first day went really smoothly! Audrey sat still (mostly), she was thrilled to do her Letter of the Week curriculum, she even sat still during the prayer and scripture study. When her school time was over, she played nicely by herself until Sydney was ready to join her. What a blessing!

Zachary on the other hand….well let’s just say he got banished to naptime when he decided to draw on the wall.

As my Gramma would say, “We made it!”DSC_0161


2014-2015 Curriculum


This year is going to shake things up a bit in the Sherman household. This year I’ll be adding a new student, AND adding a new baby! This is something that I’ve spent a good deal of time and energy worrying about. How am I going to juggle both girls’ educations and the demands of a newborn? Will one of them not get enough attention or time? Of course these emotions, worries, and thoughts are very similar to the ones I had when I was pregnant with Audrey. So I’m hoping the answer will be exactly the same. Everything will be great, nothing will be the same, find the new normal.

sydneyI still can’t believe that Sydney is already in 2nd Grade! What?

Gospel: Studying the Doctrine and Covenants and Baptism Prep (more about this later.)
Art: Home Art Studio 2nd Grade
Math: Math-U-See Beta
Spelling: All About Spelling Level 2 and up
Handwriting: A Reason for Handwriting Level B*
History: Story of the World Volume 2: Medieval
Writing: Writing With Ease Level 2
Grammar: First Language Lessons Level 2
Science: Sonlight Science C (Geology, Meteorology, and Mechanical Technology)*
Read Alouds: See here. *
Readers: Sonlight Readers Level 4/5


Audrey will be doing preschool this year! She will be doing Letter of the Week curriculum by Confessions of a Homeschooler. She will also be doing bits and pieces of Handwriting Without Tears Kindergarten and All About Reading Level 1 and up.

*Personally when I’m reading someone’s blog and they’ve switched curriculums I always wonder why. So here are the answers to the whys:

From Handwriting Without Tears to A Reason For Handwriting: Sydney really enjoyed HWT and had no problems with it. It’s a great handwriting curriculum. My only problem with it is simply that they teach writing on a different set of lines, this didn’t confuse Sydney at all but Audrey was VERY confused by the paper. How tall do you make that letter A? I had also noticed that when Sydney was doing her copywork or narrative exercises for Writing With Ease she didn’t know how to form her letters because WWE uses traditional lines, which differ from HWT. So to help keep things all uniform, we are switching.

From Apologia BACK to Sonlight Science: We used Sonlight’s science curriculum for Kindergarten and we really enjoyed it. I planned on using it with Audrey when she was in Kindergarten. My reason for switching last year was because I wanted a curriculum I could easily do with all the children at once. Apologia fulfilled that. However, there were many theories they discuss that I don’t agree with, some paragraphs that I wondered why they were included those were things I could ignore, and censor out. However, what I couldn’t ignore was when Apologia came out with an anti-Mormon statement. It was uncalled for and I refuse to support such a company. I was really sad about this because I did love Apologia, I loved the rich pictures it provided and the easy experiments. But I feel like going back to Sonlight is a good fit for us!

From Sonlight Read Alouds to my own choices: This is simply because there are SO many good books! I poured over a few lists (including Sonlight’s) when choosing our readers, and added a few childhood favorites!

nbts-blog-hop-calendar-2014I’m participating in the Not Back to School Blog Hop!


Preschool Yearbook

Somewhere on Pinterest I cam across someone who made a yearbook for her homeschooled children.

I thought this was a cool idea.

And then I saw someone who scanned all of their children’s art work and put it into a photobook.

I thought this was an awesome idea!

So I combine the two. And got to throw out eighty-one pieces of art work from Sydney’s preschool curriculum.

Yes, eighty-one!


Was it a lot of work to scan in all those pictures? Yes!

Was it worth it? Oh, yes it was. I am so glad to toss out the originals and have a book where they are all saved, along with a bunch of pictures of her preschool days.

And she was so excited that she asked if she could help with the Kindergarten book, which I agreed to. She asks every day how it is coming, which of course there isn’t much to do every day, but she loves it none the less.

When the book arrived I brought it home to a very excited girl who couldn’t wait to look inside it. So Jordan and I cuddled with all three of our babies in our bed (California King, yeah, it’s awesome.) while looking over the pictures. Audrey announced that one of the puzzles that Sydney is doing in a picture is her hippo puzzle, and that she wanted to go to the M&M school too. Haha! Love that girl.

My favorite page is the very first, in which I have this:


The very first time she ever wrote her name.

Memories worth keeping.


Preschool: The Last Day

This last week we had our final Preschool Pack. And it was on farms.

That Monday I went to JoAnn Fabric and found these cute gellies that grow. And they had a farm one!

So we grew our own farm. ๐Ÿ˜‰

On the last day Sydney took Sonlight’s reading test and got bored at the 3rd grade reading level. I was shocked! And super excited/proud. Although we will still be using the 1st grade readers. While she can read the words that she was tested on, she’s still not a confident reader. I’d rather her be confident and enjoy reading than be too challenged and end up frustrated.

Speaking of proud reading moments, we told Sydney to take Hi Ho Cherrio upstairs and put it away. When she came back down stairs she asked, “What’s Ants in the Pants?” We asked her what she was talking about and she told us that on the back of the Hi Ho Cherrio box there were the words “Ants in the Pants” and she wanted to know if it was another game. Yeah, we were pretty proud of her. Jordan said he wanted to go buy her the game just for reading it. There was lots of jumping up and down and dancing around in celebration of Sydney reading something for fun.

After dinner on the very last day of school we took the girls out to Burgerville and ordered two cones and two baby cones. MUCH better price than Baskin Robins ๐Ÿ˜‰

And that’s a wrap on our Preschool year! My wall is now empty, and everything will go back up when school starts. And yes, I’ve already started organizing the Kindergarten stuff.

And the next morning? Sydney asked what we were doing for school. I love that girl.


Ocean Week

This week our theme was Ocean. I half used 1+1+1=1’s Under the Sea pack and half my own pack. I’ll upload it later for your downloading pleasure. :)

Sydney is half a book away from finishing the last book in Bob Books Set 4! Whoo hoo!! So proud of that girl!

The high light for Sydney was making a beaded creation with her Daddy. She was so excited for him to come home and make a fish with her!

Jordan and I both made these growing up, however neither of has the slightest idea of how iron them. The first try didn’t work so he had to remake the thing and then try again. We know better for next time.

Jordan and I were talking about doing a more year-round friendly school. Instead of going September-June and then have 2.5 months off we’d have 2 full months off during the school year (corresponding with family vacations and new babies, or if there aren’t any whatever months we decide) and continue with our 6 weeks on 1 week off schedule. Neither of us find much joy in going places during the summer; it’s HOT and crowded!!

Of course if I do it this way, that means that Kindergarten would start in July! Eeek! Excited but nervous! So we’ll see if I change my mind or not.

Next week is the last week of preschool for Sydney! :)


Still Here

Despite my lack of posts, we are still here and still homeschooling.

Just very tired.

But we’ll talk about Zachary later ๐Ÿ˜‰

In the last three weeks we’ve had 3 packs; Circus, Ballerinas, and Princesses.

Circus was another fun week where we talked about the fun things that we’d see at the circus, we had a tall/small sorting, which Sydney loved.

Ballerina week was interesting. I was reading a book called I Wear My Tutu Everywhere and it was talking about the dance moves that this little girl was doing, and I couldn’t read any of these words (as they were in French) and Sydney would look at the picture, listen to my butchering of the French language and tell me what the dance move is called. Glad she’s learning something in her Ballet/Tap class!!

Princess week was also fun! Sydney loved reading the princess stories, and I really enjoyedThe Paper Bag Princess. I loved the ending (“And they didn’t get married. The End.”)

On our last day of school this week I gave Audrey a magnet page and the magnets, she LOVED getting to do school just like her big sister. She even insisted one erasing the white board when we were done, a job that is normally Sydney’s.


And lastly, we had a new student this week! Baby Zachary sat in his bumbo and watched us do school. He even learned something! He learned to coo!! We were working on our reading lessons and all of a sudden he is cooing and smiling at us. We took a brief break to take pictures and make funny faces at him. :)DSC_3227

Two more weeks of school!


Outer Space!

This week our theme was on Outer Space.

Sydney loved the words associated with space (alien, moon, star, rocket ship, etc) and enjoyed learning a little about space.

My husband teased me about telling her that Pluto is a planet. I reminded him that 1) I honestly don’t care if Pluto was re categorized as a “dwarf planet” and 2) the books we read were pre-dwarf-planet. But in our There’s No Place Like Space! book they didn’t include Pluto!

Poor Pluto. :(

We also did a few exercises in following instructions.

The first was building a rocket ship. Since the point of these following activities is following directions, and not cutting things out (which she becomes frustrated with) I cut out all the pieces. She was shown a picture of what the rocket ship is suppose to look like, and then had to build it herself.


And then the next part was called Read and Do, so there were words on the page, and she was read them and then paste the corresponding picture on it. The words were moon, earth, rocket, and star (x7.) She LOVED this activity. I didn’t get a picture though. :(

She finished off set 3 of Bob Books last week, and she flew through the first two books of set 4. She has to read the book to Jordan in order to pass it off, and she usually stalls, gets distracted and it usually takes two different days to get through the book, because will take her an hour. Daddy is too distracting, I guess ๐Ÿ˜‰ But she flew right through the second book with no issues, so yey!! We are trying to build her confidence in reading right now. We’ve had to become mean parents and not nod our heads or tell her she got the word correct. We only correct when she didn’t get it and ask her to try again. And then we lay the compliments on really thick at the end of the page. And give high fives on hard words or new words. It seems to be helping!


The Letter Z

Ooops! It’s not Friday. You will all forgive me, right?

This week we finished off our Letter of the Week Curriculum!

Z was for Zebra.

Our coconut tree is complete, AND I had all the letters done before we were to put the Letter Z on it. I’m impressed with myself ๐Ÿ˜‰dsc_2799-e1335718523167

We also read Chicka Chicka Boom Boom for the last time. I debated putting the book in the Preschool Box and not reading it again until Audrey does preschool. After reading the book 26 times since August I’ve decided to pack it away. Besides, if the kids miss it, Sydney and I have it memorized, we can just recite it! ๐Ÿ˜‰


Sydney finished off the last book in Bob Book Set 3, so we will start on Set 4 on Monday. I’m so proud of that girl!! We have started taking off some of the words on our sight word list, some of the words that were in the first few books.

And the most important lesson we learned this week? Hide the jelly beans!!


School isn’t over yet, we have another 6 weeks to go. Our first themed pack is on Space. I’m looking forward to it! :)

(Linked up at Grateful For Grace)