Contact

Carrie Barker and Paige Kirsch run Academics 1st with collaboration from Laura Short. We are master teachers who are dedicated to the education of our students.

​​

Carrie Barker: (512) 363-6256

barker.firelight@gmail.com

Paige Kirsch: (832) 797-1725​ 

paige.kirsch6@gmail.com

Academics 1st

Course descriptions

Early Morning
Workshop

Hybrid Session (9:00-10:30) Level 4

Morning Session (10:30-12:00) Level 3

Only Session (12:00-1:30) Level 2

Only Session (1:30-3:00) Level 1

Afternoon Session (3:00-4:30) Level 3

Level 1

  • Grammar intensives

  • Vocabulary from Greek and Latin Roots

  • Sentence diagramming and deconstructing

  • Writing Foundations

  • Introduction to Expository Writing

  • Creative Writing

  • Introduction to reading comprehension of charts, graphs, and other metrics

  • Handwriting 

Level 2

  • Introduction into AP/IB texts

  • Reading Comprehension for SAT prep

  • Editing writing samples

  • Grammar and sentence structures

  • Vocabulary from Greek and Latin Roots

  • Analyzing and comprehending research-based texts

  • Research writing

  • Creating and interpreting charts, graphs, and other metrics

  • Creative Writing

  • What is Plagiarism?

  • SAT Reading Comprehension Skill per month

Level 3

  • Emphasis towards AP/IB texts

  • Reading Comprehension for SAT prep

  • Editing writing samples

  • Grammar and sentence structures

  • Vocabulary from Greek and Latin Roots

  • Analyzing and comprehending research-based texts

  • Research writing

  • Creating and interpreting charts, graphs, and other metrics

  • Creative Writing

  • What is Plagiarism?

  • SAT Reading Comprehension Skill per month

Level 4

  • Completion of AP/IB texts at college standards

  • Reading Comprehension for SAT prep

  • Editing advanced writing samples

  • Grammar and sentence structures

  • Advanced Vocabulary from Greek and Latin Roots

  • Analyzing and comprehending research-based texts

  • Creative Writing

  • What is Plagiarism?

  • SAT Reading Comprehension Skill per month

 

Topics of study

Creative Writing

Students will learn the elements of great storytelling by analyzing a classical author’s stylistic writing devices. With repeated mastery of great writing techniques from timeless literature,  students will gain confidence to craft a well-written short story by the end of the week. Students will learn the importance of Ideas, Organization, Word Choice, Sentence Fluency while developing their own writing voice.  This course help students understand the habits and disciples needed to become life-long writers.

Grammar

 

Students will learn grammar is a way of thinking which leads to developing stronger writing by understanding the parts of speech, sentence parts, various sentence phrase, and sentence types. Young Scholars will focus on analyzing foundational grammar by building their own grammar book followed with an end-of-week grammar bee.  Middle Scholars will focus on creative phrasing needed in building sentence fluency in writing. This course will prepare students for Duke Tip, PSAT, SAT/ ACT.

Public Speaking

 

This introduction will reinforce many of the stylistic devices found in writing by covering the foundations of rhetoric.  Games and activities will be designed to increase confidence and engage an audience. Students will analyze a dynamic speech from history  and apply those techniques to writing and presentation. This course will help students understand the importance of effective oral and written communication.

REading Comprehension

 

Students will learn the foundational reading skills of word recognition, vocabulary, development, and basic comprehension. To improve reading skills, students practice their writing skills as reading and writing are related skills needed for success.  Older Scholars will learn to vary and accelerate reading rates to improve comprehension and to read for pleasure. Additionally, this course will prepare students for standardized test reading strategies.

SAT Prep

 

Students in Levels 2-4 will learn fundamental skills required to succeed while taking the SAT and college tests. Academics first prepares students by using SAT test passages and questions to get students familiar with the college style of assessment. Additionally, students are challenged to learn SAT level vocabulary, grammar, and reading comprehension skills.

AP/IB TExts

 

Students are prepared for the most rigorous courses public schools in the area have to offer by using advanced passages as our text choices of study. We believe that if you raise the standard of excellence, children will rise higher in performance. Therefore, we equip our students with the tools needed to perform at the highest level of reading comprehension and text analysis. 

Research

 

Students will learn about credible sources, various methods of citing sources, and how to construct a proper lab report. Students will write discussions and introductions that use in-text citations with endnotes, and will learn how to format and organize research to make it comparable to college level scientific writing. 

Metrics

 

Schools no longer properly teach how to use programs to create graphs or sort data tables. Students will become familiar with constructing various graphs and data tables to express their research. Student will determine lines of best fit, discuss whether mean, median, or mode would best describe our research, create conditional formatting on spreadsheets, and design various charts and graphs. 

Handwriting

 

This course will help students improve legible handwriting using exercises to develop eye hand coordination.  Students will discover the importance of neat, readable handwriting for standardized tests and effective communication.