Friday, October 17, 2014

Weeks 3 and 4: Learning On the Go

After a very hopeful June, July, and August . . . where I almost acted like a Real Live Blogger and wrote posts and shared things on social media and commented on other writers' posts and everything . . . this September and October I've turned into the World's Biggest Blogging Slacker.

Oh, I have tons of excuses as to why, but I know no one really missed me, so I'll just move on. Ahem.

We have been away from home for the last ten days, visiting my mom in Pennsylvania. (Long story short, my dad is very ill and not going to recover and we were going crazy being a state away feeling like we were just waiting around for bad news. So I threw the Agents and Fluffy in the car and made a quick, easy 500-mile trip. That last part is a lie.)
Senior Agents chilling at the hotel on our trip here
But, we have managed to do school on the road, and we may have even learned a few things the past two weeks.

Both girls have been working on their math . . . Agent J is getting much better with doing simple addition and subtraction in her head, and Agent E has been practicing multiplication tables and basic division. Some fractions, and multiplying of larger numbers, but we discovered we need some review before we get too far with that. 

For language arts we looked at synonyms and antonyms and homonyms and homophones. Brian Cleary has a very cool website for learning about grammar.

We're still obsessed with states, and capitals, and maps. Agent E likes me to "quiz" her on the state capitals and other things. Found some cool books about maps and globes and geography at the library that we brought with us. 

(Our library has a four-week borrowing limit, and then you can still renew online after that unless it's on hold, so we brought a ton of books with us.)

We are trying to get back on track with our space study. This super cool graphic helped to renew the Agents' interest. (And it kind of blew their minds in the process.)

Last weekend was Star Wars Reads Day, and we had to attend. Came home with a few new books (which we hardly ever do, we just use the library). But, it was super fun and there were cupcakes.

Vader is Agent A's favorite
PE class has mostly been in the back yard, although we did make it to a local park one day this week as well. (Where I ran over a nail. And, now I need a new tire. And, grrr.)

Of course, traveling in general opens up all sorts of potential tangents for "school" time. And, we follow all of them, because, well, it's what we do.

Overall we've been moving pretty slow compared to the first two weeks of the school year, but still plugging along. 

Hope you are having a lovely week.

Thanks so much for stopping by today. I would love to connect on FacebookTwitterGoogle+Pinterest, or Bloglovin. I can also be reached via e-mail at mommainprogress (at) gmail (dot) com.

Linking up with the Weekly Wrap-Up at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Finding Our (New) Groove

We are settling in to our new home and our new school year, trying to find our way around and attempting to meet other humans. So far, so good . . . although we still have some unpacking to do. Tell me I'm not the only one who takes weeks, um, months, to get everything the way I want it?

Here's a little about what we did this week, by subject. Both Agents follow the same "plan" even though they are two grade levels apart (3rd and 1st). We adjust as needed as we go along.

Math: Agent E continued to work on adding/subtracting three- and four-digit numbers. Agent J asked to do addition from her new workbook every day. (Um, who is this kid?) Agent J is also learning how to tell time (analog and digital, 12-hour and 24-hour clock). That's more of a work in progress, though.

Language Arts: Another trip to the library meant another huge selection of books to read through. I have kind of given up keeping track of how much time they spend on independent reading, but I still keep book lists for each of them. Both worked on their writing, and we also talked about the difference between common and proper nouns. Agent E is showing a renewed interest in cursive writing; not sure where that will lead. 

Geography: We finally hung up our giant world and US maps. Right now we're still discussing the continents and oceans and doing more "big picture" stuff. We introduced lines on the globe/map (e.g., equator, prime meridian) and what they mean. We decided to start studying individual states more in-depth again . . . we plan to take out books for a "state of the week" project the next time we visit the library. 

Agent A in action
History: In addition to the inevitable overlap with geography, we are also trying to tie in more "lessons" with the historical fiction stories the girls are reading. We also introduced the pledge of allegiance and talked a bit about the flag. Seemed to fit in well since the biography we were reading most recently was Betsy Ross.

Science: Our space study kind of took a seat on the back burner this week. Although, Agent J found a random science book at the library that she insisted on bringing home . . . I think the only reason is because it was titled Feel the Force and she was like, ooh! Just like Star Wars! We ended up reading it a couple of times and the Agents really enjoyed it.

Health: One of our focus points for this quarter is on basic first aid. We found a book about babysitting that discussed a lot of the issues we wanted to bring up, so that's what we used. It also addressed some other issues we intend to cover, like safety around the house and in the community. This is one of those things that ends up being more of an ongoing conversation than a lesson, per se. 

Music: Found a couple of wonderful books on different music genres, including one that came with a CD so we can listen to samples. The Agents love music and have talked about wanting lessons, but . . . eh. I'm not sure any of them are ready.

Art: We are starting by looking at the basic elements of art (line, color, etc.). Of course, with the Agents the ages they are, "art" in our house usually means random and messy creative-ness. One thing I try to stress is that there are no "mistakes" or "doing it wrong" when it comes to art. This is especially important for my oldest, who tends to be a bit of a perfectionist with certain things.

PE: We found an awesome new playground and went not once, but twice, this week. One of the days I even met a fellow homeschooling Momma. Yeah! 

Hope you all had a lovely week!

Thanks so much for stopping by today. I would love to connect on FacebookTwitterGoogle+Pinterest, or Bloglovin. I can also be reached via e-mail at mommainprogress (at) gmail (dot) com.

Linking up with the Weekly Wrap-Up at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

Friday, September 26, 2014

New State, New School Year, New Madness

We officially began our 2014-2015 school year on 15 September. So, technically we have completed two full weeks, although the first one was quite honestly kind of a blur, because we also moved into our new house that week. Following is a little about what we've done so far.

Week one we mostly spent trying to wrap our brains around homeschooling in a new state, organizing the school/play room, and going over our chosen curriculum ideas

We talked a lot about what kinds of things we'll be working on for this first quarter, gave a lot of impromptu "home ec" lessons on setting up a house, and got library cards. Mostly we just eased ourselves into our new routine and explored the area a bit. As usual, the Agents did a lot of independent reading as well. 

We're just going to call that one Life Skills Week and move on.

This week we got down to business with more "school-ish" stuff and a regular plan. 
Agent J and a crazy fountain, just because.
For math, Agent E (3rd) worked on adding and subtracting three- and four-digit numbers (with carrying and borrowing) and word problems. Agent J (1st) worked on greater than/less than and telling time.

For language arts we are learning about parts of speech. This week we focused on nouns, conjunctions, and prefixes (which I know aren't really parts of speech, but humor me). Once again we are using the Words Are CATegorical book series by Brian Cleary. Both girls also practiced their writing.

We began our geography studies by learning about the continents and oceans. Our goal is to become familiar with where the countries and bodies of water and mountains and islands and such are (big picture) and then start studying one country per week. I'm sure it would probably help if we unpacked our world map and hung it up. ;-)

We decided to read biographies of famous Americans as part of our US history studies. We are starting with George Washington and Betsy Ross. Our new library has a whole wall devoted to biographies, so we may just work our way through randomly.

Once again we're talking about outer space (per Agent J's request). Didn't really do much this week other than read a book or two, but this is a topic we come back to often. Have I mentioned that Agent J's current chosen career aspiration is Author Astronaut? (Writing books about space, from space. Yeah, I know.)

Trying to introduce some basic first aid skills for health this quarter. We've been reading about common illnesses and injuries and brainstorming ideas for self-care. 

We ended up doing some work on Friday (today) even though we fully intend to implement our four day school week going forward. I don't really feel like we're in our groove yet, and I'm hoping to feel more accomplished at the end of next week than I do at the end of this one.

Happy weekend, everyone!

Thanks so much for stopping by today. I would love to connect on FacebookTwitterGoogle+Pinterest, or Bloglovin. I can also be reached via e-mail at mommainprogress (at) gmail (dot) com.

Linking up with the Weekly Wrap-Up at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.