29 June 2015

2014-2015 School Review: Health and Physical Education

Okay, last one. This is my final recap post of our 2014-2015 school year (1st/3rd).

{You can also check out the reviews for mathlanguage artsgeographyhistoryscience, and art/music.}


Health topics we studied

  • fire and arson prevention and safety
  • bicycle safety
  • highway safety and traffic regulations
  • alcohol, drug, and tobacco misuse
  • safety in the home
  • safety in the community
  • basic first aid
  • immune system and vaccines
  • human body

The first four items are mandated in our state regulations; they must be covered each year K-12. Our human body study was not as in-depth this year, although it’s a topic we come back to frequently and will cover more next year.

One of our favorite go-to resources for health topics is KidsHealth from Nemours. The Agents love playing around on the site and watching the videos. We also attended a journey through the human body event in the spring.

Really, though, a lot of our health “studies” are simply talking about issues as they come up, and making sure the Agents understand the importance of things like staying safe in different situations, regular well visits, healthy eating, sleep, taking care of teeth, and keeping current on immunizations.

Books we read

  • AMA Handbook of First Aid and Emergency Care edited by Italo Subbarao, Jim Lyznicki, and James J. James
  • Babysitting Safety: Preventing Accidents and Injuries by Barbara Mehlman
  • Health and Safety by Time-Life Books
  • Human Body: A Book With Guts! by Dan Green
  • I Know How We Fight Germs by Kate Rowan
  • My Health: Vaccinations by Dr. Alvin Silverstein, Virginia Silverstein, and Laura Silverstein Nunn
  • Ready, Set, Grow! by Lynda Madaras
  • The Care and Keeping of You: The Body Book for Girls by American Girl Publishing
  • The Miracle of Immunity by William L. Donnellan
  • You Can’t Take Your Body To a Repair Shop by Harriet Ziefert and Fred Ehrlich

How the Agents stay fit


Right now the Agents do not participate in any group sports or similar pastimes. They do play outside (weather permitting) each day. This past year they developed an interest in yoga, jump rope, and running. Mostly we just try to stay active and move as much as possible during the day. 

{Truth: I find it difficult to quantify PE on our quarterly reports. There has been such a trend toward organized athletics and fitness activities for kids, that implying that they are “just” playing often doesn’t seem enough. Of course, I know it is, but it’s weird to have to write it down in terms that sound “school-ish."}

What did you students cover for health and PE this year?

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2014-2015 School Review: Art and Music

Getting close to the end of this series of posts about the last school year. Today I’m going to review what we covered for art and music. I’m making these two subjects one combined post because, truthfully, they simply did not get the same attention that other subjects did this year.

 {You can also check out our recaps of mathlanguage artsgeography, history and science.}


What we did (and might do next)


We read interesting books about styles, artists, drawing, and film. The Agents created their own art (with clay, paint, markers, chalk, paper). They also like to illustrate their own books.

We are tentatively considering a traveling outdoor art class this summer. It’s reasonably priced and I think the Senior Agents would love it, but that means I’m corralling Agent A for 1.5 hours at random outside places, so . . . hmm. Still thinking about it.

On our trip to Washington, D.C. we visited the American Art Museum (although the Agents were not terribly impressed with this). We also took several strolls through the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden, which they found much more to their liking.

We also came home from our latest Disney cruise with a copy of Learn to Draw Mickey Mouse and His Friends, which has been a big hit.

We read about musical instruments, composers, and musical time periods and genres. We listened to samples of different types of music, and even watched a movie about Beethoven (Beethoven Lives Upstairs).

The Agents actually like listening to classical music, and so we have it on in the car frequently and downloaded several pieces from Amazon, in addition to the several CDs we already owned. I would actually like to get into the habit of playing music in the background while we do our “sit down” work each day.

Agent E started practicing on a recorder, and learning the basics of reading music. We have a long way to go on this one, but the interest level is there for learning and instrument so we will likely pursue this next year.

We enjoyed these websites as well: Making Music Fun, Classics for Kids, and Sphinx Kids.

Art Book List


  • A Child’s Book of Play in Art by Lucy Micklethwait
  • A Is for Art: Abstract Alphabet by Stephen T. Johnson
  • Backstage at an Animated Series by Danny Fingeroth
  • Cool Drawing: The Art of Creativity for Kids by Anders Hanson
  • Frida Kahlo: Painting Her Life by Lila and Rick Guzman
  • Frida Kahlo: The Artist Who Painted Herself by Margaret Frith
  • How the Sphinx Got to the Museum by Jessie Hartland
  • Leonardo Da Vinci: Art for Children by Ernest Raboff
  • My Art Book: Amazing Art Projects Inspired by Masterpieces by DK Publishing
  • My Art Book: Animals by DK Publishing
  • Pablo Picasso: Breaking All the Rules by True Kelley
  • Star Wars Complete Locations (multiple authors)
  • Star Wars Trilogy by James Luceno
  • Star Wars: The Ultimate Visual Guide by Ryder Windham
  • The Usborne Art Treasury by Rosie Dickins
  • Where in the World? Around the Globe in 13 Works of Art by Bob Raczka

Music Book List


  • Ah, Music! by Aliki
  • Beethoven Lives Upstairs by Barbara Nichol
  • Children’s Book of Music (with CD) by DK Publishing
  • Is the Guitar for You? by Elaine Landau
  • Johann Sebastian Bach by Paule du Bouchet
  • Mozart: The Wonder Child by Diane Stanley
  • Music: An A-Z Guide by Nicola Barber
  • My Little House Songbook by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • Sebastian: A Book About Bach by Jeanette Winter
  • What Makes an Orchestra by Jan Balet

How do you introduce art and music in your home?

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I would love to connect on FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+Instagram, or Bloglovin.
I can also be reached via e-mail at mommainprogress {at} gmail {dot} com.