Agent Homeschooling 2015-2016: Week 3

Today we wrap up week three of the current school year (our second full week, having started on 1 July) for 4th, 2nd, and K. Here’s a little about what we did.

Senior Agents on one of our many walks around town
Math: We’re excited that the next round of Life of Fred books I reserved at the library are ready for pickup. Both girls have really enjoyed this series so far. I don’t know if I would use it as a stand-alone for math studies, but it’s definitely a fun supplement. We’ve been working on nailing down some basic math facts with Agent J (2nd), not in a drilling sort of way, but just trying to show her that building on what we’re doing now will be a lot easier if she knows addition and subtraction combos up to at least 20 off the top of her head. Agent E (4th) is continuing to plow through what’s left of the math sections from her Brain Quest 3 book. 

Language Arts: This week we covered verbs (action verbs, linking verbs, tense). Agent E (4th) has an LA workbook she uses daily, although I don’t have a specific LA workbook for Agent J (2nd) just yet. They also worked together on a few printables from Worksheet Works {dot} com. Agent E is in the middle of the next Harry Potter book (book 5) and Agent J’s current read is an OMG (Oh My Godmother) selection. A quick look at our GoodReads page and I see that they’ve read a combined 40 books since we started our account 29 June. (Just independent reading, not counting “school” books.)

Reading time with Agent A
Geography: We started reading Geography: A Visual Encyclopedia. It begins, well, at the beginning; the first pages are about the formation of the solar system. So we also read a book detailing more about the Big Bang, which the Agents found fascinating. 

Science/History: In our human evolution and early history studies, we are now “up to” about 3000 BCE. This week we read about Otzi the Iceman and cave paintings in Lascaux, France. We also attempted a science experiment involving soap that was an epic fail, watched a few more episodes from the Disney Science of Imagineering series, and attended science day at the local bookstore.

Agent C, window kitty and official school mascot
Health: We began our chosen health spine book for the year, Human Body: A Visual Encyclopedia, but didn’t really get too far into many specifics. It was interesting to me that the first pages discuss how ancient cultures interpreted what goes on in the body, which fits in nicely with our studies of early history.

PE: Running after dinner turned out to be not such a great idea, so we’re trying to work on a new plan where we run during the day before it gets too hot. We have been doing a lot more walking, though, and hit two playgrounds this week. It was also a pretty rain-free few days, so we made it outside every day. I think their fascination with yoga is making a comeback as well, so we’ll see how that plays out.

Kindergarten: Agent A’s (K) independent reading skills are improving. I would say he’s progressed to being able to read about 80-90% of a level one reader without prompting. He’s also a big fan of spelling, which cracks me up because the girls were the same way at his age . . . constantly asking how to spell random words. We incorporate a little math into play time with Legos, but mostly he’s more into reading right now. (His sisters were the same in that respect, too.)
Agents J and A in a rare, non-fighting moment
The two subjects we have yet to start are art and music. My hope is to add these into our plan by the end of July. We did order and receive our selected spine books for each, and the Agents have perused them, but we haven’t made any concrete plans with either subject yet. I did, however, find a new book I want to order for Agent E, Help Your Kids With Music, and we are still considering a keyboard purchase in the near future.

Our overall schedule is still a work in progress, so I’m not sure how often we will “do” each subject. We are settling into our intended pattern of “morning” school and “afternoon” school . . . which is really just a way to easily break up the day so we aren’t doing too much structured work in one sitting. The Senior Agents seem to like this system, so we will stick with it for now.

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