17 October 2015

Agent Homeschooling 2015-2016: Week 16

We had a four-day week here; we did not do any formal work on Monday (Columbus Day in the US) because Hubby was off work and my FIL was visiting. Of course, it never quite makes sense for us to say we didn’t “do” school on any given day, because the Agents are always doing something. We went to the playground (PE), Agent E practiced her keyboard (music), both Agents read quite a bit (LA), and we watched a Netflix show about animals (science) that evening. 

On Thursday we went to the monthly homeschool workshop at our Barnes and Noble. (They are pretty cool; definitely check to see if your local store does one.) Attendance tends to be light at ours, but this particular week Agent E and Agent J were the only participants. They didn’t mind, and learned about electricity and built their own circuits. Agent J decided she was done after the lesson and one practice round, but Agent E stayed and chatted with the facilitator and made a few more. Agent A read me Elephant and Piggie books while we waited.

Last night we headed to one of the girls’ favorite monthly events: American Girl club. I think it originally started as a book club, but to allow younger girls to participate they made it more of an activity with a discussion and a craft. They use ideas from both the historical fiction stories (e.g., a craft based around something the characters would have done or seen) as well as the nonfiction selections (e.g., they might talk about being a good friend and what you can do if you witness bullying). 

Sometimes it’s just hard to remember everything we did for “school” by Friday/Saturday, because even though we have a basic plan, we end up following a lot of rabbit holes. Also, my memory: not so good. Here’s a quick summary of what I think we worked on (ahem): 

My current favorite picture of the three Agents
Math: two-digit addition (Agent J, 2nd), Life of Fred Jelly Beans (Agent E, 4th) multiplication tables (both), place value (Agent J), Brain Quest math (Agent E, a page a day).

Language Arts: started review of grammar covered so far, Brain Quest reading/writing sections (Agent E, a page a day), more on suffixes, lots of independent reading (currently Agent E is reading Nancy Drew: The Sign of the Twisted Candles and Agent J is reading The Multiplying Menace: A Magic Repair Shop Book)

Spanish: review of what we’ve covered so far, then an introduction to colors, food, animals, and clothes

Geography: hot springs and geysers, Yellowstone National Park (which they of course now want to visit)

History: continued our look at different world religions (Buddhism) and read two Indonesian folk tales (just because we like folk tales and it dovetailed nicely with the music study)

Science: plugged along further in our evolution book (still primarily discussing genes), developed new interest in electricity courtesy of the aforementioned homeschool workshop (I see Snap Circuits in our future), and watched a few animal-related documentaries and Bill Nye episodes

Health: still talking about germs this week . . . will likely begin a more in-depth look at the immune system soon, all three Agents got flu vaccines this week as well

Art/Music: looked at landscapes (and intended to make our own, but the short week got away from us) and the gamelan (Indonesian orchestra), Agent E practiced keyboard and did a little music study independently (Because I’m not musically inclined, I bought her a teach-yourself book, printed some learn-to-read-music pages she enjoys working on, and pretty much said if you want to learn this you’re on your own, kid. She is having fun with it.)

We signed up recently to get e-mails from Our Little Earth, and the Agents have been enjoying them. It comes every other Friday and provides a child-friendly summary of current events around the world. This issue included Nobel prize winners, the World Monuments watch list, and the Beard and Mustache championships, among other notable events.

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