Homeschooling Notes, July 2013

Okay, so the title of this post is really boring, but I wanted to start a monthly log of sorts where I write out what we accomplished in our homeschooling each month. Hopefully some of you that also homeschool will find a few of the links/resources in this post helpful. 

The majority of the post is what we worked on with Agent E (second grade). While Agent J (kindergarten) is usually right there with us, I don't really have a curriculum planned out specifically for her per se. (I did, however, add a little blurb at the end about some things we've done.)


Our focus this month was on multiplication (multiplying by 0-10) and measurement. Since Agent E loves a good worksheet, we used these animal times tables from KidZone. This of course was in addition to our usual plethora of Kindle math games and use of Legos as math manipulatives. 

Agent E also enjoyed measuring everything she could find around the house, including Agents J and A (45 inches and 36.5 inches, respectively).

Messing around with homemade goo

Hard truth realized for Momma this month: Agent E does not like writing. I love writing . . . the actual stringing of words together, making it all sound just right, being all grammar geeky, the works. E would prefer to read a book. 

Oh, she likes to tell stories, and has a great vocabulary and can spell, but . . . no interest in physically writing stuff down. Her handwriting leaves a lot to be desired and she prefers to answer any comprehension questions orally. She tells me, I just want to talk about it. The writing part is boring. Le sigh.

But, read books she did. Her reading list for the month of July has 45 books on it. It does not count books we used specifically for curriculum (like a science book you might read sections of or use for reference but not necessarily read cover to cover). These are all books she read completely through by herself at least once. Of the 45, about a dozen are chapter books (75-80-ish pages) and several are the higher numbers of the "leveled" readers. Many others are just for fun kind of books she enjoyed reading to J and A (e.g., based on Disney Junior shows or another character). A lot are based on Star Wars. (Yes; we're still obsessed.) I should add that the 45 are just books we had out of the library. I have no idea how many books on her own bookshelf she also read (or re-read) last month.


Our main science topics for July were the human body and animals. For our lessons on the body, we love this KidsHealth website from Nemours. The human body books we had out of the library this month were mainly about the heart and the blood. 

In addition to our fabulous Target dollar section animal workbook finds, we've spent a lot of time on National Geographic Kids and downloaded some printables from

Julia (and the Little People) with part of our library stash
Social Studies

This month we looked at world geography and famous landmarks around the world. We didn't spend as much time on either as we had hoped, so we will be continuing with both for August. 

In addition to the huge play room wall maps (best purchase ever), we took several children's atlases and books about reading maps out of the library. We also started another Target dollar section workbook (notice a trend here?) and found some great info at and Worksheet Works

Agent E also enjoyed some great Kindle games, learning world capitals as well as where all the countries are on the map. (Embarrassing side note: She's way better at this than I am.)

One thing we're looking to expand on for August are the seven wonders of the world. And yes; I had to look them up. Also, I had no idea there is actually now an "original" list and a "modern" list. (Who's the student here?)


For this month we looked at classical music . . . we listened to it in the car (everything from Mozart to Handel to John Williams conducts Star Wars) and watched the original Fantasia. We learned about the different types of instruments in the orchestra with help from TLS Books and composers with Making Music Fun

We also discovered two great online resources for teaching kids about classical music: Classics for Kids and Sphinx Kids .

We will likely continue to work our way through our collection of classical CDs in the car. (Really, it's been all we've listened to in the car for a while now anyway.)

Agent A waiting patiently for Agent E to finish her swim lesson
Agent J (Kindergarten Fun!)

We don't (yet) do a whole lot structured with Agent J. Unlike Agent E at age five, who was all over printouts and plans and such, Agent J prefers to play. Which is great, because that's exactly what she needs to be doing right now. She has taken more of an interest in learning to write (and has started getting all the letters facing the right way) but that's her choice and not really an "assignment" of any kind. 

Like with Agent E, I keep a reading list for her as well. For July this included around ten books (e.g., BOB books, early readers at level one/two) that we looked at together. I would estimate she can read about 80-90% of the text on her own; some she still needs me to prompt her. Oddly, though, every once in a while she'll grab a book from the library (or Agent E's stack) that I think is kind of beyond her capabilities and read it with almost no assistance.

And that was pretty much our July homeschooling in a nutshell. Looking at it like this I'm not sure if it seems like we did a lot or basically nothing.


  1. Sounds like a great line up! Do you guys school year round?

    1. Yes, and we just kind of "break" whenever it happens (usually based on Hubby's schedule or traveling). So, we pretty much go year-round non-stop, just slow down a bit when we need to. I started out (when E was in kindergarten) with this brilliant plan of going every 6-8 weeks and then taking a scheduled week off. The first one we got to she was like, What are you doing? What happened to school? Why aren't we doing school anymore? Um, yeah. So now we just do it. :-) Thanks so much for stopping by.