Homeschooling Notes, March 2014

I never really wrote a summary of any kind for February, unless you count what I shared in this day in the life post. In January I still thought I was going to be All On Top Of Things and writing weekly updates. That didn’t last long, and the last one I wrote was for the third and fourth weeks of the month. (Yes; I had to combine them. See? I couldn’t even do that right.)

Anyhoo . . . I think that monthly updates are more my speed, and they are also easier to write and make coherent, as we tend to take more of a long view when it comes to schooling around here. It’s hard to parse exactly what we do day-to-day and week-to-week, but when I look at a larger chunk of time (like a whole month) I can sit back and say, hey . . . we did actually learn stuff.


We are continuing to work through the third grade math workbook we started in December. This month we reviewed multiplication and division facts, as well as estimating, greater than/less than, and place value.


Not as much reading happened this month compared to others. Oh, she still read about 15 fiction books (averaging one every two days) but in months past that number has been more like 30. I think the renewed interest in the outdoors (of not just Agent E, but all three) contributed to this. Some of the time she would have normally been in her room reading (e.g., late morning, or early afternoon following lunch) she has been in the back yard instead.

I think I’ve also come to the conclusion that her “dislike” of writing is not that she doesn’t enjoy the process of stringing words and stories together itself, but that she does not like the physical act of writing. She might be holding the pencil weird, or just not enjoy the actual fine motor movement of printing, or tense up for whatever reason. I don’t know what (if anything) to do about this. Maybe I just need to teach her how to type.

The Agents have been doing this a lot

For science we had this crazy idea that we would study every topic mentioned in Here Comes Science. We quickly realized this was too many subjects, so we concentrated on just a few: the color spectrum, cells, and the scientific method. We also spent a good deal of time talking/reading about dental hygiene and taking care of the teeth. (And yes, it included a semi-disastrous trip to the dentist, probably worth a post of its own.)

Social Studies

We had kind of a lofty goal this month to study both the War of 1812 and WWII . . . and we only got to one of them. It’s really hard to get into the details of war with a 7-year-old. I never really quite know what is enough vs. too much information. But, she can tell you who the U.S. fought in the war of 1812, what we were fighting over, and how long it lasted. (Which is probably more than many adults know.) We also spent some time talking about what the (very young) United States was like at that period in history. Agent E was particularly fascinated and amused by the options (or lack thereof) for communicating and traveling across continents.


Agent E once again renewed her interest in film production. We’ve been reading books on movie magic and special effects and watching some YouTube videos that show behind the scenes of some familiar shows. We even found a book of annotated scripts of the original Star Wars trilogy that we followed along with. I also gave the Senior Agents our old video camera and let them have at it. Results were predictably hilarious. 


Agent J continues to expand her reading list . . . she is now reading some of the same fiction books Eva read at the end of first grade/beginning of second grade. She spends lots of time playing outside, creating art in various forms, and, you know, being five. She is also working on her own comic book, which I cannot wait to see.

Up for April

For math we are going to concentrate on adding and subtracting larger numbers (up to four digits, with carrying and borrowing). We will continue to work on writing in some capacity . . . maybe I will try a typing lesson. For science we are going to return to our study of the human body. We’ll try to get back to World War II and likely continue our study of movies as well. I may even try to show Agent E how to use some of the movie editing functions on iMovie, but that might be a bit much right now.

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