Agent Homeschooling 2015-2016: Week 1

After briefly considering taking a full summer break like last year, we decided to dive back into things this week. We officially kicked off the 2015-2016 school year on Wednesday (1 July) with a 4th grader, 2nd grader, and kindergartener.

For our initial week we took it slow . . . just math, language arts, physical education, and a little science. Math and LA and PE are our “every day” subjects. Others (like science, along with geography, history, health, art, and music) are done a few times a week. We don’t really have an exact schedule nailed down just yet. Heck, I don’t even have half of our materials yet.
My stylish students, goofing around on day 2
Math: Agent E (grade 4) is still working through some of her Brain Quest Grade 3 workbook, so she completed a handful of math pages from that. Agent J (grade 2) reviewed some basic addition and subtraction. We also read and discussed Sir Cumference and the Isle of Immeter, a selection from one of my favorite book series for homeschooling.

Language Arts: Both Senior Agents worked with nouns, including identification, compound words, and spelling irregular plurals. We read several grammar books dedicated to nouns and spelling, including four from Brian P. Cleary, another of my go-to non-fiction authors. As usual, both girls read quite a bit independently as well.

Physical Education: In spite of a rainy forecast, we managed to play outside twice a day, every day. (Our goal is a minimum of two hours each day, weather permitting.) We also tried a new local playground, but that didn’t work out so well. (No shade and too difficult for me to keep track of A.) While most of our PE “curriculum” is of the let’s go outside and play randomly in the back yard variety, the Senior Agents have taken an interest in designing an actual running/jogging program. Now, I don’t run, but Dear Hubby does. We’re going to have to come up with a plan that is feasible for them to follow. Stay tuned.

Science: One of our major topics for science this year is going to be human evolution. (This was an Agent E request; she’s been fascinated ever since our visit to the National Museum of Natural History last year.) We started with the book Prehistoric People, and already have several more out of the library ready to go. Also hoping to make it to the American Museum of Natural History in NYC this year as well. 

Kindergarten: We’ve pretty much established that Agent A’s kindergarten year will likely look a lot like Agent J’s kindergarten year. To this end, we really only “worked on” reading this week, plus a bit on writing letters and numbers. (Driveway + chalk is great for this.) We have several “early reader” books out of the library, and have been making our way through the pile. Mostly, he likes to be read to, which is great, but he is also starting to be able to read some simple texts on his own; he can typically make it through about 50% to 75% of a “level one” text. 

{Side note: Agent A won’t be five until November, but the K cutoff for our state is December first, so we decided to give it a shot this year. For homeschooling purposes, we don’t have to report anything this year, so even if it’s a total bust, it won’t “count.” I think he will do fine, though.}

This week I was also introduced to the wonder that is scanning books into Goodreads with my iPhone. I now have a Goodreads account with separate “shelves” for each Agent’s independent reading list and each individual subject. As we go through hundreds of books each year—and I kind of have this teensy obsession with keeping track of all of them—this will be immensely useful to me.

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