Agent Homeschooling 2015-2016: Week 7

Wrapping up week 7 of our homeschooling year for Agent E (4th), Agent J (2nd), and Agent A (K). Since we aren’t really doing much formal work for Agent A, these summary posts typically focus on the older two. (However, I’ll probably post a separate “kindergarten update” sometime soon, in part so I have some notes of my own to look back on at the end of the year.)

Our UU congregation had a special pet remembrance this week, so even though we’ve been slackers on attendance over the summer the Senior Agents and I went and participated. (We just lost our sweet kitty on 4 August.) We also reorganized some of our downstairs spaces (a photo post coming soon!) and went to our local Barnes and Noble for My Little Pony day (always a hit). Went to the park to visit ducks as well. Because, ducks.

Math: We finished up another Life of Fred (Dogs) and also introduced Roman numerals. Both Agents did some math practice worksheets, and played a bit on one of our go-to websites, ABCya.

Language Arts: This week was pronouns. We have three authors of book series about grammar that we love: Brian P. ClearyAnn Heinrichs, and Ruth Heller. They are picture books and kind of silly, but get the point across. We have now covered nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, and pronouns. Each week we also do 2-3 pages of corresponding written work from Worksheet Works {dot} com. Current reads for the girls are Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Agent E) and To Catch a Mermaid (Agent J).

Geography: We are starting to look more specifically at the formation of the earth. It is a topic covered in detail in our geography spine book, so we will likely stick with it for at least another week or two. They’ve already asked if we can make an edible earth, thanks to what we did for science/health this week (see below).

History: Ancient Egypt, pyramids, and mummies are on the agenda for history. We discovered the You Wouldn’t Want To . . . series and the girls think the books are a lot of fun. As with our geography studies, this topic will likely spill over into another week or more. I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before they recruit their little brother to be a mummy and wrap him in toilet paper.

We also finished up the book Remember the Ladies, brief biographies of 100 important women in American history. This opened up a very interesting discussion about why we hadn’t ever heard of many of them and why most depictions of U.S. history tend to be dominated by men. They are truly flabbergasted by how many things women were not “permitted” to do in relatively recent history.

Science/Health: This week we talked about cells as the basic building blocks of all life. Then we built an edible animal cell model out of cake and candy. Mmm . . . science is tasty.

Art/Music: After much back and forth, I decided that trying to fit in specific lessons for both art and music every week is too much in our schedule. I don’t want to short-change either (I felt that way a lot last year) and I think the best way to do this is to focus on one at a time. I thought about making them half-year courses (i.e., art for the first and second quarters, then change to music for the third and fourth quarters) but I think switching off weekly might be a better way to go.

This was an “art” week. We looked at faces in art, using everyday materials to create art, and  different styles of portraits (e.g., a van Gogh vs. a Picasso vs. an Archimboldo). Agent E also revisited one of her favorites, How to Draw Mickey Mouse and His Friends, which gives step-by-step instructions for creating the faces of the six core Clubhouse characters. The Agents enjoyed making their own art faces with random tidbits found about the house.

PE: It’s been a nice week weather-wise with lots of outside time. Just today we went to our favorite local playground to meet up with another homeschool Momma and her boys. Agent J has started referring to herself as “coach” and leading Agents E and A in various exercises in the back yard. It’s quite comical.

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