Agent Homeschooling 2015-2016: Week 8

Hard to believe we are eight weeks into the new school year, but here we are. Public schools in our area don’t start until 9 September; by then we’ll be almost done with our whole first quarter. We’ve already taken our first “vacation” (at the end of July) and intend to take another long weekend in early September. I’m starting to remember why I love the year-round schooling schedule so much.

Agent A scanning for ducks
My biggest challenge recently has been reining myself in when it comes to planning. This year we switched over to using spine books for each subject, which are supposed to be guiding me as I outline our weeks. And it’s working . . . sort of. I love having a general idea of what we are going to cover each week, and the whole starting at page one and going in order definitely appeals to my need for organization. However, I still feel like I want to follow too many rabbit holes. Examine All The Details. Read All The Books. Do All The Things. Watch All The Documentaries.

The struggle is real.

At any rate, here’s what our week looked like:

Math: The girls are reading Life of Fred; this week they started Goldfish. They seem to be enjoying them, although they’ve read some out of order and had to skip a few based on what the library has available. We never did find Apples, but they have read Butterflies, Cats, Dogs, and Edgewood. We skipped Farming because the library doesn’t have a copy. We also read another Sir Cumference book: Sir Cumference and the Vikings Map. (We love this series.)

Agent J (2nd) has a basic grade-level math workbook that she does a page or two from every day. Sometimes it’s a new concept and I will sit with her and help; other times it’s more of a review. Agent E (4th) is working through a similar grade-level math workbook. This week we covered multiplication of two- and three-digit numbers by a one-digit number.

Agent J, her usual happy self
Language Arts: We are still working on parts of speech, and this week we looked at prepositions. We also did a quick review of nouns, adjectives, and verbs. I would like to start incorporating more writing time for Agent J, although Agent E could use extra practice in this area as well. Not sure exactly what that is going to look like just yet.

Agent E is currently reading Next Top Villain (Ever After High) and Agent J is currently reading Ghoulfriends (Monster High). Apparently the fractured fairy tale theme is making a comeback at our house.

For “fun” I had the girls complete two online reading level assessments this week. I’m not sure how accurate they are, but a fellow homeschooling friend and I were talking about them so I figured why not. The results were not surprising. If you’re curious, the assessments can be found here.

Geography: Continuing our study of the of the earth, this week we read a bit about the early days of the earth  as well as the formation of the moon. We also began reading B Is for Blue Planet, part of a series of beautiful and informative picture books by Sleeping Bear Press.

History: Still studying ancient Egypt, including mummies, pyramids, and Cleopatra. We’ve been mostly utilizing our go-to strategy of Read All The Books, but we also have a few videos queued that we haven’t gotten around to yet.

We delved a little deeper into our world religions studies, using the book What Do You Believe? as a guide. Right now we are doing more of an overview, but I intend to cover each of the major faiths in more detail as the year progresses. The girls are looking forward to starting up religious education classes in a few weeks at our local UU congregation. We started attending last year in May, just as they were getting ready to wrap up for the summer, so it will be nice for them to experience a whole RE year from the beginning.

Agent E reading Harry Potter book 7
Science/Health: We’ve almost finished the Introduction section of our chosen spine text, Human Body: A Visual Encyclopedia. We’ve also been working our way through 100 Things You Should Know About The Human Body by Steve Parker. Once we wrap that up, my plan is to begin looking at each of the body systems individually, probably spending a few weeks on each. Of course we will be supplementing with videos and articles and other fun stuff from KidsHealth {dot} org. This is an amazing health education resource for kids.

Music: This was a music week. (I explained in last week’s summary why we’ve decided to alternate art and music lessons rather than do both each week.) We looked at ancient world music, read a bit about the didgeridoo, and listened to a few samples. Then they made their own “instruments” with things they found around the house. The girls also read Play Me a Story, a book of nine folk tales featuring music from around the world.

PE: The Agents' interest in yoga has been renewed. This week we took three books and two DVDs out of the library. The books were a hit, but the DVDs definitely got a thumbs down for moving too quickly. They decided they simply prefer to practice individual poses for the moment. We spent some time playing outside as well, not up to our usual though because of the ridiculous heat. Running is kind of on the back burner for now, too. We were originally aiming for going out three times a day, but I think twice might be more realistic.


  1. What a great week! Yoga sounds like something my girls would like. We've never thought about doing it, though!

    1. They both enjoy it. I don't even remember how it even came up initially, but they've been off/on interested for the last year or so. There are some cool yoga for kids videos on YouTube as well. They liked Cosmic Yoga, but it moved a bit too fast for them. Thanks so much for stopping by.