Agent Homeschooling 2015-2016: Week 9

Another week down, and preparing to take a short break soon. (Yay for year-round schooling and frequent time off!) Here’s how our last few days went.

The back yard is the perfect place for a little yoga break
Math: Agent E (4th) continues to work on multiplication of 2- and 3-digit numbers by a 1-digit number. We also introduced simple division (with and without remainders). Agent J (2nd) is still nailing down basic addition and subtraction facts, but these are starting to become more automatic for her. She’s expressed an interest in multiplication (thanks to an episode of Schoolhouse Rock we watched) and so we may be trying that soon as well.

Agent E and Agent J have enjoyed reading several Life of Fred books together. This week they finished up Goldfish, although it’s clear the concepts are becoming more advanced. Our plan is to revisit the earlier books (up to Dogs) with Agent J and have Agent E pursue the higher elementary ones (up to Jelly Beans) on her own.

Language Arts: This week we covered synonyms and antonyms. Current independent fiction reads include Kingdom Keepers (Agent E) and Fairy Realm (Agent J). Earlier this week I gushed about our love of Goodreads as a tracking tool. If you haven’t considered using it in your homeschool, I highly recommend you check it out. They also have cool widgets (like the one in my sidebar) where you can display your most recent additions.

We bought a new dictionary and the Agents love it. We looked at several options and came to the conclusion that a children’s dictionary aimed specifically at elementary students would work best. They were overwhelmed trying to use our ancient monstrosity collecting dust on the bookshelf. The “first dictionary” ones were too young and cutesy, while the “intermediate” ones seemed a bit hefty and bogged down in detail. This one is perfect, and it also includes a writing and grammar reference guide, maps, and a book list.

Geography: We are continuing our study of the earth’s formation. This week we looked a bit closer at what’s going on inside our planet. We also touched on the formation of our moon, which led to talking about the phases of the moon, which led to a desire to illustrate the phases using Oreo cookies. We have not attempted this yet, but I could definitely get on board with any science project that involves Oreos. We’ve also considered making an edible model of the earth, but I think that would be much more challenging than our cell cake.

History: After several weeks, we finally wrapped up our study of ancient Egypt. We spent more time on world religions this week; Agent E in particular seems fascinated with what we’ve looked at so far. The book What Do You Believe? has been our primary resource to date. Next week we plan to begin studying several of the most prevalent religions in more detail.

Science: Since a lot of our geography, history, and health studies have overlapped with science the past few weeks, we’ve kind of put human evolution (one of our intended primary subjects for science this year) aside for a bit. The Agents are anxious to get back to studying this specifically, however, and we will likely head in that direction again next week.

Health: Now that we’ve wrapped up our overview of the human body—including a brief introduction to cells as building blocks and how tissues, organs, and systems work together—we will be delving into each system in more detail. Our plan is to begin with the skeletal system and take, well, as much time as it takes. 

Art: This was an art week (we alternate with music) and our topic was frescoes. We intended to try to make our own (not on the wall) but that just turned into a regular, anything-goes messy art time. The girls also read about Diego Rivera and his wife and fellow artist Frida Kahlo.

PE: Agent J and I tried a new workout video from the library. (Agent E wasn’t impressed.) Both girls continued to practice yoga and learned a few new moves. Now that it’s cooler, they’ve been running more. We hit the nearby playground as well, just because.

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