Agent Homeschooling 2015-2016: Week 17

Today we’re wrapping up week 17 of our 2015-2016 homeschool year with Agent E (4th), Agent J (2nd), and Agent A (K). This week we also hit a reading milestone: over 500 books on our Goodreads account, which we opened 29 June, or two days before our official start to this school year. (To see how we use Goodreads in our homeschool tracking, check out this post.) 

Our current Goodreads Total Books Read as of this writing is 532 and includes any books we use for homeschooling as well as all independent reading the Senior Agents do and all books Agent A reads himself or we read to him.

For our purposes, a book is a book. So, a book on evolution that took the girls and I three weeks to get through reading a few pages a day “counts” the same as a Biscuit book Agent A read to me in under a minute. They add up fast.

This total also includes our spine books for the year, which we obviously haven’t finished yet, and a few other core books we’re still working through. If we don’t completely finish a book, no matter how far we got, I don’t add it. Also, while several books fall into more than one category (e.g., I might consider a book about stardust as overlapping with science, geography, and history) they only “count” once.

These books range from chapter books to picture books. (Although don’t underestimate all picture books as being simple or only for very young children with limited vocabularies . . . many of these are written for upper elementary or even middle school audiences.) I like to include a variety of types (and lengths) of books in our week.

So, for this post, instead of a play-by-play of topics covered, I thought I’d share a wrap-up of what we’re reading. A few are included here because we finished them this week (even though it may have taken a few weeks total) but most we read start to finish this past Monday through Friday. 

I included our spine books in the list; every week we typically read two to four pages from each. If you’re curious about what they are and how we use them you can check out this post. I did not include anything for Spanish because we did not read any texts for this topic. 

I hope you will find something new-to-you on this list for you and elementary-age kiddos to enjoy.


 Millions, Billions, & Trillions by David A. Adler
 Triangles by David A. Adler
 Working With Fractions by David A. Adler
 Perimeter, Area, and Volume by David A. Adler
 Sir Cumference and the Great Knight of Angleland by Cindy Neuschwander
 Life of Fred Jelly Beans by Stanley Schmidt

Many of the math concepts we cover through books are aimed at Agent E’s level, but Agent J always reads with us and participates as she is able. Agent E read Jelly Beans on her own, however, over the course of about two weeks.

Language Arts

 Nouns and Verbs Have a Field Day by Robin Pulver
 Silent Letters Loud and Clear  by Robin Pulver
 What Ship Is Not a Ship? by Harriet Ziefert
 Take Away the A by Michael Escoffier
 I Scream! Ice Cream!: A Book of Wordles by Amy Krouse Rosenthal


 Geography: A Visual Encyclopedia {spine}
 Jump Into Science: Rocks and Minerals by Steve Tomesek

History and World Religions

 History Year by Year {spine}
 The Best Book of Ancient Greece by Belinda Weber
 What Do You Believe? by Margaret Parrish
 The Kids Book of World Religions by Jennifer Glossop
 This Is My Faith: Buddhism by Holly Wallace

We are still in the middle of What Do You Believe? and The Kids Book of World Religions, but we read from them each week, so they are quasi-spine-book-ish.


 The Animal Book {spine}
 Evolution Revolution by Robert Winston
 Stardust From Space by Monica Grady
 A Little Book of Sloth by Lucy Cooke
 Armadillo’s Burrow by Dee Phillips
 Armadillos by Steve Potts


 Human Body: A Visual Encyclopedia {spine}
 Germs Make Me Sick! by Melvin A. Berger
 Bill Nye the Science Guy’s Great Big Book of Germs by Bill Nye and Kathleen W. Zoehfeld

Art and Music

 Children’s Book of Art {spine}
 Mona Lisa: The Secret of the Smile by Letezia Galli
 Children’s Book of Music {spine}

Agent E (4th grade)

 Nancy Drew: Sign of the Twisted Candles by Carolyn Keene
 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire  by J.K. Rowling
 The Boxcar Children: The Mystery of the Queen’s Jewels by Gertrude Chandler Warner

This is a second read of Goblet of Fire for Agent E. She started the series over when Agent J began reading it.

Agent J (2nd grade)

 Goddess Girls: Persephone the Phony by Joan Holub
 Cupcake Diaries: Emma’s Not-So-Sweet Dilemma by Coco Simon
 Max the Missing Puppy by Holly Webb
 The Boy Next Door by Laura Dower
 Just Grace and the Snack Attack Charise Mericle Harper
 Sew Zoey: Swatch Out! by Chloe Taylor
 The Multiplying Menace by Amanda Marrone

Agent J’s reading list tends to be a little longer than Agent E’s each week because often (but not always) her book choices have a lower page count. Also, Agent E has taken a greater interest in music and practices keyboard for at least an hour a day that she used to spend reading, so Agent J simply has more time to devote to it.

Agent A (kindergarten)

 Biscuit in the Garden by Alyssa Satin Capucilli
 Biscuit Visits the Big City by Alyssa Satin Capucilli
 Biscuit Plays Ball by Alyssa Satin Capucilli
 Biscuit Wants to Play  by Alyssa Satin Capucilli
 Dixie Loves School Pet Day by Grace Gilman
 Elephant and Piggie: There Is a Bird on Your Head! by Mo Willems
 Elephant and Piggie: I Broke My Trunk! by Mo Willems
 Elephant and Piggie: I Love My New Toy! by Mo Willems
 Elephant and Piggie: I Am Invited to a Party! by Mo Willems
 Super Why: The Ghost Who Was Afraid of Halloween by Samantha Brooke
 Super Why: The Three Little Pigs by Angela C. Santomero
 “Slowly, Slowly, Slowly,” said the Sloth by Eric Carle

Many of these Agent A can read on his own, although sometimes I need to help him out and prompt a bit with the “wordier” texts. We go through each book multiple times. Most of the Biscuit books and all of the Elephant and Piggie books were re-reads. He insists on getting them out of the library repeatedly.

I have to say, when I started drafting this post, I didn’t think it would be that many. It probably looks like we either spend a ton of time on school or we must not do anything else besides read, but that's not true. We also don’t spend a lot of money on books; everything here except the spine books came from the library.

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