So Long, 2016

I know this probably isn’t true for most folks, but we continue to “do” school during the relaxed if not confusing {what day is it again?} week between Christmas and New Year’s. We did take Monday off because Hubby didn’t work that day and let’s just say the Agents find his presence a bit . . . distracting. {We’re skipping this coming Monday, 2 January, for the same reason.}

Mostly, though, it was business as usual this week. Since we just passed our halfway point {we’re currently on week two of the third quarter} I’ve been feeling a tad reflective and thinking about the kinds of things we might like to do going forward. I’m also getting a better grasp on how much we will feasibly be able to finish this school year, keeping in mind that we’ll be wrapping up a bit early than usual because we’ll be moving around that time. 

What "recess" looks like these days

A few random thoughts I’ve had about our homeschool year so far:

We will likely carry our study of Greek mythology until the end of the school year. I originally thought, hey, maybe we’ll just do this for a quarter or a semester and then move on to something else, but the Agents had other ideas. It looks like Norse and Egyptian mythologies {the next two in our mental queue} will have to wait until next year. We have also started reading The Children’s Book of Mythical Beasts and Magical Monsters, which has given us even more ideas for where we might like to go with this fascinating topic.

I finally had to admit that I’m just not crazy about Mango Spanish. In theory it sounds great, and it’s free, which is a bonus. But . . . Agents J and A are just not that into it. {Agent E has preferred Duolingo all along.} A while back I started listening to Coffee Break Spanish, and this week I introduced Agents J and A to that instead. I think they are enjoying it so far, and we will likely try that method going forward.

Last year we had this grandiose idea to study “animals” as part of science. It didn’t take long before we narrowed that down to “mammals” and further shortened our list to “mammals specifically mentioned in our spine book.” {We're using The Animal Book, published by DK and Smithsonian.} We just started covering rhinos and tapirs. Once we finish those, we have seven more groups to go: horses and zebras; cows, antelope, and sheep; hippos; pigs and deer; camels, llamas, and giraffes; dolphins and porpoises; and whales. We usually spend 2-4 weeks on each grouping, so we may not finish this year after all. 

As far as other science, we’ve tended to concentrate on physical science so far this year {matter, materials, force, machines}. We have also, of course, carried on with our seemingly never-ending obsession with the early universe and evolution. I’m hoping to finish up our dwindling list of books we intend to read and videos we intend to watch on these topics sometime in the next few months. Maybe we might even {gasp!} take a break from it and not add it to our homeschool schedule for next year. {I anticipate there would be protesting, though.}

We’ve completed a lot of workbooks and written work  this year compared to previous ones. I used to be pretty on top of free resources and do much of my own {double-sided} printing, but I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s just easier and more efficient to keep a running list of favorites and order them on Amazon when the price drops. The Agents are especially fond of Brain Quest, School Zone math, Brighter Child language arts, and DK geography.

There’s always lots more I can contemplate about what’s working and what’s not for our homeschool, and I will probably be churning out a stream-of-consciousness evaluation and planning post before too long. In the meantime, we’ll be here chugging along into 2017 and beyond.

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