The One With the Long Overdue Update

It’s been just shy of four months since I wrote an update on our homeschooling (or anything for that matter). In that time we left our home in upstate New York, stayed with family in Pennsylvania for five weeks, moved across the country to our new home in southern California, settled in (more or less), started a new school year (eight weeks in as of today), endured the reality of sea duty again, and added a new feline family member.

For the most part, our homeschooling (6th, 4th, and 2nd grades) is going pretty much according to plan. (I previously blogged about said plan in three parts herehere, and here.) Regulations are much more relaxed in CA than NY, so I feel like we can expend more energy just being and learning and exploring and wondering without the persistent feeling of how am I going to translate this into a quarterly report?

That said, of course we are following a fairly well-laid-out agenda and doing All The Things in an orderly fashion, because, well, it’s us. We still have a general routine of morning school and afternoon school, although now we actually leave the house several days a week so sometimes it’s not as exact as it used to be. (Trying really hard not to be hermits here, and get into the habit of going out more, even if it’s just the library or the park. The weather definitely makes this a more feasible year-round goal here than it did in NY.)

As far as specifics, we still do math and language arts every day (at the kitchen table, as a group, with each Agent working on a different topic or workbook or whatever). We started Coffee Break Spanish over again, and have decided to go more slowly this time, working on just one or two lessons a week tops. Agent E (6th) is doing more written Spanish this year as well; I will probably add that aspect in for Agent J (4th) and Agent A (2nd) later in the year. Morning reading is a combination of math books, language arts or poetry, Egyptian mythology, and any other random fun books we find that all three Agents enjoy. (Currently it’s a book of Hindu mythology stories.) We have also decided to include our study of the United States as part of our morning school time, looking at one state per week or every two weeks (depending on how many books we find). This week we are wrapping up Virginia. 

Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoon school continues to be geography, world history, and science. So far this year we have been concentrating on human and population geography, world events from around 1500, life on earth, and mammals. Tuesdays and Thursdays we cover art, music, health, and world religions. We are working our way through Lives of the Artists and Lives of the Musicians, both very fun books that come highly recommended by the Agents. For health we are currently reading How the Incredible Human Body Works . . . By the Brainwaves, which has been a hit. We are also rereading What Do You Believe?, a book I liked a lot better when we first used it two years ago than I do now. (Why is probably a topic for another day.)

Our school days have a brand new distraction as well: After two years of being a pet-free household, we now have a cute kitty living with us. He is seven years old and just the sweetest. (The receptionist at the shelter audibly gasped when we walked in and specifically requested to see him; sadly, older cats tend to languish at animal care facilities.) The Agents named him Darwin (yes, after that Darwin) but they also liked the name his previous person had given him (Oscar) so sometimes we call him that, too. He is a bit overweight, is missing quite a few teeth (soft food diet), and he had been declawed, so indoor only (which we would have done anyway). We adore him.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone. If you are near Irma (my old stomping grounds) please be safe. 


  1. Wishing you joy in your new home!!!!

    So. Cal. is my childhood home . . . how I miss it sometimes!!!

  2. Thank you so much. We are enjoying it so far.