Planning Our 2018-2019 Homeschool Year {Part Four}

Today I’m exploring our plans for Science; Health and PE; and Art and Music as we prepare for the 2018-2019 homeschool year with the Agents. Previous posts on our planning for other subjects can be found here:


Science


As with our other subjects, we’re going to start with an overall review of some of the major topics we’ve covered in the past few years. We have a lot of favorite books that will likely be getting a re-read, including the following:

 Science: A Visual Encyclopedia by Smithsonian and DK Publishing
 Evolution: The Human Story by Alice Roberts
 Star Talk by Neil deGrasse Tyson
 The Magic of Reality by Richard Dawkins
 Women in Science by Rachel Ignotofsky
 Our Family Tree: An Evolution Story by Lisa Westberg Peters
 {last 3 by Hannah Bonner}


In addition to these, we will also likely take another look at some of the relevant Seymour Simon titles, as well as re-watch some of our favorite science documentaries {including many of the ones in this list from a previous post}.

As far as hands-on science, that seems to be the part where we struggle. We have done several experiments that actually worked, and we may try to recreate those. We are also considering an outside class {more on that in a future post}.

Honestly, most of our science “experimentation” involves the Agents messing with stuff, which according to this video by one of my science educator role models is actually a good thing. So, there’s that.

Health and PE


As with science, we have a ton of health-related books that we have read in the past and will probably be revisiting this year. Some we have not read through with Agent A, as it was a few years ago before he was really “doing” school with us consistently. Books we will be starting our review year with include the following: 

 {by American Girl Publishing}

These are all aimed at girls, and so I’m not 100% sure if I will be reading them with just Agents E and J or if Agent A will be joining us. However, in the past year, American Girl has released a new body book for boys, which we have not read yet but likely will.

 {by Robie H. Harris}

This series of books is truly awesome. Some of the most straightforward books about potentially awkward discussions you will ever find. They answer questions about growing up, puberty, and sex ed in a comprehensive yet gentle and understanding way.


During the current school year, we began a second read of this detailed look at the human body, but we only made it about half way through the text. After a quick review of what we covered so far, we will likely continue with the remainder of the book. As with science, we will also incorporate several Seymour Simon titles as we go.

We will also review our study of First Aid {possibly to include a certification class for the oldest Agent}, cover safety inside and outside of the house, address smoking and drug use and peer pressure, and re-watch many of the KidsHealth videos {always a hit with the Agents}.


Much of our health and body-related work will of course overlap with our critical thinking studies. As I pointed out in this older post from our 2015-2016 school year, a major reason we spend so much time learning about the human body is that I consider it to be a direct way to combat the pseudoscience that is so prevalent in our culture. People all around us—smart, reasonable, educated people—fall for all sorts of anti-science nonsense because they lack a basic understanding of how the human body functions. I consider the time we spend debunking health myths to be extremely valuable.

As far as physical education, all the Agents are active, at a healthy weight, and enjoy physical play. I’m not super worried as far as this topic goes, and so we will likely just be carrying on as is. The oldest Agent has suggested that she might want to have more of a specific agenda as far as exercise, but we haven’t really worked it out yet. Plus, you know, all that extra walking at Disneyland doesn’t hurt.

Art and Music


We will likely start our review year with a re-read of the Children’s Book of Art and the Children’s Book of Music, both by DK Publishing.

This year we started both Lives of the Artists and Lives of the Musicians {both by Kathleen Krull}, but did not complete either. We will try to make it through the rest of both books at the beginning of next year. 

Another collection of art books for kids we have read in the past is the 13 {artists, painters, photographs, sculptures, etc.} Children Should Know series. 

For both art and music, we have also enjoyed the fun biographies by Mike Venezia.


Agent E is still the only one interested in actually playing any instruments {currently recorder, keyboard, and guitar}. She will continue to practice on her own twice a week.

We are also fortunate to live close to a few different cool art {and other} museums . . . I will address our plans for field trips plus other activities and hands-on art in a separate post.

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