The Homeschool Mother's Journal - Week 5
In my life this week...
Since I am posting on Monday this week, I am going to write about the week ahead. This week is a busy week at work. We are 12 weeks away from the Schoolhouse Expo and a few weeks out from the March 15th preshow event. This week we are also launching the new Teacher's Toolbox membership site for subscribers of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine which has ended up being a huge project. I have been very blessed to work with an amazing team of Star Contributors along with Nancy Carter who is one of my favorite people in the world.
I am also finishing up my application process with Classical Conversations. I am excited to have an opportunity to serve as a Foundations Director here in central Indiana this coming fall. When our family lived in the Springfield, MO area we attended some events with Classical Conversations and found it to be a very impressive educational co-op.
In our homeschool this week...
This week Briyah is continuing her astronomy studies in science. We have not decided how many weeks we will focus on this astronomy unit. We have a somewhat unconventional methods of study at times. We utilize quite a few textbooks in our science studies but we also do not confine our studies to one textbook. For our astronomy unit, we are using the following textbooks:
Observing God's World (Abeka 6th grade)
Signs and Seasons by Classical Astronomy
I have been considering ordering Exploring Creation with Astronomy to continue through the spring and summer months. This is a great resource for astronomy which I do not have on hand right now.
Places we're going & people we're seeing...
A good friend that I have not seen in a while came for an overnight visit last week and we had the best time. Good friends are a balm to the soul. She is visiting again this week and it is so nice to be able to spend time with wonderful friends.
My favorite thing this week was...
This evening while I was in a phone meeting, Briyah was working in the office with me on her computer. She typed up a review on the ALEKS curriculum and emailed it to me because she wants to include it on her website which she is building for a school project. Briyah recently shared with us that she was "mastering Algebra" which surprised us. At the fourth grade math level the program introduces algebraic concepts in an easy-to-understand and engaging manner. I know this is far from mastering Algebra but any program that can drum up enthusiasm for Algebra is a great resource in my opinion.
Here is the review:
Aleks is a fun math website and they have algebra, geography, money and much more. Aleks has review place where parents can see how much their children have improved. I used to not like math until my mom found Aleks and I love it and even better I improved. My Sister Shaiya who is seventeen even uses Aleks. She does business math and she is GREAT!
What's working/not working for us...
We are really enjoying the ALEKS program quite a bit. Right now we are utilizing the 3 month free trial but Briyah is such a fan that we are going to continue the subscription. ALEKS is priced above our normal budget for one curriculum subject but after using this trial we are finding that it is going to be well worth the cost. Now I just need to find a way to fit it in our budget.
Math is the least favorite subject in our household. Briyah would much rather spend her time reading literature and working on history or science. After using the ALEKS program as a supplement for a few weeks, Briyah asks every day to work on Math right after her first subject of Bible. Briyah is fond of digital learning and I knew that she would enjoy an online program but I was not aware of how much of a difference that the ALEKS program would make in our homeschooling. A once laborious subject has now become a favorite. ALEKS has a comprehensive reporting and analysis system and it provides positive reinforcement for Briyah as she reaches mastery at each level of Math.
We are still working through our Singapore Primary Mathematics curriculum books this school year. It has provided a nice change of pace and we are going to complete the workbooks. I am not sure that we will continue along with the Singapore program into the next school year. Once again, I am considering using Saxon Math as our core Math curriculum with ALEKS as our supplementary study.
Homeschool questions/thoughts I have...
This year we are studying the time period of 1600-1850 for history and literature. Currently we are around 1730 and we still have a lot of ground to cover. I am beginning to think that I want to continue to work through this time period in the fall.