The Homeschool Mother's Journal - Week 7

The Homeschool Mother's Journal

In my life this week...
I missed journaling in last week in Week 6 as it was a busy week for the launch of the new Teacher’s Toolbox at The Old Schoolhouse ® Magazine. I am continually amazed by the creative team of people that I am so blessed to work with each week. I am pretty excited about the new Teacher’s Toolbox and everything our team has been able to put together for subscribers. We have a monthly menu plan and also a This Day in History calendar which features daily activities, discussion questions, and printables based on an historical event. We also have monthly free e-books, bonus online content, unit studies, and more.

This week was a bit challenging for me. I battled the flu for several days this week and I slept more than usual. I am feeling better now and I am ready for spring to arrive so that we can get outdoors in the fresh air. It has been a rainy and cold here in central Indiana and I am looking forward to some sunshine. The gardening catalogs are arriving each week and this year I am planning for a very large garden with my family.

In our homeschool this week...
We are just 11 weeks from graduation and the time is flying by. Sometimes I find it difficult to believe that we have been homeschooling for 12 years. Shaiya is going to turn 18 years old later in March and we are very proud parents to have such a wonderful and loving daughter. She has decided her graduation colors will be turquoise and yellow and we have begun preparing for her graduation ceremony and open house. This coming week we are ordering the cap and gown. I am trying not to panic or become too emotional.


Places we're going & people we're seeing...
It has been a rainy and cold week and so we have been spending quite a bit of time at home where it is warm and cozy.

We are excited for this upcoming week because our family will get to meet Leigh Bortins of Classical Conversations at a meeting in Indiana. Classical Conversations is a wonderful community of classical education cooperatives all over the US. This coming fall I am really looking forward to being a Foundations Director (K4 through 6th grade) for Classical Conversations here in Anderson, IN.


My favorite thing this week was...
One of the bright spots of my week happened when my wonderful daughter Shaiya arranged a surprise for me and booked me an appointment at an Aveda salon. After being ill for several days, it sure felt good to get pampered. They even had back massage chairs to sit in while your hair was being washed. This was my first time getting my hair done at an Aveda salon and it was a wonderful experience. Aveda products are natural plant and flower based and they do not have harsh chemicals. The products smell like pleasant herbs. Shaiya found a knowledgeable stylist who worked wonders with my long, thick, partially curly/partially straight hair. I now have long layers which are easy to style as either straight or wavy. For the past few years I have been very disappointed with my hair cuts because after I return home I discover my hair is always cut uneven. I am so pleased with my new stylist as she explained that my hair needed to be fully straightened and trimmed after the initial cut so that it could be evened out. I have curly and straight hair on my mixed up head and this is the only way it can be cut properly. For years, I have balked at getting $30 plus dollar hair cuts because of my desire to be frugal. Well friends, those $10-$12 hair cuts from walk-in salons were truly horrid. My daughter splurged to send me to a nice salon and it is really the first time that I have been pleased with the results. This stylist actually took 1.5 hours to cut my hair, while educating me on my hair texture, and she did a wonderful job. She also explained that I needed to rinse my hair in cool water to help close the hair follicles which this was new info for me. 

What's working/not working for us...
Briyah is still enjoying the ALEKS Math program. After she finishes her daily Bible curriculum, she asks to work on Math first each day which is wonderful. In a few short weeks, Math has become a favorite subject. I appreciate that ALEKS sends me a weekly report and overview in my email inbox detailing progress and mastery of subjects. We are going to continue to use ALEKS as a supplementary curriculum (planning to use Saxon as the core curriculum) through the next school year as well since Briyah is experiencing success with this program.

I am going to add a screenshot of the ALEKS report to share with you why I am very impressed with this program.




Below I have attached the weekly report that was sent to my email detailing Briyah’s weekly progress in the program. I find it very helpful to see measurable results which allow me to view areas we need to work on and other areas that we have reached mastery.




Briyah works on ALEKS independently in our office and while we are available to answer her questions and provide guidance, the system is so user-friendly that she works independently and at her own pace. ALEKS even offers worksheets that you can print to correspond with the lessons which Briyah thinks is a “fun” thing to do. Homeschooling truly allows you to explore your own inner geekness as much as you would like.
 
 I am very impressed that ALEKS presents mathematics in such an engaging manner that Briyah (who is only 8 year old) thinks it is fun to work on algebra problems and that she actually enjoys learning new concepts. My hope is that this is setting the stage for her to have a solid foundation in math which she can build on in future years. Personally, I have struggled with Algebra which has always been my nemesis. Shaiya has taken Algebra 1 and 2 and Geometry through video courses and these were not her favorite subjects by any means.


Homeschool questions/thoughts I have...
Recently I have been considering extending our current history studies for another year. This school year we are studying the time period of 1600 to 1850 and currently we are in the Colonial era. I want to spend more time studying this time period instead of trying to work up to 1850. Additionally, I am not ready for us to have a concentration on the Civil War, WW I and WW II just yet. Since we are going to extend this study into the next school year, I plan to spend 6-8 weeks or more studying the Colonial era.

A photo to share...

Briyah enjoying her ALEKS Math

“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” ~Dr. Suess


Comments

Heidi said…
Great post, Sharra. Love your quote!
Nancy said…
Your time at the spa sounded absolutely wonderful! What a special blessing from your sweet daughter. I think she loves you! :O)