Teach Your Daughter About Powerful Female Role Models: Oprah Winfrey

Oprah headshot

Oprah headshotIs Oprah Winfrey a good role model?  

Some say no; she doesn’t produce value, she doesn’t have good morals, she’s a TV celebrity which, in itself, doesn’t really do anything good for society, she’s just after the money, she sells snake oil.

Others say yes; she grew up in poverty, she overcame severe personal struggles and abuse to make something of herself and her life, she tries to unite people and move us forward as a society, she is inspirational, a generous philanthropist, and positively benefits society.

For each of us to come to our own conclusion, it helps to know what it really means to be a role model.

Mirriam-Webster defines a role model as “a person whose behavior in a particular role is imitated by others”.

Dictionary.com provides a fuller definition:  a person whose behavior, example, or success is or can be emulated by others, especially by younger people.”

Has Oprah Winfrey done anything in her life that fits these definitions?

Absolutely!

Forbes magazine reached out to ForbesWoman communities on Twitter and Facebook to determine the most inspiring woman in the world.

After “mom”, Oprah Winfrey was at the top of the list and was named the Most Powerful Celebrity by Forbes in 2010.

Oprah is a successful businesswoman, owner of Harpo Productions, and a TV network.

She is a multi-millionaire and has launched the careers of several now successful people.

Oprah launched her broadcasting career at the age of 19, being the youngest person and first African-American to at Nashville’s WTF-TV.

Oprah Winfrey values education as a way to lift yourself out of poverty and create a future.

Through her private charity, Oprah has offered hundreds of grants to organizations that help educate and empower women.

Through the “Oprah Winfrey Scholars Program”, she provides scholarships to those who want to give back to their communities.  Her leadership and philanthropy is not limited to the United States.  She even created a leadership academy for girls in South Africa.

Oprah was not born with a silver spoon in her mouth…she worked hard for her achievements even in the face of severe personal struggles with childhood abuse. As a result, she initiated the National Child Protection Act in 1991 to establish a database of convicted child abusers.  In 1993, former President Bill Clinton signed the “Oprah Bill” into law.

The list of things that Oprah Winfrey has accomplished covers ten pages on her official biography website.  The list of awards she received takes up one whole page alone!  I encourage you to check it out to learn more about why many think that Oprah Winfrey is a good role model for our daughters.

Click here for more:  http://www.oprah.com/pressroom/Oprah-Winfreys-Official-Biography

Our 2013/2014 Curricula

Curricula

Curricula

Well the school year is about a third over, but I’m putting this post up anyway. You never know when someone will stumble across it and find it useful.

I know when I started homeschooling I wanted to know what anyone and everyone was using…

MATH

Life of Fred – We’re sticking with what works. I can still say that this is hands-down the best math curriculum around.

HISTORY

myWorld Social Studies

GRAMMAR

Growing with Grammar

ART

Artistic Pursuits

WRITING

WriteShop Junior Book D

SCIENCE

Interactive Science

GEOGRAPHY

Road Trip USA

LITERATURE

Classic Literature Unit Study

HANDWRITING

Digital Teaching Tools

EXTRAS

I set several goals for the year, things that I’d like Babydoll to learn. We’ll be systematically working through those.

9 Tips for Teaching Archaeology in Your Homeschool

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9 Tips for Teaching Archaeology in Your Homeschool

Archaeology {or archeology, if you prefer; they’re both acceptable} isn’t a common profession.  As such, it can be difficult to run into materials you can use to help you with teaching archaeology in your homeschool.

Babydoll wants to be an archaeologist {and has for as long as I can remember}, so it’s important to me to somehow foster that desire in her schoolwork somehow.

Here is a compilation of ways you can include this in your homeschool, whether you have a child working toward the profession or one that just thinks it’s cool!

  1. Books and magazines:  This is probably the most obvious choice.  On the surface it might seem difficult to find age-appropriate materials, but you might be surprised by what’s out there.  Babydoll is a fan of dig™, an archaeology magazine for kids.  And just take a look at all the results on Amazon when you search for archaeology books for kids.
  2. Put together your own archaeologist kit:  I’m not talking about cheap plastic junk you can buy as a kit.  I’m talking a what-the-pros-use kit.  All you really need is a trowel and you’re good to go, but you’d be surprised at how inexpensively you can put together a base kit.  We got Babydoll started with a couple of different types of trowels {Marshalltown are the best, supposedly}, measuring tape, a folding ruler, a pencil, and a blue glittery notepad, just for some color.  Store it all in a tackle box or those stacking organization bins they sell at Walmart.
  3. Games:  Babydoll loved Roman Town!  It’s a computer game that takes the user through an interactive dig.  She finished it that day, I believe, but continues to play it.  It looks like they have a new game coming out next month.
  4. Join archaeology organizations:  There are international, national, and regional archaeology societies.  You can find a great listing of them on this site.  Many offer low rates for students and send newsletters, invitations to special events, and even information about participating in local digs.
  5. Visit archaeology museums:  Many colleges and universities that have an archaeology program also have museums that the public can visit.  It might even be possible to contact the museum before a visit and arrange for a professor to give your family a tour.  Many also have special events happening throughout the year.
  6. Look for camps:  Several states have resident camps designed to allow older kids the opportunity to help out with a dig, but these are pricey and not located conveniently for many of us.  Search for camps in your area, or in neighboring states.  At one time there was an archaeology camp offered for younger kids here in AL.  I know GA and FL have also offered family-oriented camps.
  7. Find archaeology celebrations:  Believe it or not, there are special days and months set aside for archaeology.  National Archaeology Day is October 20th this year, and the National Park Service offers National Archaeology Month.  Many states also have statewide celebrations, complete with festive events and many learning opportunities.  Having trouble finding them? Start with your local college or university.
  8. Volunteer at field schools:  If you have an older student, they can always ask to volunteer at a local field school.  They just might get the chance to haul dirt all summer while observing the workings of a real dig.  ShovelBums always maintains a great list of worldwide field schools.
  9. Create a full-year curriculum:  This can be downright terrifying, especially if you’re not a history or science buff, but it’s one of the most amazing things you can ever do for your child.  This is what we’re embarking on this year:  an entire year devoted to a real archaeological dig.  I highly recommend picking up Hands-On Archaeology: Real-Life Activities for Kids by John White {affiliate link}.  Professor White was a big proponent of teaching proper archaeology to young children.  His guide is hands-down the best I have seen for teaching real archaeology.  I didn’t want a kit that we just hacked away at, finding the stuff hidden inside.  This book has actual forms, terminology, everything you need to really teach your child about actual archaeology.

Even if your child isn’t a die-hard archaeology fan, these activities can definitely liven up a history curriculum or many other aspects of school.

Have you found any great archaeology resources you use in your homeschool?

Photo credit: gordontour via photo pin cc

 

So, You Think You Wanna Homeschool?

So, You Think You Wanna Homeschool?

Available for purchase on Amazon

THE GOODS

The eBook is divided into two sections:  section one is for someone who is just starting to homeschool and section two is designed for those who aren’t so new to homeschooling.

While each group of people will definitely find useful information in their respective sections, their is great info in both sections for all!

SECTION ONE

When I started homeschooling I had a hard time finding concrete steps to get started.

I found a lot of information about evaluating my educational philosophy and the best way my child learned.  I read about not spending too much money on products.

What I found was a bunch of ambiguous stuff that didn’t help me.  I needed to know specifically what I needed to do to get started.

I’m a box checker, and I needed to know the specific steps to take to get started.

Section one puts these steps together for you.  You’ll find information about:

  • state laws
  • organizational methods
  • curricula
  • record-keeping
  • planning
  • socialization
  • and more!

One bit I’m particularly proud of is the listing of states and their laws.

The statutes and laws can be confusing if you don’t know the jargon just yet, so I took each state and separated out the meat of their laws.  If available, I also included a link to each state’s Department of Education homeschool site {or the state’s equivalent}.

Even if you’ve been homeschooling for a while, there’s still some really great info in this section if I do say so myself!

I’ve included lots and lots of links for extra-special reading!  Many of you are featured in the eBook!

SECTION TWO

Section two might be familiar to some of you, as the basis for this section is the original posts from the series of the same name.

Don’t worry, though; I tweaked it, made it better, added more substance, and made it new and shiny!

Just as in section one, lots of links are present.  Tons of great reading for information purposes, as well as motivation and encouragement.

Some wit is sprinkled in for good measure.

SWEET EXTRAS

Because I am a box checker and because I like organization, I also included sweet extras at the end.

You’ll find checklists, link lists, and more!  So super cool!