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.

Homeschool Planning with the use of Technology

Homeschool Planning with the use of Technology

Homeschool Planning with the use of Technology

Homeschool planning looks different for every single homeschooler.  It might be pencil and paper for one, a paper planner for another, a digital calendar for yet another.

It’s no different than anything else in life: what works for me may not work for you, and that’s totally OK.

That’s why today’s link up over at iHomeschool Network rocks: it contains a plethora of posts designed to help you find the best way to do homeschool planning for your family!

Technology

I am a huge fan of technology.  Totally love it.  Touchscreens and keyboards and laptops and everything else.

I do like paper planners, but I’ve found that they just don’t work for me like they used to.  I have so much going on that I need to be able to access everything, everywhere, without having to lug around a 20 pound notebook.

This is why I decided to try to fine-tune my digital homeschool planning.

I’m always on the computer anyway, so it just seemed natural.

I didn’t find the right way at first though.  It took quite a bit of trial and error to find something that actually worked for me.

Below you will find a list of things that I’ve tried, some that I haven’t, and things others use.  It’s by no means exhaustive.

They all have their merits.  Some might work for you.  Some might not.

Either way it’s fun to look at!

Edu-Track – I’ve never personally used this, but I know of homeschoolers that love it.

Donna Young – Quite a bit of her stuff is printable, but you can work around that and make this work for you on your computer.

LessonMinder – A web-based tool for organizing your homeschool.

Homeschool Technology on Pinterest – A great set of resources for technology and homeschool planning

More Homeschool Technology on Pinterest – My homeschool tech board

My Well Planned Day – Family management, calendar management, homeschool planning and record keeping, all in one; what I use

Microsoft Excel

Dropbox

Google Drive

iCloud

What I Use Today & How I Use It

It’s taken me four years, but I’ve finally found what works for me: the My Well Planned Day Software.

It was developed for homeschoolers, by homeschoolers.  Those of us who were early-adopters had the chance to give feedback and help them build the product around what homeschoolers actually wanted.

It’s phenomenal.  It does lesson plans, calendar planning, meal planning, every aspect of your life that you need to plan, it does it.

There’s an app.  There are separate log-ins for children.  Heart. It.

But how do I use it?

Well, first I do what’s outlined in the links in this post in regard to planning our year.

Once I know what I need to plug into the planner, I set about plugging it all in.

I enter the subject, the program auto-selects the curriculum {that I’ve already entered}, then I select the date.

This program allows me to drag and drop if {when} I need to rearrange something, and it lets me grade the assignment as well.

It allows Babydoll to check off the assignment when she is done.

That’s how I do it.  It’s pretty darn simple with the use of this program.

But, I’ve also done something similar with Excel and Dropbox.  Check out those two links to see how that worked.

The Bottom Line

Make it work for you.  If you’re an iCal fiend, figure out a way to make iCal work for you.

If you’re an avid Google Calendar user, make it work.

Plus, there’s nothing saying you can only use one thing to plan.  Maybe you do the bulk of the dirty work in Excel or iCal, and then you plug it into something like My Well Planned Day.

Don’t reinvent the wheel folks.  Evaluate what you already know and love, and figure out a way to use it for your homeschool planning!

The Homeschool Classroom – Inexpensive Teacher Gifts

The Homeschool Classroom Contributor

The Homeschool Classroom ContributorI’m so excited to let you guys know that I’ve got my first contributor post up at The Homeschool Classroom!

This month we’re talking teacher gift ideas, but with a homeschool spin.  Whether it’s a sports coach, ballet teacher, or co-op assistant, there are plenty of opportunities for your child to gift someone in their life!

Go check it out and let me know what you think!

Sweet Critique: Rangoli: An Indian Art Activity Book

Rangoli Art | Sweet Phenomena

I love color and creativity, but I’m not really an artist.  I need books to “teach” art to Babydoll.

But I also believe that creativity isn’t something that can be taught, so I often like to give her a book like Rangoli: An Indian Art Activity Book and let her go to town.

About Rangoli

Rangoli is a type of artwork found in India.  Using colored powder, a design is made in front of a home or building as a way to celebrate and pray.

In the book, a dot grid is used to help with drawing the design.  I love this: there’s nothing more frustrating than seeing something pretty and vibrant and wanting to draw it yourself, but you can’t freehand it.

Babydoll was able to replicate all of the designs in the book thanks to the dot grids.

Culture and Color

Another aspect of the book I loved was the fact that Babydoll not only got to be creative, but she learned about Indian culture.

Making pretty stuff is well and good, but I wanted her to know the “why” behind rangoli.  This led to discussions about festivals in India and more.

Babydoll absolute loved this book.  When we received it, she immediately got started.  And didn’t stop for a couple of days while she finished the entire book.

She even went outside to try to replicate some of the designs on the driveway.  Me, being the stellar mother I am, forgot to take pictures of the artwork.

She did get a little frustrated because she tried to do it without the dots, but I thought it still looked really good.

We’re both girls, so we loved the designs in the book, but I appreciate that the author included more “masculine” designs as well, so this would be a great book for boys and girls.

Definitely check it out; use it as a just-for-fun book, or as a gateway into the Indian culture!

True Confessions:  I was provided with a copy of this book to facilitate my review.  All opinions are my own.