Saturday, January 14, 2017

Weekly Reflections - Week Eighteen....

At Home

We are at the half way mark of our 2016-2017 academic year here on Drywood Creek.  I've been looking back at my Homeschool Audit trying to decide if I'm meeting my goals and where to go from here. Overall, I'm pleased with where we're at. The schedule seems to fit and we are on target as far as time. The kid's planners are working well. They are progressing academically. Riley has shown great responsibility and is loving her independent study. Ruben is gaining independence. He wrote a written narration this week 100% by himself that knocked my socks off. Also, it feels as though he and I are having less conflicts this year.

Unfortunately, our schoolroom did get out of sorts, but we worked on it yesterday and got everything put back in its place. We are not loving some of our scheduled books and activities so I'm making some changes there. I'm working on ideas for simplification next year which I aim to share in the coming months. I'll also be posting mid-year reviews on Beautiful Feet Ancient History and Heart of Dakota Creation to Christ next week.

For more on mid-year reflections, I recommend reading Tristan's Mid-Year Check-Up: 3 Questions to Direct the Rest of the Homeschool Year and Purva Brown's Are you practicing sustainable homeschooling?  Both of which have given me food for thought. For further thought on mid-year assessments, you might consider Marianne's How to Make a Quick and Effective Mid-Year Homeschool Assessment and Danika's Reassess Your Homeschool Mid-Year .

On the Table

My kids love Trader Joe's Soft and Juicy Mango, however, the closest Trader Joe's in over 100 miles away from me. I've bought dehydrated mango at other stores, but it was rather expensive and often times, there are additives. Just before Christmas I hit an awesome sale at Aldi on whole raw mangoes, so I snatched up six and thought I'd try to make my own dehydrated mango.

After the mangoes ripened on the counter top, I peeled them and sliced them in long strips. I laid the strips on my dehydrator trays and followed the manufacturer's instructions for thickness, temperature, and time. A few hours later, we had our own soft and juicy mango! The kids loved it. It was easy and inexpensive. The only downside was it didn't last long. I stored the dried mango in a glass jar, but after 24 hours, it was gone. This week mango happened to be on sale again at Aldi so you will find six more ripening on my counter for the next batch of soft and juicy mango.

Around the Web

Did you hear Oxford Dictionary's 2016 Word of the Year?  It's heartbreaking! That Truth exists and is knowable is one of the central tenets of classical education. Reading the article brought me back to notes I made while watching a Restful Teaching seminar last summer.
The object of education is to train our children to perceive truth, so when truth is the Lord, they recognize Him.
Content is less important than Truth. Truth exalts content to its honorable place as a servant, but when content raises itself to the position of master it renders everything meaningless.

Truth is way more important than skills.
Take Up Your Cross and Read Hard Books spoke my language, especially since we just read The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn back in October.  Huck Finn is such a fabulous story partly because it is difficult to read about the injustice of slavery. Twain addresses racism head on. It is through his story that you fall in love with the characters and see how wrong and unjust racism really is. In her post, Heidi White writes,
We feel the injustice of racism through To Kill A Mockingbird. We read about it in newspapers, but that does not engage our moral imaginations like literature. If we want people to feel what we feel, we must give them our stories. Without stories, our inner worlds remain small. Stories develop compassion. They awaken our latent capacity for redemptive action. If we care about overcoming racism, we should run as fast as we can toward, not away from, Huck Finn and To Kill A Mockingbird.
I couldn't agree more!


  1. Our school things need some attention as they are tumbling out of their places and mixed up. I hope to gather children to help me tackle that this afternoon.

    It was fun to see my post about mid-year assessments pop up on your list! It is always interesting to evaluate where we are and where we want to go.

    Have a lovely week!

  2. Thanks was a great post :) Hopefully, you were able to get your school things back in order. It's always a job to coral pencils, paper, math manipulatives, etc., but it makes one feel much better when things are orderly.