People filing out of the keynote speech into the vendor area.
I just got back from one of my two favorite yearly weekends away. The Annual Homeschool Conference. It is always the first weekend in May. All day Friday and Saturday at the downtown Cox Convention Center Arena. We spend the night in a downtown hotel and go out for a fun dinner. This year it was Indian food. Always good to challenge the children’s taste buds!
I think this is my 8th year to go. There is a convention like this almost every weekend in a different state between May and August. So if you missed it, check out a state near you.
Audience for keynote speech.
In the beginning I would just walk around with my mouth hanging open looking at all of the vendor booths of academic curriculum, manipulatives, books, software, kitchen tools, character curriculum, chore charts, timelines,……you get my point. I think it wasn’t til the 3rd year that I actually started going to the panel discussions and keynote speakers which are usually very motivating.
Keynote speaker Steve Demme. Father of 4 almost grown boys. Creator of Math-U-See curriculum. Keynote speakers don’t talk about their curriculum. They speak about homeschooling in general.
I went with my girlfriend the first 5 years and we definitely had a great time. This is now the 3rd year our husbands have gone with us. I highly recommend husbands go. This is a place they can really grab hold of the vision of homeschooling from someone other than their wife. And sometimes that is important.
And this year, we also brought our 11 and 8 year old daughters. They loved it and they really helped us pick out a few things that I would not have picked on my own.
So I Just Had To Show You What I Bought
The first thing I found was this book. It is so fun!
If you read my post about Science, you understand where I’m coming from. Check out that sneeze below!
Now here you have a wonderful, regular book on science. This is really gross, but, hey, I’m learning too. That is a pimple!
It’s not a textbook (bor-ing), and not a formal curriculum with a workbook to fill out. Those can be OK sometimes, but…..I don’t know….usually……I don’t know……maybe for some people it works. That’s all the really matters. This is a bee sting.
It has an animated CD with it too. I am happy with this purchase.
This next book is “English From The Roots Up” volume 2. One of my favorites!
Emma, 11, has gone through volume 1 over the last 2 years or so. This is definitely one of the best school books we have ever had. It is simple to use, hugely (is that a word?) advantageous in the long run and she loves it. Latin words have a red frame and Greek have a green frame.
There are 100 Greek and Latin root words. One on each page. I have Emma read a new page and then write 5 sentences using 5 of the words from the list. Here are sample words using the Latin root word.
Here are the extra notes. Emma reads this on her own.
These books can be used from grade school to high school or even college I suppose. Depending on the child, you can find the right age for them to use this. Emma is big into reading and history so this works well for her now.
Not Much Grammar. No Spelling.
As a side note, can I just tell you I have done little grammar and no spelling. Does that make anyone feel better? I don’t believe in it at this point. Now I do have them watch rock ‘n learn videos about grammar occasionally and Emma has, in the past, done a little grammar off and on, but that’s it.
It’s Just Not Necessary Now
Maybe in junior high and/or high school if they haven’t intuited it by then. My goal now is that they can express themselves well orally and then, in writing. I’m not going to burden them with spelling or grammar, though I will definitely correct and discuss it when I see a mistake. That is how they will learn it. Also through reading and copywork. So, because of that, we have time for something as cool as learning Greek and Latin root words.
Well, I can see this is going to have to be 2 posts, so let’s move on to one of the books I got for ME. Does this look great or what!
I saw this book and didn’t buy it immediately. I’m trying to be really thoughtful about every purchase these days. But it was calling my name. Later, my friend Lisa said, “hey did you see that book over at Vision Forum…” I knew exactly which one she meant. She said she thought I would get it. Funny. Anyway, I showed it to hubby and he liked it too. That was all it took. This is a dreaming kind of book, but will be helpful now too as we have increased our garden size this year. I can’t wait to sit, read and ponder this.
And here is what my husband bought. It’s a ton of short, true, stories about England. This is so Matthew and so Emma. They are two peas in a pod!
So now, at 8pm, we gather in the bedroom. Emma in her bed, Luke in his crib (they share a room right now) Meg on one small rug, Henry on the other small rug, Mama in the rocking chair and Daddy on Emma’s bed and they all settled in for a long winter’s nap….oops…. Anyway, Dad reads the Proverbs chapter of the day, and one story out of this book.
There are 110 chapters. There is a companion book on the US that he wants after we finish this. This is Matt’s idea of light reading!
So for the last two nights (my friend Jen gave me this idea), while Dad was reading, I got my 4 journals out (1 for each child) and wrote in them. I seem to get one done a night. I tried to find one that would go with their personality. Luke’s is that cool travel leather one.
I hadn’t written in them since September 2007. Ugh! Well, you know, it was that adjustment period after child #4 came along. I really think they will love having these when they grow up.
The rest of what I bought will be coming up in a “Part 2” post.
But I Want To Leave You (And Me) With This:
All 6 of us sitting together in the bedroom at bedtime, reading the Bible and maybe something else is one of the best things we do with our children. Both Matt and I know it. It can be very difficult, because by the end of the day, parents (including us!) are usually ready for the children to GO TO BED! But if we do nothing else, I want to do this. They will remember it forever and we are sowing good seed here that I believe will reap a great harvest in their spirits and souls.