Monday, June 15, 2009

Tidbits from Convention

The Homeschool Convention was AWESOME!!! I got to visit with some of my Girls that I don't see very much during the year and we laughed ourselves silly! It always fascinates me how we go together and then we all end up alone for the majority of the day! We all have different agendas, different styles of schooling and different things we want to look for so we meet for lunch or a speaker and then we are off again to do our thing - there is no pressure to do this or that from anyone!! At the end of the day we all show off our goodies and share what we learned - much FUN, very encouraging and filling to get me ready for the next school year!
I don't go to alot of the speakers because we always buy the cd's so I can listen to them over and over again throughout the year. I went to 2 this year - the first one was Jessie Wise from the Well Trained Mind talking about reading. She talked about how she taught her kids to read and how to use her book The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading. I was sold and ran back to the used curriculum hall to see if I could find it - I did!!! I found the book, the magnet board with letters and the flashcards that are used with the program for $15 - it was quite a find!!! I am excited to use this to catch up the older 2 and to start with Thomas. It is very basic and systematic and all you use is the book. She talked about how you only teach reading when they are just learning - you don't also teach them writing at the same time. I had been using Explode the Code which does teach reading and have you doing writing at the same time and it is very hard and frustrating for the boys - they hate it actually! I am excited to can those workbooks and use this book and some beginning readers and games to continue teaching them to read. The idea just makes sense and I think the boys will respond to it! I would love to hear from any of you that might have used or be using this book??
The other speaker I went to was Carol Barnier. She has written a great book that gives you hands on ideas to teach the highly distractable kid called How to get your Child off the Refrigerator and onto Learning and a book for highly distractable moms called If I am Diapering a Watermelon, Where did I leave the Baby? She now has a new book called The Big What Now book of learning Styles. I bought it and can't wait to read it!! I love this lady and have read her first 2 books so I am very anxious to read the new one!! I was so excited to see that she was going to be at our convnetion. I read her books about a year and a half ago and have been using some of her ideas to school this year and they are fabulous! Her books are loaded with hands on, practical ways to teach kids with games and other tips to make it easier for kids to learn without having to write all the time and lots of other ideas - I mean Lots!!! I would HIGHLY recommend her books! I am sure I will be showing off some her ideas soon!!!
I found lots of goodies in the used curriculum hall which meant I didn't have to spend much on new stuff!! I did thoroughly enjoy walking around and around the Exhibit Hall and checking out the new books and all the booths and ideas that are available to us!!! I think that so many moms and teachers could benefit from the convnetion and some of the things that we get to take advantage of as Homeschoolers - books - good books,manipulatives, art projects!
When I left for convention I had just been turned on to the company heart of dakota and since I knew they were not going to be at my convention I was really hoping to get my hands on a used copy of the Bigger Hearts for His Glory book for the boys for next year. I couldn't find it anywhere and I was frustrated and sad because I didn't know what I was going to use now. Without having a chance to get my hands on the book I wanted to use I wasn't prepared to make a decision! I was so sure I would find it!! So - I prayed and talked to God about it that night and when I woke up I was okay with not finding it! The Lord convinced me that I needed to use ALL or MOST of the books I already own!! I have an obsession with thrift stores and yard sales and buying something becasue it is a good deal so I have lots of American History, Science and Bible books that I can easily(maybe) plan myself for the year!! So - we will be doing a slight review of American History to the American Revolution and then continuing on and finishing up what we didn't finish this year from that point on! The boys want to learn about the wars and such so we will!! We will be using the Let's Read and Find out Science books that I have accumulated on all sorts of different topics as well as some Magic School Bus books with some experiments thrown in here and there! We have lots of Bible devotionals. We will stay with Horizons Math and we will start our new reading program for LA. I am looking forward to doing the planning for us - I think!!! It will be a challenge but I really feel like this is what God has called me to do this year so I know he will give me the ability to succeed - as long as I stay on task with Him!!!


  1. Awesome! I have one of CB book's, I'm going to look for that new one :)Your convention sounded wonderful, ours was rather small(not much used).

    I share your passion for yard sale books...ummm, maybe mine is an obsession..LOL.

  2. It was fun to read your report from convention! I'm glad you had such a good time and got filled up with inspiration.

  3. We use OPG and love it. My oldest is finishing it up this year (he is nine) and he is reading well above his age/grade level. I really think it is because of the systematic approach. I supplement with ETC books for review and reinforcement. My 7 year old is working through it also and I am debating starting it with my 5 year old or using My Fahter's World K as written (it includes phonics).

    I found your site from the workboxes group and wanted to say I am enjoying looking around and reading. We have 4 boys also. Lots of fun.