Morning Tour

I got to walk around the booths with Luke this morning; we were looking for a science curriculum. We passed by the UR the Mom booth again, and I took a closer look. It appears this lady sells homeschool student planners that help the student be more self-guided. Intriguing. She speaks at 5:30 so I may go listen in. We also spent some time at an art curriculum booth, where I really liked what I saw. There are three levels of study that go from ancient art to modern art; we are thinking about doing the first two next year and be ready to do the third the following year, to correspond with Linda’s fourth Mystery of History book. As we wait for that, we may do a year of Ohio history, something I have wanted to do.
Really, every year I feel like I am just playing around at this homeschooling thing, never getting my act together. I imagine, though, that after I finish the fourth year of our history curriculum and am ready to start over, that I may feel a bit more like my teacher’s cap is on straight. By then we’ll be feeling good about where we are going in art and science, too. I didn’t start the treasure hunt yet, maybe this afternoon.

My First Homeschool Convention

Well, here I am at the Midwest Homeschooling Convention in Cincinnati! For two years now, Carol has been going to these conventions to promote her homeschool beginning reading program, Burton Reading, and Luke would occasionally accompany her. We’ve brought the whole family to this one, and it will prove to be quite an adventure.
We are staying in the hotel adjacent to the convention center, something I am already grateful for. Even after coaching the kids on hotel etiquette (“the light switches do the same thing they do at home”, etc.), they could hardly contain their excitement when we got to the room. It will be a challenge to get us all bedded down at night in this room, but I like a good challenge now and then.
I went over to the convention center with Luke, Carol, and Keith this afternoon, and got my first look at a homeschool convention. The venue is very big, but the overall atmosphere is friendly. While many booths are filled with curriculum materials and books, many other booths have toys and games or cooking and baking. Then there are the candied nut and lemonade stands. The roasted almonds can be smelled from the Burton Reading booth.
So far a couple of programs have caught my eye: one was called “You’re the mom” or something, promoting a curriculum that was apparently more self-guided. I assume by the name they mean that a mom should be more mom than teacher? Interesting concept. Another booth had an art curriculum I want to take a closer look at. Next year I want to go further with science and art. Even though I love to draw and paint, it doesn’t follow that I would know how to teach my kids to love it, too. It would be neat to have some guidance in this area.
Our Burton Reading booth is next to the Above Rubies booth, and Michelle from AR Canada is manning (or womaning) it. I’ve already gotten to talk to her a bit and tell her how much her AR articles and posts on Facebook have encouraged me so much. She has 11 children, her youngest is 2, and she shared how she is sad at the possibility of not getting to have more. I don’t feel like I am at that place where I would be sad to be done having children, but I suspect I eventually will miss this season of my life.
The big hit with the kids so far is the Wikki Stik booth. They have some illustrations hanging along their back wall made entirely of the sticky straws, like Noah’s Ark, constellations, and more.
After a few quick rounds of quadrants of the convention hall, then a quick dinner of hot dogs and Chipotle, I brought the youngest three back to the hotel for a bath and bed. Anna is still awake playing with her Wikki Stiks, but the other two appear to be in dreamland. I hope they can follow our usual home routine here, if I am careful to let them rest at the right times.
I hope to go through the convention again tomorrow more methodically, visiting the booths that are participating in the ‘treasure hunt’, and maybe going to a few sessions.