Tuesday, May 14, 2013

First homeschooling convention experience!

I am so ready for summer. And not just because that means school will be officially over for us. I am excited about this summer because we will finally have time to spend together again. We won't have to wake up at 6:30 am to start our battle of getting up. Monster used to be a bright and early type of kid. Now I have to fight him to get up. Most of the time he whines about how he doesn't want to go to school. As of right now, we have 17 days left of public schooling! I did however sign us both up to do VBS this year at church. So really our first week of summer vacation we will still be getting up way early!
This past weekend my husband and I went to our very first homeschooling convention in Arlington, Texas. Everyone warned me that for our first one we would be overwhelmed. I really was not expecting it. I had done my research and knew what curriculum I would be using. Then I walked through those convention doors and everything changed. There is so much out there!
 I know for the basic subjects we will be using Horizon. I found that my local Mardels sells the Horizon sets and I can just go and get them from there and not have to worry about ordering them online and waiting for them. However, the rest of the extras we will need I wanted to look at the convention.
 I think for Social Studies we are going to do Cantering the Country. We were deciding between Cantering the Country or Little Passports. They both seem great, but I think we are going with Cantering the Country after being able to look at both at the convention.
As for Art, I found a set at the convention I really liked. It is called Atelier. It is hands on, has DVDs to follow and is reinforced with lesson plans. They had some original samples at the convention that some other kids have done and I was quite impressed. There are 8 levels. They start at age 4 and go to age 18.
I also found a great company that does Lapbooks. These are something I strongly am for. When I was going through my teaching internship we used these in the classroom. The kids loved them. This company is called A Journey Through Lapbooks. They have so many lapbooks to chose from too. You can have them downloaded to your computer and print it off or you can have them mail you pre-printed lapbooks (they are a little more).
We also found Friends and Heroes. They have a homeschooling curriculum. It teaches:
Creative Writing
Bible Study
We got the first unit to start with and if we decide to use this then we will order the full unit set. 
For my first convention I was very excited that I went. Next year we will take Monster with us. This year we decided not to since we wanted to go to some of the seminars. We did buy a few items at the convention but not too much since we really wanted to make sure we know what we want to order and use first. But it was great getting to see everything in person and explore it all!! Besides we also skipped out early the last day and went to Six Flags! Last time we went (two years ago) we stood in one line for 2 hours, rode that one ride and left. It was crazy. This year is wasn't so bad. I can't wait to take Monster though and see what I can get him on (we got season passes since you can pay monthly for them now!).

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