Made of Gray

My First Homeschool Convention

Holly D GrayComment
This has been a challenging past week. We've updated Caleigh's Proloquo2Go with the 3.0 release. We are attempting a bit of a bootcamp with the new layout, and it has worn me out physically and emotionally.
More on this later....

I've also been having some health issues that decided to peak just in time for Burgers 4 Babies; causing me to miss the evening, and be in bed by 8:30 that night.

I had planned and registered to attend our local homeschool convention months ago, and so I got myself out of bed and trudged on this morning making my way to my first homeschool convention.

I guess technically this was a curriculum fair or book fair. There were speakers and a schedule of sessions so I'm going to consider it a convention.

As soon as I arrived, I headed to a session. It was encouraging, uplifting and I left an hour later feeling energized. I went straight to the next session. This one was interesting. It was one of those "how to run your household" talks. There was a lot of anti-feminist ideas. The woman's place is in the home....yadda yadda blah. This room was full of birkenstocks and long denim skirts, which happen to not be my thing. I should've known. The session was so full that I was sitting on the packed floor. No escape in sight, but I made the best of it with a little people watching.

Then there was a lunch break where I walked around the expo floor checking things out. I studiously made my way to a "should I homeschool my special needs child" session. I mean, it had the words "special needs" in the title. I had read the summary. It was me, right? I fit in here, right? Nope. No, I do not. I had ideas of exiting before the woman even started, but I didn't want to make a scene and there was still that idea that I belonged with the special needs parents. I ended up learning more about autism and learning challenges than I think I needed too. Plus it was a big advertisement for her business to allegedly "fix" kids. I was extremely annoyed, but I went back to the expo.
I had two things that I wanted to look into while I was there. For Caleigh, I use Sonlight curriculum mostly because it is a heavy literature based program. We supplement and withdraw so much that Sonlight is really only a fraction of what we are doing, but Caleigh and I both really do love most of their books. 

We have been using Explode the Code phonics workbooks, Singapore 3B mathematics, and an endless supply of library books. We are also making our way through Harry Potter on a recreational level. Their bible curriculum is very extensive. I add and subtract from this area as well. The language arts that comes with Sonlight just isn't adaptable for Caleigh, and I'm glad that I found the Explode the Code series. These workbooks explain a concept and then I'm able to adapt them for the iPad. Right now, I think this is working. Caleigh is reading wonderfully, and I'm not worried about her progress.

I knew I would get to a level of uncomfortableness with mathematics. It's just what it is. So when the Singapore workbooks started diving into long division my brain shut down. No really, it did. So I put math curriculum on my list of things to look at. 

After circling the floor, and asking a lot of questions, I have decided to switch to Teaching Textbooks. This curriculum has an online teaching component, and after playing with it for awhile; I believe that I will be able to adapt it fairly easy.

While we were just getting started in the homeschooling adventure two years ago, I decided that science could wait a bit. I think I'm ready to add something in. This is a tricky subject because of all the hands on experiments they typically have. 

Science had a lot of choices. I went around twice looking and discussing the options with vendors. I think I have decided to try Sonlight's science curriculum. The chapters look friendly and the best part of the whole deal is an included DVD with all of the experiments done in a cute kid friendly way. I plan on also doing them physically with Caleigh.

The best part of choosing Caleigh's curriculum is that I can change it whenever I want to if it's not working. So far my choices have been pretty good.


I ended the day with another session. I sat down. The woman started ranting about the public school system. First of all, this is a homeschool fair. I'm going to go out on a limb here and assume that we (homeschoolers) aren't sitting there to learn about public school flaws. She was practically giving us a stern talking to. So I walked out. If I've learned one thing while being Caleigh's mom, it's not to waste our precious time. She was wasting mine and I couldn't stand to listen to her negativity for an hour. We all have our reasons for not sending our children to public or private school. Why re-hash the past?

I did one more quick entry into the expo, got tired, and then called it a day.

Even though the sessions didn't appeal to me, the fact that I was walking around a huge convention center with hundreds of other homeschoolers; made me feel less alone in my journey. The expo alone was worth it. I was able to flip through the books, talk to the vendors and find out that there is more out there than the few large companies that control the internet searches. It was all well worth it, and I plan on trying again with a little more wisdom the second time around.
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