For the past two days I have had the great opportunity to be attending our states homeschool conference. First and foremost, the very nice benefit of this conference is seeing SO MANY homeschoolers in one place. If you ever have had that "I'm alone in this venture." feeling....this is the cure. It's nice to see all the adults, but I've really enjoyed also seeing the children! I didn't personally bring my children, although I think next year (if I come again, which I hope to), I will bring my oldest, possibly both of the older kids. But defineatly my oldest.
Secondly, the book fair. Oh, the book fair. I am a lover of books. My husband is going to be very dismayed when I get home later today. I packed my suitcase back up this morning, as I will be checking out of the hotel early today, and HALF of it is now full of books! Good, solid, eductaional books. I got my Core Knowledge book for my oldest for next year (5th grade, I ask you HOW is that possible??), I also got the 3rd grade book to recap with my younger one and prepare her better for the Grade 4 book her sister is currently using. We'll most likely skip around though, and not cover everything in the 3rd grade book, and then she'll start the 4th grade book in the fall.
Thirdly, the workshops. I've had both good and not so good experiences with the workshops. Some of them have been great, exactly what I needed and had hoped for, very informative and noteworthy. BUT, some of them have been less than up to par in my opinion, not really covering the issues laid forth in the outline, not giving the information *I* was looking for (not that I am the center of the universe, but I am the center of this blog so I can be perfectly honest), and not at all helpful. Nonetheless, I've enjoyed them.
My favorite workshops were the one on learning styles (I also bought the book "The Way They Learn" by Cynthia Tobias), and a vendor workshop on lapbooks. I really enjoy lapbooks, and want to do more of them in the coming year as I see them as such a valuable tool...in additon to just being plain fun! I also purchased a lapbook kit on the election, which I'm REALLY excited about getting into with the girls. They've been very interested in the election this year, so I'm going to capitalize on that interest. I'm also defineatly planning on buying more of the books that make it so much simpler to make the books. Hands of a Child has a quartley freebie, and currently it's an Amelia Earhart lapbook. I got that today as well! :-)
Today is the last day of the conference, and I'm looking forward to the last 3 seminars. One of them is on frustration...yeah, I have those days. One of them is on raising kids who make a difference. This is one of my big goals for my children's lives, raising children who go out in the world no afraid to do the important things (not that their important things will necessarily match mine). I want them to help others, and be of service to others. Then I head home! I'm excited to get home as this was my first time being away from my itty-bitty. I'm away from the girls for a few days at a time on a normal basis (because they spend weekends with their father pretty often), so while I still miss them (I miss them when I'm home and they're gone as well though), missing the baby is worse.