Friday, August 23, 2013

We Interrupt Our Regulary Scheduled Programming...

Expo 2013 Special Event

     This was supposed to be Week 7 but I had the opportunity to attend The Old Schoolhouse Homeschooling Expo.  There were several topics covered in the scheduled webinars and I wanted to sit in on many of them.  I had just enough time each day to focus on one subject with the kids, squeeze a workout in between sessions, feed the kids, spend some time playing with them and reading to them and then get dinner on the table.  The rest of the time I was attached to my tablet listening to the webinars and learning.

     I learned a lot during the week such as the answer to the question below which I posted on our Facebook page:  "Do you know what C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkein, Sir Isaac Newton and Galileo have in common?  (Aside from being all men, as pointed out by The Principal.)

     They were all classically educated!  Now, that doesn't mean that they were taught focusing solely on classical music (I learned that a lot of people have that misconception about Classical Education.)  To read a brief synopsis about Classical Education click here.  You can also pick up a copy of A Well Trained Mind or The Core (a faster read and one that I've read) for more in-depth information.

     So, what else did I learn this week?  Well, I learned:

  • That while every child learns differently (visually, auditory, or kinesthetically) I should use different approaches to teach my children and not just play to their strengths.
  • I need to quickly decide how I want to teach my daughter reading and spelling (and there's nothing wrong with refining my son's skills as well).  I want them to learn the rules of English and I can't rely on the look-sound-and-say method (which I've done a bit of) or memorizing sight words (which I'm not a fan of at all).  Both those techniques can hamper their language skills as they get older.  I've narrowed it down to two specific language curricula and just need to choose.  Now is the time to start and I need to make sure the program I choose is one that she will continue on since each level is built on the previous.  
  • That I have rights as a homeschooler and that I should know what those are for my state.  (I know them!)
  • It's not too early to teach my daughter to find the conflict, climax and conclusion in every book we read.  After that particular webinar, I asked both kids to pull books that we've previously read and then I read them again.  They thought it was cool finding those parts of the story.
  • The basics for how to write my own book.  Not that I will, but you never know.
  • How to homeschool a child with special needs.  I really enjoyed this one.  While my son will be starting Middle School in a couple of weeks, things may change and I may homeschool him instead.
  • I can homeschool year-round without burning out.  Some families work 6 weeks on and then take 1 week off, along with holidays, so that the kids never experience that summer brain fog.  This sounds appealing to me and I may try it next year.
  • Just because it's in a textbook does not mean it's correct or accurate.
  • The old model of education is to fill a child's head with as many facts as possible; get through the textbooks to simply pass a test and move on.
  • A newer and better model of education teach our kids HOW to learn so that as they get older they can apply those skills to anything, whether it's in high school, college or in their careers.
     I have pages and pages of notes and am thankful that I had the opportunity to listen in on the experiences, professional advice and encouragement.  I was especially thankful to be reminded that my goal, above all, is to train my children to become ministers of the Gospels and disciples of Jesus.

Can I get an amen?

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