Thursday, June 2, 2011

More on homeschooling

OOH! I got to go to the book fair at our conference this year. I really love the book fair. It's funny how I think about my first time walking into that book fair. My jaw dropped down and I might have peed a little. I remember walking around aimlessly grabbing information from just about every booth I walked past. That was 7 years ago. I can't believe that 7 years and 3 different curriculum's have gone by.
That was probably the biggest, scariest thing I dealt with after deciding to homeschool. There was just so many things to choose from and we didn't have the money to mess it up. How would we replace the curriculum if I hated it??? Whatever I bought was what we were going to use for the year. Minimum.
I went home with all of my brochures and laid them out for Tim and I to weed through. After we took out the ones that were obviously not for us (either too old or to $$) we prayed over what exactly God wanted for our family. He led us straight to Five In A Row. It was an amazing curriculum and fit our lives and what we wanted perfectly. For Amber. I bought Before FIAR for Claire to use as a preschool curriculum and it was totally not her thing. I used it here and there with her and she joined in with Amber with a lot, but I knew we would need a change for the next year. Mostly because I wanted a year of practice with it before Claire officially started her year of kindergarten.
I looked and prayed and looked some more. I knew Claire needed hands on and activity. I tried searching for homeschool curriculums that were geared towards ADD or raved about by parents of children with ADD. I found KONOS. It was a great Godly curriculum that was very hands on. We prayed and felt it was the right way to go. I used it for 3 years. We got nearly through volume 2. I felt trapped in it by the end of our 3rd year. I don't want anyone to be discouraged by this, it is just my personal opinion, mostly of volume 2. We loved volume 1. It was more than great. We learned about indians, cowboys, medieval times. We had so much fun. We had whole nights of fun as a family celebrating as Egyptians and many other things. When we got to volume 2 I'm not sure if I got burnt out on it, or if I just was frustrated with the second volume in general. But using that curriculum did do several things. It was kind of harder to understand. I spent an entire summer learning the curriculum and was actually able to help others to understand it and use it more effectively. I wouldn't trade that for anything. It also made me realize that I could be very competent at schooling the children differently (as did 5inarow). A friend invited me to the poetry in the park group that i have posted about not too long ago. This group was based on the teachings of Charlotte Mason. I had only heard about her name as a title at our homeschool convention called "Who or what is Charlotte Mason". It was done by Sonya Schafer (I think). I didn't attend that talk and that was the only time I had ever heard her name. The more I attended the group the more I liked the idea of using the methods of Charlotte Mason. I talked with Tim and prayed again. We decided to go for it! Method #3, CM. We have been using it for 3 years now and I have no intentions of changing...ever.

So, back to the convention this weekend. I will be ordering the mp3's to the talks I wanted since I didn't get to attend the whole conference. But I did get some things that I really wanted for a good price. Here's the rundown of what I got the other day... I still have things to get, but I didn't want to bust my budget. Most things were a % off since it was at the conference plus I didn't have to pay shipping. I bought the 2nd volume of Mystery of History for $38 instead of $48. Deal. I bought the 3 notebooks for the Apologia Anatomy elementary edition. $18 instead of 24. I got 2 regular journals and a jr. journal for Noah. These are really great. If you use the notebooks and can afford to get the notebooks, do it. They are amazing and give your children something to look back on for years. I looked at my friend's son's astronomy journal and I was totally sold on it. They are beautifully done and durable. Nice. I bought Nate the Get Ready, and Get Set for the Code. I was going to buy the Go for the Code, but I wasn't sure if he liked them before I spent more $$. They were like $6 each. That was a pretty good deal. I also saved some money on Mind Benders from The Critical Thinking Company. I got a few odds and ends at Miller Pads and Paper. If you've never checked this company out, do it. They have amazing prices and usually have deals on shipping too. If you can go in on an order with a friend and spend over $50 you can usually get free shipping. I get a lot of art supplies from them. I love that they have Prang water colors for $2.50!! They are over $5 or $6 in art stores.

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