Saturday, April 16, 2011

Homeschool Conventions, Anyone?

I just found out yesterday that there’s a chance I may be able to attend the GHEA convention (Atlanta, GA) to represent TOS.  I’ve already got CHAP (Harrisburg, PA – MY state’s convention) and FPEA (Orlando, FL) on my schedule for May as well.  So, it’s going to be a busy month. 

I’m hoping that, at least at CHAP, I’ll have opportunity to do a bit of shopping.  And, while I’m thinking back over this school year and planning for the next, I thought it might be worth mentioning a few of the things that we’ve used and loved this year. 

We are really enjoying the Bible curriculum from Positive Action for Christ.  We received a few of their products to  review this year and have been using them faithfully ever since.  Right away, Ashley asked if we could order another one for next school year – and she requested the high school study of Proverbs.  I saw that they also offer a Proverbs study for middle school students, so I’m thinking we’ll get that one for Gracie.  I was excited to see that they will be at conventions this year, so I’ll be able to drop by their booth and actually see these things before I buy.  What I really want to see is their Kindergarten curriculum.  The one page that is shown in the catalog looks pretty simple, so I want to compare it to First Grade and see if I want to order for Ian. 

We’ve been enjoying our study of history this year, using All American History Volume 2.  I think that I’ve shared before that I’m really not all that thrilled with the textbook itself.  But, we just LOVE all the extra stuff that we’ve added as fill-ins and activities – most of which are suggested in the Teacher’s Guide.  I would think that a true unit-study family would benefit from studying American history using JUST the Teacher’s Guide, but I probably shouldn’t be recommending that.  I think that, for next year, we’ll go back to Mystery of History Volume 1.  Hopefully, by the time we make it through the first 3 volumes again, volume 4 will be ready!

We were introduced to Institute for Excellence in Writing this past year and what a breakthrough!  Gracie, my always very reluctant writer, really took off using this approach.  Because we decided to put a rush on the end of our school year, she and I discussed it and decided to put this program on hold for now.  We plan to start back into it next year, but we’ll bump her up and use the Group B program instead. 

We chose to go a different route with math (for Ashley) this past year.  We did Abeka’s Consumer Math program and I’m SO GLAD we did. Talk about PRACTICAL.  She learned about all the things that actually apply to her life this year – things like buying a car, getting a job, opening and maintaining a checking account, etc.  It is math that actually makes sense and is needed for every day life.  In all honesty, I think EVERY student should be REQUIRED to take this math course!

We used Total Language Plus for a 2nd year and both girls really liked it.  Gracie did 3 book studies this year, and Ashley managed to squeeze in 4.  We really like this approach to language arts.  While Ashley will be moving on for next year, Gracie has chosen to do TLP again – so we just need to pick out which books she’ll be studying for next year. 

What has stood out to you as WONDERFUL this past year?  What’s on your list for next year?  Any recommendations?  Do you have your list made?


Mama to 4 said...

It's funny you posted this - I was going to do a similar post early next month. My family & I are going to the FPEA convention in Orlando. Can't wait it's my 1st time going! :) Would LOVE to meet other homeschool bloggers who are going!

Wendy said...

Hey Heidi! I haven't visited your blog in a while, so I thought I'd stop by and say hello. :) I'm not totally sure what we will be doing for school next year, but I'm working on planning right now. I usually plan early in the year and go ahead and buy next year's materials in April, but I'm running behind this year! I know we will continue to use the online Veritas Press history classes. Teaching Textbooks is working great for math, too. The other subjects we use are textbook-based classes that we do together, and we will keep some of those as well. I don't want to wait until June or July to order things because they might be put on back-order. I guess I should get busy!!

Our Homeschool Reviews said...

I posted my plans for next year this week too.

I decided against going to FPEA (boo hoo) because we are going down to Universal the weekend before. We are going to our local convention in July though.

I'm trying to decide on a good writing curriculum for our daughter. I've thought about IEW but wish I could borrow it from someone first...which reminds me that I need to ask some moms closeby who may have it.

Have fun with all your traveling!

Crystal said...

I'm getting ready for convention and hope to see you!!!!
Thanks for the Bible curriculum recommendations!

The Cast said...

Thanks for all the references!

Doreen said...

I'm so happy to hear you will be at the FPEA conference in Orlando. I'll be there too. I look forward to meeting you!


Tonya @ Live the Adventure said...

Positive Action for Christ has been wonderful and I'm so thankful to have had the opportunity to review it, along with a few other favorites that include Artistic Pursuits, Nutrition 101: Choose Life! and the Zguides to the Movies.

Not sure what we'll use next year.

I've not made it to any homeschool conventions this year. I know we'll be in Atlanta sometime soon. I'll have to see if it is the same time as the convention. How cool would that be? :)

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