Are you going to be at MASS HOPE's homeschooling conference in two weeks? If so, I'd love to meet you. Leave me a comment. MASS HOPE is the Christian Homeschooling Organization for the state of Massachusetts. Their homeschool conference is the largest in our area. Yes, I live in Connecticut. The Christian homeschool organization for Connecticut is TEACH, and they also have a convention. We may still attend their conference as well, but the MASS HOPE one is larger.
Last year, I went to MASS HOPE with my friend Suzanne, and we had a lovely time. It was refreshing to have the "girl time" and enjoy the break from the kids. But I was thinking the whole time that I would have liked to have had the kids there to see it. We had just made the switch to unschooling, and I was aware that while I might pick wonderful things for the kids to enjoy and learn with, their own choices would be even more interesting.
So this year I asked Big Dad if we could please go to MASS HOPE as a family. We have been planning this trip for 5 months - saving for it, and getting our reservations. We will be going up to Worchester, Massachusetts on Thursday afternoon and staying until Saturday evening. There will be a children's program for Jor Man and Campster. Sher Bear will have to stay with one of us. Some of the workshops allow children, and others do not.
My favorite part of the convention is the vendors. There are so many wonderful resources and ideas there to be gleaned. We have budgeted $100 for each child and extra for Beauty Mom to be able to buy things for next year. I found that many of the vendors offer big discounts on the cost of goods if you buy them at the convention - plus you save the shipping costs.
Last year I bought Elsie Dinsmore on CD from Vision Forum for Campster. She still listens to the wonderful stories every night as she goes to sleep. It has increased both her vocabulary and her character. It is easy to correct her by asking, "what would Elsie do?"
For Jor Man I purchased a Knex set for levers and pulleys. I also bought some books about keeping Nature Journals, and materials to do so.
As the time draws near, I want to talk with each child and do the list again. What do they want to learn this next year? What do I want them to learn? And how can I inspire and ignite an interest in that area for them? It's part planning, part asking, part praying. In the end, God knows what we will learn in the next year better than any of us.
I was talking with my dear friend, Renee, today. I asked whether they are feeling the earthquakes in San Diego? Yes, they are. And her boys are asking lots of questions. She mentioned that if she were me, they'd stop doing "school" for a week and study earthquakes. Just by searching the internet, she'd found some great sites for kids about earthquakes and geology.
So you never know what will spark your interest, or your child's. But you will all learn best when it is something that you sincerely want to learn. I trust that we will find lots of new and wonderful things to learn about at MASS HOPE in a couple of weeks.
Wish you were here!