Thoughtful Thursday Week 27 – Homeschool Conferences

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I have said it before, and I will say it again: homeschooling parents should attend a homeschool conference at least once a year. Sorry for should-ing all over you, but you should. I am not saying you should spend money on transportation, hotels and restaurants to get to one. But if you have a local event, by all means change your schedule, get a second job to pay for the fee, volunteer at the conference for discounts, do whatever it takes and attend.

Adriana Zoder and Susan Wise Bauer at the Appalachian Home Educators Conference in Knoxville, June 2015

With Susan Wise Bauer at the Appalachian Home Educators Conference in Knoxville, June 2015

The reason people don’t attend homeschool conferences is that they don’t think they will get enough value out of them. I know, I know, some of you are saying, “That’s not true. Some actually can’t afford a conference.” I can agree with that only for the extremely poor, but even they make an effort to earn some extra money for something they deem valuable.

Ultimately, it is human nature to choose activity A over activity B because activity B does not offer as much satisfaction or perceived value as activity A. Sure, I understand schedule conflicts. I also understand lack of resources. I even understand the fact that homeschooling parents are afraid of being made to feel inadequate in their efforts by so-called homeschooling experts.  Continue reading »

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5 Days of Homeschool Essentials, Day 4 – An Internet Connection

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The internet has changed our lives so much, I don’t know how we managed before it. I know people who homeschool without internet at home. It is possible. After all, pioneering homeschoolers of the 80s and 90s all managed without it.

My children coloring a page as they follow instructions from Kinderbach.com - our piano curriculum online

My children coloring a page as they follow instructions from Kinderbach.com – our piano curriculum online

However, the internet makes it so easy for me to teach. Here are some ways in which the internet plays an essential role in my homeschool:

  • researching homeschooling in general and curriculum in particular
  • inspiration from other blogging, homeschooling moms
  • finding the best deals on curriculum
  • downloading free printables
  • science4us.com, mangolanguages.com, kinderbach.com, k5learning.com – all these curricula, which we currently use, are online. I will be writing reviews on all of them in a few weeks, by the way.
  • finding about the weather, which can change our plans for the (following) day. Who has time for the TV news to get to the weather forecast? We live in a mountain town, with steep neighborhood streets. Our driveway is at an incline, too. Not bad, compared to other homes around our town, but enough to make it dangerous to walk to the mailbox when it freezes over. Even getting two inches of snow means we are snowed in.
  • Amazon Prime, baby! Love it, love it, love it.
  • Google Translate – sometimes I draw a blank when my kids ask me for a word in French or Romanian or Spanish. Then, I tell them, “Let’s look it up!” Bonus: they learn the process of getting information.
  • blogging – the multitude of opportunities for dialogue and sponsorship a blogging, homeschooling mom exposes herself to is astounding.
  • Code.org – if you want your children to learn how to program a computer, you’ve got it made with this site.
  • The Khan Academy – my children are too young for it still, but we look forward to diving into this free resource for math, science, history, economics, with subjects being added regularly.

To see what my fellow crew members see as a homeschooling essential today, please click on their websites below:

Laura @ Day by Day in Our World

Julie @ Nurturing Learning

Lisa @ Farm Fresh Adventures

DaLynn @ For the Display of His Splendor

Lori @ At Home: where life happens

Nicole @ Journey to Excellence

Brandy @ Kingdom Academy Homeschool

Meg @ Adventures with Jude

Sarah @ Delivering Grace

 

5 Days of Homeschooling Essentials

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