Homeschool Conferences: 5 Reasons You Should Attend

Written by Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool and founder of Steady Mom

Warmer weather brings with it conference season. I always look forward to getting away for a couple of days, recharging my batteries, and gathering inspiration for our homeschooling journey.

2011 marked the 5th homeschool conference I’ve attended.

Here are the reasons I make sure to book this into my schedule each year.
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Weekend Links & An Invitation to Join Our Curriculum Fair

I hope you’ve enjoyed this year’s curriculum fair! Care to join in?
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High School, Take Two (2011 Curriculum Fair)

Written by contributor Sarah Small of SmallWorld at Home

Ages of my children: 14, 10 (and college sophomore, 18)
Educational Philosophy Influences: Literature-based, Eclectic, College-Bound

In August our daughter will begin high school at home. This is our second time homeschooling a high schooler; our older son just finished his freshman year of college. As we enter high school again, we naturally consider what we’ll do the same and what we’ll do differently.

Our son’s input was tremendously helpful. At the end of the year, I asked him what boiled down to: how did we do? I’ve been relieved at his answers. He didn’t have a list of “Things I Missed Because I Was Homeschooled.” He basically had two items on his “wish list.”

  1. That we had talked more about literary elements like symbolism, imagery, etc. and that we’d analyzed more poetry. (You might have guessed that he is an English major.)
  2. That he had taken a language through dual enrollment at the community college rather than using Rosetta Stone at home.

I can definitely correct those two issues! But there are other places that we’ll tweak according to the differences in the two kids themselves and a few things I wish I’d done differently.

One major difference is that we will have more time with our daughter. Our son wanted to finish high school in three years, so we packed a lot into those years. She’ll take four years, allowing for a more leisurely pace.

For our kids, high school consists of a combination of home, co-op, and community college. Why this mixture?
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Middle School Resources and Materials (2011 Curriculum Fair)

Written by contributor Heather Bruggeman of Beauty That Moves

My Child’s Age: 13
Educational Philosophy Influences: Montessori, Classical, Relaxed

Our family is in its first full year of homeschooling. My girl is an academic who enjoys lessons, grades, and TESTS. As for me? I would call myself a relaxed homeschooler. Somewhere in the middle is where we meet and spend our days.

In the interest of this month’s Curriculum Fair, I’ll focus this post on what we have used this year for our formal curriculum. This includes pre-packaged curriculum as well as various resources that are of high quality and see regular use in our homeschool.

A brief background: My daughter spent her elementary years attending a private Montessori school where learning was celebrated and the idea of school was very positive. Each child felt successful and confident as a contributing member of the classroom community. We did not decide to homeschool because school didn’t work out. We chose it because after graduating from that special school, nothing else could possibly compare.

So, we decided to homeschool.
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Classical Curriculum for a Flexible Lifestyle (2011 Curriculum Fair)

Written by Tsh Oxenreider of Simple Mom

Children’s ages: 6, 3, and 1
Educational Philosophy Influences: Classical, Charlotte Mason, and Leadership Education

I‘m a newbie when it comes to homeschooling. This can’t be overstated enough — those of you who feel completely green at homeschooling, count me among your throngs.

While we have a very nomadic lifestyle, I actually thrive quite a bit on structure, so my homeschool plans reflect this. Part of this is preemptive: I also have two other little ones, a business to run, a book to start, speaking engagements, and travel plans. If I don’t somewhat structure our school, I’m afraid it’ll never happen.

So. Here are our plans for first grade this next year.
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