Thursday, May 1, 2014

This week in homeschool....the convention experience!

This past year I did a pretty decent job <but not amazing> at keeping track of our homeschool year on the blog.  Then, I had our assessment got cleared, continued to do work, finished up our Sonlight materials (and that's what I was using for our "week #") and now...I'm like I can't blog because I'm not even sure what week I'm doing or where I am.

So...welcome to Spring...the edition of Jen is still homeschooling but isn't really sure what to call it since I've already finished last year?!

Last month <April>, the family hit the Homeschool Convention in Cincinnati!  I really wanted to go and listen to the speakers but because of Vegas' schedule we were limited to just going down on Saturday and used the time to explore the exhibit hall.  I had my list of vendors I had wanted to see and I thought I would focus on those and ignore the others!  Funny, some of the vendors never even showed up!  And, then oh my gosh....people I didn't think I'd stop to see I stopped and loved!

The booth was amazing - lots of fun toys to play with!  Achoo has a list of things he wants for his upcoming birthday!  And, I even managed to find a few things for next year (though, I purchased on amazon)!  Some of our favorites: Zoob Challenge, Thinking Putty, Extreme Dot to Dot, Art/Craft Packages

Oh My! I love love love these!  They offer tons of opportunities for endless building (but we didn't purchase because of cost).  I think they would be just like magna tiles in our house -- an expensive purchase but one used!

They have some really, really cool art lessons.  Gator absolutely loved all the art work done. You can take the lesson and even submit your photo.  It's a very cool concept but when I came home and tried the lesson for myself I wasn't as in love with it.  Sometimes its hard to beat things you already love - Thrive Art.

This was a surprise. It wasn't even on my list of things to stop by and look but the guy Jason Lindsey was just too much to pass up!  He entertained the kids with a science experiment involving a diaper genie bag (you know the ones you put the dirty diapers in)!  He wasn't even really selling anything - wow!  He offers free videos & experiments NEW EACH WEEK on his website.  We left feeling amazing.  The kids stunned Vegas and the scientist with their knowledge of States of Matter <solid, liquid, gas and plasma>!    After we left his booth the kids kept asking to go back....and Achoo even asked if we could buy one of his bags<which he wasn't selling...and we have quite a collection of diaper genie bags at home anyways>.  I can't help but recommend Hooked On Science to EVERYONE!

We looked at so many different and amazing programs: ACE, Foreign Languages for Kids, Seton Testing, Juice Plus, Rainbow Resources, IQ Locker, Saxon, Rod & Staff, Signing Time, Lego Education (kind of a let down - I thought it would be amazing but I wasn't all that impressed), Critical Thinking Co, ABEKA, IEW, A+ Math, Home Grown Preschooler, Home School in the Woods, Nancy Poffenberger's Piano Fun...and so so so many more!  We also hit the stuff we use and love:  Math U See, Spelling You See, Christian Light Education, Classical Conversations.  It was just so fantastic and I cannot wait to go back next year!  We are already planning to go for the different discussions!

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