Monday, April 4, 2011

Homeschooling conference overview

For the second year in a row I had the opportunity to go to the Nebraska Christian Home Educators Association conference.   There were some wonderful speakers from all over the country that hosted workshops on several different home schooling topics.  I had Weston in tow with me, so it was a little hard to take notes, so I am writing this blog for my friends who wanted to be there, but couldn’t, or my friends who asked to borrow my notes (that are in my head), or maybe the ones who are thinking about homeschooling, but aren’t quite sure yet.   (Some comments made are from last year’s conference).  If you are in the area next April, I would HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommend going.  It is well worth it!  I will write this in bullet form for organizational purposes:

Socialization.  Are people really still bringing this up?   
 I guess people are still saying that homeschoolers aren’t socialized.  What?  Seriously?  I am not going to get in any arguments here, but let me state my case, as I am sure you have your own.  Since we are homeschooling, my kids will have the opportunity to be with all different types of age groups and not just one that corresponds to their current grade level.  We have the opportunity to be out in the community every day if we choose to.  We have enough problems with our neighborhood kids “bullying” our kids when they are playing outside for a few minutes, I can not even imagine turning my kids lose for a whole day of it unattended.  So socialization…I don’t really think there is a case for it.  What is it anyways?  
2.   Nebraska Laws and Regulations
This conference also has a great workshop for beginning homeschooling families.  I attended this workshop last year and it was well worth it.  The couple that presented went over how to fill out the paper work …so they aren’t considered truant.  I was surprised to find out that it is a really easy process.  We are lucky that we live in Nebraska because they don’t have very many regulations…unless you aren’t following their little paperwork process and then you don’t have a leg to stand on if your kids get caught being truant.  Good workshop for the beginner.  An overview of Nebraska laws are here:  Title 12 & 13
       Walking through the homeschooling years
Such a good workshop.  I have a book that gives me a little overview on what a child should know by the time they exit a certain grade, however after attending this workshop I feel a little better about the whole “grade level” thing.  Basically a grade level is just a title that you tell others so they can keep YOUR child organized in “their” heads.  But when you are homeschooling you can gage where child is at and cater to their abilities or interests.  Especially if you are teaching multiple kids…you can wait to teach certain topics until most of them are ready.  For example, maybe the public schools are studying volcanoes or the U.S. presidents in 3rd grade, it is ok if you wait until 6th grade or 10th grade….it really doesn’t matter…your child won’t know the difference.  Also you can choose to skip certain topics or even subjects.  I have my masters degree and I have NEVER taken a course in Chemistry or upper level math course.  I think Calculus was my highest math year and I haven’t used it since 12th grade.  Many subjects are pointless unless you are pursuing a degree or area where you really need to use that subject.  Think about how many classes you had to take in high school that you have never had to use in your everyday life?  How many times did you question why you were learning a certain lesson? 
      Deadly Myths about Homeschooling Math
This is a common area that I get questioned about….how are you going to teach subjects like Trigonometry or Calculus…you don’t have a degree in that area!  Um what?  Who says I am going to teach those subjects.  If my kids want to pursue a degree that requires those subjects, then we will cross that path when the time comes…or utilize our local community colleges or online courses out there.  

This presenter also made a good point…what is pre-algebra anyways?  Um arithmetic?  Duh?  Hence the word (pre).  Never thought of it like that.  So basically Jocelyn is in pre-algebra right now for the next few years. Kind of funny to think about it.  They just need a course for those not ready for algebra yet to review the arithmetic basics.
      Teaching boys when all they want to do is build forts all day
I wasn’t going to attend this workshop.  I am teaching girls….why would I need to learn how to teach boys?…well duh…I AM teaching boys.  I AM SO GLAD I ATTENDED THIS WORKSHOP!  SO GLAD!  It was such an eye opener.  I could have listened to this presenter on this topic for hours.  He discussed the differences in how boys learn, listen, and hear.  How they act.  How they draw (ever notice boys draw mostly adjectives and not nouns like girls?)  How they listen?  Do your boys mindlessly tap and bother everyone else….ever consider they didn’t know they were doing it?  Easton does this and so does Sean.   Ever notice that boys are out to win and should be set up to win when doing educational like things?  Sean (my husband) gave me a good example about how when he was in school he was so disappointed that he got a few questions wrong during a game about countries, cities etc. so he went home that night, memorized the entire globe so he could go back the next day and answer every question. 

This presenter “Andrew Pudewa” also talked about how there was a huge research study out there about how most boys can’t hear soft sounds (the tapping mentioned earlier).  Many boys have been classified by their teachers or doctors for having ADHD when in fact they just can’t hear as well…especially since most teachers are females and soft spoken.  Why would anyone want to listen to someone and sit still if they can’t hear their teacher.  The Dr. that wrote this studies website is: 

So many kids are being put on drugs to control their ADHD…maybe this process needs to be reevaluated?

I could go on and on about this workshop…Such a good eye opening topic.  I am again, so glad I went to this one!

I believe you can purchase this workshop for $3.00 here:

Well apparently I could go on and on about this homeschooling conference.  I won’t right now...I went to several other workshops that I could talk about.  I might write more this week about the Titus 2 workshop that I attended.  We are on spring break and have a lot going on this week…science fair, sister coming into town, hopefully going to the park, MOPS….lots of things!  Have a good week!

1 comment: