The Homeschool Convention


The Convention is over for another year.  It went really well, and I was able to make some decisions after actually seeing some of the curriculum.  Dearie is the hardest to buy for because she is so advanced.  I need curriculum that will challenge her, but at the same time I don’t want curriculum that expects the maturity of a child 4 years her senior. 

–For LA, I went with the program I was leaning towards.  She will be using Life Pacs 4thgradeLanguage Arts.  I debated on whether to expect her to do more than a year’s worthof work, but decided to just supplement with extra fun stuff if (um I mean when) she finishes early. 

–For Science I went with a new program.  I have heard good things about Rainbow Science, but they were similar to Apologia in that the real science starts in 7th grade.  I looked at several science programs, but just couldn’t find what I was looking for.   I want a program that she can do pretty much independently, and that is not just a rehash of what she already knows.  I looked at Apologia, it looked very intimidating!  Big book, small type, and she needs at least another year of math to make the math line up when she hits Chemistry.  I looked at Life Pacs, all black and white, lots of reading comprehension questions.  I think that it would have worked, but it just didn’t feel right.  I looked at PACES.  I asked the lady what kind of materials were needed for the experiments, and she said mostly stuff that you have around the house, but if you didn’t have something, you could just skip the experiments.  I’m guessing that those experiments aren’t really designed to teach much.  Then I walked by the Rainbow Science booth.  They have a BRAND NEW program designed for 5th and 6th graders.  When I looked carefully at the material that was provided by the author, he even said that the program could be done by some 8 or 9 year olds.  The lessons that I read were well written, and the author’s sense of humor comes though.  (I never smiled at any of the other science programs that I was looking at).  The best part is that all of the items needed for experiments, come with the kit.  I also got a great discount since I was buying it “Sight unseen.”  They had more examples to look at than if I was buying it on-line, but it still seemed a little like an “unknown.”  The other downside is that it won’t be ready until Sept. 1 (hopefully).  I really hope it works out.

–Math for Honey.  This one was a real doosey!  I have decided that Honey has hit a wall and needs a new curriculum.  A new curriculum will also separate her from Kiddo, as there is no way Kiddo can be doing the same book as her if they are using different curricula.  There is one company that highly recommends Singapore Math(It is the only curriculum worth using according to them), so I thought that I would see what they thought of as second best.  Well, it was a mistake on my part because I know that this man is overbearing and thinks that it is his way or the highway.  But anyway, I asked him what program would be good for Honey, and he told me that Kiddo should not be doing math, and that I should hold Dearie back and  that Honey should be doing Singapore Math.  By the time I was done talking with him, I was almost in tears.  I did a lot of thinking and I decided that some of the mistakes made with his oldest (who was pushed early on, and then burnt out and never even graduated from homeschool) were personality conflicts as much as anything else.  I mean if this man can stand there and tell a complete stranger how wrong she is and exactly how she should be teaching her kids, imagine how he was with his daughter.  I feel sorry for her.  So anyway, then I talked to some other people who gave me the best advice.  They said that I know my kids better than anyone else, and that I know what they need.   That gave me peace and I looked at every math program in the place.  I ended up going with Horizons, which is the one that I was leaning toward anyway.  To tell the truth, I don’t think that the math program matters that much because it is not the book that teaches the math, I am the one that teaches the math.  The book just reinforces it.


 Overall it was a really good conference.  I learned a lot, I bought a lot, and I had a lot of fun.  Now I just need to order my Sonlight stuff, plan out my schedule and we will be ready to start the school year!


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