I've been trying to remember how many years I've gone to this conference. I know I took R-girl as a 9-10 month old to the conference when it was still at the Landmark Baptist church and I've gone every year since, so that is 6 years, but I think we went to the conference at the church twice (right Heather?) and I think R-girl came the second year there. So, either 6 or 7 years. It is a great conference and I've been so blessed by my Mother-in-Law and husband who have either watched the children so Jason could work or Jason has taken the days off work so dMIL can attend too.
This year, my dear friend - Jason's cousin who introduced us and was our Maid of Honor - was able to come with us! It was so much fun to have her to ride and visit with from Columbus to Cincinnati! We stayed with my MIL, picked up my SIL each day, and the four of us divided and conquered! How fun.
Thursday of the conference is a short day. I attended two sessions and did most of my shopping Thursday (unusual for me)
The first session was by Adam Andrews from Center for Lit which produces Teaching the Classics. Heather and I watched TtC several years ago (before she moved), and I have long wanted to go to one of his sessions. This session was "How to design your own lit program." His presentation style is very enthusiastic and fun. I appreciated his direction that you should study the literature that you, the homeschooling parent, can read. You can assign more to your student, but you can only truly delve into that which you know. Frankly, there wasn't much I hadn't heard before, but the encouragement was good and the presentation was encouraging. He suggests that education does not equal finishing the curriculum and that your worth is not equal to what you do. Very good reminders for homeschoolers who so often are afraid or fearful of their worth. He said that you should discuss the number of books you can read. You should discuss children's books (picture books), classics, and books you like. Finally, ask good questions. He didn't go into this very much, but his curriculum has lists of books. (He didn't try the hard sell tactic, that's just me [grin])
Second, I went to Andrew Pudewa's 'Fairy Tales and the Moral Imagination.' Sadly, I could only stay for half of it, but it is such a great talk. I've heard it before, I'll hear it again. The reminders of what different kinds of stories do and teach our children; the encouragement to read Fairy Tales - the real ones -; the humor and realness of what he has to say make this a not to be missed talk. The room was packed out. This talk helped set the tone for the conference. It reminded me of Andrew Kern's admonishments last year to not fear and to rest even at the conference. Not so much in what he said but in the peace and simplicity that he brought to mind.
I did go shopping. My children had asked me for more Mindbender puzzles. They like logic puzzles. I found some. From Critical Thinking Company, I got the next two Mindbender books and a book of Crypto Mindbenders, where you solve three puzzles and use your solutions to figure out a quote. That might take some time.
They also asked me to find Books 5 & 6 of the Imagination Station series. These are like Magic Treehouse, but from Adventures in Odyssey, so Christian in nature. That's fun. I bought a couple of Opal Wheeler books from Zeezok Publishing. I pick a couple up every year and add to our collection. They have a new curriculum that they're publishing, but I'm just doing the books for now. I bought several of Simply Charlotte Mason's art packages. These are really so lovely, with a nice book and beautiful prints. I also purchased Song School Latin II. We're almost done with the songs in SSL I, so I was excited when I saw a second volume was being published. Finally, I bought the Classical Conversations science cards. I've long been looking at them, and planned to take the plunge this year.
It was a great start to the conference!