24 June 2007

Convention Overload

I have survived yet another CHEO (Christian Home Educators of Ohio) convention with flying colors.  I say "survived" because the very moment one walks into the vendor's hall, one is completely blind-sided with a creeping, nervous feeling that gets worse and worse until you take your first step and dig in to the endless stream vendor products. 
It wouldn't have been so bad if I had known what curriculum we were using for the fall, but I didn't.  And so, with hesitation, on Thursday evening, I took my first glimpse of this year's CHEO convention vendor's hall, spanning the oversized room with wide-eyed awe, and, even though I had seen it before, the room was not any less intimidating as I looked at the never-ending spread of curriculum, supplies, nutritional supplements, books for fun, music and art programs, educational toys, just-for-fun toys, inspirational speakers, and the list goes on and on and on.  I smiled, glanced at my convention booklet briefly, and then planned my attack.  Right to left.  The best way to see anything, right?  And so it began...the great curriculum search of 2007.
Honestly, this convention was incredible.  I have left with my head so filled with information that I scarcely know what to do with it all.  I feel inspired and equipped for the year to come.  I think that Lukas is going to love the curriculum we chose for him to use this year.  We decided to use Singapore Math again since it worked so well for him last year, and we'll be using Explode the Code to reinforce some phonics rules and spelling for him(he's reading very well, but we haven't spent much time on spelling yet).  We basically put together our own customized package of curriculum, and I think it's going to be fun for me to teach as well as for Lukas to learn.  I didn't get to spend any time looking for anything to occupy Ava, but the truth is, that DLTK's site has more to offer for her than I will need, so why buy anything else? 
On Friday afternoon, I was able to attend a Renee Ellison workshop called No Monkey Business.  It was about child training, and I have to say that her tips are practical and simple to put into place.  I shared with Eric as much as I could remember from my notes, and I bought a booklet with more info in it.  We immediately started putting some of the tips into action within a couple hours of picking our kids up.  It is making a difference already.  How exciting is that?  Practical tips that work!  That is what this household needed right now.
Let me just tell you how great Renee Ellison was.  I wish I had been able to attend all of her workshops, but I was only able to hear her speak twice.  Both workshops were animated and captivating.  This woman is wise and filled with a wealth of knowledge.  I will be perusing her website often and hoping to hear her again in the future.  I highly recommend that you check her out!  You won't be disappointed.  You'll find info on managing your home, child training, home schooling, academics, Christian growth, and much more.  Her ministry is my convention favorite for this year.
Those are the highlights of the 2007 CHEO convention.  Today was recovery day.  We went to church and then took a family nap this afternoon.  It felt great, and I feel so much better!  Tonight we had a family movie night because after all the thinking and processing I have done for the past three days, I really felt like I needed some down-time to let my brain chill for a while.  Tomorrow...we'll get back to the grind!

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