We’re big on theme studies as you incorporate all your subjects (reading, history, math, science, etc.) under one theme so I saw Amanda Bennett. Every year we do the Human Body. We learn our math by figuring up how many times Sunshine’s pinky nail goes around her waist’s circumference or how many of Tyler’s big toes would equal my height. We learn our history by learning how the body and it’s functions have been seen and understood. Tyler LOVED hearing how dead bodies were dug up so they could be …used…for scientific studies. Last year learned the connection between a woman’s vulva and Roman Soldiers sword and scabbard. This was a nice connection between the kids as he studied the Roman soldier and gladiator and she did Women’s studies. Reading, science, social or cultural and any other area of study can be incorporated.
Cindy West, with NaturExplorers, does unit studies with a lot of Charlotte Mason nature and art influence. She calls it “Project Based Learning” which is a much catchier title. 🙂 She had a really nice presentation but you could see how under-prepared the conference was for the
homeschooler’s love of nature as she was out of handouts in each of her workshops after only the second to third row. They told her to expect only 25 folks!! I think there was only one class that didn’t have people standing along the back, sides and outside peeking in and that was because it was late Saturday when many had left. My FAVORITE idea she gave was a tweezers walk. You only collect things you can pick up with tweezers! How cool is that?!
Tyler and I struggle in math so I chose to see Kathy Kuhl’s “When Math Doesn’t Come Easily.” She helps the discouraged, the gifted and the struggler or any combo of the three.. I am still AMAZED when I think about her lecture!! It was so encouraging. She gave me ideas to teach math to Bub who has his own learning challenges, and the girls. One tip Kathy gave was over 9’s. Have you ever realized that the answer to a 9 question will add up to 9? Like…9×6=54 (5+4=9) 2×9=18 (1+8=9) so that was really neat. But she encouraged kinesthetic games to give him a minute to pause and think about the problem/answer. Oh and patterns. Learning that the dots on the dice mean 5,4,3,2,1 and ‘bigger’. We will be working on patterns more.
The dynamic duo of Geography Matters momma/daughter team was the very last workshop I attended. This one REALLY spoke to me. One thing I have said before to Ben is I would rather Tyler hate me than to fail in preparing him for “the real world.” But, when they spoke of how we shouldn’t be preparing our kids for the real world but PROTECTING them from it… well a chord was struck deep inside. They also mentioned how if there’s anger or frustration with the child then the technique or process needs to change. Um, hello! Here I thought this was just a part of puberty I HAD to deal with. And Tyler probably knows I feel I’m having to DEAL with him lately. I had forgotten he wants to please me as much as I want to please him amongst the scowls, mumbling and frustration and not to mention his frustration too. 🙂 This workshop alone was worth the conference fee even if you missed the early bird pricing. I’m hoping to make some drastic changes in our relationship for the better. Luckily, I believe we still have a good relationship and I love him enough to move mountains to make it better. I think their workshop could be summed up by saying;
It’s never too late to start over by apologizing.
So, while I go and work on being a better, more supportive momma be sure to check these lovely ladies out. Tell ‘em Honey said ‘Hi!’ and I’ll have part dos for you tomorrow. 🙂