Homeschool Moms Read, Too

I've written about how summer is such a wonderful time for kids to read fun books.  It's also a perfect time for moms to catch up on all those books that can never get read during the homeschool year.  As I've said before, I love research and curriculum planning.  Reading about learning styles, curriculum development and educational studies are great to me.  This encouraged me later to earn my master's degree in education.

Summer became a time when I sought out all kinds of books to read that would help me develop my homeschool vision.  This vision certainly evolved throughout all the years that I homeschooled.  It evolved based on my experiences teaching my children, speakers that I listened to, and the books that I read.  Every summer, piles of books would be brought home from the library.  I would also get some from the conventions and order used books online.  Sometimes a new book would even be purchased if necessary.
You could find me in a big chair or on the deck with a big cup of coffee reading most anytime.  Most of these books are a quick read, but I would often take notes.  Since my kids were all so different, I looked for ways to make their education customized.  Everything that I could learn, made their education easier for me to present to them.  Here are a few of the books I read.  I'm not recommending all of them to you.  I have been a very eclectic homeschooler.  My recommendation to homeschoolers is to use whatever curriculum works for your worldview and your individual children's needs.

The Well Trained Mind Susan Wise Bauer
Charlotte Masons Original Homeschooling #1-6 Charlotte Mason
Educating the Wholehearted Child Clay Clarkson
A Charlotte Mason Companion: Personal Reflections on the Gentle Art of Learning   Karen Andreola
Teaching the Trivium: Christian Homeschooling in a Classical Style
-Harvey Bluedorn
More Charlotte Mason Education: A Home Schooling How-To Manual
by Catherine Levison
Homeschooling for Excellence
by David Colfax
Pocketful Of Pinecones: Nature Study With The Gentle Art Of Learning: A Story For Mother Culture
by Karen Andreola
The Successful Homeschool Family Handbook
by Raymond S. Moore
The Unschooled Mind: How Children Think And How Schools Should Teach
by Howard Gardner
Writing Road to Reading: The Spalding Method for Teaching Speech, Spelling, Writing, and Reading
by Romalda Bishop Spalding
Home Schooling Children with Special Needs (3rd Edition)
by Sharon Hensley
Multiple Intelligences: In Theory And Practice Howard Gardner

@2015, copyright Lisa Ehrman

It's Homeschool Convention Time

Even though I've retired from homeschooling, I still have fond memories of homeschool conventions.  Some of my friends are talking about their plans to go to conventions, as it's that time of year.  Homeschool conventions are just plain fun!

Homeschool Convention Time

For me it was a time of excitement.  Schooling and testing was done for the year.  I was already in research mode.  I love researching curriculum and educational methods.  I'm such a nerd, and I think that's why my favorite class in grad school was research.  Anyway, planning for conventions is pretty important.

Conventions provide a number of benefits for homeschooling moms:

  • Getting together with a huge group of homeschoolers
  • Getting to actually see and look through curriculum that you're interested in.  Many times you can ask questions of the author or developers of said curriculum.
  • You can compare curriculum before you buy
  • Used curriculum sales are wonderful
  • Speakers usually cover a variety of topics
  • Great deals will be available on site
There are numerous lists available to help you find a convention near you.  Here are some of the lists - Christian Homeschool has a US map with many Christian Conventions - Secular/Inclusive Homeschool Conventions

The key to Conventions:

If it's your first year of homeschooling, guard your wallet.  This means that you should remember your budget.  You will be tempted to spend too much.  Everything will look exciting and new, and the sales pitch will be tough to resist.  Have a plan and make sure you know what you really need before you go.  Stick to the specifics, and if you have any money left for extras, then you can get those.

Listen to special speakers, but also use common sense.  Don't be swept off your feet by something that sounds a little too good to be true.  Discuss ideas with your husband.  Look for answers in the Bible.  Talk to your friends.  Be a wise customer and don't leap quickly.  One way to handle this is to listen to all the curriculum ideas and take their catalogs home.  Most of the time they will offer a discount for some time after the convention, too.

You can go home and think about it before you make your purchases.  It gives you a little more time to do some research.  You can google and read lots of reviews.  Reviews can give you more insight into the curriculum and how it has worked for others.  It can also help you to see about how your individual child's learning style may work with this type of curriculum.  this was very important in my homeschool.  Some of my children had a different learning style and it made all the difference in the world to use an appropriate curriculum for them.

Another reason to purchase later is that you can shop for used curriculum online.  Unlimited used textbooks and real books are for sale online.  Just start googling and your mind will be blown!  You can also find many books at the library.  While at the convention, check out the used book vendors and take home their catalogs.  They also have wonderful websites!

If you've done your research, and know exactly what you want to buy, go ahead and get your books and resources.  You can get some great deals and there's no shipping!  It's also wonderful to support the speakers, vendors and the convention hosts for putting together the wonderful conference!

If you make purchases at the Convention, that's great, too!  You will probably be very satisfied.  If you're not, you can always sell your books later.  I've changed curriculum mid-year before, when things just weren't clicking.  You'll know if that's the case.  You'll just know.

Ah, homeschool is wonderful!  So, get ready to do your research.  Have fun!
@2015, copyright Lisa Ehrman