I’ve partnered with GHC this year to bring you convention news and announcements throughout the year.
Great Homeschool Conventions is gearing up for three conventions in California, South Carolina, and Ohio. The speaker line up and vendor hall is sure to equip you for a new season of homeshcooling. How do you find encouragement at a homeschool convention?
Seeking Encouragement at a Homeschool Convention
Find Speaker Sessions That Will Speak to Your Homeschooling Heart- My homeschool heroes will be at GHC and it would be my great pleasure to meet them both and enjoy their sessions. Being a loyal Five in a Row user for our core homeschool curriculum for the last 8 years, I would love to meet Steve and Jane Lambert. Whether or not you can actually have a conversation with your homeschool hero, doesn’t diminish the opportunity to hear them in person and to be fed by the words they bring that day. Take the time to be a part of talks that will fill you up.
Engage in Sessions that Challenge You- Make sure you look over the schedule to see which speakers and topics are what you need for this season in your homeschool. I love to sit in on sessions which I know will stretch me or help me to think of a topic in a new way. I take notes and think about how I will apply what I’ve heard to our homeschool. I’m a pragmatic thinker, so you’ll find me in sessions which are very practical in their application. Which ones are your favorite?
Visit the Shops- Homeschool conventions are a fantastic venue for browsing and picking out items you haven’t seen before and getting a closer look at something you’ve thought about for a long time. Sometimes you want recommendations from others and to see something in person. GHC has many exhibitors planned for each location. Be sure to check them out for your location.
Seek out Vendors- Make a list of the exhibitors you want to be sure to connect with. You can see beforehand who will be attending each convention location. More than just browsing and shopping, specific companies can help you discern whether their product is for you. I reached my final conclusion about purchasing Math on the Level after attending a convention and talking with the authors myself- asking questions and looking closely at their materials.
Go with A Friend and/or Find Time to Relax- Whichever sounds more rejuvenating to you! It’s great to make the convention a time to get away and enjoy friendships. It can also be a time to enjoy on your own as you think and plan for the following school year. I like a bit of both- time to hang out with a friend and bounce ideas off of each other on what we’ve heard and some time to myself to reflect on things I’ve seen and heard during the weekend.
I have partnered with Great Homeschool Conventions to bring you news and announcements from throughout the year.
We are rounding the corner into the homeschool convention season and some of you may be wondering whether or not a convention fits into your homeschooling goals and plans. Having attended and spoken at many conventions, I’d like to share with you tips for using a homeschool convention as a place for professional development.
Tips for Attending a Homeschool Convention for Professional Development
One of the many reasons to participate in a homeschool convention is to use it as a time for professional development. After all, you are a full time teacher who needs some inservice time. Use it wisely! You can attend a homeschool convention to:
Find Curriculum- Not only can you lay your hands on items you’ve been dying to see, but you can come across vendors with product you haven’t seen that will fill a need in your homeschool. Of course you have to be cautious about random purchases, but sometimes the perfect thing will be there when you need it.
Be Encouraged- I love to attend just to hear some of my homeschooling mentors and heroes speak into my homeschooling life.
Get Answers to Questions- About curriculum or a problem you are trying to address generally in your homeschool. Take a look at the speakers and sessions to see who and what topics will fill that need.
Transition to a New Level- If you are going to be teaching middle or high school in the immediate or near future, conventions can help to unlock those secret planning doors and help you to see what’s ahead. There are always sessions on planning for the high school years. Take advantage of them.
Get Help for Your Student’s Specific Needs- Many times speakers who address particular types of students or situations will give you a new perspective on your child’s issue. You might even get the chance to speak with someone directly who specializes in your situation.
Refocus- Sometimes we need to redirect our energies or get a new perspective on our homeschooling in general. Certainly being among like-minded families and surrounded by the best of what homeschooling speakers and vendors have to offer will help you to readjust goals and reorient yourself to your homeschooling mission.
Do you have plans to attend a homeschool convention this season? I hope you will consider it the perfect time to engage in professional development.
Great Homeschool Conventions registration is open and they have three locations in South Carolina, California, and Ohio. With a cast of amazing speakersincluding Ben Carson, Steve Lambert, Matt Walsh, Heidi St. John, and Todd Wilson to name a few, there is sure to be the chance for encouragement and refocus. What an exciting place to be!
5 Compelling Reasons to Use a Kindle Fire in Your Homeschool
The Fire has an HD video capability which gives a great picture for things like You Tube
I’m excited for the possibility of also viewing what’s on our satellite dish on the Kindle Fire. With Dish Anywhere we can do this- so our recorded school related shows we could see on the go if we needed to fill time.
You can download all your favorite stories and mp3 files onto the Fire
Listen to Audible books.
Did you know that Whispersync is available for the Fire? If you own the Kindle book and the Aubible file, you can play the audio and follow the highlighted text as you go with the Kindle. This has a lot of possibilities for students with reading disabilities.
Even better if you decide to listen only, the next time you open your Fire you can choose to start where the audio left off or where you stopped reading. Pretty clever.
If you’d like to play in the world of tablets, the Kindle Fire is a very cost effective way to do so.
There are different models of the Fire from a basic 8G wifi with no camera or mic all the way up to a 3G plus camera and mic and the works. There is a Kindle Fire to fit your needs and your budget.
The Kindle Fire is primarily a Kindle after all, so the reading screen is lovely.
Best yet, it reads PDF files nicely as well. In fact, it’s the best Kindle for viewing PDF ebooks if you have any of those.
In addition, the Fire lets you easily view books which are graphic heavy.
Our cK-12 textbooks look great on the Kindle Fire and make it easy for my high schooler to read and interact with the text (like following embedded video links) all while at a table to do written work at the same time. Win.
The Silk web browser is very functional- fast and easy to use.
We can access homeschooling blogs and tutorials and use them right at our work surface which is a lot less cumbersome than even a laptop.
There are some popular games/apps for the Kindle Fire, but don’t expect the same selection as iTunes or Google Play.
Follow news articles or links from email and other sources.
All in all, I love my new Kindle Fire. It’s been a great addition to our homeschool for all these reasons and more. I’ve only had it for about a month, but it’s already proven to be useful on many occasions. In fact, I’d love to have more of them for our students. From reading books in the public domain to using online texts and doing research, tablets are very handy homeschool tools.
Win a Kindle Fire for Your Homeschool
Fortuigence is giving away a Kindle Fire HD and you still have time to enter. The giveaway ends Friday, December 20, 2013. Sign up for the newsletter and be entered into a drawing for a Kindle Fire for you homeschool.