Monday, May 17, 2010

A Wonderful Online Experience

As I mentioned in my previous post I was able to attend a 3 day Homeschool Seminar that was put on by The Old Schoolhouse Magazine. They called it their Schoolhouse Expo. And what an expo it was! I was able to attend over 22 seminars (they offered 28, but due to still schooling on these days as well as having a 14 month old who has his own schedule and running some errands, some were missed) and they were all WONDERFUL!! The great thing is that in a couple of weeks as part of the purchase price I will be able to have mp3's of every one of the seminars and can listen to them at my leisure again and again!

Some of my favorite seminars were one's by some of the people we have gleaned information from to create our way of homeschooling. One of the speakers was Susan Wise Bauer of Peace Hill Press and The Well-Trained Mind. Susan and her mother Jessie Wise wrote the book called The Well-Trained Mind which details the classical homeschooling model. This book has been one of our "bibles" of homeschooling. Another of my favorites was the seminar called "Not Just Your Average Genius" by Diana Waring. This seminar really went into the three different "grids" of learning: learning modalities, learning styles, and the 8 intelligences. I think the last of my favorites was by Sue Patrick explaining her Workbox System. I still haven't fully figured her system out, but I think when I do we might just start implementing it here at home. I could always use anything that helps us get school done more quickly.

Among the people I've already mentioned, I listened to other talks by Jill Novak about journaling, Davis Carman of Apologia (which is the curriculum we will be using in middle and high school for our sciences), Dr. Rebecca Keller about critical thinking, Lee Binz in regards to making transcripts, and one of my favorite talk titles - "Help! How Do I Teach this Highly Distractable Child?" by Carol Barnier. This is only a small sampling of the different people and subject matters that were taught. They definitely covered the spectrum from phonics to transcripts, typing to art, we heard it all.

I think one of the best things about this Online Seminar is the amount of free information we were given. The Old Schoolhouse Magazine (a/k/a TOS)gave us freebies for signing up by a specific time, we get the mp3's included in that very low price (under $30), then each speaker had handouts or slides, and finally they are giving us access to an Online Vendor Hall that should be open all year, which in there will be specials from each of the presenters. One thing I purchased right away was a discounted typing program from Keyboard Town Pals for Arianna. We plan on beginning that program tomorrow.

So all in all it was a wonderful informative time. I can't wait to continue to go through the information and begin applying it in our every day life. I think the timing of the seminar was also well planned. It's toward the end of the year so you have the summer to unpack all the information you have learned and have time to get to the application stage by time the new year is beginning. I am anxiously awaiting the mp3's and to find out if I won any of the door prize giveaways. If this is something you would like to know more about, I think TOS will be hosting another online homeschool seminar sometime in the fall. Check out their website for more information.

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