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Kitchener-Waterloo Christian Home Educater's Conference

I felt giddy!!  I was a short distance away from Rockway Mennonite Collegiate.  I was grinning and I may have squealed-a whole day of learning about learning and buying books.  Ooh I couldn't wait to park and register.  I wonder if all the other home educator's were feeling the same giddiness pulsing through them??

You know the home school Mom stereotype of jean jumper, braid, strained look,etc.  Can I paint a different picture for you?  I was just outside the doors after I had purchased a pile of books and delivered them to my van,  in a rush to make it back inside for the sessions to begin.  I saw women marching up to the door with vigor, and some had their business type roller suitcases whizzing behind them ready to be filled with books.  They were eager and fun looking.  You could feel the energy.   (That's not to say I didn't see denim but the crowd was very diverse-there were denim skirts, Mennonite dress, jeans, dressy etc.  And I must say there is something refreshing about a range of people all in one building eager for the same thing.)

I attended 4 sessions:

1. The Power of Handwriting
Did you know there is more creativity and production in children who hand write vs keyboard?  That is not to say that there are not some very useful APPS available with technology that can aid in the learning of handwriting.  Some of the ones mentioned were: Writepad, ABC Pocket Phonics, ipad Handwriting, Penultimate,  and iWrite Words. 

P.S. I hand wrote my rough draft of this blog post to exercise my handwriting skills and to see if creativity would kick in.  I am finding it much easier to type this with my thoughts being organised on paper.  Interesting...

2. Art Lesson Basics
I spent a lot of money on a few art supplies after this session.  We are looking forward to using them next year and hopefully in a space where we can spread out some of the mess that comes with making art!

3.  Goal Setting and Planning your Next School Year
I hesitated attending this session.  I need help in the area of being organized but I did not want to be overwhelmed by someone who knew how to make and KEEP a schedule.  It was a blessing to hear this woman speak!!!  She was my kind of lady-  and she has 4 daughters! :O) 
She began the session by saying that "My greatest success in homeschooling is knowing that I am forgiven"  and went on to say that we need to give our children that same grace.  It was reassuring to hear this (not only in relation to homeschooling) because this saving grace needs to seep into every moment of our lives or who can breath! 
We learned about goal setting and not letting schedules rule us.  The idea is to set a goal so that you know if you have accomplished something.  It is like a measurement-you can feel the satisfying sense of getting something done or you can reevaluate the goal and/or method. 

4.  What!  Me Take my Child Outside?  Nature Study for Young Children
I hope to incorporate a Nature Walk and Nature Journal into our schedule next year.  The idea in a Nature Walk is two activities-'doing' and 'documenting'.  It is a simple thing really-you observe nature and you document it with a few words and a picture.  I can't wait to see Mia's creative side come out in the drawings!  I can only imagine what Esmé will 'do' on our walks!  Ksena might not enjoy the exercise but she will enjoy the togetherness.  Brie-she is just along for the ride. :O)

I left the conference feeling inspired and eager for next year.  Please don't remind me that we have to finish up this school year first!  Shhh!  We are all ready for Summertime!

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