It’s the time of year for…homeschool conventions!
I usually don’t attend our annual homeschool convention but all that changed when I found out who was coming to this year’s convention.
And I must say, he didn’t disappoint.
Andrew Pudewa is a homeschool father and the founder of the Institute of Excellence in Writing. We’ve used his writing curriculum, spelling curriculum, and we’re really loving his poetry memorization curriculum, too. He’s a brilliant guy.
I got to listen to three of his seminars:
- Teaching Boys and Other Children Who Would Rather Make Forts All Day
- Conquering Corrupt Culture by Raising Christian Communicators
- The Seven Keys of Great Teaching
If you’re interested, I found out you can actually hear these seminars for something like $3 each by visiting his website. They’re all there, plus many more!
Teaching Boys and Other Children Who Would Rather Make Forts All Day
Andrew Pudewa’s first two seminars were my favorite. The first seminar, on teaching boys, was so interesting. It was full of the differences between boys and girls. Did you know male eyes and ears are actually physically different from female eyes and ears? I had no idea! But because of these differences, boys and girls learn and play differently.
For example, girls like to draw nouns because they are better at detecting color and texture. Boys, on the other hand, like to draw verbs because they are better at seeing speed, movement, and direction. In an art class, it’s often typical to find boys drawing astroids that blow up and rockets shooting through the sky, while girls are busy drawing cute houses with rainbows and ponies. Boys often use just one color in their picture, while girls tend to use every color in the box. Naturally, when the art teacher comes around to check the students’ work, she often praises the girl’s artwork while asking the boy what is it that he has drawn and suggesting that he use more color next time. The boy might’ve been proud of his picture, but since the teacher made him feel bad, he now he feels like he isn’t good at art. But he is good at art. His art is just different.
This was all so enlightening to me! And there was so much more… It was all so interesting.
Conquering Corrupt Culture by Raising Christian Communicators
The second seminar on conquering corrupt culture was so good, too. As the title suggests, it was about how to raise children in a corrupt world. Corruption, Pudewa said, comes from relativism, the anti-gospel. Public schools are the temples of relativism, teaching children that there is no absolute truth. Pudewa said that no Christian should ever put their child in a public school. A few hours of Awana and church each week won’t undo hours of public school indoctrination.
Another point he made that I really loved was that there is a three front war going on. There is a war against us personally, against our families, and against our country. When we are constantly on the defensive, we get exhausted. So go on the offensive, Pudewa suggested. But be warned that when you do go on the offensive, you’ll run the risk of being…offensive. Pride and the desire to be liked by everyone will keep us from going on the offensive, but we need to go there. He pointed out an old hymn, Onward Christian Soldiers, and said that the church is to be militant. We are to fight evil. It’s the job of the church and we’ve gotten away from that.
Anyway, lots of neat stuff from Andrew Pudewa. I could sit and listen to him for hours.
Besides Andrew Pudewa, I also went to a couple of Beverly Parrish’s seminars. Beverly Parrish is a homeschool mom who specializes in helping children who have learning struggles. I wasn’t very impressed with her seminars. They weren’t very informative, in my opinion, and I didn’t come away inspired like I did after going to Andrew Pudewa’s seminars.
I have to admit, the vendor hall was a bit of a disappointment. I had a list of vendors I wanted to visit, but only one was there from my list. There were very few vendors this year. So sad!
I did order Teaching Textbooks 7 for my son. Math has been causing a great deal of anguish for the both of us, so we’ll see if this curriculum will help take the stress out of math. The lady I spoke with at the vendor hall said it would, so I’m holding her to it!
I also brought home a couple of books:
Sermon Notes For Kids by Jill Connelly
Not-Your-Everyday Illustrated Thesaurus by Usborne
My son is loving the sermon notes book. The book has lots of variety and gives great prompts for taking sermon notes. It’s geared towards kids ages 6-12. I think they have one for teens, too, but this one looked so much more engaging and fun.
The illustrated thesaurus has already come in very handy with my son’s writing assignments. It helps him to choose interesting rich words for his compositions.
So, that was my experience at this year’s homeschool convention! How about you? Did you go to a homeschool convention this year? What did you learn? What did you buy? I’d love to know!