Thursday, July 1, 2010

Gems from the 2010 FPEA Homeschooling Convention


For those of you not in the know, the annual Florida Parent Education Association Convention is a homeschoolers paradise.   It is three days of seminars, wall to wall homeschoolers and a Vendors Hall that goes on and on and on!

This year, due to having an infant in tow, my time spent at the convention was limited.  So, making the absolute best of my time, I was very select in the seminars I sat in on and booths visited. 

Here are some of my discoveries and absolute gems!  (I've included links to their websites for you to see them too.)

Center for Literary Education
I attended Adam Andrews' seminar entitled, "Asking the Right Questions:  Teaching with Socratic Discussion".  As an example, Adam gave a spirited reading of "A Bargain for Frances" and then lead the group through the steps of identifying, categorizing and distinguishing the details of the story. 

In our house, you can never have too many books....and with all the books, come many literature guides.  I enjoyed this seminar because it gave me a glimpse into how to take books apart with my children without having to shell out big bucks for a guide to each book we read.  The Center for Literary Education does sell literature guides (for you faint of heart or short of time) and also a DVD seminar series explaining in detail how to gear these discussions to your homeschooling family or group.  Why merely have your children read books when they can totally and thoroughly devour them by gathering every tasty morsel?

The Learning Parent
I also attended Margaret Boyer's seminar called "Beyond Textbooks".  She has 14 kids ages 11-35 and has been homeschooling for 30 years.  She's one Mama who REALLY knows what she's talking about!

She stressed the importance of relationships with her children and building character through the use of scripture.  That real education comes through books and real life experiences and getting them involved with all age groups.

 I loved hearing how the father handled one of his daughters' requests to go on a missions trip.  Unknown to her, he signed her up on a trip with SENIOR CITIZENS!!!  She ended up having the time of her life, making lasting relationships with these seasoned, godly people who she has gleaned much wisdom from. 

Margaret has also written a book called "For You They Signed."  It is a biographic/character study on EACH signer of the Declaration of Independence.  This would make a great Devotional or a bonus to Early American History! 

Homeschool Programming
Although they didn't have a seminar, they did have a booth in the Vendors Hall. Homeschool Programming offers Windows & Game Programming curriculum to children in Upper Elementary/Middle School and High School levels (Side note: levels can be arbitrary due to the skills your child possesses. Visit website for more information!) What I liked about their curriculum is that it's very user friendly, well written and illustrated and is student paced.  Something that would definitely work in our house!

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