For the first time ever, I attended a homeschooling conference and never once felt that my kids have a 'gap' or that I'm not doing enough. It is a liberating feeling to not feel that way!
I went to the conference with five items that I needed for either the end of this year or to begin using in September. I did buy all five items.
I went with an open mind to revisit some curriculums for language arts for my eleven year old. I had a hunch nothing new existed that I must see (I was right). An old opinion of mine that I hated Easy Grammar was reevaluated and now it doesn't look so bad but it is still not what I want for my son. Much to my surprise, Rod & Staff looks like what I will go with for that son. I am happy to have found a solution.
Knowing I'd cover American history next year, I still wanted to do something to study or touch upon each state, learn the capitals and know some geography of the whole country. I wasn't looking per se but did find some great stuff from the company Geography Matters. I found a book to help study each state and a cookbook so we can cook a meal for each state. The bundle pack came with a historical fiction book "Captain's Dog". I also found some supplemental materials for the study of the Lewis and Clark expedition and bought those. I got two better laminated wall maps than the ones I own right now.
Lastly a family run business specializing in fun stuff for American history was where I found some cool reproductions of Revolutionary War and Civil War money, maps, and documents, as well as two inexpensive games about those wars.
Oh, and at The Book Peddlar I bought some new-to-me comic book format US History books for the late 1800s up to the early 2000s.
I attended sessions about teaching children with learning disabilities and neurological issues and even mental retardation and Down's. It was overwhelming as the neuro-developmental approach advocated by Linda Kane was different therapies than I learned last year from Dianne Craft. It was a lot to take in. I also heard a session on teaching literature classics, I didn't learn much new but it was good to hear how important reading is. Jay Wile gave a long lecture on how homeschooling is superior to schooling and provided many statistics and study results.
I left the conference a little early, tired and feeling abundant and happy.
It was nice to know I could have afforded to buy more but didn't need or want to buy more. I did spent more than originally planned but it is all good stuff and frankly it is nothing compared to what I've come home with in the past.
And the best of all is that I feel so happy and grateful to be homeschooling my kids and feel good about their academics and I don't feel any guilt or negative feelings about where they are right now in their academics (or character development for that matter).