I’m starting to get excited…This Friday and Saturday I’m going to the MACHE Conference (Minnesota Association of Christian Home Educators) in St. Paul, MN. The last time I attended the MACHE conference was three years ago, the spring before Miss M began her Kindergarten year! That seems like forever ago, and I feel like I am at a very different point now as a home educator than I was when I attended my first conference.
So, why did I not go to a conference the past two years? I had a variety of reasons. For one thing, the MACHE conference moves around between three locations. Only one of those locations is reasonably local to me, so it is a much greater expense of time and money for me to attend when the conference is not in St. Paul. The past two years I wasn’t very intrigued by the keynote speakers, nor did I have any burning desire to see curricula in person or learn more about any techniques I couldn’t just read about on the internet.
This year, I felt more apt to attend in general because the conference would once again be in my local area. I could easily arrange for the kids to be taken care of, and be home with my family in the evening. But I have a few other goals for my time at this year’s conference:
I’m looking to settle on a new spelling curriculum or tools to help me use the one I currently have. Spelling is a weak point for Miss M, and the curriculum I have tried to use this year isn’t helping much. I am excited to see the Logic of English Essentials curriculum and attend a seminar about it. If this curriculum isn’t “it” for us, maybe I can take a look at some others.
I wasn’t even using Right Start Math or planning to when I attended my last convention. Now I’ve been using it for 2.5 years. I’m looking to pick up my materials for next year and not have to pay a shipping fee. I’m also thinking I’ll attend the Right Start seminars and pick up a few tips and tricks on using our curriculum
We’re going to focus on American History for history next year. I’m looking to browse the used curriculum area and pick up some read-alouds to go along with our studies.
This year’s conference theme is “Bright Lights in a Dark World.” I’m excited about this theme and attending some of the sessions based on this theme. Raising up children who can will be a light in the world is a big goal of our homeschooling, so this year’s theme is especially interesting to me!
Any local readers out there who will be at the MACHE conference? Or are you attending a conference near you this year?
I hope you have a great experience at your conference. I have been homeschooling since 2005 and have yet to attend one in my area. I want to…sometimes, lol…but it’s always seemed so overwhelming to me. We have been using the same program as our core curriculum for several years, so I never really thought about going for curricula. Having said that, our program only goes to 8th grade right now, so I am going to be spending the next year, trying to find a good fit for our high school years. Gulp.
Just to throw this out there about the spelling…my boys struggle with it as well. We started using a site about a year ago, VocabularySpellingCity (www.spellingcity.com) and it has made a noticeable difference. I can input and create my own word lists for them; if I want to use words suggested by our curriculum, words from books they are reading, special occasions, etc. But I can also just look through the TONS of lists that other members have shared, and use those. That has helped me a lot, but the thing that has helped them the most is they can play games with their spelling words…kinda takes the pressure off and feels less “schooly,” lol.
Again, enjoy the conference. Looking forward to checking back and seeing what you thought! 🙂
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