The conference was good. It was a lot of driving to get there and back for the two days, and it would have been more relaxing to have been able to stay out there instead of coming home in between, but the whole show-thing made that impossible. I feel as though the conference served the purpose I went. I picked up some new ideas for the actual homeschooling part, I purchased some things that I knew we were going to need in the fall, and I was refreshed and encouraged to keep carrying on. Plus, it's just relaxing being somewhere where I'm not the odd one. When you're surrounded by other homeschoolers, the fact that you homeschool and have more than the average number of children is seen as being normal. I'm used to being the 'not normal' one, but it's nice to experience mainstream every now and then.
The most useful sessions involved tips for teaching distracted learners. At least one child who lives in this house is very easily distracted and that child knows it and has expressed a desire to not be so distracted. So I picked up a couple of things the speaker recommended. I now have a two kid-friendly stop watches to help gauge time and I have a cushion disk to try. This is an inflatable pad which is placed on a chair seat. Because it is inflatable, the child needs to work at balancing while sitting and giving just a little bit more sensory input for sitting in a chair. I plan on trying with my distractable one and also with H. because I think it will help in developing her core muscles.
Another session which was useful was discussing the idea of what your vision is for your family. Nothing in this session was new, but it was a good reminder to me of what I've done in the past. I'm sure it won't surprise you that this past year (or two or three) has been a little tumultuous and I've let go of some of my best practices without quite realizing it. It's time to think about reinstating some of those in order to work toward creating a calmer home. A house wide quiet time after lunch and less screen time in general are two that are high on the list. I'll probably blog about that more as I work on those things.
And at least one session was kind of a bust. I think I tend to gravitate toward the same subjects and after a while I realize that I've tapped those subjects out. I stopped going to home organization sessions a couple of years ago and I'm afraid I'm going to have to add eclectic learning and multi-age teaching to my list. It's time to move on when I find myself mentally reorganizing the speaker's outline and adding in key points I think were missed. What will I be like when G. and L. are in high school?