Category Archives: Convention

Owl Puke!

Owl Puke BookYes, you read that right – Owl Puke. The technical name would be Owl Pellet, or something much more refined, but this title got your attention, yes?

I recently attended the 2009  Homeschool Conference in the lower mainland of our province. This was their second year however, in a new venue, and even though there was less to take home (vendors brought less merchandise due to space constraints), there were still a few goodies to find. That said, I think I’ll be making the trip to BCHEC conference in Kelowna next year. However, I digress – so back to my finds.

My youngest daughter is a birding (and owl) enthusiast, so when I saw this little package labeled Owl Puke, I couldn’t resist. The kit comes with a dissecting tray, a nifty little book, and a sterilized owl pellet. The fun starts when you get to carefully take apart a most disgusting intriguing little owl pellet and look for the remnants of the sorry little rodent creature who fatefully became this owl’s lunch. What kid wouldn’t love that? Okay, so I wouldn’t touch it, but I didn’t let on. I have, inadvertently passed on some of my own fears to my children in the past, so I carefully concealed my disgust and put on my best enthusiastic face. It seemed to work – in fact, she couldn’t wait to get started.

owl pellet 1

Taking apart owl puke, however, takes time and patience to carefully extract teeny tiny little bones, then sort and clean them. But the fun doesn’t stop there. No, after sorting out the sorry remains in this owl’s lunchbox, the kids can reconstruct the skeletons, and then identify the ill fated victim. For your scientific pleasure, I have included a diagram of the skeletal system of a friendly rodent in your neighborhood. Just print it off, then have the kids glue the bones right on top, or mimic the shape on their own piece of construction paper.

owl pellet 2

If you wish to conduct this experiment on your own, it’s advised that you acquire only sterilized owl pellets as unsterilized pellets can contain nasty germs. Sterilized pellets can be ordered online at www.hawkquest.org. Needless to say, if you have a young owl or birding enthusiast in your household, I can highly recommend this little kit, it scores high on the Yuck -O-Meter, is suitable for grades 2 – 12, takes more than one afternoon to complete, and is educational money well spent!

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Filed under Books, Charlotte Mason, Convention, Curriculum, Learning, Science

You Don’t Have To Believe Everything You Think.

What is a Bibilcal Worldview?

I recently attended the BCHEC Home Educators Conference in Kelowna, BC. If you’ve never attended a homeschool conference, you may want to think seriously about doing so. A homeschool conference can provide you with fresh enthusiasm, new direction, solutions to difficulties; and of course, lots of information about curriculum. Every year, I make it a point to attend one of these conferences and every year I am glad I did. I believe it is beneficial for us as home educators to take advantage of such Pro-D opportunities, and as Christian home educators, such opportunities can set us on a path of new direction. Where is the Lord leading you in your homeschool? What direction does He have in mind for you for the 2008/2009 school year?

Lately, I have felt ……..

Visit me at as a guest blogger @ the BC Homeschool Nation’s Blog to read more!

 
A biblical worldview on: What’s the deal with ethics?

 

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Convention Time!

What? Convention? It’s only February!

BC CHECYes, but believe it or not this school year is half over, and homeschool conventions start popping up in April, May and June depending on where one lives. Here in B.C we have two large scale conventions that happen annually. One in the Greater Vancouver Area and one in the interior of our province. In the past I have always attended the first, but this year I am going to venture to the latter – which happens to be in Kelowna and is only two months away.

Thinking ahead about a homeschool convention helps me stay in the mindset of setting myself up for another year. This causes me to evaluate where everyone is at in terms of personal development and academic growth. Are we one track? Ahead? Behind? I need to ask myself these questions for a variety of reasons, but mostly it sets me up to be able to think carefully about next year’s curriculum choices. Which worked well for us? Which could we do without? What skills do we need to further develop? What would I do differently?

Curriculum modelThinking about these things now gives me an opportunity to start implementing them for the remainder of this school year – which is often very timely because typically during this time of year I suffer from homeschool burnout. I lose my oomph – so to speak. If you’ve never been to a homeschool convention, I’d encourage you to check one out. At the very least – take some Pro D time and give yourself and your curriculum an evaluation. If you tend to fly by the seat of your pants and then find yourself ditching curriculum before your even half way through it, you may benefit from a little research and careful planning.

As for me, not only will I be taking that Pro D time during the Kelowna conference, but you can bet I will also be taking in some much needed R&R time, girl time, and dare I say – a little shopping?

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Curriculum Results Are In!

Well, I’m back and I managed to fill another shelf full of books when I unpacked. I’m quite satisfied with what I brought home and I’m looking forward to next year. We may even start our Spanish early….ci?

So….I know you’re wondering what I bought. As I mentioned earlier I had purchased curriculum packages. I usually follow the suggestions of the Well Trained Mind (WTM), and research and pick my own curriculum. But this year, I took my own advice. If the research is done, for you…why do more? These packages were reviewed and hand picked by a very good curriculum adviser at the school I’m enrolled with. The resources are interesting and engaging, with minimal workbooks and they meet all the PLO’s!

I’m registered with Heritage Christian School, who has partnered with Cornestone Learning Resourcesin Kelowna, BC and came up with these curriculum packages. I purchased the Grade 5 and Grade 3 packages. I’m not entirely confident about switching our Math program from Math-U-See to Saxon for my 5th grader, but we’ll see how she does. I was able to substitute a couple of items for a different level or topic in a series, so it was quite flexible. I’ve spent the last 3 years following the Story of the World (SOTW), so I’m open to spending some time on Canadian history and geography.

educationrevolution_1952_7699161.gifI attended seminars featuring Adam Andrews, who talked about literary analysis featuring the “classics” and Naomi Aldort, on Children’s Behavior and Emotions. I bought her book Raising Children, Raising Ourselves. I highly recommend this book if you’d like to learn how to have a closer connection with your child, based on trust and authenticity rather than manipulation and control.

In addition to all this, I had a chance to get to know some amazing women. Spending 48 hours in close quarters with 7 women created opportunitiesfor some very interesting conversation which evoked a variety of emotion. Where else can you have laughter, sadness, and even tension woven together in a unique tapestry of human nature? An opportunity to learn from one another, practice kindness, vulnerability, compassion and display our own convictions that makes us uniquely us? Indeed, a privilege.

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I’m Off To Convention!

Well, I’m heading off to the BC Homeschool Convention tommorrow morning. I’m traveling with a few other homeschooling companions in what I call the Homeschool Convention Caravan of Fun. Well, since we have to leave at a horrid time of the morning, it will be more like the Caravan of “Please don’t talk to me until I’ve had more coffee”! However, I’m looking forward to it immensely.

I’m looking forward to next year, as my homeschool will change slightly. I will move from being ‘registered ‘ to being ‘enrolled’. For those of you who don’t know what that means, well neither do I. No, just kidding. But I’ll save that for another post.

I have decided to purchase curriculum ‘packages’ this year though. The packages contained resourses that I have either used before or are familiar with. I’m actually looking forward to a little more structure. Weird. Anyway, enjoy the sunshine and the weekend. I will post when I get back.

homschoolcartoon1.jpg

Taken from the Official Book of Homeschooling Cartoons www.familymanweb.com

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What’s a Homeschool Convention?

As another academic year winds down, some of you may be thinking about curriculum for next year. A great place to shop for curriculum is your nearest Home School Convention. BC Home School ConventionMore than just curriculum, these places are loaded with amazing guest speakers of all walks of life. Seminars are available on a variety of topics from “Learning Styles”, to “Teaching Your Child To Read Made Easy”. Whether you’re looking for a little encouragement or a fresh idea for your next school year, these seminars can be very beneficial. This year specifally, there are seminars geared towards those who would like to find our more about homeschooling. Perhaps you’re one of those parents who would like to homeschool, but don’t believe you’d be successful. If you are new to homeschooling, or simply curious about it and would like to find out more, a Homeschool Convention is a good place to be.

WTMOf course if you’ve been homeschooling for a while, a convention can turn into a necessity. This is the place to be for curriculum. Booths abound in tantalizing curricula, beckoning you to take a closer look. Vendor booths allow you to see curriculum up close and personal. You can get a much better feel for the material when you can see it in the flesh so to speak, as opposed to ordering from a catalogue. A word of caution: Don’t buy on impulse. Have a budget and do your research. If you hate reasearch, then have someone else do it for you. The Well Trained Mind (WTM) is a valuable tool for choosing curriculum. The author has painstakingly reveiwed many curricula, and has narrowed down the choices for you. Of course the WTM is only one resource for curriculum review; it just happens to be the one I’m most familiar with. For additional resources, visit your local library.

If you plan on attending the convention and have decided to purchase your curriculum there, here is a time saving tip: bring along a backpack, or better yet, a small tote on wheels. Line ups at booths can be long and there is usually two floors of vendors to visit. believe me, folks will look upon you with envy as they struggle with armfulls of books, or are laden with heavy bags. A water bottle and a few snacks is also a good idea.

One other word of caution: If you start to feel overwhelmed (believe me it does happen), take a break, go for a walk, grab a bite and re-group. Conventions usually take place in Hotels. Hotels that offer discounts for out of town guests. Consider taking advantage of the savings and bunk with a friend or two. Make it fun and enjoy youself. I plan to.

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