"Tis the season when lots of parents are trying to decide the details of their school plans for fall 2019. Even if you're not a doctor or a lawyer, we think you'll agree with many of Dr. Kathleen Berchelmann's 18 points.
I’m going public today with a secret I’ve kept for a year—my husband and I are homeschooling our children. I never dreamed we would become homeschoolers. I wanted my kids integrated and socialized. I wanted their eyes opened to the realities of the world. I wanted the values we taught at home put to the test in the real world. But necessity drove me to consider homeschooling for my 2nd and 4th graders, and so I timidly attended a home school parent meeting last spring. Surprisingly it was full of doctors, lawyers, former public school teachers, and other professionals ...
Read the full piece here.
"The conference is my annual motivator when I need it most. I love to see the products and have the chance to talk to the vendors. For my husband and I, it's been great for our commitment, as a couple, to homeschooling."
If I could send some advice back to myself when I started to homeschool, here's what I'd say ...
"Don't worry about your kids' standardized test scores when they are young. (Your daughter that scored a 52 in 2nd grade will be in the 90's in highschool and get a 4.0 in her first year of college.)"
-Amy (7 kids, 16 years of homeschooling and counting)
One of my favorite Conference memories is of the year I overheard a woman at the Friday used book sale mentioning that she was in labor but REALLY needed to get the things on her list. I was impressed with her devotion but at the same time making a mental list of all the nurses I knew who were in the room.
(Actually, the combined childbirth experience of people in that room had to be pretty phenomenal. It was probably a pretty okay place to be in labor.)
-Sue (Conference organizer)
Help your children foster a love for the Church and her rich traditions while developing a lifelong skill. Children from grades 1 and older are invited to participate in the Cathedral's sacred music programs and sing at Masses in our amazing Cathedral in addition to other Archdiocesan events. Stop at their vendor booth to learn more about this unique opportunity.
Choir Schools, having historically-proven ability for quality musical training remain important for the renewed Roman Catholic liturgy. The Church’s rich legacy of musical education of children/youth extends back to medieval times, and the treasury of Sacred Music, from the early ages of the Church to the present, is the foundation of the musical, liturgical, and theological curriculum of the Cathedral Choir School. Our curriculum strives to foster a love for the Most Holy Trinity whilst deepening the understanding of the Catholic Faith. The Cathedral Choir School, under the direction of Ms. Jayne Windnagel, and is organized into two levels for students from 1st grade through high school.
Saint Thomas Choristers: Our preparatory choir for 1st–3rd Grades, ages 6-8. Rehearse Wednesdays 4:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. Sing Mass monthly, immediately following rehearsal.
Saint Cecilia (girls) and Saint Gregory (boys) Choristers: 4th Grade–High School, ages 9-17. Rehearse Wednesdays 4:00 p.m.-5:10 p.m. Sing Mass immediately following rehearsal from 5:15 p.m.–6:00 p.m. Sing other Masses and Archdiocesan events monthly throughout the school year.
What would I say to the younger version of my wife and myself about the homeschool conference?
Just go, and go together! Every year is like a mini retreat for the two of us with time away from the kids. Woohoo! We love them dearly, but, the time together is great. One perk is getting to eat meals together without having to say to anyone at the table "you have to eat three more bites", "please get your fork out of your sister's hair, I already combed it," or "no, not three more peas, real bites". At the risk of overselling it, I would say it's like a mini vacation, but, that either points out we're a little nerdy (in the "cool Catholic" way, of course), or just desperate for time together. Maybe both!
We also get to have "grownup" conversations with other homeschooling friends our age (some who live far away who we only see once a year) and we enjoy the inspiring talks that remind us "we're in this together," together with each other, our friends, and the Lord. So just go, and go together!
-Joe (dad of 6)
ChemExplained.com combines the skills of a veteran chemistry teacher with a little technology to offer a solution that may be just right for your high schoolers. Visit their site to learn more about their purpose, process, plan, product and proposal.
The biggest take-away for me was that they are able to change chemistry from the biggest challenge to teach to the funnest subject to learn!
A 2017 workshop attendee
Attend their Vendor Presentation to learn more:
The thought of their children taking high school chemistry in the near future can create a lot of questions, concerns and anxiety for homeschool parents. Some questions we will discuss are: "Will the chemistry course we decide on prepare my child for the rigor of college chemistry?" "What should we do about lab experiments, chemicals and lab equipment?" "It's been 25 years since I took chemistry, does anybody know a teacher that can help?" This workshop will answer these questions and more!
"My first time at the Conference (when I was just thinking about homeschooling), a woman approached me and told me about a home school co-op in the metro area. I thought it was too far to drive, but she encouraged me to try it. 15 years later and we are still part of this group!
-Caroline (4 kids, 15 years of homeschooling)
One of our favorite things about the Vendor area is seeing all the interesting new opportunities there are for home educated students, and Coding Foundations certainly fits that category! Read the description below and then visit their site to see the other services they offer and to get coupons for this great looking program, coming out this spring.
Coding Foundations is a new video curriculum from software developer and educator Alex Leone. Aspiring programmers of all ages will use the Scratch programming language from MIT to learn real, professional programming skills!
Students will learn to think critically and problem-solve as they build their own computer games and programs. Foundational programming skills taught in Coding Foundations set students up to be successful with programming languages used in the workplace like C++, Python, Java, and more. Coding Foundations is designed with middle and high school students in mind.
Coding Foundations gives students tools that they can use to begin working with any programming language, including basic problem-solving strategies and programming techniques like iteration, conditionals, variables, arrays, events, and functions!
Purchase Coding Foundations to receive:
We're celebrating a milestone anniversary this year and are feeling a little nostalgic about it all. It just seems right to look back and to celebrate all the blessings the Lord has given through the Conference, so in gratitude and hopefully to provide a little inspiration, we're going to share some memories and a few things our attendees have learned over these years.
We would love to hear from you, so (in typical homeschooling-mom fashion) these are your writing prompts:
Your answers can be short or long, profound or silly, and if you have any vintage family photos, we would be delighted to share those along with your post.