I have a double request from Grandma to post on the homeschool conference and to make the miscarriage post no longer the first thing you see when you check the blog.  So here goes. (:

This was our second year at the CHAP convention.  Last year we spent so much time listening to speakers that we did not see much of the vendor floor.  So this year we made sure we had time for both talks and wandering the hall.

It was fun recognizing some vendors that I didn't know of before (for example, Critical Thinking, recommended to me by Aunt S when I asked about logic books for the boys) - how great to be able to flip through the books and see what they are like!  We bought one for Noah from them and bought some other things from Rainbow Resources (no shipping cost at a convention even if you're under $150 (: )  Noah had asked for another workbook.  He had finished his other one and was getting tired of schooltime being only speech and tracing letters.  He wanted some more fun activities!

I also checked out a science curriculum vendor that I had wondered about.  (we're nearing the end of our trial of Pandia Press's science and so I'm deciding whether to buy the whole thing or pick a different one)  It was great to be able to look through the books and decide that it wasn't the best fit for us right now.

Mostly, Jon and I explored separately, and then talked about it later.  We had a slightly rushed time at the end of Saturday making the purchases we had decided on, but we figured it out in the end.

Faith stayed with me the whole time (I remembered to bring the stroller this time) and the boys were with me or Jon depending on the situation.  We heard Jim Weiss's three talks.  The first two were him telling stories (and what a great storyteller he is!) and the last one was about how we can tell good stories to our children.

The kids were great the first day, but were tired of it the second day.  Noah's favorite vendors were the summer camp places - they had videos of kids doing exciting things and a few of them even had fake fires in their booths.  Noah thought it was pretty fun to be able to touch the "fire" without getting burned.  (I did have to assure the one vendor that Noah does know about real fires since we have a fireplace at home - the man was worried that this experience would encourage Noah to touch a real fire some time.)

Friday night we met some friends at the Indian restaurant downtown that we had visited last year.  Then we played in the courthouse park for a while and then headed across the pedestrian bridge.  Noah was impressed with the grate - he said it was pretty scary to walk over the water, but he did use that part (as opposed to the paved sidewalk part) most of the time.

There were some batting cages that we watched for a while and then Jon decided to try it out.  They had several different speeds of pitches and when Jon did a medium it was pretty tough (he hadn't played baseball in 15 years!) so then he did well on the slower one.

Then Noah's eye was caught by an arcade and Jon said we could go look.  They had skeeball so we decided to play one game each.  We got nine tickets and Jonathan was deciding very carefully how to spend them.  Then a man who comes and plays all the time and had gotten gobs of tickets, offered them to us!  When Jon told Jonathan about it, he was impressed - he thought the guy was just showing how many he got.  When Jon explained that he actually gave them to us, Jonathan's open-mouthed astonished speechlessness was all the thanks the man needed.  (Though Jonathan did eventally gain his words back and thanked him.)

The boys were still very carefully deciding how to spend them.  Jonathan first decided on one piece of bubble gum for himself and one for Noah.  "Ok, that's six - you have 200 more to go!"  It took a long time (during which some more people gave us their extra tickets), but we eventually left with lots of candy and two temporary tattoos (Jonathan picked the butterfly and Faith picked the dinosaur (: ) 

So that was a pretty fun evening!

Next year, I'd like to be more prepared for what I'd like to do the next school year, to take more advantage of the vendors' convention pricing and no shipping.  

The boys are happy with their new books.  Or rather, Noah is really happy with his and Jonathan is all right with his Following Directions book.  I haven't given Jonathan his new logic book yet, since I've been having him do a few of Noah's to start out with.

I think next year will be even more fun and productive if Grandma comes with us.  She can drool over the vendor floor the first day while we take the kids with us and then she can play with the kids the second day when they're tired of the convention. (:

Posted by Heather Daley on May 17, 2010, 11:59 am | Read 3783 times
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Thanks. :)

Posted by SursumCorda on May 17, 2010, 1:20 pm

do you like the pandia press books? we're trying to figure out a science for the next few years... we talked to a few vendors, were impressed with one (gravitas "real science 4 kids"), but the price is too much (even at used book sales!).

Posted by ~liz on May 19, 2010, 8:39 pm

For Liz,

We have been using Pandia Press' History Odyssey for the past two years and really like it. Mostly because it keeps me on track. I keep waiting for their level 2 Science to come out, but so far, it hasn't.

They do have several Level 1 Science subjects available, so my recommendation would be to go to their website and do the "try before you buy" option. I think they give you enough to get a taste for what their product is like.

I've been looking at Real Science 4 Kids, too, but I agree that the price is pretty steep.

Heather's Aunt S

Posted by dstb on May 20, 2010, 9:05 am

I do like the Pandia Press science. I think theirs and Gravitas are pretty comparable. It was Gravitas I browsed through at CHAP and saw enough to know I didn't want it for the price. However, I did see online that their enooks are just about the same price as Pandia's ebooks. But Pandia gives you the free trial so you can actually do it for a couple of months before spending any money. I'm pretty sure I'm going to go ahead and buy the full version (on ebook).

Posted by joyful on May 20, 2010, 3:03 pm

thanks Aunt S and Heather for the information! :) i'll look into the ebooks and the try before you buy options...

Posted by ~liz on May 22, 2010, 7:42 am
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