We went to the homeschool convention this month.
While I did not attend any lectures or hear any guest speakers, I did visit the exhibit hall. I must say that I was really disappointed. It may be a little harsh to say this, but it was not what I had expected. I felt that with the wide variety of resources and tools available to those of us that homeschooled, that there should have been more booths dedicated to these resources. Most of us are not looking for colleges yet, and most of us were not looking to enrich our Christian ideals or fellowship. We were there solely for the educational tools and resources that would help us to be better educators.
With that said, I was disappointed in the relatively small size of Rainbow Resource Center. I truly wanted to put my hands on more of the catalogue elements that were geared specifically towards teaching rather than playing. I still managed to spend almost $100 in addition to what I have planned for purchase over the next few months. They got me again. I love the catalogue, and I value their online accessibility. I just wish that they had brought the whole warehouse with them. While that is a bit exaggerated, I do think you understand what I mean by such a statement. I was not satiated by that little walk through at the exhibit.
I was very grateful to be able to view the BJU new editions too. I even went by ABeka to make sure that we would still love the grammar and spelling texts. Of course, we will be using some of their course too. I like the options that they have now, including online and e-book texts. This does cut a lot of the cost.
My one gem was being able to look at Literary Lessons From the Lord of Rings. I have to say “Wow”. I am impressed. While I feel very good about using this as a secondary resource for writing and vocabulary and a primary resource for literature, I don’t feel that it meets all of my student’s needs. For most, this is a perfect all-in-one for language arts. The TE is packed with additional information. I will be ordering this first and making sure that I don’t need anything else. I will post more one I have it in hand. There is a student and teacher edition, both listed individually. Keep in mind that when I say it might not be enough for my student that she is an avid writer that loves diving into literary elements as well as discovering new vocabulary. She would be happy if Language Arts were the only subject at times.
I enjoyed the trip to the convention, and I enjoyed the meeting of new people.
I did find two things that will play a big role in next year’s planning an implementation:
Miller has some absolutely wonderful paper resources, in addition to craft kits, coloring books, dot-to-dots, activity books, clay, music, paper dolls, sticker books, art books, Draw and Write Through History, calligraphy, painting, dry erase boards for math and writing practice, the unusual books like “The Disaster Preparedness Handbook for Families” or “Herbal Antibiotics” (just in case zombies take over or an alien invasion), etc. The amount of resources and the prices are just perfect. I bought while I was there, and I have a list of some more much-needed items, which is manuscript paper. This manuscript paper, Penmanship Paper Supplies, is very good quality with very good color for the lines. I like the spelling test sheets too. Basically, any of the blank items could find a home with us.
I am and will always be a big user of Saxon, as a primary or secondary resource, no matter the grade. However, when I came across the booth, I was very surprised at what I found: Holt, Houghton Mifflin, Saxon, Holt McDougal, Harcourt, Holt Science, etc. I am absolutely the most pleased by this particular discovery. I now have science for high school well in hand. You may stop and wonder why this is so great. Let me explain. The price for a subject is between $100 and $220 for high school science. Ex. Holt McDougal Bilogy Homeschool Package is $105. The options will determine the costs. The one way that the cost stays so low is the Premium Interactive Online Edition for the biology package. Most all of the resources are available online for one year. You can renew your subscription if needed. You receive the textbook and access all student and teacher resources online, including virtual labs, animated biology simulations, interactive games, visual investigations, and more.
The site is a little slow as you browse, and it can be a bit confusing. Here is a link to the homeschool catalogue.