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1st Curriculum Fair - What are your TOP must-see curriculum choices?


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I'm going to my first homeschool convention/curriculum fair this weekend. While I already have a pretty good idea of what I like and have already started using, I'd like to know your top 5, can't miss curriculum choices for lower elementary grades.


Since I'll have many resources at my finger tips, I'd like to make sure and take advantage of being able to see/touch stuff!

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Is there a link to the vendors that will be there?


I was just at our convention this past weekend and I love my newest find: the Little Professor Science Kits from http://www.academyofscienceforkids.com. I wrote a little more about it on my blog.


But if there is a list of vendors, it might jog my memory or thinking. :) (or at least narrow it to what will be there to look at for starters. I have yet to see some things I'd like to see in person, but there is always enough there to help narrow things down.)


I also came home with Veritas Press history cards, songs, geography books and a few other things, but other than the VP cards, nothing was from a set curriculum. And this past year was a hodge podge starting out with My Father's World first grade and ending up with lots of things. LOL


Oh, we're enjoying School Song Latin so far this "year" too if you should happen to see that.


HTH a little.

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Here is the link to some of the vendors; I am definitely going to look at those science kits you referenced - that sounds fun!


I was just basically wondering what people's "favorites" were when it comes to curriculum - maybe there is stuff that I want to see that I haven't investigated yet.

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1.) My Father's World (Adventures, ECC, CTG)

2.) Saxon Publishers (Elementary Math)

3.) Apologia Science (Elementary Science)

4.) Rod & Staff (English, coloring books, readers etc.)

5.) Christian Light Education (I would like to look at everything there because I have heard so many people using it!)


Have fun! I wish I could go too! :)

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Have you decided on your math choice yet? If not, I would stop by the Math U See to talk to them, they give a very good explanation of how their product works.


Also Excellence in Writing if you are considering it, and my other suggestion would be if you are going to use Rod and Staff, I would buy from the Fair as it is much easier to get their products, and they do sell out fairly quickly.

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You do have a nice list of vendors!! I missed Millers Pads and Papers being at ours this year. Stop by their booth to check out all of their wonderful bound blank books/papers for copywork, sketching......or just about for anything you could imagine. And to see MFW in person! I'd definitely want to look over all of their programs. :) A lot of my friends use RightStart math and love it. We use Horizons and it is a great fit for us.


Have fun!


(Makes me want to travel next year to our state convention! It's a lot bigger than our local.... :) )

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I second Miller Paper for lined paper, nature journals and drawing paper.


I think My Father's World has a convention special on CD's of famous composers.


I would love to look at IEW and see their new curriculum.


I would spend the rest of my time at various book vendors.


Have fun!

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Yes, Miller Pad and Paper is a must stop-great deals on blank books and good quality construction paper! They are my favorite vendor!


As far as programs/books:

1.YWAM Publishing-check out their unit studies and biographies-great resources at reasonable prices. I just discovered them this year and I'm hooked. Their new Viking Quest series looks great too.


2. Christian Liberty Press-I don't use their program but I use a lot of their great books


3. Progeny Press guides are good, they have a lot to choose from


4. I like to look at any of the science kits and art booths too.


5. I'd like to look at Moving Beyond the Page-haven't seen this but am curious.

Have fun.

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Oooh....I'm getting so excited! Thanks for all your input - you guys have definitely recommended things I have never even heard of! Looking forward to any other comments anyone has, too.

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1. Anything you are thinking of using...I agree...touch it, smell it...then you'll know if you'll love it. I made a few no choices after getting my hands on things this year


2. Many vendors will give you free shipping if you purchase there


3. Bring your catalogs, marked, and do some comparative shopping


for the good stuff....


Millers paper :iagree::iagree:


Rainbow Resource, ROCK Solid


I had to check out The Phonics Road


YWAM was great


Just looking at the variety of science lab stuff motivates me

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Well I don't usually approach a convention that way, since I plan to see EVERYTHING, lol. I assume you already have a general sense of what you're planning for fall (hopefully), so instead what I look for are:


1) things for NEXT year, as in things I'm considering buying a year from now.

2) things that are new that I've never heard of. I always try to keep my eyes peeled and keep abreast. You never know when the thing you thought you'd NEVER use turns out to be exactly what you need 6 months from now. :)

3) things to supplement my plans for fall. Remember at that point I usually have my main stuff already picked out, so I'm just picking up extra books, cool project kits, etc. that go with our topics for history, science, etc.

4) something fun, a treat for dd


Like I said, I look at EVERYTHING at the convention, every single thing. When I first started this, I would take a legal pad and make notes on everything. I picked up every book I had time for. Do that a couple years, and there's a lot less new, lol. Then the hall takes less time. But I really do try to be pro-active and keep my eyes peeled for things I might consider a year from now. It lets you look at that new science curriculum from Rainbow or a new foreign language program or something and enjoy it, say it's cool, but not feel pressured to buy right then. It makes your next school year planning easier, because you've actually seen and handled the things you're considering chosing among.


If I see something at the convention and like it, I buy it. The vendor paid a lot to get there, so I don't look at one booth then walk down to Rainbow to save $5. That's just me. I know money is tight, but I try to show them I appreciate the time, effort, and expense they went to to give me the chance to see the materials. Just something to consider.

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Math-U-See was my first stop a few years ago and I just did a review day with my son today with 100% retention. You could say that it was a great first stop!


Rainbow Resource is always a popular stop and you might want to put this at the top of you list early on (even before Math-U-See). They have a ton of stuff and you typically will have to elbow your way through if you get there at a busy time.


Ditto to others about Rod/Staff, Christian Liberty Press, and My Father's World.


I have recently fallen in love with Usborne books, but they are a matter of preference. It will depend on what kind of kid you have and what you are looking at. My recent favorite is the Usborne Complete Art Book. There are several, but this one goes to the craft store with me when I buy supplies. The directions are wonderful and very colorful. We are also using the Science Activities Books, but some kids can't handle that much information on one page. Honestly, I like these because they are easy to follow instructions and he doesn't really need to look at them anyway. My DD also likes their learn to draw books. Again, step-by-step instructions. I think the biggest problem that people run into with Usborne, is with their non-instruction books. It seems that when they are presenting a topic, and not instruction, they give the kiddo too much to look at and unnecessary info. We like them anyway!


Sonlight - I don't really like their curriculum, but I always look at the books they use. Their curriculum sometimes includes out-of-date books, or just books that are not right for our family. I do, however, check them out if I need a filler. Their curriculums are incredibly popular with other famlies. Their exhibit was quite small at our covention, so you might also want to check out their stuff online. As already mentioned, you can always buy stuff cheaper at a show, so check it out first before you go.


Just for fun, stop by A beka and ask them why they start cursive so early. You will get a wonderful explanation on the history of writing, dating back to the 1840's. I did really buy into it, but it was otherwise interesting.


Wow, great list of vendors. Have fun!!

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Top 5 things I would look at (I like Rainbow Resource and LifeTime Books and Gifts):


1. Story of the World Volume I Activity Book

2. Miquon Math

3. Nebel's Elementary Education

4. Saxon Math (just curious)

5. Oak Meadow

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Oh, I would love to go! the things I would want to see the most include:


Sonlight, I'd love to meet some fellow sonlighters and see some of the upper core items.


MFW, I would really like to see their new high school materials.


Rainbow Resource, I know they would have lots of things I would need.


I would really like to see what the singapore high school level math looks like too.

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Family and parenting-



Generations of Virtue

Lampstand or Lamplighter (I'm not sure which is the one I went to last year)


Curriculums to be familiar with-


Abeka/BJU (just to be familiar with their stuff)


Real science 4 kids



Rod and Staff


Teaching textbooks


Odds and ends-


Miller Pads

Queen Homeschool

Rainbow Resource


I usually do a few laps. First lap, I go booth by booth, circling the ones that I want to come back to and taking notes on prices of things I plan to buy.


Second lap, I go back to the booths I circled. By this time, I've figured out who has the best price on things that I already planned to buy. I spend some time at the book sellers, because they usually have great deals. Last year I bought 4 Max Lucado hardback children's books for $10. I take more time looking over curriculum that is new to me.


The last day, I usually do a quick run through to make purchases of things that I have decided on over the course of the convention (We're talking days here). Girlfriends and I will compare finds and I'm usually off to purchase something that they found. I LOVE the curriculum hall.

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I think it depends on what you are "thinking" about and haven't decided on. Sometimes you will go look at it, thumb through the first few lessons, look at more of the curriculum and say "Whoa, this is not right for us!"


May I just say, I am SO JEALOUS! This is one of my FAVORITE things to do. It is so much fun and I am literally just lost in my own world as I walk around taking it all in and perusing everything.


Have fun!


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