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Just wanted to pop on here real quick before my travel day tomorrow and say how fabulous this conference was. I haven't been to an event so wonderful in a very long time. My mind is full, my heart is full, I had a BLAST meeting and chatting with so many fellow boardies and other like-minded Moms, and when I can put thoughts down more coherently, I will. I have to travel all day tomorrow, and I'll try to write my thoughts here again in a few days. I'm sure others will talk about it, too, and post all the pictures we all took. If Susan and her wonderful family and crew ever do this again, and if you are trying to give your kids a fulfilling classical-style education and you need help, try to go. You won't regret it. Susan, you and all your people are awesome. xoxoxoxo Thank you so much.

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Lucky! Lucky! Lucky!

 

Oh man...:(

 

On the plus side, my DH did great at his Jeopardy audition and will be on file for 18 months to be on the show. I'm thinking he'd better get called or I'll be extra disappointed that I missed the conference!!

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I absolutely agree! My mind is still spinning from everything I've learned, rediscovered and decided this weekend that I can't seem to put to much coherent thought together right now, though. When I get home and can decompress I'd love to discuss more about what all happened. It's just been mind-blowing.

 

I do have to say, Susan, Jesse, and Jim, spot on! I promise I'm not being goopy when I say excellent conference and spectacular material. I'm renewed and re-energized. I feel like "I can" again. A number of people were all saying how much the very last session meant to them to hear you candid and true about your life and your current experiences. It meant more than you might have thought it would. Thank you.

 

Thank you all of my new friends for an amazing weekend, great food, and incredible conversations! I'm in awe of you all. :grouphug:

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My mind is full, my heart is full, I had a BLAST meeting and chatting with so many fellow boardies and other like-minded Moms, and when I can put thoughts down more coherently, I will.

 

My thoughts exactly!!! :) It was so nice meeting and chatting with you (and Emily, and Carol, and all the other new friends)!

 

On my drive home (which was much shorter than your trip home :D ), I was trying to mentally digest everything. Hubby wanted to know what it was about, and I told him I'd have to explain after I reviewed the 14 pages of notes I took! LOL!! We've been using WTM methods from the beginning, but I'm seeing WTM in a whole new way now. Before the conference I felt like we were moving away from Classical education, but having everything laid out (well, I know its all laid out in the book, but HEARING it all laid out) made me realize that we actually ARE doing things almost exactly WTM-style, but in our own way. I know EXACTLY where we are heading now, which wasn't the case last week.

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I could not agree more!! The weekend was amazing! I will write more in the next few days, but I have the same feelings of renewal and clear vision. I was so impressed with SWB's openness with the final session...she blew me away and I am so thankful for what she shared. Not to mention all the great ladies I was able to meet and spend time with this weekend. What a great experience!!!

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This was the best thing I could have done for my children, myself, and our homeschool. I agree with all the other comments and my head and heart are also spinning. The last 2 sessions were incredible and were exactly what I needed. My daughter will be a senior next year and I just want to thank both Susan and Jessie for their wisdom. We are rethinking our whole idea of college. I highly recommend hearing them speak in person if possible.

Tracy

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I also enjoyed the conference and meeting all the wonderful board members. It was so nice to be able to talk to other like-minded homeschoolers. We have homeschool friends here in town but almost all are unschoolers or online schoolers only. While that is fine...sometimes it is nice to talk to people that don't look at you like you are crazy for wanting a Classical education.

 

The seminars were great (and from what I understand, they were recorded). I even was able to get Susan to sign my book!.

 

We drove back Sat. and sadly, missed the last two sessions. I really hope they will be offered as a recording also!

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While I was at the conference, I was unable to listen to the sessions. However, I did get to meet a few of you and enjoyed that. I also got the chance to talk to some women who will be new to homeschooling next fall and thought what an incredible opportunity they had by being able to attend the conference before getting started.

 

I am excited about the things I bought for next school year and hope that the recordings become available soon. Everyone I talked to said the whole conference was awesome and of great value to them.

 

ETA: Susan's #2 dc was a riot. He entertained the kids and the vendors.

Edited by Brigitte
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It was indeed great. I loved meeting the board ladies, Susan and Jim.

 

Nathan really loved meeting Jim -- he held out his hand to shake and said, "Big fan!" He is an amazing story teller -- quite an inspiration for Nathan.

 

I loved hearing Susan talk about writing, literary analysis and just plain sharing about her family. She had me teary quite a few times from her realness.

 

I am concerned now because Nathan has flu symptoms.

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I'm renewed and re-energized. I feel like "I can" again. A number of people were all saying how much the very last session meant to them to hear you candid and true about your life and your current experiences. It meant more than you might have thought it would. Thank you.

 

Thank you all of my new friends for an amazing weekend, great food, and incredible conversations! I'm in awe of you all. :grouphug:

 

:iagree:

 

My thoughts exactly!!! :) It was so nice meeting and chatting with you (and Emily, and Carol, and all the other new friends)!

 

:iagree:

 

Well all you lucky folks, please please post lots about what went on so we can live vicariously through you!

 

I will, in the next few days. Just got home (and HAD to check this thread to see other attendees reactions) a couple of hours ago (to a poor son who threwup as soon as we got out of the airport - Mom's on duty again).

 

I could not agree more!! The weekend was amazing! I will write more in the next few days, but I have the same feelings of renewal and clear vision. I was so impressed with SWB's openness with the final session...she blew me away and I am so thankful for what she shared. Not to mention all the great ladies I was able to meet and spend time with this weekend. What a great experience!!!

 

:iagree:

 

Oh, I'm so glad! I've been praying for you (and Susan and Jessie, too) all weekend. Sounds like you have found that "something" you were needing. Can't wait to hear all about it!!!!!

 

Thanks, Rhonda! I thought of you while I was there, and I have an answer to your question - I'll look it up later in my notes and pm it to you.

 

This was the best thing I could have done for my children, myself, and our homeschool. I agree with all the other comments and my head and heart are also spinning. The last 2 sessions were incredible and were exactly what I needed. My daughter will be a senior next year and I just want to thank both Susan and Jessie for their wisdom. We are rethinking our whole idea of college. I highly recommend hearing them speak in person if possible.

Tracy

 

:iagree:

 

We drove back Sat. and sadly, missed the last two sessions. I really hope they will be offered as a recording also!

 

I don't think I met you! Oh well.

 

Susan told us that the last session would not be recorded because of the information in it.

 

She had me teary quite a few times from her realness.

 

:iagree: I held back tears several times, and I thought I was the only one until daisychics told me she cried, too.

 

I'll try to get back here and post more in the next day or two. Two side but fun notes: I got to have dinner at a Thai restaurant (daisychics, thanks for the pad Thai rec - YUM!), last night with Stacey in MA - we had SUCH a nice talk!!!! Then this morning when I got to the Richmond airport, Carol in Cal. was there, and we were on the SAME FLIGHT TO DETROIT!! We managed to get seats together and basically spent until 4 p.m., from Richmond, to the plane, to the huge Detroit airport, together yakking away about everything we could think of until we had to catch our separate flights. I feel like I just got back from an awesome time of learning how to teach things I've been desperate to learn, with the added bonus of being on a hugely refreshing retreat.

 

Still processing...

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Awwwww, I am so jealous. I did get to a conference last year where SWB was the headliner, but this sounds so much more, intimate. SWB, please bring your whole crew out to the west coast. You can stay with me. I don't have much room, but I'll squeeze you in somehow. Please.:D

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I was at the conference, and (like others) I feel very much renewed and full of purpose again.

 

I had to leave before the Sat. afternoon sessions, and it sounds like I really missed out! What were the most encouraging things you heard during Susan and Jessie's last sessions?

 

Thanks in advance,

 

Bonnie

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This was such a wonderful conference. I received so much information and vision from the whole group. It was totally amazing.

 

I am working to get my notes typed and organized now that I am home. I really enjoyed bringing my two oldest ds's along and spending some great time with them in Williamsburg and at the conference itself.

 

I also had to leave early to get home. I would love to know some of the most touching and challenging things you heard in those sessions. I hope they will be available for purchase.

 

Thanks again for a truly wonderful conference. I enjoyed meeting so many of my board friends. You are all wonderful!! I feel honored to call you board friends.

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OK, here is my report. I think what I'll do is list what were, for me, the highlights of each workshop.

 

The Educating Ourselves Workshop: I liked Susan's comments about changing our mindset from "someone needs to give me what I don't yet have" to "I need to find what I don't yet have." Also the comments related to not letting the need for immediate gratification pull you away from quiet contemplative reading, even though that reading doesn't produce immediate results. The results will build up over time, and then you will be able to talk with your children when they ask questions about issues, and that this type of reading is like reclaiming our humanity. My worth is based on what I can understand, not what I can produce. There was also a lot of very practical guidance on reading to educate ourselves. Oh, and this type of reading doesn't have to take up hours and hours a day. A half hour a day, four days a week is a better start than doing nothing at all. For more info., read the Well Educated Mind. ;)

 

Teaching Reading from Birth on: I really liked Jessie's encouragement to teach reading to a child as young as he is ready for - when he recognizes that a round, sweet item filled with little brown spots is a "cookie," he is ready to learn to recognize letters and learn their sounds and names. Her advice to separate the skills of reading from the skills of spelling and writing was very useful to me. I've used WRTR all along, but I think if I was starting over again with my kids (or if I tutor later on), I'd not have them drawing letters at the same time as learning to recognize them. Looking back, it probably caused a lot of frustration for my dd8. Jessie gave lots of practical advice on conducting teaching sessions, both in this session and in the reading practicum session with the children. And I LOVED watching her interact with the little children.

 

FLL for the WTM: Jessie made a good case for early grammar teaching, too. She also explained how "incidental grammar teaching" came about and why it's popular. She also explained why it's useful to memorize the preposition list - I never really understood why until she said (but we did memorize the list in FLL). She also changed a phrase in my mind - "drill and kill" became "drill for skill." Made sense to me.

 

The Panel Discussions: were excellent. Susan, Jessie, and Jim Weiss (who I'd never heard before, but really enjoyed his teaching on storytelling, too) were the panel, and we all got to bombard them with any question. Jim had a lot of good things to say about kids getting into college, but putting your child's heart and mind and relationship with you first before the college issue. I really appreciated this.

 

The Complete Writer Overall Plan: Well, you can read the chapters in WWE for info. on this, but hearing the plan in person was helpful. Susan showed us how we can liven up a dictation session with drama, and that was very helpful to me (and she's very funny!).

 

Writing With Skill grades 5-8: I've struggled with how to teach this level of writing for over a year now, but I have a better idea now of what to do and why. Esp. with outlining - now I can use a couple of questions Susan mentioned to ask my son so that he can pick out the ideas in a paragraph. She has a way of boiling the process down simply. And of showing a "thread" of how the writing process continues through the grades (or levels). She also answered a few specific questions I had about oral vs. written grammar, doing R&S writing exercises, and how long the outlines/rewrites should be in each grade. Her answers were basically that it's a judgment call on my part depending on the child's needs, and I felt like a huge burden was lifted because I can better understand now how to conduct the basic writing process, and can decide, with that knowledge, what parts of R&S writing my child should do and what he doesn't need - in other words, I feel equipped now to master R&S and not let it master me. Because I have some background knowledge now. I read the "it depends on the child" advice all the time here on the boards, but never knew HOW I would know what was right. Thanks to her explanation about the writing process, I feel better equipped to decide.

 

High school writing: I finally understand what a research paper is vs. a persuasive paper. :) And which one is more useful to practice more in high school. And how to facilitate this practice through self-study of the books she recommended. And that the Corbett book does not have to be mastered in high school (phew!). And that there are alternatives to the self-study method (Susan wrote about this in another thread in the last couple of weeks). She explained how to find topics to write about in different areas - very helpful, though I didn't get them all written down - she said she'll post them online soon. But the biggest thing I got out of the writing workshops is that it is definitely a process, and that even if it takes your child til the end of grade 12 to master outlining and rewriting from outlines, he'll still be equipped to learn persuasive writing in college or on his own. And that any persuasive writing learned in high school will be useful, and that it's not about writing "perfect" papers in high school - it's all about the practice of the writing process - the more they practice, the easier it will be to write clearly and persuasively. Another big burden-reliever for me. It made it seem more doable.

 

Lit. analysis and the practicum workshops: excellent. Like writing, this is a process you lead your child through - not something to be perfected by the end of grade 12. No need to analyze books to death, no need to spend weeks and weeks on one book, no need to analyze books they love - just let 'em enjoy the book and analyze another book - no need to bombard them with analysis questions in the early grades or even in the middle grades - simply talk about the books and ask maybe a question or two in the middle grades to get them thinking, and gently start them on writing a bit about the book in 7th or 8th grade (but continue the grammar stage lit. narrations once a week or so). Decide for yourself how many books to talk about - once a week, once every three weeks, whatever is a good pace for your child. High school's a good time to introduce literary terms and she gave a pattern and book for doing this simple study. She explained different types of essays and what response papers were and how to figure out topics to write about and that the topics should grow out of child's reading (I took that to mean that I don't have to assign topics - unless my child can't think of something, then I'd chat with him about it til he came up with something). The big thing in these lit. workshops for me was PRESERVE THE LOVE OF READING. That takes priority over me pushing lots of analysis and writing. My son was very relieved to hear this, after our "experimental" 5th grade year in which I was trying to figure out how to apply the instructions in logic stage WTM. :) Quite frankly I was relieved, too, because we started homeschooling in large part because of a love of reading, and that has partly died in me this past year. It's going to come to life again now. Oh, and Susan talked about three kinds of reading: lit. studies you want the child to read and talk and write about, books you think your child ought to read because you think he will like it, and their own fun reading (and she hilariously OK'ed, by example in her own family, my son's love of the Lego Bionicle books). Again, another relief because I now have some freeing guidelines I can apply to our library activities and one less battle to fight. :)

 

One more thing about the lit. practicum - it was VERY entertaining and helpful to watch her interact with the kids about Beowulf. She'd guide them in a funny discussion, and then stop and explain what she was doing and we'd madly scribble down more notes. That was so helpful. When I told my son about it, he said he would have loved being there. Plus it was fun watching the professor in action. :) Also, she explained how you go through the grammar, logic, and rhetoric stages of a lit. discussion with an older child to guide his thinking. Another great pattern to apply.

 

Teaching Students to Work Independently: was not at all like I thought it would be (a mish mash of "tips") - instead, in Susan's style, it was a step by step plan with funny acronyms of how to help your student, subject by subject, learn to do his work and study independently. One thing I found very helpful is the idea to do a checklist, not just to tell the student what to do, but to give you an idea of how long it takes the child to complete a subject. When you get a good idea, you can use that time frame when you assign that subject to your child. The whole pattern is very helpful to me and I can see that I probably should have started some of it a year ago. I'll start implementing it soon, and I hope to have a lot less frustration on my hands.

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Jessie's and Susan's what was done right, and what would be done differently - Jessie's talk is on CD at PHP, but Susan's isn't and won't be, so I'm going to be respectfully vague about that last one - let's just say it was very touching and I had to hold back tears (because I couldn't see if anyone else was crying, so I felt silly! Then I found out others did cry, too). I think my favourite parts about Jessie's talk were about choosing the when and where of college, and about moral/social development. She emphasized protecting your children and going by your intuition, even if you can't articulate what you are feeling inside, when it comes to social situations for your children. I completely agree, and it was so nice to hear that from someone else who is older, wiser, and more experienced than me. She also talked about helping your kids to earn money earlier, so they can learn to manage it while under your care. It is pushing me to think more about how I can help ds start some kind of business for himself (we are sort of a self-starter family anyway), because he is chewing at the bit more with regards to wanting more than a couple dollars of spending money at a time. And Susan pretty much gave her version of the same talk as Jessie, saying what she thought was done right in her growing years, what she wants to change, and how she implements all this in her family.

 

I got to meet the following lovely ladies:

 

Stacey in MA, oliveview, iquilt, JessicaRush, Kathy in MD, nestof3, daisychics, Oak Knoll Mom, skaterbabs, Carol in Cal, and The Floating Cottage. There might be one or two more, but I'm not sure...

 

I came away from this feeling like "I can do this home education project, and I can do it in a way that is joyful to my family, not burdensome. Yet I can know what I'm doing, too, instead of fumbling in the dark." I also finally "got" the idea that I can master or use my Teacher manuals for various skill subjects and not let them dominate me. I get so bogged down in teaching every skill the way it's laid out in the TMs because I've been so insecure about my lack of knowledge/ability, but now I know I can step back and say, "hey, how can I change this?" because I have a MUCH better idea of what's necessary for life and why. The other great thing about the whole conference is that we all got to ask so many questions during and after each workshop. It was very helpful listening to all the questions, too. After the end, Susan laughingly said she felt like she was just talking and talking now and didn't know anymore what was coming out of her mouth - but I sure appreciated all her talking and giving this past weekend. The talking and the friends I made was worth every penny and the effort of travel for me.

 

Anyone else want to tell their highlights? (sorry mine was so long!! I've just looked forward to this since it was first advertised....) I'd love to hear!

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Colleen,

 

Thank you *SO* much for your wonderful posts. I was one of those who wanted to make the conference, but couldn't make it happen. I hope they consider doing this again in the near future because I *will* make sure that I can attend.

 

Blessings,

 

Glad it helped, that's why I wrote so much because I knew so many people wanted to go. I hope others will tell their tales, too. Also, Susan did mention in another post a few weeks ago that they are hoping to do it on the West Coast sometime!!

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Glad it helped, that's why I wrote so much because I knew so many people wanted to go. I hope others will tell their tales, too. Also, Susan did mention in another post a few weeks ago that they are hoping to do it on the West Coast sometime!!

 

We were posting at the same time... I would love this! I hope they're able to make it happen!

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Oh, thank you, that is wonderful. (I have heard Susan's personal talk and it is wonderful too. I think it was my favorite and I learned so much and was so encouraged.) I wish I could have seen the Beowulf talk! And is the learning independently talk going to be for sale??

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Nathan really loved meeting Jim -- he held out his hand to shake and said, "Big fan!" He is an amazing story teller -- quite an inspiration for Nathan.

 

My 12 yo (who has never heard of him before this wekend) told Jim, "You ought to sell DCs or DVDs of your stories." :lol:

 

Jessie's and Susan's what was done right, and what would be done differently .... but Susan's isn't and won't be, so I'm going to be respectfully vague about that last one ...

 

 

I'll post my notes later. I wrote down more of the "dos and don'ts" of what she said, which really don't hae the personal info in them.

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And Susan pretty much gave her version of the same talk as Jessie, saying what she thought was done right in her growing years, what she wants to change, and how she implements all this in her family.

 

I'll post my notes later. I wrote down more of the "dos and don'ts" of what she said, which really don't hae the personal info in them.

 

oh, that would be so helpful. I was just coming on to post that I wished somehow we could glean from that. Not that Susan should have to share her whole life's story with everyone just b/c she happens to be very wise and helpful :D ....but it would be neat to hear that kind of talk from her. I have the cd of Jessie's talk, but it would be cool to hear it from the perspective of the student having gone through a classical lifestyle, and has done well for herself, and what she liked/didn't like/wish was different, etc.

 

If you have non-personal notes, I know I would love to glean from you. Thank you for your posts Colleen - very helpful! I think I'm going to have to add this conference to my wishlist in the future, lol.

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Here's what I brought away from the last session:

 

  • education is not a "part-time" deal, not an interruption of life. Don't let your kids get the idea that "school" (education) is a prison from which to escape as quickly as possible.
  • accept that interruptions are part of life, and as such are part of school.
  • year-round school facilitates this idea of education being a life-long thing; also reduces boredom and lost skills
  • don't rush through school in order to get to playtime; don't use extra school as punishment or time off as a reward
  • allow that library fines are inevitable; plan for them as part of your schooling budget and think of them as a "rental fee" :lol:
  • give books as gifts; don't separate "books" and "fun" with your gift-giving
  • limit screen time (tv, video games, computers). Use a preset number of physical tokens =1 per every 1/2 hour of screen time. Set ground rules regarding their use in advance. Ideas include: tokens do not carry over from one week to the next, watching a sibling's screen time means turning in one's own token, etc. Within reason, children control their tokens. Tokens can be earned or lost (carrot and stick approach)
  • Mom gets specific off-duty times
  • daily quiet time for each child; children spend this time alone resting or reading separate from siblings
  • For a high-school age child with well-defined interests, allow the child to focus on those interests and do a (mutually acceptable) minimum in subject(s) that are especially weak. (for example, a student especially gifted in mathematics would do a minimum of language work and spend more time on higher math study.)
  • emotional crises are often physical in nature. When meltdowns occur, encourage the "snack/shower/sleep" cure. Eat a (high-protein) snack to combat low blood sugar; take a shower to rid oneself of general ickyness; take a nap to recharge the brain.
  • The emotional state of the child is NOT an indicator of homeschooling success or failure.
  • Have a goal of graduating college debt-free because large college debt removed freedom and choices
  • "Big name" college acceptance is not a measure of success; nor is early college admittance/attendance. Consider early college carefully.
  • Better to wait a year between high school and college to allow additional maturity.
  • Follow your gut.
  • Verbally encourage your children often.
  • Sing more!
  • Don't cultivate an atmosphere of worry so much that your children think you are angry/sad/depressed/etc.
  • Cultivate a wise woman who can encourage you and counsel you without having a personal stake in any decision you make.

Hope those help! I'll type up my other notes from the earlier sessions at some point soon.

Edited by skaterbabs
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The conference was fabulous! Each and every session was beneficial and worthwhile. I even attended the "How to Teach Your Child to Read," even though my kiddos are already reading. Susan and Jessie did an OUTSTANDING job!

 

Jim Weiss touched my heart with his story telling. My kids have many of his stories on old cassette tapes and recognized his name. The very last story telling session, Jim said, "Well, now I am off to meet my wife for dinner. I have not seen her in two weeks, because she has been at homeschool conferences in Alaska." One of my twin boys said, "What? I thought he was married to Mrs. Susan Wise Bauer." :lol:

 

A few of the many things I learned:

 

I CAN teach writing. Susan made it sound so simple. I have been making writing too complicated. I'm backing off of my "way too serious writing curricula" and going back to Susan's recommendations in WWE

 

Hold off on sending a young home school graduate to college. They are more mature around 19. "No name" colleges are just fine. No need to go into serious debt for a big name college.

 

Nap time (quiet time/in their room time) will be re-instituted in my house. There is no wonder that I have felt like I'm on duty 24/7. I'm building some quiet time into my day.

 

I will hire tutors for those subjects with which I feel inadequate to teach. No guilt.

 

Limit outside activities (sports, co-op's, etc.)

 

Limit screen time (computer/television) for the children.

 

Make a schedule for the child to follow. We may not necessarily follow it to the "T" each day, but it allows the child to see what is next on the list. This will save much time through the day, so that I am not their constant verbal prompt.

 

Susan and Jessie are people just like us. They are very real. Susan's two older boys were there to help, and they are so polite! One of them helped with slides while Jessie presented. Another one was frequently at the book table. At the end of the conference, they presented their mom and grandma flowers. I lost it.

 

I wish I had someone like Jessie Wise to encourage me, uplift me and assure me that my kids will be alright. However, for this past weekend, I felt like she was my personal encourager. She shared from the heart, told what she would do differently if she had the opportunity. You should have seen her tutoring young children in reading. She is absolutely the most patient person I have every seen.

 

 

Others have said this, but I feel I need to say it again. The conference was excellent. In the ten years that I have attended various state and local conferences, this was by far the best.

 

Oh, the best part! I won one of Susan's newest editions of TWTM!!!!! There were five envelopes randomly placed around the conference room and my husband was sitting in one of the chairs. He so kindly gave me his envelope! Susan and Jessie signed my new book! (Just a quick look through the book, and I see she has added quite a bit of information in the logic stage)

 

We are just getting back, and I need to do laundry and look through all my goodies from the conference.

 

It was nice meeting some of you there!

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:crying:

 

Me, too. We were really lucky to have SWB here at our conference four years ago but I still haven't had a chance to see Jessie and I would love to hear Susan again. I'm looking forward to reading everyone else's comments about the conference and I'm hoping I'll be able to order some Mp3s of the talks.

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Mary in NJ, your notes sum up how I felt about the conference. I too was teary eyed listening to Jessie and Susan's final presentations and loved when SWB's boys presented them with flowers.

 

Attending this conference was such a treat for me and a gift to my family. I was seriously blown away by the amount of useful and practical information I took away from the conference. I'm so glad I went! My husband could not be there, but when I called him on Saturday night to check in I told him that I was walking away from the weekend empowered and enlightened. The conference was very well run and flowed so well. I attended just about every talk and was still hungry for more! The literary analysis session with the older children (Beowulf) was fabulous!

 

Mary, if you are who I think you are, I met you when we were in line on Friday morning redeeming your prize copy of TWTM 3rd edt. I was the military wife who used to be stationed at Ft. Bragg and is now in CT and we talked for a little while. That's so cool that you won a book!'

 

 

 

The conference was fabulous! Each and every session was beneficial and worthwhile. I even attended the "How to Teach Your Child to Read," even though my kiddos are already reading. Susan and Jessie did an OUTSTANDING job!

 

Jim Weiss touched my heart with his story telling. My kids have many of his stories on old cassette tapes and recognized his name. The very last story telling session, Jim said, "Well, now I am off to meet my wife for dinner. I have not seen her in two weeks, because she has been at homeschool conferences in Alaska." One of my twin boys said, "What? I thought he was married to Mrs. Susan Wise Bauer." :lol:

 

A few of the many things I learned:

 

I CAN teach writing. Susan made it sound so simple. I have been making writing too complicated. I'm backing off of my "way too serious writing curricula" and going back to Susan's recommendations in WWE

 

Hold off on sending a young home school graduate to college. They are more mature around 19. "No name" colleges are just fine. No need to go into serious debt for a big name college.

 

Nap time (quiet time/in their room time) will be re-instituted in my house. There is no wonder that I have felt like I'm on duty 24/7. I'm building some quiet time into my day.

 

I will hire tutors for those subjects with which I feel inadequate to teach. No guilt.

 

Limit outside activities (sports, co-op's, etc.)

 

Limit screen time (computer/television) for the children.

 

Make a schedule for the child to follow. We may not necessarily follow it to the "T" each day, but it allows the child to see what is next on the list. This will save much time through the day, so that I am not their constant verbal prompt.

 

Susan and Jessie are people just like us. They are very real. Susan's two older boys were there to help, and they are so polite! One of them helped with slides while Jessie presented. Another one was frequently at the book table. At the end of the conference, they presented their mom and grandma flowers. I lost it.

 

I wish I had someone like Jessie Wise to encourage me, uplift me and assure me that my kids will be alright. However, for this past weekend, I felt like she was my personal encourager. She shared from the heart, told what she would do differently if she had the opportunity. You should have seen her tutoring young children in reading. She is absolutely the most patient person I have every seen.

 

 

Others have said this, but I feel I need to say it again. The conference was excellent. In the ten years that I have attended various state and local conferences, this was by far the best.

 

Oh, the best part! I won one of Susan's newest editions of TWTM!!!!! There were five envelopes randomly placed around the conference room and my husband was sitting in one of the chairs. He so kindly gave me his envelope! Susan and Jessie signed my new book! (Just a quick look through the book, and I see she has added quite a bit of information in the logic stage)

 

We are just getting back, and I need to do laundry and look through all my goodies from the conference.

 

It was nice meeting some of you there!

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Mary in NJ, your notes sum up how I felt about the conference. I too was teary eyed listening to Jessie and Susan's final presentations and loved when SWB's boys presented them with flowers.

 

Attending this conference was such a treat for me and a gift to my family. I was seriously blown away by the amount of useful and practical information I took away from the conference. I'm so glad I went! My husband could not be there, but when I called him on Saturday night to check in I told him that I was walking away from the weekend empowered and enlightened. The conference was very well run and flowed so well. I attended just about every talk and was still hungry for more! The literary analysis session with the older children (Beowulf) was fabulous!

 

Mary, if you are who I think you are, I met you when we were in line on Friday morning redeeming your prize copy of TWTM 3rd edt. I was the military wife who used to be stationed at Ft. Bragg and is now in CT and we talked for a little while. That's so cool that you won a book!'

 

Yes, I remember you! So nice to actually meet other like minded people! Best of luck to you and your family. Who knows, the military is really quite a small world, we may bump into each other again!

 

I'm so happy with my new book! Of course, I still managed to purchase close to $200 of other books!

 

 

Joyfully,

Mary

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I think I'm going to have to add this conference to my wishlist in the future, lol.

 

Definitely! I flew from Eastern Canada, and it was worth every single penny. From the minute I read about the conference, I knew it would be a spectacular investment in our next 10 years of homeschooling.

 

And I have my first post-conference success to report today! I sat down with my son to do a one level outline (that we have struggled with all year, but were sort of getting somewhere - he "got" the idea, but I always struggled with how to lead him in saying the main idea of a paragraph). I used the two questions Susan mentioned, and PRESTO! There was instant understanding on his part about what to do. Gosh, it was worth going just to hear how to do this, LOL! So he thought his way through the two questions for each paragraph, formed his sentence for the main idea, and typed it up. I also had the presence of mind, thanks to this conference, to let him stop at five paragraphs instead of doing the sixth one I had originally included, because I was able to recognize that he had had enough practice and done a good job. Instead of me being all caught up in a certain number of paragraphs, I recognized his thinking process that was getting exercised, which is the point - not how much he could outline today. Yay!

 

Hey, is anyone going to post pictures? I will try to, when I can get dh's help. :)

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And I have my first post-conference success to report today! I sat down with my son to do a one level outline (that we have struggled with all year, but were sort of getting somewhere - he "got" the idea, but I always struggled with how to lead him in saying the main idea of a paragraph). I used the two questions Susan mentioned, and PRESTO! There was instant understanding on his part about what to do. Gosh, it was worth going just to hear how to do this, LOL!

 

Hey, is anyone going to post pictures? I will try to, when I can get dh's help. :)

 

Please???

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Please???

 

So what are these two questions? Do we have to wait until PHP is selling the audios? :D:D (Two smiles for two questions).

 

- What is the main person or thing that this paragraph is about?

- Why is that important in this paragraph?

 

Once you have the two answers, have child put them into one sentence - presto - main idea of paragraph in one complete sentence. I just love how Susan can take a process apart into simple little steps.

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Here's what I brought away from the last session:

 

......

[*]allow that library fines are inevitable; plan for them as part of your schooling budget and think of them as a "rental fee" :lol:

 

This doubles as a stress reducer, per Susan :lol:

.........

 

[*]Sing more!

 

I cracked up at this one. We hadn't even left Costa Rica with our new 18 mo old, non-speaking ds, before he was expressing his opinion of my singing skills. :lol: Nope, in our home, listening to mom sing comes under torture :D.....

 

 

I found the different perspective brought by the two of them interesting. I'll post a bit more of my experiences a bit later.

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Ds is going to love Susan since she corrected a few of my thoughts. These are just a few of her corrections from my memory, not my notes.

 

1) Not every assigned lit book should be discussed and written about. For a good student, only every other book should be discussed and have essay(s) assigned. A poor student should have even fewer. The goal is to encourage and maintain a love of reading. Too much analysis turns all books into puzzles to be solved, not stories to be enjoyed. Susan has seen too much of this in her freshmen students. Even 3rd graders have interupted storytimes with lit analysis.(was this a story Jim Wiess told?)

 

2) Stories that make a big emotional impact probably shouldn't be discussed or analysed. Let the teen just soak it in, and think about it on his own.

 

3) Don't analysis a story to death!!!!!!!!!! At the logic stage about a week total should be spent, including reading time. At the Rhetoric stage, longer works will stretch that out to 2-3 weeks. You may assign different essays to a 2-3 week book, some essays may be written before the book is finished.

 

4) During a lit discussion, go through grammar and logic stage questions for a logic child. Go through all 3 for rhetoric stage. Just don't ask every single question on the list :D

 

5)While discussing, have the students draw fast sketches (1-2 min) to help them understand the setting or situation.

 

6) Have your students refer back to the history book quickly for background and ask for quotes from the assigned book add to the discussion and essays.

 

I've forgotten most of the writing info. It made a big impact on me as well, but I do remember one big thing. If you use IEW, skip the style. Ds will love that one :001_smile:

 

This is the first homeschool conference I've been to, and it was a doozy. Any future ones will be hard pressed to equal this one.

 

PS. It was fun meeting all the other "boardies", even if it did cut into sleeptime at times :) Does anyone have a group picture to post yet???????

 

I should add that scatterbabs dd is a real cutie. she's got to meet my niece!

Edited by Kathy in MD
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Ds is going to love Susan since she corrected a few of my thoughts. These are just a few of her corrections from my memory, not my notes.

 

1) Not every assigned lit book should be discussed and written about. For a good student, only every other book should be discussed and have essay(s) assigned. A poor student should have even fewer. The goal is to encourage and maintain a love of reading. Too much analysis turns all books into puzzles to be solved, not stories to be enjoyed. Susan has seen too much of this in her freshmen students. Even 3rd graders have interupted storytimes with lit analysis.(was this a story Jim Wiess told?)

 

2) Stories that make a big emotional impact probably shouldn't be discussed or analysed. Let the teen just soak it in, and think about it on his own.

 

3) Don't analysis a story to death!!!!!!!!!! At the logic stage about a week total should be spent, including reading time. At the Rhetoric stage, longer works will stretch that out to 2-3 weeks. You may assign different essays to a 2-3 week book, some essays may be written before the book is finished.

 

4) During a lit discussion, go through grammar and logic stage questions for a logic child. Go through all 3 for rhetoric stage. Just don't ask every single question on the list :D

 

5)While discussing, have the students draw fast sketches (1-2 min) to help them understand the setting or situation.

 

6) Have your students refer back to the history book quickly for background and ask for quotes from the assigned book add to the discussion and essays.

 

I've forgotten most of the writing info. It made a big impact on me as well, but I do remember one big thing. If you use IEW, skip the style. Ds will love that one :001_smile:

 

This is the first homeschool conference I've been to, and it was a doozy. Any future ones will be hard pressed to equal this one.

 

PS. It was fun meeting all the other "boardies", even if it did cut into sleeptime at times :) Does anyone have a group picture to post yet???????

 

I should add that scatterbabs dd is a real cutie. she's got to meet my niece!

 

 

Very interesting! :)

Edited by LibraryLover
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Thank you SO much for all these notes and thoughts - I wasn't able to go to the conference (the dates conflicted with a work event for my dh) and I'm just so glad to read about it. I have such mixed feelings - half loving reading how wonderful it was and half feeling sad I didn't get that injection of inspiration I need so badly right now....but thank you all! Post more!

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