What an outstanding week I have just had!! I was able to attend the Heart of the Matter homeschool online conference. It was great. The best part is that I won the tickets to go. The Old Schoolhouse Magazine has a fanpage on facebook and, a week or so ago they had a contest where you explained why you would give a ticket to the conference to a friend. So, I told them about my friend Julie, who has not figured out the super secrete hand shake that the homeschoolers on her base are currently using. So she is feeling pretty alone an isolated. I mean she does get to talk to me all the time. Hmmm what more could she need. LOL I am hoping that she meets a nice family or three so she can have some companionship. I love getting to be her friend but, I am sure that having someone right there to be able to trade childcare with or maybe trade curriculum or just let the kids or them hang out would be so fantastic. Ok, back to the conference. The conference started each morning at 8:15 am. I am not a morning person so, this part was a little hard for me. ;)

Monday: morning session was one of my faves I have followed her blog for quite some time now, Sheila Wray Gregoire. Let me tell you, she really is a dynamic speaker. She left me rejuvenated and inspired. I can't wait to be able to download the mp3's of all of the speakers. The seminar hostesses also said that they would be making all the public chats available as well. I am very glad about that because I saw lots of links in the chat but it moved so fast I was not able to write them all down.
Mid morning was:Dana Hanley and she talked about Developing an Educational Philosophy. I enjoyed her session as well. I am now hard at work in fine tuning my educational philosophy.
There were two afternoon sessions but, I choose to download them at a later date.

Tuesday: the morning session was Trusted With Trouble, Belinda Bullard. I was still pretty tired and groggy but, it was great. I am glad that I woke up to listen to it. Next on tuesday came, The Natural Approach to Teaching Thinking Debbie Strayer. Mrs. Strayer had a really great message but she spoke so fast that we were all left dazed and confused. I will happy that when I download the mp3 I will be able to slow it down. I am orginaly from new England so I know how to talk fast and to listen to people talk fast but, this was just speed reading. I will probably be able to give you a much more favorable view after I listen to her seminar on mp3. There were again more but, I chose to listen to them at a later date.

Wednesday: WOW, WOW, WOW. What a jam packed day wednesday was. I enjoyed all 4 speakers. I took a little nap at lunch time. Here was the awesometastic quartet.
How To Teach Kids About Money (When You’re Not Doing So Great Yourself) Carol Topp – very strait forward and super informative.
The Dateless Lesson Planner (A Workshop on Preventing Anarchy) Linda Hobar I really enjoyed this. I love the concept of planning your school days / life but, instead of scheduling the plans with out actual dates. So no stress. As long as you get to it you are good to go. ;)
Workbox System: An Easy Approach to Optimize and Organize your Homeschool from Preschool to High School Sue Patrick – I can not say enough about this wonderful lady. I am going to glean every thing I can from her. I highly recommend you learn more about her fantastic system.
Seeing and Being – Your role in shaping the lens through which your child sees the world Graham Scharf – my hubby had to use the computer. I do look forward to listening to the mp3 of this one too. I did not get to hear much but, what I did here was terrific.

Thursday: I listened to the morning sessions and they were wonderful!! first was, Read Hebrew Today by Evonne Mandella – I was simply amazed by the how easy and accomplish-able she made Hebrew seem. I definitely recommend you look into her method if you are considering Hebrew, Greek, or Russian. I also love that she is very punny. ;)

The Best Online Tools Karin Katherine – Karin had a lot of resources for any one. Even seasoned internet junkies could find some new tools.

Katherine's online tools session has inspired me to organize my online links and tools. I'll let you know how that goes. It will take a few weeks it is definitely not an afternoon or even a weekend thing.

That brings us to Friday. Friday's speakers were all just wonderful. Here was the line up:
Nurturing Excellent Writers and Speakers – The Power of Linguistic Patterns Andrew Pudewa – I totally overslept and missed this one. Gotta love those mp3's.
Nature Study: Connecting Children With Creation Lisa Lewis-- This one was near and dear to my heart. I really enjoyed this one. I just know I will be listening to it again and again.
Science: It Can Be the “Fun” Subject Leah Nieman-- How interesting it was to hear the story of how Currclick had formed. Leah really has an affinity for science. Her ideas on how to organize your science area were wonderful. I hope you utilize currclick's weekly newsletter which has at least one free resource each week. Oh and did you know that currclick is now offering live online classes. Great prices too.
Developing Leadership in Your Teens Cara Putnam-- I think this was more geared towards preping your children for missions but, the message that came across for me was to be open to what ever God has planned for your children and for your children to be open.

After the last session the organizers gave out a list of all the winners of the door prizes. The list will be posted on the Heart of The Matter website on Monday. I won a year subscription to Home Education Magazine!! I am really excited.

In preparation of our new school year, I have made a new chore spreadsheet (Julie taught me the fun of spread sheets). I am really liking it. If a chore does not get done I just look on the fridge and know exactly who was responsible. Just a quick funny, on Tuesday my husband (who likes to sound all mean and gruff but, is really not) was griping about how the filtered water container in the fridge had not been filled and oh man no tea either. He was working up to giving a lecture when some one said well, whose day was it?? About 5 mins latter after we heard no more from Dad, we asked who it is that was “in trouble”. No one my hubby said. We all got up and went to check the chart I mean who had escaped the lecture?? It was DAD!! He had not done his chores. So now every one really likes checking the chart. Now that the chore spreadsheet is up and running a proving to be a success I do believe that one for the classroom and school work is in order.

This week I also purchased a large portion of our school books. Just a little bit more to go. I am leaning very heavily towards the Charlotte Mason. Ok leaning is an understatement. I am there I love the concept I love the ideals. I am just having a little bit of trouble jumping in on my own. So this year I am buying all my supplies with the Charlotte Mason method in mind. I will be posting my curriculum choices and schedule here this week.
How about you, how is your new school year going to be organized?? Will you do every subject every day?? What subjects will you cover?? How much time do you allocate for each subject?? (I am particularly curious about this one) I hope that you will make a post about this this week or in the coming weeks and link to it here in the comments.

Just a quick update on what we have been up to.
We school year round so, we have been keeping on our schedule. So, no change there.
My brother in-law and my niece and nephew are living with us for a while. So, now there are three adults, one teen (with green hair), one preteen, and three rambunctious wild little ones. It is an adjustment but, it is very nice to spend the time with them. They are very sweet and loving.

My peach trees were so heavy with peaches we had to use a crutch to hold the branch up. I froze at least 20 pounds of peaches. My fig tree has started producing figs. So far I have prepped and frozen about 5 or so pounds of figs. I have also been eating figs topped with caramelized onions and goat cheese wrapped in ham and then baked in the oven for a few mins. SOOOOOOOOOO yummy!! I am going to try to make my own fig newtons. I love fig newtons but I find them dry and the seeds in them kinda yucky. ;) (yes yucky is the technical term)
We finished our Sherlock Holmes and are now reading Mossflower by Brian Jacques, for bookclub. So far I am really enjoying it. Since the reading comprehension on this book is at about 5th grade level my oldest Daughter has joined this session of bookclub.
I have been on an organization binge. I just can not get enough of organizing. I even got a super cool Label Maker. The Dymo Letratag. I love it!! I really want the Managers of Their Homes, Chores, Homeschools book series. If you have any organization tips or tricks feel free in fact pretty please leave me a comment or a link to a post about them. ;)
All the pets are doing just fine. September starts the first round of kitties getting fixed. Sir Didamis and Bubba-hotep are first. Star has made sure all the pets as well as us all know that she rules the roost.

I am having a cookie making party here at the end of the month. I am really excited this will be my fist time meeting with the members of the homeschool group I have chosen to join. We are making the cookies to bring to the fire station on our field trip in September. If all works out I would like to open my house up for a cooking co-op this school year.
I have been offered by the Tyler gourmet store to teach cooking classes!! I am pretty excited. The only problem is it is like 40 miles away. Uggg long drive to teach a class. We shall see what happens with that. At least I know were to get awesome stuff like truffle oil and premium olive oil and chocolate truffles.
That is all that I can remember for now.
Till next time,
Haley and the chain gang!! ;)

Comments (4)

On August 9, 2009 at 7:06 PM , Shawntele said...

Wow! You weren't kidding that you were busy last week, I hope by next year that I will be able to afford a week of the conference. Organizing online links and tools...do share!

On August 9, 2009 at 10:16 PM , Julie said...

I am soooo happy you finally updated your blog! I'm thrilled for you to be hosting the homeschool group in your home, I hope it all goes well and enjoy the fellowship of making cookies! A field trip to the fire station? How cool! In the mean time, I'm still working on learning a secret handshake, but if not, I will march on! I will enjoy my kids and make learning fun and not go crazy! giggle, giggle. I too, am kicking into high gear with organizing. This house, with no storage, can be trying. But, I intend to prevail!
Love and hugs!

On August 13, 2009 at 6:36 AM , ~ Judy ~ said...

WOW, but you sure have been busy!!!!!
I added a new CharlotteMasonHelper link to benmakesten with YOU in mind actually! It's near the bottom of the page.
The field trip and the cookie party sound like so much fun!
And I noticed that you still have a MORE FUN IDEAS link for me in your sidebar. That blog is obsolete...but the MORE FUN IDEAS page can be found here: http://www.momoften.webs.com/
Also our current issue of The Best of Homeschool Faith and Family Life Gazette contains planning and organizational ideas...maybe you'd like to sign up for the free monthly copies!
You can sign up on the bottom of our homepage:
Sure is great to read your update Haley...I've missed ya' terribly!

On August 13, 2009 at 4:54 PM , Haley said...

@Shawntele I will most definitely be making a post on the organization very soon. So happy to hear from you. The Heart of the Matter Conference is very reasonably priced. 12.95 I believe. They said they were going to have a February beat the midyear doldrums conference. Hope you get to go to that one. ;)
@Judy- I am happy to be posting too. I have been pretty busy but, I am happy to report that I am getting a handle on it all. LOL
I will change the link as soon as I figure out how. I love the mom often webs. I do need to link to it here.
I look forward to getting my gazette in the e-mail. I have been on the list for a few months now. They are full of great content.
Have a great day every one. ;)