Legendary Learning http://legendarylearningnow.com The Famous Homeschoolers' Guide To Self-directed Excellence Tue, 04 Dec 2018 17:43:36 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 22595190 A Christmas Present for Extended Family and Friendshttp://legendarylearningnow.com/a-christmas-present-for-extended-family-and-friends/ Tue, 04 Dec 2018 17:39:30 +0000 http://www.legendarylearningnow.com/?p=1067 This article was originally posted on Nov. 28, 2012

As a military family, we have moved around a lot, making it difficult to visit our relatives on a regular basis. One of the things I liked to do, starting the last week of November is make a year-in-review DVD to send to everybody. This used to be a HUGE project with the software I had available to me over the years, but modern technology has made the process so much easier.

The idea is to go through all your home videos from the year and capture the best segments using video editing software. You can then add transitions, effects, captions, still photos and music. I have to admit that my first videos were overly long and boring, with WAY too much grainy footage of babies laying on their backs blowing raspberries, or babies in the bouncer, or babies in the swing, etc. These are the types of videos that only the most doting of grandparents can tolerate. Since then, I’ve learned a few things. Here’s my top tips:

Top Ten Tips for Year-in-Review Videos:

1. Take good footage in the first place! Most cameras these days are pretty good, but take the time to look over the manual and learn how to use the various features. The improved video and sound quality (yay for “Wind Reduction!) will make your job so much easier.

2. Don’t just take video of the kids. People want to see the adults in the family too, and someday your kids will want to remember what you looked like. Also try to get video of family friends (if they’ll let you) and various gatherings. This will give you a variety of material to mix in with the kid footage.

3. When filming, remember to change angles and use the zoom occasionally, but don’t make everyone seasick by walking around and panning the camera from side-to-side. Just use the pause button before switching to a new vantage point.

4. When editing, the key word is EDIT  . . . ruthlessly. Extended family and friends do want to see your kids, but not as much as you do (grandmothers excepted). You’ll have to decide how many seconds of a scene to include, depending on what’s going on in the scene. You can also edit out dead time to include only the most exciting bits of a birthday party or a trip to the zoo. Aim for a video length of about 20 – 40 min depending on how much action you have to work with.

5. While editing, alternate segments of different angles (if you have them) of the same scene. For example, if you’re editing your family’s Thanksgiving gathering, alternate between a broad view of the dining room, to action shots of the cooks in the kitchen, close-ups of the food, low angle of the kids playing on the floor, etc… If possible, try to alternate outdoor events with indoor events so that viewers don’t get tired of the same lighting.

6. Add a transition with a caption between events in your video. This helps viewers understand what is going on, where you are, when it happened, etc. My favorite transition is the “Ken Burns,” which is very understated and effective.

7. If you have a lot of great pictures, consider creating one or more separate slideshows that can be included on your DVD. Then on the DVD menu, list your slideshows and video/s titles with duration times for each so that viewers can choose what to watch based on how much time they have. 4 minute slideshow or 40 min video? Breaking up your content also helps viewers if they really want to see the pictures of your Yosemite vacation again, without necessarily seeing all the soccer team photos.

8. Quick – learn to play the guitar! For music to accompany your slideshows, it’s best to create your own, or search for “Royalty Free Music.” I’m no lawyer, but even if you have purchased music and only plan to make four copies of your slideshow, I believe copyright law only allows you to make one spare copy for yourself.

9. Use “Youtube” videos to teach yourself how to use whatever software you are using. It’s amazing how much you can learn when you are stuck, and really need to figure out how to do something.

10. This would be an excellent project for older kids and teens. They might need your help uploading all the raw video into the computer, and some overall editorial guidance, but then step back and see what they come up with. It will probably be hilarious. Plus, if they are at all computer savvy, they’ll probably figure out how to do it quicker than you will!

After burning your DVDs, label them and place them in jewel cases before packaging up in bubble mailers. Add a card and any gift cards, and you’ll have a great present to connect with faraway loved ones!

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2nd Annual Homeschool+ Conference August 7th & 8thhttp://legendarylearningnow.com/second-annual-homeschool-conference-august-7th-8th/ http://legendarylearningnow.com/second-annual-homeschool-conference-august-7th-8th/#respond Tue, 05 Aug 2014 03:51:09 +0000 http://www.legendarylearningnow.com/?p=1419 homeschoolplus2014banner
Join the second annual Homeschool+ Conference, August 7th + 8th, 2014, with two days of crowdsourced presentations, plus three nights of preconference keynote sessions. This online and free event provides an opportunity to share strategies, practices, and resources for those involved with homeschooling, unschooling, free schools, democratic schools, and other forms of alternative, independent, and non-traditional education. While the Homeschool+ Conference is geared toward those participating in or wanting to learn more about homeschooling, unschooling, free schools, democratic schools, and other forms of alternative/non-traditional education, this conference will also be valuable for traditional educators looking to expand their scope and understanding of teaching and learning practices. Learn more at www.homeschoolconference.com.

I will be giving a Keynote Presentation called “The Unschooling Parent’s 2nd Worst Fear” at 5pm Pacific Time, Tuesday August 5th.  It’s all free – so come join in with homeschooling parents from all over the world!

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All the Things We Learn in High Schoolhttp://legendarylearningnow.com/all-the-things-we-learn-in-high-school/ http://legendarylearningnow.com/all-the-things-we-learn-in-high-school/#respond Fri, 30 May 2014 14:51:25 +0000 http://www.legendarylearningnow.com/?p=1414 My daughter, who is now finishing up 11th grade in our public high school, shared with me a College Humor video called “Some Study That I Used to Know,” that she and her classmates were watching in AP English (they were all finished with standardized testing so the teacher let them watch Youtube videos as  a reward). College Humor videos are a big favorite – highly inappropriate for younger viewers but most are quite funny and original.

This particular video was about all the things we learn in high school but promptly forget or never use again, for example: igneous vs. metamorphic, iambic pentameter, geometry, Millard Filmore, Eli Whitney. This made me chuckle, especially thinking about all the things I covered in college that I don’t even remember knowing! I once came across a 5 page biographical essay I wrote in my “Modern Russia” course and didn’t even recognize the name of the person I wrote about! And no, it wasn’t because I partied too much. It was probably from sleep deprivation and too much marching (I went to a military academy).

There’s a lot of attention these days on what our kids are learning (Common Core for example) and how we might get them to learn it better. Even amongst the homeschool crowd, the discussion is more often about the best way to promote retention, not “Do we really have to learn this?”

I’m not claiming to have any definitive answers about what our kids should learn, mainly because I think it should depend on what the kids want to learn. But I was inspired to make a list of all the things I learned in high school that turned out to be useful, whether I knew it at the time or not:

  • How to format, write, and fold a business letter
  • Commonly misspelled homophones
  • European history (the big picture – even if I don’t remember all the details)
  • U.S. history (same as above)
  • How to use ratios to solve practically everything
  • How to determine the amount of wall space in a room I am about to paint
  • How to use a computer
  • Rudimentary Spanish
  • How to cut out a pattern and use a sewing machine
  • Making and reading graphs
  • Use of the vanishing point while drawing
  • Some chemicals are very very dangerous
  • How to serve in tennis
  • Converting units of measurement – units are very  important!
  • How to manage my time
  • How to prepare a Bibliography
  • How to find what I need in a library
  • Evaluating source material before writing

I’m sure there are more items to add, but you can see that this list might be different for everyone. How about you? What did you learn in high school that turned out to be the most useful?

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Praise for Invisible Workhttp://legendarylearningnow.com/praise-for-invisible-work/ http://legendarylearningnow.com/praise-for-invisible-work/#respond Thu, 13 Mar 2014 03:14:56 +0000 http://www.legendarylearningnow.com/?p=1401 Invisible Work

“Nobody notices what I do until I don’t do it.”

If you’ve seen this quote before, I’m sure you’ll agree that there is a timeless truth to this sentiment. I’ve been noticing lately the explosion of blogs and programs designed to help you ditch the 9 to 5 and live life large. The featured photos are always exciting and exotic – think yoga on a curtain-draped patio in Bali or climbing mountains in Patagonia. Many of these imagined scenarios sound lovely, and make my life feel frumpy and boring in comparison – which is the point I guess. It IS important to examine our own lives and think about what we really want, instead of just doing the same thing day after day for lack of any better ideas.

But what is with this pressure to be youthful and exciting? It’s as if our lives can’t have any meaning unless we push the boundaries, searching for that next amazing selfie backdrop to make our Facebook friends jealous. I know that some people genuinely crave adrenaline to feel alive (my husband is one of them), but I also know that some people find just as much bliss watching mist settle over a pond (I am one of them).

I also happen to believe in the value of seemingly boring work. One of my favorite book series as a kid was the “Dragonriders of Pern” series by Anne McCaffrey. The dragonriders were the heroes of course, daring, respected and influential. Oddly though, I was always more interested in the people who took care of the “Holds” and “Weyrs” where everybody on Pern lived. I thought about the logistics involved with feeding and supplying all of those people. Where would it come from? If I were in charge, how would I manage it? How would I delegate the chores? I wasn’t interested in fighting dragonback – I wanted to organize.

This is exactly what those self-help blogs aim to save us from – “Drop that scrub brush and become a dragon rider!” If you are truly discontent with your current occupation, then by all means, change it. But for those of you who toil away in jobs that will never look good in a photo, take pride. We need to stick together. War correspondents, dolphin trainers, and wilderness guides may have better stories to tell, but the world would miss us more if we all stopped doing what we do.

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Mlb Trade Rumors Part Twohttp://legendarylearningnow.com/mlb-trade-rumors-part-two/ Wed, 26 Feb 2014 18:36:26 +0000 http://legendarylearningnow.com/?p=1583

The Cy Young Award was named, of course, after Hall of Fame pitcher Cy Beginning. Jorrick Calvin is looked upon to eventually be the main kickoff returner since Hobbs is a starting CB and Calvin’s returns will help keep Hobbs fresh. Thousands of British Lions fans already have booked their tickets generating reservations to confirm their presence at the presentation. The 1996 draft: Light and portable first pick in franchise history, the Ravens pick Jonathan Ogden out of UCLA.

With so very much focus on free agent busts, uneven quarterback play, and zero continuity throughout the last decade, on the internet forget that Washington’s kickers have been, for one of the most part, forgettable, and some of them have been awful. Fennell appeared in games throughout his career with the Canisius Golden Griffins. PITTSBURGH – Although a call James Harrison’s agent Bill Parise had been not answered late Sunday, an NFL source has told the Examiner that Harrison and the Steelers have come to terms on a long term contract extension over the past weekend.

Clay Harbor- Clay was drafted this coming year as a significant TE burning. It must be noted that for their early time combined with the 2001 season, the Horned Frogs require the field donning purple jerseys with white pants. Require the ones who continue an extreme diet for months finding your way through a contest. Favorite Character Basket – Whatever your son or daughter’s favorite cartoon or movie character is – from Barbie, to SpongeBob to Elmo, you may make a theme basket to fit. Normal season runs from April through September, with a quick preseason in March and league playoffs followed the particular mlb World Series championship in November.

You can send your family and family showing some love graphics, thank them for that comments, thank you the add, tell them hello or goodnight. If not, make up some trivia games like name 5 movies with Jennifer aniston or who holds the nfl record for essentially the most Touchdowns. He’ll be able to also block when in order to. This third kit will be used at furthermore https://wholesale.ujerseyscheap.com throughout the jersey’s 2 year cycle.

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Using Comic Cards for Narrationhttp://legendarylearningnow.com/using-comic-cards-for-narration/ http://legendarylearningnow.com/using-comic-cards-for-narration/#respond Wed, 20 Nov 2013 00:00:04 +0000 http://www.legendarylearningnow.com/?p=1382 Timeline1

My boys were not enthusiastic writers. We would read piles of books together, which they thoroughly enjoyed as long as the books were interesting.  And they were happy to talk about the reading, as long as I didn’t call it “narration” (because that sounded too contrived or schoolish), but when it came to “Let’s write a paragraph about what happened during the War of 1812,” there was absolutely zero interest in this.

Being a fairly laid-back sort of homeschooling mom, I didn’t want to force them to write, but I was a bit anxious. It seemed like they ought to occasionally write something. I also felt that keeping some sort of history timeline would be helpful, because we would sometimes jump from Ancient Greece to Early American History to Medieval Europe, and they needed some way to put it all in perspective. I finally had the idea to try something that my oldest son was already doing – drawing comics.

He could spend 45 minutes with one sheet of blank paper, drawing epic space battles with laser blasts and little text bubbles for the characters to hurl insults at one another. So, I suggested that he illustrate scenes from our reading on a small 3 X 5 card, and then we would collect the cards to lay down on a timeline. He thought this was a fine idea, and my younger son was happy to do whatever his big brother was doing.

Timeline2

It worked pretty well. After reading, the boys would choose something to illustrate and I would write a short description of the event because they believed that even this would be too much writing. Fortunately, it wasn’t long before they started writing their own descriptions on the front or back of the card. We also included the date of the event on the back of the card.

Each boy had his own index card box to store the cards, and once a month or so, we would lay all the cards down on a timeline on the floor. I had purchased a roll of adding machine paper and used about 20 feet to mark out time periods. When we taped the paper to the floor, the boys used the dates on the back of their cards to lay them out in the proper order. It was tricky because some areas would have LOTS of cards (Early American time period), while some areas would have none. This did make an impression though, because we all realized, “Hey –  I have no idea what happened during these 600 years!” It was humbling.

Timeline3

Eventually, as the boys got older, they did learn to write well (perhaps a subject for another post), but drawing timeline comics on the index cards provided easy nonthreatening preparation for note-taking in those early years. For one thing, the small size of the card seemed more manageable. They weren’t faced with a full sheet of blank notebook paper to fill. Plus, using dialogue bubbles meant that they could write without worrying about complete sentences or exact punctuation. They also enjoyed seeing what the other brother created for each event. It was always a secret until they finished and traded cards.

I’ll mention another idea for cards here – if your kids like to collect and play with cards such as “Pokemon” or “Magic the Gathering,” they might enjoy making similar cards for history, science or literary characters. My only advice would be to give them plenty of artistic license. It wouldn’t be any fun if they couldn’t use their imaginations to embellish the truth a bit!

Do you have any other ideas for using index cards in your homeschool?

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How Do Homeschooled Kids Learn to Take Notes?http://legendarylearningnow.com/how-do-homeschooled-kids-learn-to-take-notes/ http://legendarylearningnow.com/how-do-homeschooled-kids-learn-to-take-notes/#comments Fri, 08 Nov 2013 19:16:10 +0000 http://www.legendarylearningnow.com/?p=1353 Note-takingMy daughter, who goes to a public high school, has been exclaiming about her heavy homework load this year – particularly in AP American History where she is expected to take copious notes from her textbook reading. I’ve been watching with interest, to see if this method helps her retain any of the information. It also got me thinking about my boys off at college. They never took notes in high school, because they didn’t go to high school. It never really occurred to me that they should learn such a thing. In my mind, note-taking was something you did during a lecture to help remember what the teacher said, and this was before the age of Powerpoint and online course notes. I did show them how to take notes for research papers, and how to keep track of works cited. But we didn’t do “lectures” in our homeschool, so they never learned to record information in this way. Did this handicap my kids when they went off to sit in lecture halls at college?

What my kids think of taking notes

When polled, my oldest son said:  “I don’t think the lack of note-taking lessons hurt me at all.  I just sorta DO it, it’s not exactly rocket science.  I feel like everyone ends up developing a unique style anyway, so there’s not a huge amount of benefit in learning a particular method.”

My younger son reported that he does have a hard time taking notes, but mainly because his handwriting is so slow. If he brings his laptop to class though, he can type amazingly fast – being ambidextrous may be a disadvantage with pen or pencil, but it’s pretty handy with a keyboard! Most of the time, he prefers not to take notes at all because it distracts him from listening to the professor. He listens with intense focus and somehow remembers everything he hears. It depends on what type of course he’s taking as well. Most of his classes now are about math, computer science, physics and music theory. For these topics, it’s more important for him to understand what is happening then to absorb a lot of random facts and figures. Later, while studying or doing homework, he pulls it all together in his notebooks to solve problems.

What about those information dense courses such as history, biology and foreign language? My daughter’s not sure yet if her history teacher’s note-taking requirement will help her remember, but she is a devoted believer in flash cards. For her, making little flash cards for vocabulary words, grammar rules and biology facts really helped her learn the material in past coursework.

What the pros think of taking notes

In an interesting paper called “Note Taking and Learning: A Summary of Research” presented by the WAC (Writing Across the Curriculum) Journal, the authors state that the function of note-taking is twofold: “Note-takers take notes to fulfill two major functions: to record information and/or to aid in reflection.” It’s not surprising that note-taking is really a very complicated skill that requires the student to decide what is important and how to describe it in a few keywords. The very act of note-taking is supposed to help students remember – especially if they transform the original information source and put it in their own words. Summarizing has been shown to be more effective than simply highlighting words in a text.

This paper also summarizes the studies done to evaluate the effectiveness of different methods of note-taking. It seems that recording information in a matrix or keyword tree type diagram is more effective than the outline structure, which in turn is more effective than the linear method used by most students. This means that using the whole page to spatially organize information into categories is more effective than just line after line of abbreviated notes. For examples of what this looks like, please do look up images of this type of note-taking online.

How does this work for homeschooling kids?

I can certainly understand how matrix style note-taking could really help the university student, which is the focus of the WAC Journal paper. And even though homeschooling students don’t typically sit through lectures, I can see how some form of note-taking would help “aid in reflection” as kids process information learned through reading, watching or learning from experience. It also occurred to me that some of our common homeschooling methods already fill that role.

Charlotte Mason style narration for example, asks kids to summarize material learned in their own words, first through oral narration and then written as they get older. There are many other narration methods for kids with different learning styles to transform raw information and put it in a form that is personally meaningful.

Lapbooks, notebooking, foldables, and other forms of paper projects all seem to serve a similar role in helping a student create something unique out of pure information. Another style that might appeal to your kids is visual note-taking or sketchnotes. A little online searching will yield some amazing examples.

As in so many other things, I think the best way for a student to “take notes” and process information will depend on his or her learning style. Show your kids examples of what other people have tried, and see if anything jumps out at them. They might want to try different techniques for that biology textbook or those world history DVDs, all with the objective of retaining and understanding what they learn. Next week I’ll post some examples of cartoon timeline cards my boys made for studying history – humor being their favorite way to spin any subject.

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Homeschooling with an Iron Fisthttp://legendarylearningnow.com/homeschooling-with-an-iron-fist/ http://legendarylearningnow.com/homeschooling-with-an-iron-fist/#respond Tue, 15 Oct 2013 03:36:06 +0000 http://www.legendarylearningnow.com/?p=1341  

NC Wyeth - By Unidentified photographer [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

NC Wyeth – By Unidentified photographer [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Why are you homeschooling – really? Be very honest with yourself.

I have the utmost admiration for the hard work and dedication of the homeschooling parents I have met, and despite all of our different methods, the one thing we share in common is a passion to do what is best for our kids. This is not to say that non-homeschooling parents are less dedicated – of course they are. But I will be the first to admit that homeschooling parents tend to have strong opinions about how things ought to be – and this is also one of our weaknesses.

I recently read a fine article by Josh Harris called “Homeschool Blindspots,” which is a very honest appraisal of what went wrong in his own family’s homeschooling experience. He shares very important insights about how his own high expectations and need for control really only served to alienate his son. As a pastor, he related his vision of an ideal upbringing for his children, based on Biblical values, but realized later that he was more concerned with outward appearances than with building genuine loving relationships. His children had become “projects;” a reflection of his own worth as a fatherly role model.

Many parents are guilty of this, myself included. We have visions of our perfect family, of our perfect kids, and how the outside world will perceive us. It’s understandable really, when you think about all the work you do everyday: what do you have to show for it? Your only “result” is your children, and what will people say about you if they turn out badly? We want to be proud of our kids – to hold them up and say “Look what I did!” The temptation to tweak and mold our children to fit our preconceived notions is always there, like an artist working on a sculpture.

N.C. Wyeth, the famous American illustrator and father of painter Andrew Wyeth, homeschooled his children with an iron fist. He was not motivated by religious ideology, but rather a romantic Renaissance vision of perfect childhood. He controlled everything his children did, yet his aim was to make them more creative and original than the other children in public schools. Only the “best” books, poetry, music, toys, art and art supplies were allowed. He even controlled their play, much to the annoyance of all the children. Andrew later wrote, “Pa kept me almost in a jail, just kept me to himself in my own world, and he wouldn’t let anybody in on it. I was almost made to stay in Sherwood Forest with Maid Marion and the rebels.” Fortunately, since Andrew was the youngest child, his father had either given up or grown tired of controlling everything, so Andrew had a bit more freedom than his harassed siblings.

The point is, it doesn’t matter what your reason is for homeschooling, if the reason is getting in the way of building genuine loving relationships with your kids. And genuine relationships are based on trust, not control. Now, I’m not saying that parents shouldn’t have any control, because kids actually like to have some structure. Sometimes it is comforting to have boundaries – and different kids will crave different levels of freedom. But here are some clues to let you know when your personal vision has taken over, at the expense of all else:

  • Do your kids feel comfortable talking to you? Are they ready to share their feelings with you?     (If so, that means they are not afraid of your judgement.)
  • Do you have a vision of what your child could be? Can you let it go?      (If so, that means that whatever your child becomes is up to her, and that is OK)
  • Do you have any hobbies or interests, or a life that does not revolve around your kids?    (If so, that means you are not living your life through them)
  • When was the last time you really laughed?    (It’s best not to take ourselves too seriously – a light heart loves best!)

Probably the best way to tell if you are over-controlling is if your kids are rebelling, and then it is time to do some serious soul-searching. Try to understand your motivations. How much are you influenced by other people’s opinions? By your own upbringing? By idealized visions of perfection? The thing is, it never works to try to “fix” someone else. We can only fix ourselves, or try, and spend the rest of our time loving our fellow imperfect beings the best we can. Unconditional love* for our children is more powerful than any form of discipline or training program, because it will help them stand on their own, with full faith and confidence in their own worth – not forever looking to us for approval.

*Side Note: Lest I forget to mention it, unconditional love is not the same as “smothering,” because those parents that smother their kids are really living through them, in an attempt to fulfill their own complicated needs. This is a good way to raise military leaders or dictators though, such as Hitler, Stalin, Douglas MacArthur, George Patton, FDR, Nietzsche, and others. The authors of Cradles of Eminence, a study of the childhoods of more than 700 famous men and women, found that “When the mother-dominated and mother-smothered are considered as one unit, they include 64 percent of the military men, adventurers, and dictators . . . These children described their parents variously as adamant, bossy, strong-willed, overanxious, overprotective, overpossessive, interfering, and especially as dominating.” (p. 131 of 2nd Edition)

 

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Win both the Mac and iPad versions of OLLY!http://legendarylearningnow.com/win-both-the-mac-and-ipad-versions-of-olly/ http://legendarylearningnow.com/win-both-the-mac-and-ipad-versions-of-olly/#respond Wed, 09 Oct 2013 21:44:19 +0000 http://www.legendarylearningnow.com/?p=1335 OLLY for iPad Progress Report

OLLY for iPad Progress Report

If your paper planning system is getting unwieldy, here’s your chance to put your computer to the task – assuming you have a Mac or iPad of course.

The Intoxicated on Life blog is running a giveaway which will finish up on Oct. 16th, so be sure to get your entry in before that date!

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New Resources to Geek Out Your Homeschoolinghttp://legendarylearningnow.com/new-resources-to-geek-out-your-homeschooling/ http://legendarylearningnow.com/new-resources-to-geek-out-your-homeschooling/#respond Mon, 26 Aug 2013 20:24:32 +0000 http://www.legendarylearningnow.com/?p=1325 The very first worldwide virtual Homeschool Conference was a success!  With 8 great keynote addresses, 48 presentations, and 1600 registrants, you wouldn’t believe the amount of information and inspiration that was traded this past weekend! The co-chairs for this conference, Steve Hargadon and Pat Farenga, hope to make this an annual event, with the next one penciled in for January 2014.

The great thing is it’s ALL FREE, including the recordings of every presentation. You’ll find the recording of my presentation on “Self-Directed Learning and the Roots of Success” here. This is also a great way to see  an overview of the material covered in my book.

I will be listening to various presentations I missed in the weeks ahead, but there are a few resources I learned about that I want to bring to your attention:

The first is a site for K-12 educators called EdK12.com. It’s still in the beta stages, and not specifically for homeschoolers, but it’s a great place to ask questions, participate in discussions, and share resources. They have also compiled an amazing, growing database of learning websites that you can search by grade, subject and category. So, if you are looking for ideas or help with something specific, say Middle School Math, you can search their library and find all kinds of websites pre-screened for relevance (not just a Google search which may lean heavily towards commercial sites).

 EDK12 Library

A similar resource, provided by a nonprofit organization that includes such heavyweight backers as Google and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is Goorulearning. This site provides search engine capability for standards-aligned learning resources, along with a nifty way to organize your favorite sites into “Playlists” and create a virtual classroom for your students. This site is also in the beta stage, and only has search features for grades 5-12, but K-4 is in the works.

Another site you might find useful is virtualhomeschool.com. Have you ever wanted to participate in homeschool co-op classes but didn’t have enough homeschooling families living nearby? Or maybe you couldn’t find enough families interested in learning the same topic/s? Now there is a VIRTUAL co-op, run entirely by homeschool volunteers, using online classrooms and tools to work together. You can even create your own course to share with others.

Virtual Homeschool Group

If you attended the conference, or have a similar site to share, please let me know in the comments!

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