Exhibit Hall Expedition

So remember that consistent practice I talked about last week?  Well, it's been a challenge this week.  Yes, the high school prom and the used curriculum sale have come and gone.  Our oldest son's wedding and all the planning and activities that came with that are over, but now my daughter graduates in two weeks and there is so much to do.  Our homeschool conference is also next week. Our kids look forward to the time away because they get to hang out with all their friends who also attend. I have a few days before and after the convention to get some pictures together for a slide show of my graduating daughter. In addition to that, I need to record a message from each of my kids and from us (her parents, slash, teachers) that will make it a memorable occasion for her.  I'm thankful for the option to record the messages because I'd probably break down in tears on stage. I know I'll be crying looking through old photographs!  Actually, today we attended the graduation of some of their friends at a local homeschool program, and I was crying through those slide shows! Our kids have grown up together, we parents have taught each others' kids in co-ops. These are all of 'our' kids. And time seems to pass so fast. It was bittersweet, indeed.

With all that's going on, we're able to still stay on task with Sam's handwriting practice.  I mentioned last week that I wanted to transition from the RediSpace notebook paper she's been using, which has dividers between letters, to regular notebook paper. As you can see from the picture, her handwriting still looks pretty good.  That RediSpace notebook paper has made all the difference.

The one thing I didn't anticipate is that it took her twice as long to finish her copy work using the regular notebook paper. She was being so careful to write neatly.  But I know that with more consistent practice (there it is again), she'll get more comfortable and confident, and her writing will become more fluent. At this point I don't think she'll need the RediSpace paper any longer. I'm glad we tried this now, before the convention. I won't need to buy it anymore. Now I'll be exploring the convention's exhibit hall in search for new things that will benefit her.
I've heard new homeschoolers say that the homeschool convention is so overwhelming.  I don't think they're talking about the speakers or workshops, but rather the exhibit hall.  There are so many options available to us, that one can get easily overwhelmed, especially someone who is new to homeschooling. There really are so many curricula to choose from, and so many resources....for our typical kids. For families with children who have special needs, who have learning or developmental challenges, it's like trying to find a needle in a haystack. For years I tried to use curricula with Sami that I had used with my other children or that were the most popular only to become frustrated trying to adapt it to her needs, making additional copies for more practice and adding to them to help her understand concepts. I realize there is no such thing as an all encompassing curriculum, but even more so if it's a struggle to homeschool central auditory processing disorder because your child doesn't process information like most typical children do, or to homeschool a child with Down syndrome who needs lots of repetition, or a child with ADHD who is very intelligent but cannot sit at a table writing in workbooks for an extended period of time.

So now I look forward to the homeschool convention in the hopes of finding a new resource to add to our homeschool, especially for math. Math is still a struggle for Sami. I discovered some new things this week as I was teaching her to count money. But more on that on my next blog entry. ;)  I'm always open to new ideas and look forward to my Exhibit Hall Expedition!

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