Thursday, May 15, 2008

Meet Me in Joliet

If you live in driving distance of Joliet, IL, come see me at the Illinois Catholic Homeschool Conference and Vendor Fair, May 23 and 24, 2008. I'll have a vendor table so I'll be available both days to chat with visitors. I'll also be giving two talks: Educating God's Wildflowers (homeschooling special needs children) and Relax, You Can Do It (for new and wanna-be homeschoolers).

I hope that the gas prices won't keep too many people away. These conferences are just too important to miss. Even as a seasoned homeschooler, I get a ton out of going to Catholic homeschooling conferences. Gee, just being under the same roof with hundreds of like-minded folks is enough to energize me for the next year. And, even with gas at $4 a gallon, I save money. There are always good deals, no shipping costs, and I get to see curricula up close and personal before spending my hard earned money on it.

Though I'm in the midst of moving my home, I'm really excited about Joliet. I just love going to homeschooling conferences, period. It's a great opportunity to meet Catholic homeschoolers from all over the country. It's also an opportunity to give back to the community that has given so much to me. The icing on the cake is that I'll spend a few days visitng with my sister Chrissy in Chicago, who sadly is moving back to California in June.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi! I saw you at the Joliet conference -I was the lady nodding throughout the Wildflowers talk. I am sorry we couldn't talk more. I got the sense we would get along. Now that I know about your blog and website, I'll check them out.

We have 5 kids. Joe, our oldest son, is our wildflower. He babbled, but didn't talk, until speech therapy when he was 3. Now he is 5. I worried before 3, but some friends said they didn't talk until they were 3 and to give him a little more time. Anyway, the public school therapist suggested
reading this book to help at home- The New Language of Toys. I just looked and Amazon has it for $12 something. I found it helpful and thought it might make a good addition to your resources list.

We still worry about Joe a bit. He IS a smart kid, but he is taking his time developing some stuff. I wonder if there are other things going on- I think the schools would label him developmentally delayed- though he isn't delayed across the board by any means. Anyway, We know being at home is best for him.

The school tested him for other things. I wanted to know if there were other things I needed to address. But my hubby was right, it all came down to a pitch for preschool- actually for him to be "mainstreamed" into preschool. When hubby found out they wanted to go from speech therapy to labeling him special ed.- we dropped even the speech therapy. (But he continues to make progress all on his own.)

They just wouldn't give me anything. We also got into the "socialization" thing. Joe is independent and quietly plays by himself sometimes. I see that as a positive, but of course our "group think" culture sees it as a negative.

I know most of them were only advocating for what they thought was best- even if they are wrong. But the preschool teacher bothered me. She didn't like the idea of me saying if we put kids in preschool it would have to be Catholic school- as if those teachers aren't certified. At the testing meeting- she said she was worried that Joe wouldn't learn to read. The lady is hard of hearing apparently. Because as we were waiting for some folks, I was bragging how well Joe was learning capital letters, holding his pencil correctly. could write and spell his name. This is literacy prep!

I think Our Lord is using this experience of homeschooling Joe to help me learn patience and to slow down. And my husband is the best father for our Joe. He was born with spina bifida, went into a comma before a shunt was put in, and had to relearn to speak and stuff- so he doesn't believe Joe is dumb just because he's behind.

Crystal Walker

I get energized by conferences too.
I hope you will come again since y'all are Midwesterners too and hope your move goes as painless as possible. I'm a native of Detroit myself and my husband's family is from Michigan as well. I miss my homestate- not the urban areas, but the woods and hilly areas.