Tuesday, July 16, 2013

HERI 2013

The best part of this convention...
 ...was being able to drive right in and unload! I timed it!
 I was unloaded in 5 minutes flat!!

Lisa, the amazing Rachel and me. Funny thing is that several years ago I had bought a size XL for Lisa. She's since lost 70 lbs so at this event she wore my size M, Rachel wore the S (it was still big) and I wore the L. It was swimming on me!

I realized I didn't take more booth shots. I did try the peninsula at this event after working FPEA with Kelly. However, I only had one table and the racks don't fit back to back. I had to modify it. Regrettably I didn't get a picture! :( However, it worked well despite that.

Teach Them Diligently

My next convention was a bit more challenging. We had TWO poles in the middle of our booth! This was a three booth space but it felt much smaller because of this.
 One was down by the math and science display. 
 The other one was on the other end by Preschool/Kindergarten. We used banners to keep people from running into it. And we stored boxes behind it. My neighbor also stored his boxes there (although he didn't ask. Just did it while we were gone).
 This is the one by the math and science.
 MSP and welcome table in the front. (Lisa is stickering catalogs before we open).
 We wore all black for this convention. It was cold and the blue shirts with the cardigans felt bulky.
Lisa in action: talking to a mom while the dad reads a book to his son.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

SouthEast Great Homeschool Convention, Greenville SC

My second convention went very well. Several things propelled this event into the "very" category.

1. We had the new catalog!
2. We had bright yellow Sonlight bags as giveaways.
3. We had a stellar team!
4. We had Sarita as a speaker and Tim came too!
It sure is fun trying to fit everything in my van! I really wish I had a trailer!
I love the endcap set up. It makes for a spacious way to display the materials.
The new banners are so attractive and the booth layout worked really well! I realized that there was no space designated for electives so we placed them on the end of the Core E, F, G&H table. I didn't have enough of the big racks so we had to make some modifications. Kelly is great at that! She made a really attractive Core 100 display. I had printed the 3-week samples so we divided up the Lit module and placed it in a small crate from the history module which we placed in the small rack. We also had to combine Cores 200-300 and placed 530 on the side. You can see all this in the picture below.
The Welcome table had a lot of traffic and activity! I placed the drawing basket full of books on this table. That way the people who won the drawing could choose what they wanted. Often people would ask what they would win and we could point it out.

A new product, TeenCoder and KidCoder received a good amount of traffic.

 I was so glad Sonlight shipped my bags, catalogs and banners to the hotel. It filled my car a second time!
 A shot of our stellar team! From left to right, Donna (a SL Consultant from NH), Michael Ann (a former consultant and current advisor), me, my charming, funny, extroverted husband, and Kelly (my SL mentor and consultant from LA). We didn't have any teens to help pass out catalogs but it worked out because we had plenty of people staffing the booth. Michael's chief job was to distribute catalogs but he was also great in talking with the dads and entertaining kids.
 Here's a quick shot of Tim filling out a card in a booth near ours (ignore my finger in the shot). I thought it was funny how bent over he was!
 Michael Ann and I were missing her kids working with us at this convention as they've worked with us in the past but were both busy this particular weekend.
 An action shot of the booth with people in it. I took this on my way back from a potty break ;)
Loved having Sarita there! We all wanted to shut down the booth so we could go hear her speak!

The yellow bags were seen all over the convention hall. It was also great as people walked back by,  so you knew if they had already been by the booth. All in all, a great weekend!

Coastal Florida Curriculum Fair 2013

The first convention of the year went well with minimal problems! I set up the booth in plenty of time thanks to all the helpful teens who unloaded the van. George Pastor is a great troubleshooter and the organizers, Leslie and Teresa, are both very warm and welcoming. It's always a pleasure doing this convention as they truly make us vendors feel appreciated.
The booth is smaller than normal since this is a small event, so I needed to modify the display in order to fit in the allotted  space. There are samples of the P 3/4 through Core H Cores on the top shelf of the bookcase with the IGs on the second shelf and high school samples on the bottom shelf. The little rack contains high school IGs. The large rack contains Language Arts IGs and reader samples as well as Spelling, Grammar and Handwriting samples.
The second table contained Science samples on the small racks. The bookcase had math samples on the top shelf,  Mathtacular running on the laptop, and resources and electives samples on the bottom shelf.
The front table had the Grade 3 Multi Subject Package as well as the sign in area.  We kept the bags with catalogs under the table. 
I and my wonderful, tireless mom, who just celebrated her 70th birthday, spoke to numerous people who are new to homeschooling or who are looking for something different than what they are currently using. Also spoke with several people who are doing (or considering doing) Classical Conversations (they were right behind me in the picture below) and wanted to know how to incorporate Sonlight.
When there were lulls in the vendor hall due to workshops, we had a great time getting to know Steve of Good Steward Books and Dale of La Clase Divertida as they were both across from me. Dale and Steve's son Mark will be in North Carolina in a few weeks. Last year Good Steward Books was right next to me. Steve asked me to name my favorite Sonlight book. I couldn't name just one so I told him about Understood Betsy and The Story of Eli Whitney, both of which he had never heard of before. Of course there are others that I love too but these are the first two that came to mind.

Alas, my workshop was not well attended since it was at 1:30 on Friday, right before the end of the convention.

I think the most interesting conversation I had was with 3 ladies from Puerto Rico who had flown in specifically for this convention. Two of them had homeschooled one year using a textbook curriculum and the other woman, their friend, had brought them to the booth. She asked me if I remembered her and I happened to remember her name as I had spent a lot of time with her two years earlier. They practically begged me to come to Puerto Rico to tell other homeschoolers about Sonlight. They didn't have to twist my arm too hard! I'll definitely look into what that will entail! Sounds like fun!

I'm home for a week and a half and then am off for the next one! March is such a whirlwind month!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Tampa Bay Homeschool Conference

We traveled to Tampa, FL for the last of my conventions. This was a new convention for me. I used to live in Tampa so I was looking forward to seeing old friends and my old stomping grounds. The convention was held in a new building (since I lived here).

 We were packed to the gills! The space to the right was for my assistant's bags, etc. We filled that up in no time!
 Here we are! The Fountains and me. Stopped at a red light of course.
 The booth is all set up. The tables were not 8 foot long like I expected so the tablecloths drooped. At least it wasn't the other way around! But that meant that I had 6 less feet of display space so I had to tweak the display set up.  Instead of having a sign-in table, I used that 4 foot table to display the Science rack. That's what's on the right side.
Another shot of the full booth. The booth space was small so instead of setting up the other front table in front and crowding our booth, I had it on the side which helped to define our space.  It worked.

Once we had our booth set up on Friday afternoon, I went to my friend's house where several old youth group kids (I used to be a youth minister when I lived in Tampa) came over to visit and catch up. We had a lovely pot luck cook out.

I hadn't seen Phil since he was in college in Atlanta. I got to meet his son. It was fun to think back to when I had two children and doing youth ministry. When I left I was pregnant with my third. It's crazy to think that Kathryn is at that same stage in life with three children, one about to start kindergarten. I left her a Sonlight catalog :)
The sweet, sweet Lopez girls! I missed seeing the two Victors but they were both occupied and couldn't come.
Shawn's daughter looked just like him but his son must look like his mama. Emily doesn't live in town so I didn't get to see her but the Waltrips filled me in. Jen, Wes's wife of almost one year, was very sweet!
 A room full of kids's kids! How crazy it is to see your youth group "kids" with kids. I'm getting old, no doubt about it!
Wes and Jen with Wes's jeep. He followed in Michael's footsteps!

Thank you Rodebushes for hosting us! I had a blast!!!!!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

HERI 2012

We had a great time working at the HERI convention last weekend, talking to parents who are either new to homeschooling or looking for something better than what they were currently using.
Here is the face shot. On Friday, my friend Natalie helped out in the booth until Michael could join us. (Didn't get her photo). He worked a half day then came and joined us. Sophie is Natalie's daughter and she was great at handing out catalogs.
 Here is a closer shot. Sophie pointed out that her shirt matched the tablecloth perfectly.
 Here she is showing off Core 100.
And here's a fun shot of Michael with Timothy. Timothy didn't want to work in the booth but he and Tommy were my roadies on Thursday when I set up, unloading the car and setting up the banners and racks.

This was my tenth HERI if you count the two years I worked as an assistant. The organizers really do a great job with it.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Scripture Memory

Ever since we first started homeschooling, back in 2000, we have been memorizing scripture. Before beginning that first year I attended the HERI Homeschool Convention where I attended several workshops.  One person who spoke that year was Pam Tebow. At the time she was well-known in the homeschooling circles as the homeschooling mom of 5 children. Now, of course, she is known as the former Gator quarterback,Tim Tebow's mom.

That year she spoke of the importance of scripture memory and shared how she did it. She told the audience that "What is set to song is remembered long." She explained that she comes up with a little tune and sings her scripture memory. I thought it was a good idea and we tried it that year. We had a little Preskool tape deck with a microphone and used that to record our songs. That year we were doing Sonlight's Core K (now A) which had A to Z scriptures to memorize. At the time, they didn't have the CD that they now have so we came up with our own tunes. I also didn't like all the scriptures that they had selected. There were others that I really wanted my kids to know so I sat down with my Bible and a sheet of paper labeled A through Z down the side. I found scriptures I wanted my kids to know and filled in where they would fit. For those more difficult letters (X, Z?) I used Sonlight's suggestions.

My oldest son is starting his senior year this year. I bet he still knows every single one of those songs he learned in kindergarten. I plan to test him on this just to see.

This system worked so well for us the first year that we used it again the next year. I again came up with my own scriptures using a scripture that would fit character traits. I called them the "Be Scriptures." You know, Be alert, Be kind, etc and again, we came up with songs for those. We were not as diligent at memorizing that list but we did revisit it this past year.

This has been the method of scripture memory I have used even for myself. I participated in First Place For Health a few seasons back where we had weekly scripture memory assignments. Yep. I came up with a little tune.  It just works for me, even though I am not musical. The little Preskool tape deck is no longer with us, but now I use the voice recorder on my IPhone to record my ditty so I don't lose the tune.

Recently a friend shared a scripture memory method shared on the Simply Charlotte Mason board that uses a filing box and 3 X 5 cards. I think I will try to incorporate it into our school year next year. I will start with our ABC scriptures, then add our Be scriptures. We'll see how far we go at filling in the box. Then we will add the BBC Manual scriptures that Timothy began a few years ago (but never completed) and Annie will do this year. This may be just the ticket to get through that list.

Do you memorize scripture? If so, how do you do it? I'd love to hear!