Friday, April 4, 2014

Eastern Panhandle Regional Homeschool Conference.

Cecilia and I attended a Homeschool Conference which had the theme "Under Construction".
We went to this conference two years ago and had such a good time we were anxious to come back.
I was particularly interested in hearing this lady speak . Joanne Calderwood is the mother of eight children who have been homeschooled all their lives. Two of her children have scored perfect 1600's ( when the top score was 1600) on their SAT tests. Her oldest four children have gone to four year colleges for free. She described herself as an "Underwhelmed Mom" .In other words, she doesn't stress about their education- they do their own work and it is up to them to be successful and to perform at an excellent level, which is expected as the norm in their household.
I did purchase her book and attended two of the sessions in which she was the speaker. She was quite inspiring and fun to listen to. Her daughters had a small presentation as well, describing how they do their daily work. They are allowed to work ahead as fast as they want to but don't move forward until they have achieved mastery on any given level for each subject.
She used a bicycle as a prop to illustrate her method "The Self- Propelled Advantage".
From what I gather at this point, the parent holds onto the bike (a metaphor for schoolwork and life) for as long as needed but then lets go. It is then up the the child to take control and pedal for themselves.
Cecilia and I agreed that some people are born more "driven" than others, but I hope to glean what I can from her book to get out of the way and encourage each child to take control of their own destiny, helping them to help themselves get there. She says that this method is applicable to all kids in whatever setting they are educated.
One of the afternoon sessions was a "Tea Time" discussion. Four rooms were set up as Tea Parties and one could choose ( and switch around) which group discussion to attend based on the topic being discussed. This was a great idea to be able to hear from many different people. The tea was wonderful, as was spending the day with my sister and  dear friend, Cecilia.