Gems . . . and gems . . .
Just returned from the 2017 Texas Home School Coalition's conference at The Woodlands, Texas. All our dirty laundry is washed, and I can write about some highlights.
For a list of speakers, check out the THSC website or click here: https://www.thsc.org/events/texas-home-school-conventions/woodlands-speakers/
I didn't get to hear them. Instead, I divided my time between Grace and Truth Books, where I signed copies of my book, Sam Houston's Republic, and browsing. It's always fun to meet people and ogle curricula.
There was sword fighting. Seriously. There were some folks dressed up in medieval outfits and demonstrating rapiers and swords, and how to use them. I promise they weren't deranged, only promoting the Texas Renaissance Festival: https://www.texrenfest.com/
Personally, I'd rather look at some Kentucky long rifles, like Davy Crockett's. This Texas legend's firearm claims a place of honor at the Alamo in San Antonio. Rainbow Resource, another vendor, has a fake long rifle on their website, if that interests you. It does me, as my current fiction work-in-progress is set in 1744, and my protagonist just purchased one. BTW, it wasn't always called a "Kentucky" long rifle. Not till folks moved there.
For more Texas history stuff, you can always contact Lynn Dean on her Discover Texas website. Her product is great for multiple ages and unit studies. I got to see her and her husband once again.
I made some new friends too. I'm amazed at the incredible talent, brains, and energy behind the development of home school resources and curricula. I met Rick Green of Wallbuilders, one of the speakers. His vision for including such concepts as the rule of law in the teaching of American history was right up my alley, so to speak.
Let's not forget science. Northwest Treasures focuses on geology, one of those areas of confusion. What about those ancient rocks? Are they really 15 billion years old? The man behind these resources can explain all that, plus he's got some cool rocks, fossils, and even gemstones.
Jason Lisle, astronomer, can explain why Christians don't have to be afraid of that science. Understanding Genesis is just one of several helpful books he's written.
Finally, I have to mention Grace and Truth Books and Dennis and Naomi Gundersen, who have labored hard over the years to make truly excellent books available to parents. You can look up their website for biblically solid selections of all kinds. Some of them aren't readily available elsewhere. Have you ever read any of Richard Belcher's theological novels? Dennis and Naomi have the entire inventory. Their store stocks truly precious materials for children. Storybooks, catechisms, and historical fiction. I was charmed by a children's edition of Pilgrim's Progress put out by Christian Focus.
I'd recommend a trip to one of these conventions for some rest (if you can), recharging, and note-taking! One caveat: there are so many curricula and resources marketed in the vendor hall that you might feel overwhelmed if you're a first-time homeschooler. Tell yourself that it's window shopping time. That way, you can stock up on information, catalogs, and contacts without overspending or making rash decisions.