2008 Curriculum Fair

Monday and Tuesday was the IDEA Curriculum Fair here in Fairbanks. I went both days including the keynote breakfast. The speaker was Debra Bell. She was great.

On Monday, I spent most of the time in the vendor room. It is usually the same vendors every year with a few local authors too. Last year I didn’t have much of a plan as to what I wanted so I didn’t get hardly anything. This year I had a plan and about $800 in unspent allotment funds.

I also, stuck to my “pocket money” plan. I brought $75 in cash to spend for things to take away which I would submit a check request for reimbursement. Other stuff would be bought through a purchase order.

I bought 3 Alaskan books with guidebooks by Judy Ferguson from Voice of AK Press (on purchase order) and 3 Alaskan books from Bernd and Susan Richter of Saddle Pal Books (paid cash) who gave me 2 board books free. I gave these books to my kids Monday evening. Richard started reading “Discover Alaska’s Denali Park”. When it came time to do chores, he started crying because he wanted to finish the book! I did wind up writing a check for 6 CD’s I really liked by Jim Weiss. I bought a “Pop Bottle Science” kit which looked like fun (paid cash).

It was wonderful having the major curriculum vendors to talk to. I looked through Math-U-See Beta and will wait until summer to order because they weren’t offering any discounts. I looked at Saxon Math and decided to stay with Math-U-See. My friend who has been having math difficulties decided on Saxon.

After seeing the books from WinterPromise and other vendors, I have finally decided and started ordering second grade. It should be a lot of fun. I can’t wait for July when next year’s allotment is available so I can order it all. The allotment should cover everything except Abeka and of course Bible, making our out of pocket expense only about $150 for around $900 worth of materials. Here’s what I came up with.

Math: Math-U-See Beta

Language Arts: Abeka workbooks supplemented with WinterPromise LA2

History & Literature: WinterPromise American Story 1 second grade plus readers, supplemented with Sonlight and recordings by Jim Weiss (American Tall Tales, Thomas Jefferson’s America, Abraham Lincoln)

Science: WinterPromise World Around Me, Pop Bottle Science

Art: Atelier Art level 2

Bible: Christian Light Education? I need to see them. The rep comes to the used curriculum swap in a few weeks.

I ordered Atlier Art level 2 module 1 on purchase order from Arts Attack to take advantage of free shipping. If we like it, I’ll order the other 2 modules in the level. However, if we don’t I won’t have wasted the extra $110. I’ll need to pay shipping but that’s cheaper than the other 2 modules if we don’t like it. I watched some of level 2 video and enjoyed it and think Richard will enjoy it. While I was pondering if I should order, a woman came over to order level 3. I asked her about level 2 and she said her kids really enjoyed it and it was easy for her to use. This helped me decide.

I was disappointed because Sonlight only sent catalogs and they were all gone when I got there. Winter Press sent catalogs, representatives and book samples. After talking to the rep and seeing the materials, I decided on American Story 1 with second grade readers and World Around Me for next year supplemented with some books from Sonlight. I decided to get Abeka for the main Language Arts program and use WP’s LA2 for supplement. My girlfriend decided on Sonlight core4 with supplement from WP. For summer I ordered Animal Worlds. Obviously we won’t do the full program but he’ll love the books and some activities. I ordered this using 2 different purchase orders. The first is for the summer from this year’s allotment. The rest will be from next year’s allotment in July.

I went to 4 seminars. One was on writing which I didn’t like. One was about mystery shopping which I enjoyed. The other 2 were by the keynote speaker on learning styles and reluctant learners. I learned a lot from them.

Overall, I enjoyed this year’s homeschool curriculum fair. Monday afternoon got a bit stuffy in the smaller classrooms. I saw my friend from church. She was going to have a baby very soon. Tuesday, her son found me and said she had a little boy!

I wore a headcovering both days. I wore my new blue scarf the first day and a pink one the second. I only saw 2 other covered ladies during the entire time. However, I don’t feel this attracted extra attention to me. The few people who commented about it were supportive and complimentary. One vendor refered to me as the “coordinated pretty scarf lady” when I made a purchase the second day 😆 .

Weblinks from companies I purchased materials


Atelier/Arts Attack

Voice of Alaska Press

Greathall Productions

Alaska Children’s Books


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