Too Cool For School

Today was the first day of the 2010 InHome Conference, our local homeschooling conference in St. Charles, IL.  Jeff took the day off work to chaperone N and E, and the boys enjoyed an Art Extravaganza, Magic Show, live animal “critter corner” and an awesome Physics show.  E had security notified of his presence before we even had a chance to digest our lunch!  I’m sure this doesn’t come as much of a shocker to anyone.

First off, the Art Extravaganza was a success.  N interpreted Monet’s Giverny Garden painting (the one with the bridge), tried to create a model of Krakatoa and a Mario hat, but the additional craft projects didn’t work out.  Krakatoa’s cotton ball eruption was not respecting his vision, so N decided to scrap it.  The Mario hat had structural integrity issues, so it was also nixed.  E painted a geometric sponge circle creation, another painting in blue, and a fabulous mask of popcicle sticks.  Keepers, every one.  When I arrived on the scene, N was moaning about clam chowder and how he hadn’t had any in so long.  Soooo  Looonnnnggg!  He was very clear about his needs, and his needs all centered around CLAM CHOWDER, DAMNIT.

So, 75% of our family enjoyed our peanut butter and jelly sandwiches along with the hoards of other brown baggers.  Ixnay on the owderchay muchacho.

After lunch I couldn’t help myself and hit the “Almost New Books” lady.  She has the best books every year.  This year my pile was smaller, but the best finds yet.  Fewer, but better.  I don’t know how she makes her money, but it can’t be from selling the books–they’re so cheap!  Maybe she’s a mole for the Department of Education.  My first clue that she wasn’t what she seemed?  She let me add up my pile of books myself and tell her how much I owed.  Pshaw!  After I put my socks and shoes back on, I moseyed on to my next speaker. 

Everything is so far away at Pheasant Run, and so many people were rushing all over…  Imagine my surprise when I ran into N just hanging out in the middle of the walkway!  I was glad to see him and noticed Jeff over by the wrought iron railing/fence next to the pool…standing next to E…who was crying…and had his head stuck in the railing!!!  How does a child who is simply walking along, going from Point A to Point B, find himself with his entire head trapped between two steel bars?  Key hotel personnel were alerted and at least three men quickly came to rescue E from himself.  A suit also appeared on site, but we freed the cranium in question before the welders had to take over (or the building demolished for that matter).

I heard some great speakers, John Taylor Gatto and Resa Brown, who were both exactly what I needed at exactly the right time.  My first session with Ed Zaccaro was vastly entertaining, but we only got to 5 of the 10 things every future mathematician or scientist will need to know.  Red Flag: Bad Math!  He was extremely interesting and entertaining to listen to, so I’ll let it slide.   I also did a session on how to travel cheaply and am *so* jazzed about planning a big trip and staying in hostels the whole time.  N will be over the moon at not having to restrain himself from telling complete strangers in hotel hallways what room he’s staying in and what sorts of valuables we are traveling with…because we’ll all be sleeping in a dorm together!  K.I.S.S. people, right?  Keep It Simple Stupid.  Sign us up!

Blah, blah, blah, the workshops were great–more on those tomorrow.  Jeff told me to just ask the boys about the Physics show and their heads would probably explode from the sheer excitement of the retelling.  Sounds painful.  Which brings us to the final activity of the day: The Dance.  My children felt the music in their souls.  Oh. My. God.  They were dancing their feet off, to every song, in every way.  I figured we’d duck out early, but we were there when the organizers were trying to kick the stragglers out so the teens could get their dance started at 10pm.  N was giving someone a song request for next year’s dance: Rock Lobster by the B-52s.  Of course.

Here is a quick video clip I made of N at the dance:

E, too, was on fire.  The Chicken Dance, Electric Slide, Cotton-Eye Joe (?), Macarena, YMCA, Cha-cha Slide…  We gathered evidence tonight to prove a simple truth:  The Hokey Pokey *IS* what it’s all about.  That’s all, just the HP, folks.  E lived it up like only he can–spun around in circles til he fell over, jumped off the stage, made up new whole-body dances and observed science in action.  “Momma, my head and hair have wetness.”   He’s so stinking cool, I could just squeeze him until stuff comes out his nose.

N, my sweet bear, told me he felt like he’d lived “there” his whole life.  “There” is either the conference or The Dance, not sure which.  He really turned things around after the nearly terminal clam chowder disappointment, and went on to dance every dance.  He only stopped once or twice to get a drink of water because, he claimed, the music completely took control of his body.  That claim was readily apparent to anyone with brain waves and a pulse.  🙂

Wow is all I can say.  Mobs of kids had a blast tonight.  I’ll fall asleep tonight picturing N and E and all their sweet moves on the dance floor.  Jeff and I had a great day with the peeps.

Good times.  🙂


  1. Kathie said,

    March 27, 2010 at 11:05 pm

    Sad face. Very sad face. We’ve never been to In-Home. I had hoped this year would be the year but the money just wasn’t there. *sob* Here’s to next year. Thanks for writing about it!

  2. Amy said,

    March 28, 2010 at 6:03 am

    This sounds like a great conference. Glad your family enjoyed it so much!

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