Shiny new books call out my name through rows of vendor booths. Everything about a homeschool convention excites me to the very core. Rolling carts overflowing with goodies, the laughter of children, and the inquisitive chatter of homeschooling mommas.
You can imagine my disappointment when I hear someone say that there is no need to go to a convention. If you’ve said or thought that…perhaps you’ve never been? Or perhaps you’ve never been to the right one? Hear me out on this one. Maybe you’ll change your mind!
Through 7 different conventions, in 5 different states, I’ve seen a range of size, purpose, and audience. While some have been better than others, they have all been beneficial. In fact, I have found that the homeschool convention is invaluable to my homeschooling. I look forward to it every year and can’t imagine missing it.
But this year, takes the cake. I was privileged to be able to attend the first ever Teach them Diligently Conference in South Carolina last weekend. Not even a single second of the conference was disappointing. In fact, I’m already counting down the days until next year’s conference!
Dying to know why you should join me?
I. Superior Content:: Superior Purpose
Everyone needs encouragement. The job of a homeschooling mom is a huge sacrifice. It’s in the dirty diapers, long division, and cracker crumbs that we find ourselves frustrated. Feeling inadequate. A great convention is soothing to the soul. Thousands of like minded people, who won’t tell you to just put them in school, will surround you will practical tips, heart-warming stories, and strong Biblical encouragement for your moments.
I remember when I had my first baby. I had spent months reading books and preparing. I even had a master’s degree in early childhood. Honestly, I thought I knew almost everything. Or at least enough to do a great job. It didn’t take long to find out that I knew nothing. In fact, it seems that the longer I am a mother, the less I really know.
From nutrition to purity, a homeschool convention provides the opportunity to increase my knowledge on a wide variety of topics . There is always something that I could learn more about. After all, no one knows everything.
I can not speak highly enough of this year’s featured speakers Voddie Bauchman, Doug Phillips, and Ken Ham. I entered the room ready to be challenged and these men did not disappoint. You can check out the twitter feed #hsttd to read some of the highlights from these sessions.
II. Outstanding Vendors
It doesn’t matter how many great reviews I read or how great a website is, I still find it very difficult to make wise curriculum choices without actually touching and flipping through the resource myself. A homeschool convention is one of the few ways to make this happen.
True, I don’t always love to have stuff marketed towards me. It can be annoying. But products marketed specifically for my needs CAN be beneficial. These are the kinds of products that can only be found at conventions. Most of these companies work out of their basement. They can rarely afford advertisement. Yet, these are the companies that I WANT to support. I had the opportunity to talk with so many of them on a personal level. Their faith and commitment to God were evident and refreshing.
Have questions about how something fits? No one can answer your curriculum questions quite like the actual author of the material. I LOVE THIS PART OF CONVENTIONS! This year, Jeanie Fulbright, author of Apologia’s elementary science curriculum and Linda Lacour Hobar, author of Mystery of History, both charmed us with their smiles.
III. The People:: Like-minded
No we didn’t gather around a circle and sing kumbaya, but there was an unspoken bond that filled each room. There was an obvious love and grace extended to each other, despite the fact that we were from many different states and backgrounds. In a world where Jesus seems to be a thing of the past, we were able to come together as like-minded families who love the Lord and seek to do His will.
A major focus of the convention was missions. But it was more than that. From the janitors to the food service workers, there was an obvious joy. A gladness over serving others in love. It was a beautiful thing to be a part of.
While I didn’t have the opportunity to use the children’s programs this year, I loved seeing the special perks that were built into it. There was even a super cool playground, duct tape warfare, and robotics classes. It was obvious that the children were a priority in the planning process.
Dates have not been announced for next year, but I sure hope that you will join me!
Have you been to a convention? We’d love to hear about your favorite reasons to attend.
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