I still recall my first convention attended in the researching phase
of our homeschool journey.
It was grand and inspiring, and intimidating all in one nutshell!
There were people of all sorts, ages, and although it was mainly
women in attendance, a smattering of men joined the ranks,
as well as some teenagers.
I left realizing that although most days I may "feel"
alone in our journey, while I'm schooling on the outskirts of town,
I actually am part of a growing trend.
In order to combat any negative challenges, we homeschoolers may have of:
isolation, loneliness, increased stress, pressure on finances,
less relaxation time for the teaching parent, sibling conflicts, etc. etc.
I believe that being around other homeschooling families is of
of great benefit.
It's also a fantastic way for those researching this way of life,
to see if this, in fact, might be something their particular child is up
for, and how they feel about it as a parent who will have to
be responsible for their child's tailored education.
Five Great Reasons to Consider Attending a
1) Researching your curriculum
Curriculum choices for homeschooling are almost
as limitless as the children who use them!
There are so many diverse materials out there
(both online & in print) that range from
offering full parental teaching support to
students completing the work on their own,
even sometimes being marked by an outsourced teacher.
With the myriad of options that are out there,
I find it wholeheartedly worthwhile
to get my hands on the curriculum and peruse it,
being able to pick the owner's brains on how to get
the full benefit of it, and who it might
be best suited for.
With access to the vendor hall being included
in your registration fee, that alone can
sometimes be worth the cost.
One fair warning: do not let yourself
be intimidated by the vendors. Some vendors
do use high-pressure sales tactic (however, most don't)
so just be polite and have a catch phrase ready to use.
I find, "I'm just looking around, thanks." usually suffices :)
2) Investing in your child's education
Any professional career that I'm aware of requires you to
take advantage of opportunities to develop yourself.
Whether it's done through their training structure
or outsourced, this is seen as bringing beneficial
assets to your company.
For the homeschooling parent, it is often said that
we don't need a higher education to teach.
Which, in many ways, is true.
Fail proof educational options given either online
or in curriculum sets, offer an array of choices
for both educated and parents who have struggled
However, I am a personal believer in developing
ourselves in any area that we strive to do our best in.
A convention offers us an opportunity to expose ourselves
to new ideas, new ways of teaching, new theories, concepts or goals
that are being explored in the homeschooling community.
I don't see it as simply a couple days to "get away from the kids"
(although there's that bonus, no doubt), but I see it as personal
investment in my chosen "career" at this time: homeschooling parent.
3) To connect with others
During the busy season of homeschooling,
it can be difficult to meet new families that
also, find themselves in the same boat as you.
Even in a typical month where we participate
in a local co-op, or take part in a fun field trip or two,
the quality discussions between adults
are usually minimal with the kids in tow.
Since a convention is limited to adult
participants, maybe a nursing baby tagging along,
it is far far easier to make time for a tea or snack
with another parent to encourage and connect
with one another.
My first year I knew very few families
with which to make that connection, but
there was a "newcomer's" corner I found
myself in, spilling my heart out to another
experienced homeschooling mother.
The subsequent years, I've found myself
between seminar sessions, meeting up with
various friends in the cafe, sharing our dreams,
challenges and choosing to uplift one another.
4) To be inspired
Probably the number one reason I hear
cited on why parents attend a homeschooling convention is
this: the dynamic seminars and workshops they offer!
I know that I was ecstatic when I recently saw our local convention's
released schedule for this year's event.
It was peppered with some really good (and assorted) topics:
*real mom sharing type panels
*legal issues in homeschooling
*inspiration for marriage, leadership and the like
I printed out the posted list and began
systematically circling my "must hear" category
It really got me excited to glean from this year's speakers!!!
These are the 'meat and potatoes' of any convention,
and offer great value for your registration fee.
Most of the speakers are experienced in their field,
and can offer a wealth of knowledge.
Others are speaking directly from their lives,
but I have always personally gleaned MUCH from
any class I've attended.
5) To remind yourself of why you began...
Like anything in life, there is the honeymoon stage,
which is at some point followed by reality setting in.
Our homeschooling journey has included many highs
and lows, as well as many in-betweens.
Life isn't always a party, and my kids (and I) have
quickly realized that although we can take a few
more field trips than a typical school,
at some point, the book work has to be cracked
open...daily discipline becomes part of the equation.
I know the reasons why we began to homeschool,
and here are a few of them:
*dissatisfied with the public school system
*wanting a tailored education for our children
*helping our children to pursue their interests
However, during some of the more challenging times,
I've had to remind myself of the "why" more often than not.
Going to a homeschooling convention can help you rekindle
and help you stay focused along the way.
Homeschooling, as I've alluded to above,
can be a rewarding, but sometimes stressful lifestyle.
One book that I've read many positive reviews on
addresses this stress: "Teaching From Rest: A Homeschooler's
Guide To Unshakeable Peace"
I haven't personally read it yet, but I ordered it
yesterday with our quarterly book order.
I've heard enough feedback to know that
this book sounds very impactful.
I look forward to reading it for myself :)
Get yours today by clicking on the image below!
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