A big shout out and thank-you to Great Homeschool Conventions, the sponsor of this post!
Convention season is coming! Can I share a little secret? I've never been to a homeschool convention. But do you know what? I am SO excited to go to my first ever convention this spring! My husband and I will be at the Cincinnati Great Homeschool Convention.
What about you? Are you a homeschool convention pro? Have you been been to one or two? Or have you never gone, like me?
Today I want to write to those of you who are like me. Maybe you are thinking about homeschooling or have been homeschooling for only a year or so. I'd like to share with you a few reasons why new homeschoolers should attend a homeschool conference!
Conferences help you validate your choice to homeschool.
Homeschooling is tough work! Every homeschool parent has days when they are jut not sure if they have made the right decisions. New homeschoolers can have struggles with this doubt even more. If you have family members, friends, or a church that us supportive of your decision to homeschool, these rough days pass by quickly, but if not, you can often feel like you are alone (and sometimes crazy!)
Whichever situation you are in, going to a homeschool conference will be a great encouragement to you! You will be surrounded with other families who (more or less) value the same things that you do and that will help breathe new life into your desire to teach your children.
Conferences help you identify your homeschooling philosophy.
Have you read online about all the different methods of homeschooling? Do you have friends who homeschool in a certain way, but don't know if it is a good fit for your family? Or maybe you have been homeschooling for a while using a certain method, but still have some questions. A homeschool conference is a great place to go to help you. You will find many sessions and workshops that are specific to different education methods and they will be very helpful to you.
I love the classical model of education, but I am still super excited to learn more and understand more about classical education from speakers like Christopher Perrin from Classical Academic Press!
Conferences are a great place to help Dad understand more about homeschooling.
I know every family is different, but let's be honest...in most situations, Mom is the one doing the majority of the researching, planning, and teaching. My husband loves the idea of us homeschooling our children, but I'm not sure that he would have come up with the idea on his own. He is completely supportive, but just doesn't have the time to think about it as much as I do. A conference is the perfect time to give him a crash course. He will have a few days to think about nothing but homeschool!
My husband will say, from time to time, that he just wants to sit down and talk to me about what I've picked to teach the kids, what resources we are using, why we are using them, and about current homeschool issues like Common Core, the use of technology, education methods, etc. He doesn't have the time to look into all those things like I do and we don't usually have more than 3 minutes at one time to talk about them together. I'm excited for him to be able to carve out a couple of days to learn about these things for himself and to talk to me and others about them.
Conferences are a great place to meet other moms who have been doing this for a while and get advice and encouragement.
So. Many. Homeschool. Moms. And in one place, none the less =) If you have questions, need encouragement, or could use some advice, you are bound to meet some great moms who have been at this a lot longer than you have! Personally, just seeing so many other moms who love to teach their children will be incredibly encouraging all on its own. I do have many friends who homeschool, but honestly, there just isn't always time to have long conversations about the subject. A homeschool conference is the perfect place to have those types of conversations and even make a few new friends!
Conferences are a great place to look at new homeschool materials.
What is a homeschool conference without a vendor hall!? If you are a newer homeschool family, you may not be set on all of your curriculum choices yet. I love to look online at different books and read people's reviews, but it's really hard to tell exactly what a product is like without actually being able to hold it and flip through it myself. I'm sure it can be overwhelming to be surrounded by so many choices, but take advantage of the opportunity. Write down a few resources you have been wondering about and make sure you seek them out. You will probably even get the chance to talk to someone about the curriculum and get even more advice!