Thursday, May 19, 2011

Homeschool: Why Conferences are great


This next week we will be heading as a family to the North Carolinians for Home Education Conference in Winston-Salem.

Why should you go to a conference?

Anyone who has homeschooled through a year knows that there are certain times and points when you need to remember why you homeschool. There are times when you need some new resources to overcome the obstacles. You need to know where to turn. You need to know that your situation is not unique and impossible.

Conferences give you just those things. There are speakers that help you fine tune your purpose and goals for schooling. There are "how-to" seminars that teach you the mechanics of writing, math, history, etc.
There are also classes on running your house in the midst of schooling, maintaining your marriage, and shepherding your child's heart.

There are vendors that have resources that will jump start your kids. Speakers and vendors come from around the country to you. You can see products in person and purchase them, many times at a discount.
You can talk with representatives from the vendors that are knowledgeable about their material and using it.
You can find fun "extras" that make learning exciting and engaging.

Time to reflect on your year - the success and failure. Time to renew your vision and plan it out for the following year. Time to rest.

Conference is always a great time to meet up with other families who homeschool. There is time to go to dinner, sit and chat, and get to know them better. At our state-wide conference, there are even activities for children including a sports and chess competitions, as well as a talent show and graduation.

Some favorite vendors from conferences past:
Doorposts - character training material for children
Lamplighter Books - classic books for your family
Sonlight Books - the particular curriculum that we use
Miller Pads & Paper - great prices on the basics
Artistic Pursuits - art curriculum
Simply Charlotte Mason - Charlotte Mason resources
Vision Forum - books and products for purposeful living/teaching
Well Planned Day - the organizer that we use for school
YWAM books - missionary books and resources

Some favorite speakers from conferences past:
Norm Wakefield - pastor, father, homeschooler who speaks on purposeful relationships in light of the Cross
Jennifer Schmidt  - mother, Blogger who speaks on frugal living
Sonya Schafer - Charlotte Mason writer and speaker, homeschooler
Jim Weiss - artist who narrates fabulous stories for children

If you are outside of our area, here is a link to a list of homeschool conferences across the US.

Here is the link for the NCHE Conference.

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