Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Ten Reasons to Attend a Homeschool Conference

I was carrying on about the MassHope Conference to my ego booster friend Lyn. She's going with her BFF, a.k.a. her husband. Although, I'm thrilled that they're going together, I had to accept that she won't be going with me. Some years we attend as a family, and sometimes, like this year, I'll be with my girlfriends. Either way, I am never disappointed.

My top ten reasons not to miss the homeschool conference:

  1. By April, I am in need of a major shot in the arm. My zeal for homeschooling has waned. The sun is out. Our curriculum has lost the new and shiny experience, I need to have a vision for next year.
  2. The vendor hall is incredible. You can touch, hold, sniff, read and compare the curriculum. That alone has saved me fortunes. When I thought I was going in one direction, after seeing the actual books, I changed my mind. The opportunity to find treasures is another blessing. 
  3. Being in the company of over a thousand other parents who have chosen this incredible path reminds me, I'm not alone. Watching the families, seeing people I have met over the years who are staying the course is so encouraging.
  4. The workshops teach me how to teach. I have gleaned so much practical information about teaching my kids. This has not only blessed our homeschooling, but it has enriched my Sunday school class. There is a variety of speakers. Each scheduled workshop offers six choices for speakers. If there isn't one you want, there is always the vendor hall. If you go to the vendor hall during a workshop, you will have more time with the vendor, unless they are speaking.
  5. If your teens go with you and attend the teen track, they will be ministered to and encouraged in their faith. We are seeing fruit in Paperboy's life from his experience last year. They meet hundreds of other homeschooled teens. Last year the teen speakers, the Ludy's  were so incredible, the Gman spent most of his time there with the boys.
  6. Little Guy had a fantastic time at the Children's Program. It was there that our family was first introduced to Barry Stebbing's Art classes
  7. You have a chance to pick the vendors brains about curriculum and get excellent advice. Yes, they are sales people, but they are committed to homeschooling. I don't find them pushy.
  8. If you are attending a conference that is part of the Great American Homeschool Conferences, you will be receiving a free gift with your paid admission. This is $250 worth of products. Just the free Jim Hodge's audiobook, "For The Temple" by Henty has made me giddy. See this map if you are not sure if your state is hosting one.
  9. There will be a table to connect with your local support group or find one if you do not have one. We all need to connect locally. This is important, especially for families new to homeschooling.
  10. Have you ever attended a homeschool graduation? They have a recognition ceremony on Friday night. I usually don't even know the graduates, but I am beaming with pride. Every new homeschooler should witness this once. It changed the way I looked at homeschooling when I first began.
If I missed any other reasons to attend, please share in the comments, I'm writing this on only one cylinder cup of coffee. If you are attending MassHope, send me an email or comment, I'd love to meet you. If you don't have a clue what to wear, I offer some advice about that.

And if you are a homeschooling family interested in winning a free easter art program, visit my Crossmaker Review and enter to win.

Thanks for stopping by,

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Linda said...

Hi Terri! Just hopped over from the Hip HS Hop! I'll be at MassHope!! I'll be working at the Alpha Omega Publications booth!! Please stop by...I'd LOVE to meet you!!

By the way, your reasons to attend a conference were great!! I have to tell you though, in 7 years of attending conferences with AOP, I've never seen an attendee sniff one of our books!! :-) Ironically, though I've homeschooled for over 20 years, I never attended a conference until I started working at them. I just didn't know what I was missing!

Great post!

Linda at The Joyful Journey

Heidi said...

Great post, Terri! And I love the new look of your blog. :)

MissMOE said...

Hello, hopping over from The Hip HS hop. Love your post. I really enjoy attending homeschool conferences. Even if I never attended a workshop, just being with all of the wonderful attendees is an experience that lifts me and helps me move on to a new year.

ssmurray5 said...

I love all of your reasons....especially #1. I'm looking forward to the MASSHOPE conference. I was wondering, should I wear my denim jumper?