The Homeschool Minute ~ Deborah Wuehler
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It’s beginning to look like my favorite time of year: convention season! Not only will I be attending my local convention, I will be speaking at the Great Homeschool Convention in California in June, and the Valley Home Educators Convention
in July. So much fun and inspiration all in one place!
Below is an excerpt from an article I wrote with Amelia Harper, The Value of Homeschool Conventions:
Perhaps you have heard of homeschool conventions for years, but have never bothered to attend one. So, you may be wondering why you should go to all the time, trouble, and expense of attending a convention. Here are a few reasons:
The Encouragement Factor
Fearful new homeschoolers as well as veterans near the end of their journey are both in desperate need of encouragement. A homeschool convention with powerful and motivating speakers provides enough encouragement for both. New homeschoolers come away feeling like they can actually accomplish what they are setting out to do and veterans are given the precious fuel they need to continue on the journey.
The Camaraderie Factor
No one among us likes the feeling of being alone in our convictions. The homeschool convention provides an atmosphere of camaraderie by sharing with large numbers of families the strong conviction to provide for our own children’s educational needs. It is revitalizing when we realize that we are not in this journey alone.
The Convenience Factor
So many product catalogs come in the mail, and you have so little time to read them! At a convention, large numbers of homeschool vendors are represented and the opportunity to actually see their wares is a great advantage to merely reading about them. Vendor workshops are often provided adding the “how to use the product” effectively in your own homeschool.
The Economic Factor
Though there are costs associated with attending a convention, there are pay-offs as well. You will have the ability to compare products and prices. You can ask others for recommendations and advice that may help you avoid costly mistakes. In addition, some vendors offer special discounts at conventions.
The Spiritual Factor
Often times our hearts are convicted of a certain road to travel with our families but our minds are not totally convinced. Conventions can bring the confirmation needed that you are definitely on the right road and that you really did hear God’s voice in your decisions.
The Connection Factor
Conventions are a perfect environment for renewing old connections or for connecting with groups or organizations that will help us on our journey. Memberships to national organizations as well as local organizations are made available. You can ask the questions that have been burning in your mind all year.
The Thinking Factor
Many homeschooling moms rarely get some time off to really think through what they would like to see happen in their homeschool. Time spent at a convention allows them the freedom and time they so desperately need to process through all of their plans and ideas. A convention offers nearly the entire local homeschooling community available in one location to answer any questions that arise as they go through this thinking process.
The Fun Factor
Many conventions offer planned activities for the children and workshops for teens. Some also offer family nights where everyone is invited for an entertaining evening. Speakers and workshop leaders know first-hand the many tears and trials we go through and therefore, they are down to earth and funny and can actually relate to what it takes to travel this road. They bring laughter among the tears and touch our hearts in a way no one else can.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel and the homeschool convention could just be the source of inspiration and encouragement that you need.
I hope you all can make it to a convention this year!
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