Thoughtful Thursday Week 27 – Homeschool Conferences

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I have said it before, and I will say it again: homeschooling parents should attend a homeschool conference at least once a year. Sorry for should-ing all over you, but you should. I am not saying you should spend money on transportation, hotels and restaurants to get to one. But if you have a local event, by all means change your schedule, get a second job to pay for the fee, volunteer at the conference for discounts, do whatever it takes and attend.

Adriana Zoder and Susan Wise Bauer at the Appalachian Home Educators Conference in Knoxville, June 2015

With Susan Wise Bauer at the Appalachian Home Educators Conference in Knoxville, June 2015

The reason people don’t attend homeschool conferences is that they don’t think they will get enough value out of them. I know, I know, some of you are saying, “That’s not true. Some actually can’t afford a conference.” I can agree with that only for the extremely poor, but even they make an effort to earn some extra money for something they deem valuable.

Ultimately, it is human nature to choose activity A over activity B because activity B does not offer as much satisfaction or perceived value as activity A. Sure, I understand schedule conflicts. I also understand lack of resources. I even understand the fact that homeschooling parents are afraid of being made to feel inadequate in their efforts by so-called homeschooling experts.  Continue reading »

And yet, I say, homeschooling parents should attend a homeschool conference once a year. If you think you are doing great and don’t need any help, you should go. Pride comes before a fall… If you are in need of help, you should go. You just might find the right workshop that will get you out of trouble. If you don’t care because you feel blah and hailing down the yellow school bus seems more and more attractive, you should definitely go.

Thoughtful Thursday Week 27 - Homeschool Conferences

The Appalachian Home Educators Conference came and went. Attendance was low. Vendors got in the red after they paid for their expenses to be there for two days. Organizers appeared disappointed. Susan Wise Bauer said this was the slowest conference she has ever attended.

But numbers aren’t everything. I saw some sales being made, parents learning new teaching methods, questions posed and answers given. I saw networking happening, friendships started, and new partnerships forged. Things happen at homeschooling conferences even when they are small.

As for me, I gave my two workshops as scheduled to small but very attentive audiences. I was excited to answer questions and help people. I met my educational guru, Susan Wise Bauer, and spent some time asking her questions of my own. I purchased Peace Hill Press curriculum at 60% off and some really cool science gadgets and field guides for my kids.

My husband got to listen to Ms. Bauer and received a final confirmation that my choices for our homeschool are right for our family. Last but not least, I discovered Virginia Soaps do not give me allergic reactions, despite the fact that I am allergic to fragrance. Their ingredients must be so far from parabens and other chemicals used in commercial soaps, that it actually makes a difference even for those of us who must have everything fragrance-free.

All in all, it was a great weekend we spent together as a family. I wish more of you could have been there, but… again, I understand. There is always next year. Or, why not? There is this online homeschool conference sponsored by Well-Trained Mind Online Academy.


Appalachian Home Educators Conference

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On June 26-27, 2015, on the campus of Johnson University, home educators from Knoxville and the surrounding areas will get together for the Appalachian Home Educators Conference. I am honored to be in the speaker lineup, which is headed by Dr. Susan Wise Bauer.

My seminars will cover home teaching methods and bilingualism. I am very excited to gather up my materials and put some PowerPoint presentations together. I am very passionate about home education and multilingualism, as you may know, if you have been reading my blog for a bit.

Aerial view of Johnson University

Aerial view of Johnson University in Knoxville

The list of Exhibitors can be found here. Accommodations and meals right on campus seem very affordable.

In my opinion, home educators should attend a homeschooling conference every year, to be encouraged and strengthened, to learn about new curriculum, and to get together with like-minded people. I know I have attended a homeschool conference every year since I decided to homeschool and I always received a blessing.


Great Homeschool Conventions

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Are you going to a homeschool convention this year? Which one? Please leave me a comment.

Check out the homeschool event of the year, with speakers like Dr. Ben Carson, Susan Wise Bower and Heidi St. John, among others.

This post contains affiliate links, which means that you can buy a ticket for this conference at no extra cost to you and I receive a small percentage. Thank you for your support!

Homeschool Convention Discount Ticket Price Extended