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 »

5 Days of Homeschool Essentials, Day 3 – A Support Group

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When I started researching homeschooling, I looked at the internet (worldwide search), which directed me to HSLDA (national organization supporting homeschoolers legally in the US), which directed me to THEA (Tennessee Home Education Association – my state’s Christian homeschooling support group).

Which directed me to SMHEA (Smoky Mountains Home Education Association – our regional support group), which directed me to the EDGE (Empowering Disciples through Godly Education – a local co-op), which lead me to Sevier County Homeschooling Group – a support group for homeschoolers in my county.

EDGE homeschool co-op students in Seymour, TN

My children and other EDGE students on their first day of homeschool co-op, August 2012. My children were only two and four at the time – how time flies.

I attend the Sevier County Homeschoolers’ monthly Parent Support Night and it helps me so much. There’s something to be said about socialization, you know? I say that tongue-in-cheek, of course.

We bring some food, share a few things that happened in our homeschools, ask a few questions, get some answers, have a devotional, and win a door prize (or not). Good ol’ fellowship with like-minded moms while the kiddos are at home with their dads goes a looooong way.

These are my people. Homeschooling moms.

When I meet a homeschooling mom, we have an instant connection.

We get it.

We dig each other.

We know what it’s like to feel called.

We know how it feels to put our noses to the homeschooling grind every morning.

Homeschooling moms must have a support group to get started, to keep going and to successfully reach the finish line, a.k.a. graduation.

That’s why a support group is my #3 homeschooling essential. Check out some more essentials from my friends on the TOS Review Crew:

Laura @ Day by Day in Our World

Julie @ Nurturing Learning

Lisa @ Farm Fresh Adventures

DaLynn @ For the Display of His Splendor

Lori @ At Home: where life happens

Nicole @ Journey to Excellence

Brandy @ Kingdom Academy Homeschool

Meg @ Adventures with Jude

Sarah @ Delivering Grace

5 Days of Homeschooling Essentials