I have been homeschooling for 9 years now. Hard to believe that much time has passed. Would you believe that this past weekend was my very first visit to a homeschool convention? Yes, really. I attended the Midwest Convention in Cincinnati, OH.
I thought the reason for these conventions were to view curriculum, but I learned this weekend that this isn't the only reason why people attend. Don't get me wrong, all the many curriculum vendors were wonderful! They had toys, textbooks, games, brain builders, homeschool magazine offers, planners, T-shirts, notebooks, computer programs, DVD's, etc. It took hours for me to go through them all and explore - which was a blast by the way :) But I realized this weekend, that these materials are not the only tools we use to homeschool our children. These conventions are filled with wonderful speakers & workshops that are so beneficial to anyone homeschooling, anywhere! This was a MUST for me and I didn't even know it...... until I attended.
One of the speakers I had the privilege of listening to was a woman who has 9 children as well as a few grandchildren. Her youngest is elementary age. She spoke many words of wisdom backed up with several scriptures to encourage and remind us what we are to be teaching our children and why it is so important and spiritual. The value of life lessons, the overwhelming love and patience of our Lord, and the encouragement we are to give our little ones is so important. I took plenty of notes and also placed them in my heart as well as my mind. These many words of wisdom were needed in my homeschool. The things she said, I was going through or at least had been through recently. The examples she gave of her own trials and hurdles made me laugh, thinking of how I tackle these things daily. The most important thing I placed in my heart and mind was that God is always here to help us teach our children. When we struggle, get frustrated, get discouraged and are just plain tired.......God is here. We just need to reach out to him. Of course, as Christians we know this, but just like children we need to be reminded and encouraged or we don't apply it.
I sat in quite a few of these workshops and all but one was beneficial. (The one that wasn't beneficial is for another day of blogging, lol.)
So if you have never been to a homeschool convention, please attend. Go with a group of moms, share a hotel room to help expenses, and be prepared for your homeschool to be revived!