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Monday, May 11, 2009

Should You or Shouldn't You?(homeschool confrences)

It's that time of year again, all over America in many major cities and some smaller ones too, homeschool conferences, Expos, fairs, book sales and more are sprouting up! The big question many of us, new and more experienced alike ask, is...should I go? What does it have to offer?

Well, my perspective is a bit different than it may have been in years past, but I'll share it with you none the less.

We are finishing up our 12th year of homeschooling, and until this weekend I had only attended one convention, our states largest. That was in about our 6th or 7th year. My husband and I enjoyed it, but I think it was more because it was the first time we had been alone with each other without children in 15 or so years of marriage at the point! It was great to get to look at alot of the books and materials before buying and talk to the vendors.

I don't think it made too much of an impression though as for the past six years or so, we've never made any serious attempt to attend another.

This year I got flyer's and emails from both our large state Christian convention as well as a smaller semi-local Christian Expo and was excited beyond belief with some of the speakers, one in particular.

We went to the smaller one this weekend, and I must say I have come back feeling completely recharged, refreshed, and encouraged to continue on!

The main speaker, Voddie Baucham ( let me suggest going to youtube and checking out his videos if you aren't familiar with him)was what perked my interest and made me consider going, and he lived up to everything I hoped and some. A true man of God who isn't afraid to share what he believes and speaks with such a passion as I've ever seen. But as much as I thoroughly enjoyed each time he spoke, it was the whole conference, all the speakers, and the atmosphere I enjoyed.

Even though I've homeschooled as long as I have, for the most part we've been pretty isolated due in part to where we live, and due in part to our hectic schedule we used to maintain with our martial arts training and such. Just to be around and fellowship with other homeschoolers, and Christian homeschoolers at that was a rare treat! To be around others who are homeschooling for like minded reasons and who are committed to continue to educate their children at home all the way through was quite encouraging.

To get that encouragement, get updated on legislative news, and an unexpected treat of hearing and getting acquainted with a new to me musician/artist Stephanie Wojnicki made the whole experience totally worth it for me! I am now anxiously awaiting our big state conference in July, as Voddie Baucham will be there again as well as some other speakers I am excited about too!

I highly recommend that all newbies to homeschooling attend your local conference/convention, and even some of you veterans who like me really could use some encouragement after several long years of doing this on your own without alot of outside support. Of course anybody in between could benefit as well, and if by any means you have a favorite speaker you haven't seen in person, make all attempts to attend, it is quite a treat to see him or her in person!

So whether you are just hoping to see some of the materials you're considering, hands on before buying, or need some extra encouragement, or are hoping to learn from those who have been doing this for years, consider going this year. Let me suggest, while it is great fun to go with your girl friends, kind of like a grown up pajama party, consider taking your husband. Especially if you have a speaker such as Voddie Baucham, you will both be highly encouraged and blessed!

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