I’ve been to 8 different homeschool conventions: 4 as a parent and 4 as an evaluator/curriculum consultant. I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. I’ve bought the t-shirt, browsed the curriculum, and gleaned from dozens of great speakers. I’m kind of a homeschool convention junkie. Every year when convention season rolls around, I get super excited about what is to come…only to find that many of my friends don’t hold the same excitement. They are plagued with confusion, doubt, and even misconceptions about what a convention is all about.
So today, I thought it was time to clear the air. Time to dispel those commonly held myths about homeschool conventions and bring out the excitement, because in just a few short months…you can have the life-changing privilege of attending my favorite convention.
Myth #1…Conventions are for newbies
To be honest, it’s really quite the opposite. While you will find plenty of workshops for those new to homeschooling, there are far more designed to encourage and equip those who are already in the thick of it.
Myth #2…A homeschool convention is just a place to buy books
This is the most commonly quoted reason for not attending a homeschool convention. I have to admit, a convention is a GREAT place to buy books. Prices are usually discounted, you get to talk to vendors and touch the product, and there is no shipping. BUT-there is so much more to do at a convention that just buy books. A good convention will equip you for the coming year, encourage your weak places, and create a sense of community for your family. If you aren’t getting that—> you are going to the wrong convention.
Myth #3…Conventions are for moms
This might be the biggest misconception. While moms are certainly welcome to come alone (and I have many times), conventions are for FAMILIES. Teach them Diligently is designed to meet the needs of all of your family members through workshops for moms, dads, students, etc. In fact, their very purpose is to equip your entire family as a unit. And the kids? Not only will there be an outstanding children’s program, there will also be a special room for parents with fussy babies/toddlers. That room will have live streaming of the keynote speakers! I can’t tell you how much I would have appreciated that the last time I had a nursing infant.
Myth #4…A homeschool convention is a waste of money, it’s all the same stuff and I’ve been homeschooling for years.
If you put your child in school, you would expect his/her teacher to be up on the latest educational trends, right? How about your doctor? Do you expect him to know the most effective way to cure your ailments? Of course you do! Most professions require annual training and recertification. As a homeschool parent, this is crucial for you too! Even if you have graduated several students, there is always something to learn and always ways to be refreshed. Plus, your presence will serve as an encouragement to the community.
As for the same content at conventions, there is a bit of truth to this one. I’ve been to a convention that had the same speakers and topics the following year and the year after that. That can really be stale, so do your homework and make sure that you attention a convention with fresh content (like Teach them Diligently).
Myth #5…Convention operators are out to make money off of me
As a consumer, I think we often jump to this conclusion with right reasons. I mean, the goal of a business is to turn a profit and sadly, most businesses strive to turn that profit despite the cost. I can only speak for one convention, but Teach them Diligently is unique in it’s purpose. There is a profit, but the profit is poured directly into missions. In fact, last year’s convention profits went toward the opening of a preschool in Poland through Worldwide Tentmakers. To be honest, it would have been hard to miss that fact if you attended the convention. The love of missions was in the air!
Myth #6…I won’t fit in at a homeschool convention
It’s funny. The first time my friend went to a homeschool convention with me she asked if it would be okay if she didn’t wear a jean skirt. I laughed hysterically at the thought. Personally, I don’t own a jean skirt. (Nothing against them, they just don’t make them to fit me.) This conversation with my friend reminded me that we often obsess over fitting in and that obsession is rooted in false ideas. Friend, I promise that you will fit in with the homeschooling crowd. Even if you don’t wear jean skirts. Even if you DO. Even if you have one kid… or 11 kids. Even if you are a single mom who would love to bring dad along, but can’t. There is a place for you here and you are loved. Please come. (And hey- I’ll be at all three conventions without a jean skirt and without a husband, but graciously loved by our Father…please find me, I’d love to meet you!)
Myth #7…All homeschool conventions are created equally
I was spoiled early with conventions. I started with one of the best, so when my home state convention was a flop, I actually drove 7 hours and two states over to attend a different one the next year. ALL homeschool conventions are not created equally. They are different in focus, different in purpose, and different in principal. I certainly can not speak for them all, but I can tell you there are some you should avoid and some that will bless you. Teach them Diligently will bless you. The community, the love, the encouragement will overwhelm you like no other convention. And if that is somehow not enough…you can rest in the fact that they can be trusted. From the vendors to the volunteers, every single hand has been prayed over in preparation for you. Oh, I can hardly wait until May!
Speaking of May, now that I have you excited about attending a convention this year…wouldn’t you love to win a family pass for the Teach them Diligently convention of your choice?
Well, you can. Just enter in the rafflecopter below. Winners will be announced next Tuesday, so be sure to come back for the big news!
a Rafflecopter giveaway