It has been some years since I was that woman, so unsure about the journey, this year I was attending for encouragement. I know I am on the right path and that this is exactly where God led our family, this homeschooling journey we are on. But, I am going to be completely transparent here and let you in on a secret...there are still years that I NEED ENCOURAGEMENT.
I have been in the trenches for the last 2 years, homeschooling with babies and preschoolers has got to be akin to the zoo headmaster's tasks on opening day...its a jungle in there. This is not an easy season in our homeschooling journey, in fact, it has to be the most challenging time that we have been in yet. So there, it is out, I went to the convention because in all honesty I had to get some encouragement. I found that and so much more.
Though there are a number of homeschooling conventions one can attend, I go to the GHC (Great Homeschool Convention) which parlays in Cincinnati, Ohio for a long 4 day weekend. I only went for a day but it was worth every moment.
During the long weekend one can attend a variety of workshops with sometimes as many as 20 occurring during one hour time slots, if you miss one that you would have liked to attend, you can purchase an audio cd of the workshop for a nominal fee. The convention tickets also include a vendor hall pass which entitles the owner of said pass to peruse aisle after aisle of curriculum (at last count there were over 600 vendors). This is perfect for a visual gal like myself, I want to thumb through textbooks and look at pictures before making my final decisions and purchases.
I was privilaged to hear a number of amazing speakers, but three stuck out in my mind. Heidi St John, Chrystal Evans Hurst, and Dr. Inge Aurbaucher. Heidi spoke to my mom heart. She helped me remember why I was doing what I was doing and how when I felt ill equipped for the task at hand, God was there to guide me, I need only ask. Chrystal reminded me to slow down and quit letting the business of life get in the way of my mission. I really needed that, amidst homeschooling, homesteading, blogging and freelance writing for magazines I have also begun writing a book...yup I needed her reminder that there are seasons for everything and I need to focus on the season I am in now. Finally, Dr. Aurbaucher brought tears to my eyes. Hearing first hand from a Holocast survivor was an amazing experience that I will not soon forget. Hearing about history from someone who lived it is far superior to reading a panoramic view in a dry history book. I went so far as to meet Dr. Aurbaucher afterwards and share a photo op as well as get my books signed.
It was, and always is an amazing experience to get to attend one of these conferences. I leave feeling renewed, refreshed and reminded why I am walking against the current in the choice we have made to homeschool our children.