The Ultimate Guide To Homeschool Conferences
You know, I’ve been homeschooling long enough to have my first high school graduate. And last year was my first year attending a homeschool conference. (Tell me I’m not the only one who has put it off for years.)
Mainly, I simply didn’t care to travel to a city which I don’t really care much for in order to attend one. But, that all changed when the conference changed cities. And I’m super thankful it did because I’ve been missing out on a wonderful experience for far too long. Based on my experience, I’m going to share with you the ultimate guide to homeschool conferences for how to navigate and enjoy a homeschool conference.
They’re Not Just for Homeschooling Families
To begin with, homeschool conference may sound exclusive to homeschoolers. But if you’re new to the idea of homeschooling or just now deciding you want to test the waters, they’re for you too!
In fact, there’s a range of key note speakers and general speakers that cater to both new and experienced home educators. Knowing this will help you navigate which speakers may be geared toward your stage of homeschooling. Or maybe that won’t matter so much to you. So far, I have found it a joy to hear key note speakers in person such as Pastor Voddie Baucham and David Barton of WallBuilders. Especially considering they’re like-minded in education in many ways and have a love for the United States of America.
But general session speakers are amazing in their own right. Many of them have personal experiences that are helpful in countless ways to other parents. And they’re tremendously encouraging! So, new or experienced home educators walk away inspired and feeling refreshed.
So, if you’re already homeschooling keep in mind people whom you may invite to a homeschool conference.
Action Steps: You don’t have to navigate it and enjoy it alone. Think of who you could invite who:
- Will be supportive of your decision to homeschool,
- Is on the fence about the idea of homeschooling,
- Has expressed that they’re considering homeschooling,
- Are relatives and friends who are curious about the world of homeschooling.
Great for Bible Principles Parents
While it seems rare to hear Principle Approach® speakers at a homeschool conference, Bible Principles parents aren’t so pigeonholed. We can find great encouragement and insight from a variety of speakers, right?
It’ll be a cinch for you to find some Creation science curricula, for example, to apply the 4R method to. Not to mention it’s easy to apply the 4R Method to a classic literature study. In this way, you can still apply the philosophy and method on your own with whatever you find at the conference.
Action Steps: To navigate and enjoy it as a Bible Principles homeschooling parent:
- Remind yourself of your philosophy of education. In this way, you won’t stray from it.
- Go over the conference schedule and select speakers that will encourage you as a Christian parent, encourage you in your vision, share a love for America’s history, and help you with a problem you’re facing (i.e. scheduling, attitudes, etc.)
- Take a list of the 7 Loves of Literature with you to help you decide on what literature to purchase at the used book and curriculum sales.
- Also, please be sure to buy from the vendors at the conference special they offer. These people travel a lot to help homeschoolers, they have expenses, and they have families to care for a well. Honor them buy purchasing through them vs. somewhere else.
Take Notes to Help Navigate Your Thoughts and Enjoy the Moment
Notetaking is one of my favorite things to do when at a conference. Something I like to do is prep my notebook. For instance, with my key note speakers and workshop speakers chosen, I’ll make an index on the front page. In this way, I can jot down page numbers as I take notes. And then I can go back to my index and jot down the page numbers next to the speaker and topic. Later on, I can add the speaker and topic to the heading. I feel like this preps me, saves me time. and don’t feel so rushed at the beginning of each session.
To keep my hands fairly free, I take a notebook with me that fits in my purse. I know for me, it’s encouraging to go back and reflect on some key things that mean something to me. Sometimes it’s a confirmation, sometimes it’s an admonition, and sometimes it’s simply inspirational.
Action Steps: Navigate and enjoy the conference by navigating your notebook ahead of time and getting set up for sessions.
- Double check your pens before you go. It’s not very helpful when one’s pen is dried up and done for (ask me how I know).
- Prep your notebook sometime in advance.
- If you’re children are coming along with you to the conference, you already know how to pack for them. But sometimes conferences offer workshops for make-it-and-take-it activities. And these newer activities can be helpful to occupy your toddlers while you jot down notes.
OCEANetwork Homeschool Conference
Say, if you’re in Oregon, the OCEANetwork Homeschool Conference is scheduled for June 28 & 29 at the Linn County Expo Center in Albany. You’ll likely recognize many of these speakers.
My readers may appreciate learning that the Waynes will be speaking there:
Israel Wayne is like-minded in many ways when it comes to teaching with Bible Principles. In particular, his Education: Does God Have an Opinion session will be something my readers will look forward to. But also,some dad’s may enjoy the fact that Israel is holding a Dad’s Session: Is Homeschooling Just for Women?
His wife Brook is holding a session for Choosing Your Homeschool Style. This session helps parents consider individual learning styles, curriculum choices, and their own teaching style. She also gives an introduction to various methods. Embracing God’s Principle of Individuality for our homeschools is important and this session may bless you.
And be sure to check out all of the other speakers and what they have to offer!