Blessings of the Homeschool Convention
As I said yesterday I have a great deal to process and think about after having attending the Home Educators Association of Virginia (HEAV) Convention last weekend. I thought I’d start with a brief mention of some of the blessings of attending.
Hearing so many stories of God’s faithfulness– I spent four hours on Friday volunteering at the HEAV book table. It was really a privilege to spend that time talking to people, answering questions and also hearing of how God has provided for specific educational needs and how people expect that He will continue providing the grace to do the hard work of training and educating.
Knowing that we are not alone– I had the opportunity to attend a workshop on teaching children with communication difficulties taught by Judi Munday (a 25 year veteran in special needs). Not only was helpful to hear what she had to say, it was also very helpful to see that 50 or 60 other people also had come to learn how to teach their children. Frequently as homeschoolers we feel that we are the only ones dealing with a particular problem and it is good to know that we really aren’t alone in our work.
Seeing old friends– It’s not the best place to really visit but the convention does make it possible to briefly catch up with people we may not have seen recently. I saw several people that I haven’t seen since last year and few whom I haven’t talked to in longer than that! How encouraging to hear how they are doing, see how the children have grown etc!
Meeting new friends– in the age of the internet there are people whom I “know” but have never met. I had the opportunity to meet them and some of their friends during the convention this year and hope to develop those relationships further.
Attending with my mother– we spent two days looking at curricula together and talking about what was good, what could be better and what looked fun but wouldn’t fit into our schedule! Her experience was a great help in keeping me from over-enthusiasm and I also enjoyed the reminiscing (we’ve attended several conventions together in the last twenty years) as well as seeing people that she has known and worked with over the years express their pleasure in seeing her there.
The diversity of the crowd– this is one of the advantages of volunteering at the book table: sooner or later the whole convention walks past you and you get to see what the overall make-up of the group is. I saw so many different races, ethnicities, and ages represented that I had to remember again that homeschooling as it matures is changing from a lifestyle choice to an educational choice and that this change is effecting the curricula and the culture of the movement.
Having the opportunity to look at so much material and choose what I think will work best for us. Do I really need to say more than that? I’m planning to write a few posts about what I’ve chosen and why, but just getting to look at more than one music program, science program or foreign language program gives me the ability to compare in order to figure out what approach is most likely to work for us. It is so much easier for me to do that with actual materials than a website. I find the vendor hall confusing but well worth it.
Coming home with new materials and having students who are eager to begin! When Mom and I came home on Friday evening the first thing W wanted to know was where his new schoolbooks (“from the homegool ‘vention” were. He spent the rest of the weekend looking at them and carrying them around anxiously waiting to to school on Monday.
Having a conversation with a woman whose son has a severe learning problem and in the midst of encouraging her realizing that I was preaching to myself. Knowing as I finished the conversation that the Holy Spirit had been there.
Going to a workshop on mothering hoping to hear some practical tips and not only getting them but also being firmly reminded of where my priorities need to be. I’m not usually one for ordering and listening to workshop CD’s but I’ll be getting both of the talks that speaker gave and listening to them from time to time.
These are the first things that come to mind and I’m sure there’ll be more as I continue to process and ponder….K