Homeschool Makeover and Great Homeschool Conventions

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As I mentioned last week, we’re undergoing some major home(school) renovations around here. I’ve had my nose in books and homeschooling blogs and forums for the last week or so. I’ve also received a handful of book shipments with fresh meat.

Yes, we’re going to enjoy the rest of this year — or else.

For the curious, I am rereading The Well-Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise, a book that I read when it was first released in 1999. My original copy is falling apart at the seams. Since the book has been revised twice since its original release, I splurged on a new, 1oth anniversary edition that has been updated for out-of-print-books as well as new resources that have come on the scene in the last decade.

The world is a very different place than it was ten years ago. Yes, I’m waxing old woman right now. But, seriously. We had dial-up. Very slow, takes-five-minutes-to-load-a-page dial-up. And very few blogs were on the internet, at least for the masses. Homeschooling resources were not as sophisticated as they are now.

Yes, things have changed. I can buy a book and instantly download it to my Kindle, faster than I can can take a breath. I can communicate with folks all over the world in a matter of seconds. In all my research, I found that there’s even an ipad app for my 9th grader’s Biology curriculum. Go figure.

So, a lot of my research this last week has been to survey the territory and see what our options are.

And one of the things I keep pining for is a place to go hear speakers like Susan Wise Bauer (maybe even stalk her and ask some real life questions) and to flip through these books before I buy them.

You know where I’m going with this, right? A homeschooling convention!

I think I’ve only been to two homeschooling conferences ever…. 2006 and 2008. I think I’m due for another. While I don’t expect it to solve all my problems, I am looking forward to hearing different voices and flipping through a multitude of books. And I’m going in May!

Life as MOM sponsor Great Homeschool Conventions has offered me a complimentary family pass to attend the Long Beach event. I am more than excited. And even though it’s a “family pass,” I’m actually hoping to leave the family at home. While Long Beach is not too far away from San Diego, I’m hoping for a great little overnighter with my main squeeze.

We aren’t big “homeschool movement” type folks. In fact, the FishFam probably doesn’t fit in any certain category of homeschoolers. There are folks who are much more conservative than us, as well as those that are more liberal. I don’t wear a jumper or tattoos. I cut my hair short. Hubs has a pierced ear.

In short, we just do what we do. But, that doesn’t mean we aren’t willing to hear what other folks have to say. And that is one of the things that attracted me to GHC. It appears that are presenting a range and a breadth to their convention that is atypical of the other conventions I’ve been to.

Five Conventions Nationwide

Among their speakers at their five different conventions this year:

  • Susan Wise Bauer
  • Andrew Pudewa
  • Diana Waring
  • Dr. Jay Wile
  • Amanda Bennett
  • David Hazel
  • Chuck Colson
  • Dr. Carol Reynolds
  • Todd Wilson
  • Sonya Shafer
  • John Stonestreet
  • John Rosemond
  • Dr. Jonathan Sarfati
  • Carl Kerby
  • and Money Saving Mom, Crystal Paine

Susan Wise Bauer and Andrew Pudewa have helped our homeschool tremendously, so I’m looking forward to hearing them speak in Long Beach in just a few months. Those of you in the Mid-west can even hear my friend Crystal Paine speak as well. Jealous!

In addition to a great lineup of speakers, there will also be huge Homeschool Curriculum Exhibit Halls and 100′s of Homeschooling Workshops. Great Homeschool Conventions are located all across the country, so there just may be one near you!

Southeast Homeschool Convention

Mar. 22–24, 2012
TD Convention Center, Greenville, SC

Mid South Homeschool Convention

Apr. 12–14, 2012
Memphis Convention Center, Memphis, TN

Cincinnati Homeschool Convention

April 19–21, 2012
Duke Energy Convention Center, Cincinnati, OH

California Homeschool Convention

May 24–26, 2012
Long Beach Convention Center, Long Beach, CA

Northeast Homeschool Convention

June 14–6, 2012
Hartford Convention Center, Hartford, CT

I’m looking forward to the California Homeschool Convention as another way to get perspective and to breathe new life into what we do.

How do you reenergize for your homeschool?

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  1. We are going to the Southeast Convention in March and I cannot wait!!! It is very close to my in-laws, so they’ll be babysitting so my husband and I can focusing on getting the most out of our time there.

    I read The Well Trained Mind last year and it transformed my thinking and many of my curriculum choices. I’m so glad I found a direction in reading that resource.

  2. If you have the opportunity, be sure to go to Dr. Jay Wile’s section. He is a wonderful speaker with a great perspective. If you’re not already using his science texts, you might want to give them a look. I’m glad you’re finding some mid-year inspiration!

  3. We also made a bunch of changes after the new year. Lots of our stuff (that we are keeping) is the stuff from A Well Trained Mind. It just is so simple and makes so much sense.

    The conventions sure look great! Someday I will have to get to one 🙂

  4. We are in year 17 of homeschooling, the last year as child #4 will be a high school grad in June.
    When things were getting dull in the homeschool yea rand we needed to re-energize, usually in Jan. or Feb. We would do something totally different for a couple of weeks such as a topic-specific unit study on weather, or World War I, whatever seemed interesting at the time.
    When that was over, we’d go back to the usual schedule, but it didn’t seem so dreary.

    1. A change of pace and scenery sounds like a great solution. Thanks for the suggestion!

  5. I am so excited for you! =) That is an awesome opportunity to hear so many “greats” in one place. Susan Wise Bauer! Wow! And I have personally had the opportunity to hear Andrew Pudewa at our local homeschool convention, and he is absolutely awesome! You will have to do a post with all the good stuff you learn. =)

  6. Excited for you! This is our 2nd year of homeschooling. I feel like I’m still getting my feet wet with it all. However, I have attended my state’s last two conventions and each time received enough encouragement and inspiration to grow in new areas as a mom and teacher. I hope you come away inspired and totally motivated to persevere through the homeschooling waters and to share with us, too. Oh, and I did have the privilege of seeing Andrew Pudewa and David Hazel, too, and I LOVE them. They’re incredible. We even went with My Father’s World after seeing Mr. Hazel (although I never thought I would buy a boxed curr and am still open to the future…). Anyway–have fun!

  7. I would so love to go to one, but the closest is Long Beach – 12 hours away and it’s just not in the budget 🙁 I wish there was a Northwest one; there are certainly enough homeschoolers here! Looking forward to hearing tidbits from you!