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Wow, I’m Glad I Went to that Conference!

This year I went to our annual homeschooling conference only because my teens wanted to attend and my friends had put so much effort into it.

It wasn’t something I really wanted to do.  After all, life is busy enough without taking an entire day off. I didn’t feel discouraged, so did not need encouragement; after homeschooling for 15 years, I did not need basic how-to-homeschool information; and I was relatively satisfied with our curriculum.  So why bother going?

Guess what?  The day was wonderful…as I had, deep down, known it would be. 

  • I talked to old friends, the ones I see only a few times a year, and chatted with people I had met at previous conferences.
  • My teens loved their sessions, and are now both reading Mere Christianity at the recommendation of one of the speakers.
  • Mr 16. is not happy with Singapore’s New Additional Math which he’s been using for pre-calculus.  He and I had a chance to look into two math programs I had been wondering about, Teaching Textbooks  and Life of Fred.  Both look very interesting, but who can really evaluate something like that in 10 minutes?  It’s time to find some detailed reviews and comparisons.
  • I was inspired to focus on nature study.  We always used to live adventurously and go out exploring nature, but that somehow disappeared from our lives.  It’s time to change.  Even if a fear of bears keeps us from venturing into the wilderness, there’s so much else we could be doing!
  • And who doesn’t need reminders to pray?  To pray constantly, specifically, and with thankfulness?
  • Most of my friends and relatives read a lot.  My online friends read, too.  So it was a startling reality check to meet a wise, enthusiastic, thoroughly alive lady who made it a point to read two books a year. Yes, two.  And her Bible, of course….   
  • In the middle of one of the sessions, I suddenly realized that this conference was a holiday for me.  I shed layers of duties and responsibilities, and just focussed on enjoying the day.
  • Our keynote speaker was a public school teacher turned homeschooler.  She listed many elements of school teacher training and showed how a homeschool mom is ahead of a school teacher on every single point.  We may not have teacher’s credentials, but we have everything we need to teach.  She also encouraged us to take as many professional development days as public school teachers do; homeschooling moms need to be refreshed and to keep learning too.
  • I met someone who owns 87 first edition Henty novels and now writes children’s history books himself. 
  • It turns out that HSLDA sells a lot of fascinating books.  I just pay my dues and occasionally call HSLDA for help, but I’ve never looked at their books.
  • Our young writer, Miss 14, met another young writer, a real life one instead of a bloggy one. 

Although I didn’t want to go to our conference this year, I’m so glad I went!  I encourage you to attend your conference too.  Take a professional development day and enjoy whatever God brings to you.

–Find more homeschool encouragement at the Carnival of Homeschooling and the Hip Homeschool Hop.



  1. JoAnn says:

    Sounds like a great time. So glad you could make it.

    1. Annie Kate says:

      So am I! 🙂

  2. Vicki says:

    Sounds like a great day! We’ve never attended any conferences much to my chagrin. I can tell you that my son LOVES the Life of Fred Series and my middle daughter’s boyfriend, who is working towards his PHD in Mathematics, has read over the LoF Calculus book and approves stating that they cover all aspects of calculus.

    Peace and laughter!

    1. Annie Kate says:

      Thanks, Vicki, for the comment about Life of Fred Calculus. I was planning to check that out sometime and you’ve saved me a huge amount of work.

  3. Kim says:

    I am so glad for you that you took the day to refresh. We can’t serve if we don’t refill at the well. 🙂

    We can get so into our routines that we are reluctant to spend precious hours, especially at a conference, where we feel the time may be wasted. Like you, I have often been surprised and delighted by what I have gleaned from a conference, even if it is only catching up with folks.

  4. Miss 19 says:

    …as for Mr 16 (now Mr 17) with my compliments… NAM is a wonderful math text book…. and he REALLY wont like teaching textbooks.

  5. You must have felt so refreshed when you came back from the conference! I do hope you plan on attending next year. My best friend used to homeschool her son. She, you and everyone else who chooses to homeschool their children have my utmost admiration.

    1. Annie Kate says:

      Thank you. I could not do it without the Lord.

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