"I'm such a nerd," my friend said laughingly to me. "Here it is a Friday night, and I'm working on school stuff."
The funny part is that, to me, that seems perfectly normal. I don't think there's any time when I'm not thinking about school stuff. It's part of my every thought process. Kinda like breathing.
I think that's part of why I've come to LOVE going to homeschool conventions. I can totally get my nerd on and no one thinks I'm weird. Probably because I'm surrounded by other nerd parents!
So what's the big deal about these conventions? What do I get out of them?
1. The speakers and the sessions. I've had the privilege of sitting at the proverbial feet of experts in the fields of writing, reading, teaching from a classical perspective, reading using the Socratic method, organizing your homeschool, saving money, teaching special needs, dealing with one's own ADD, and more that I can't begin to remember. The Lord has taught me so many lessons through each of these speakers. And the greatest gift we can give our children is to show them that we love learning. They learn by seeing. If they see that it's important to us, it will, hopefully, become important to them as well.
2. The ginormous vendor hall. I hate having to choose a book without having first put my hands on it. I want to flip through it and read a few pages. And if I can even talk to some people who are familiar with it, or even better have written it...well that's an extra score! Sometimes I find some great discounts on curriculum in the hall. Other times, I go back to my hotel room with my notebook full of information and costs and compare notes to determine what I'm going to buy and when and where. But there is nothing that compares to being able to actually put your hands on the products and talk to those who are knowledgeable about them face to face.
3. The other attendees. I'm not naturally an outgoing person. But that doesn't mean that I don't find myself in a conversation or two with another mom or two about our situations. It's always good to know that we're in this craziness together. Sometimes I can offer support to someone else. Sometimes they can offer support to me. Either way, it's nice to know we're not alone.
4. The time to myself. I have the type of personality that craves alone time. I work hard each week to carve out an hour or so to myself with no one around, simply to maintain my sanity. It's not that I don't love and adore my family. I think they are amazing. But I physically need to have that time to myself to recharge. So it has become a special gift from my family to go to these conventions and make choices solely about myself for a change. As a mom, it's the only time that ever happens. And it is truly a gift. I get to choose what time to eat and where. When to go to bed, when to get up, which sessions to attend, what to watch on tv in the hotel room. It is so refreshing and renewing. When I come home, I'm not only recharged to continue our school, but I'm recharged to continue our lives. That being said, I know many couples who go to these conventions together and use it as a time to get away together. And I think that is extremely valuable as well.
If you've never had a chance to attend a homeschool convention, I strongly recommend you go. Be prepared to be overwhelmed the first time. It's a lot to try to take in at once. I've included a link to my favorite below. Just a disclaimer, this is an affiliate link. This is not the only homeschool event out there. This just happens to be my favorite. And if you go to the one in Greenville, SC, let me know! We'll have to try to hook up! We can revel in our nerdiness together!
*This is an affiliate link - See disclosure *