Sunday, July 20, 2008

Homeschool Conference

In June, I scooted down to Des Moines for the Iowa homeschool conference hosted at First Federated Church by NICHE. http://www.the-niche.org/index.html I started going down to this conference when because in some odd way, it seemed more home-y than the one in Minnesota. It's held in a church, rather than a large convention center. An added plus is that I can spend some time with my extended family.

At these conferences I usually find myself too antsy to sit still for the workshops. I usually sit close to the door so that I can discreetly leave should I get bored, find I a already know the information, or am too desperate to search out the latest and greatest in homeschool materials from the vendors. I have found that those who take a humorous look at homeschool and refresh me with a few laughs are worth the admission fee.

One of the keynote speakers this year did a wonderful job of instilling humor, reality and grace into his presentations. Homeschoolers by and large take themselves too seriously. To some degree we should ... we don't want to send stupid children out into the world. We'd only have ourselves to blame. One of my favorite illustrations from this speaker concerned the "Homeschool Uniform:" denim jumper, hair to our waist or in a bun and little white sneakers with bobby socks. I thought, "yeah, that was me." What else do you wear when you're always pregnant, nursing or somewhere inbetween? With 7 children, I've been in a variety of stages of inflated and deflated that the ubiquitous jumper seemed to fit the bill.

All in all, I love homeschool conferences. It gives moms and dads a chance to get away, think only about their children's education and be encouraged that so many more are in the same boat!

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