A Different Homeschool Convention

Jason and I were able to go to the SCHEA (South Carolina Home Educators Association) this weekend.  I was very impressed by the differences between this convention and the one we attended in March in Greenville.  That convention was sponsored by Great Homeschool Conventions.

We decided to go to the convention in Greenville for two main reasons: Ken Ham was speaking, and Tim Hawkins was performing.  I was very impressed by the vendor hall in Greenville.  It was HUGE, and I was able to get all my curriculum for the coming year as well as browse and see in person several different curriculum choices.  We were not impressed by the size and impersonality of the workshops, however.  It was difficult to even attend many workshops because of the crowd.  And, because everything was so crowded, it was almost impossible to actually ask questions of the presenters.  I was also very dismayed by the controversy regarding Ken Ham and his talks which came about after this convention.

The SCHEA convention was quite different.  It was small and more personal.  (Unfortunately, it was very small this year which I am afraid was a result of the Greenville convention.)  The speakers that I heard all referenced God's will and plan in our lives for homeschooling and emphasized seeking God's wisdom.  Homeschooling was never presented as only one more "good" option among many but was presented as a high calling by God to influence the lives of our children.  (Don't shoot me yet if you aren't convinced that homeschooling is the best way.  I'm not here to argue that in this post, simply to make the statement that this convention treated homeschooling as a calling by God for the good of our children.)  SCHEA itself is an organization designed to help and support homeschoolers, so beyond the benefits of attending the convention, they encourage homeschoolers to call with any questions throughout the year and to treat SCHEA as a valuable resource.

I attended two workshops and both keynote addresses.  The keynote addresses were given by Davis and Rachel Carman- owners of Apologia- and dealt with unity of husband and wife in marriage and homeschooling.  I attended a high school workshop with some generic information and lots of encouragement for beginning high school with your homeschooler.  This is something we are approaching very quickly!  I also attended a workshop about teaching multiple children at different levels.  I didn't really hear much new information, but I was definitely inspired and encouraged.  This is something I constantly feel that I struggle with- especially as my children grow older and all of them are officially "in school."  Jason attended two workshops by Bob Farewell, founder of Bringing Dads Home.  He was very encouraged and inspired as well and has lots of ideas percolating in his mind.

All of this, and we enjoyed two nights and days alone!  We were truly blessed by this homeschool convention, and I am rejuvenated and ready for the next school year to begin.

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