Attending a Catholic homeschooling conference offers many opportunities that online purchasing and research simply cannot provide. At live events, you can look into someone’s eyes when speaking to them; you can touch and feel curriculum materials; you can have one-on-one conversations with otherwise inaccessible national speakers; you can meet new families in your geographic area; you can be encouraged and supported in unique ways, and often parents tell us that their families are transformed by what they learn.
Many of the conferences are FREE, and you can save with conference-only discounts that some vendors offer. In many cases you can avoid shipping charges. For example, Seton offers their “Once-A-Year Conference-Only” $30 discount per child for full enrollment, grades 1-12. That means, if you have 5 children and enroll them at one of the conferences, you can save $150!
Attend a Conference!
We are now mid-point in the Catholic homeschooling conference season, which extends from March to mid-August. Maybe there is a conference nearby that you can still attend? Check Seton’s conference page for a listing of the remaining conferences.
Visit the IHM Conference page at www.ihmconference.org for information concerning schedules, speaker bios, vendor listings, hotels, etc. The IHM National Conference is the largest Catholic homeschooling conference in the US, scheduled for this month in Fredericksburg, VA, on Friday, June 20th and Saturday, June 21st.
There will be over 200 vendor tables, 2-3 speaker tracks for two days, ongoing confessions, speakers including Patrick Madrid and Johnnette Benkovic plus 17 others, a College program, and a Teen program.
Talks and discussions benefit those thinking about homeschooling, those ready to start homeschooling, and those in the trenches who may just need a shot-in-the-arm, some advice, or to be refocused as to why they are homeschooling in the first place.
Most conference formats consist of one or more speaker tracks and a vendor hall of Catholic curriculum materials. Many of the speakers provide informative content and practical tips to make your journey easier. They share the successful practices they discovered traveling the same path before you.
Aside from being motivational and full of practical tips, the speakers are very warm, approachable, supportive, and often quite funny; they speak heart-to-heart with attendees because homeschooling is a passion in their lives. Some are now teaching their grandchildren because they are acutely aware of the benefits, rewards, and adventures of the journey.
Many speakers from different disciplines know all too well what is at stake if parents are not actively involved in their child’s education, especially in the area of catechesis. Society is eating up our children in great numbers and sending them down painful roads. Homeschooling can provide the foundation to protect children from this death-like experience.
Homeschooling = Weird?
We are living at a time in our culture when the very structure of the family is at stake, and many good families are losing their children. Homeschooling provides the parental contact time with children to teach them parenting and home organizational skills. Children who choose other educational options are rarely home anymore interacting with the family, learning family relationship dynamics, and other necessary skills for the survival of the family unit. More than ever, there is a lot at stake!
These conferences dispel the myths that only weird people homeschool and that homeschooling children won’t be socialized. These conferences emphasize that homeschooling is legal in the US, and that the Catholic Church supports it as an educational option.
As many of you already know, Catholic homeschooling is an incredible and very fulfilling adventure. Attending these conferences enhances that experience, plus provides parents with teacher tools to succeed.
Where else can you go where almost everyone in the room supports you?
We know you are living a heroic life, that you face many challenges, and that your sacrifices and efforts are not being appreciated by society at large.
These events are the perfect place to bring others who are involved with your educational efforts – your spouse, your mom, your student, your sister, your best friend, etc. Often friends carpool together, thus reducing travel expenses and making attending the event even more enjoyable and fun. Many life-long friendships are developed at these conferences.
Think about it. What might you be missing out on if you don’t attend one of these conferences? Remember, God sends parents all the help and graces they need to raise His children entrusted to their care. We choose to accept or reject His help.
Come and be pleasantly surprised.