Friday, May 31, 2013

Homeschool Convention

For the past four years, I have spent Memorial weekend in Orlando at the FPEA Homeschool Convention.
Homeschool convention is really one of the highlights of the year for me for several reasons.

The biggest one being that I am just a great big nerd and buying school supplies makes me happy.

In addition to the fun of choosing new curriculum, 
convention is just fun!

For lots of people, convention is a family affair.  For me, it is a fun getaway with my girlfriends.
We all leave our children (except for the tiniest ones) with their daddies and head to the Gaylord Hotel for some girl time.

We always stay up way to late and laugh until it hurts...or until someone's bladder fails.  
Hey, it happens when you have given birth as much as this group has!

We relax by the pool.

And there is usually a sweet new baby to snuggle.  
I tried to steal this one.

And then there is the convention itself.  To find it, all one has to do is follow the rolley carts.

This year's convention speakers were amazing.  I practically stalked Heidi St. John and Andrew Pudewa.  

Some other homeschool "celebrities" in attendance were Jolanthe Erb of Homeschool Creations and Steve Demme, author of Math U See.

When I showed the girls my picture with Steve Demme, Emma Jane response was "Who is that guy?"  Libby on the other hand, exclaimed "Hey that is the math guy!!"

I'm glad at least one of them is paying attention to her math lessons!

The overall message that I walked away with after listening to all of these amazing homeschool veterans, is that relationship is the priority, not academics.
That is a hard pill to swallow at times.  Because of course, academics are important.  And necessary.

But at the end of the road, if I have graduated a herd of little geniuses bound for the Ivy League, but destroyed my relationships with my children in the process then what have I actually accomplished?  

These years of homeschooling are few and precious. And it isn't worth squandering them fighting over phonics!

After two and a half amazing days, I went home refreshed, encouraged and with a car full!

I'm already excited about next year's convention!


Emily said...

Holy Moly that is a lot of stuff. I'm SERIOUSLY joining y'all next year. Babies, pools, girl time...who cares if I don't actually homeschool!? :)

Krystyn @ Really, Are You Serious? said...

Impressive. That's a ton of stuff for the school year.

Sure sounds like a fun trip, too! I'm with Emily!

Emmy said...

What great advice about the relationship! I think that is probably one of the things I would fear about homeschooling is that I would feel like we were having fights and battles about it all the time.