View Full Version : Weekly Poll: It's Homeschool Convention Time...Will You Attend?

03-19-2010, 10:03 PM
So spring is often a big time for homeschool conventions. Vendors are excited about introducing their newest products and homeschoolers are already thinking toward the next homeschool year. But secular homeschoolers can often feel left out as they browse table after table of faith-based curricula. OR...maybe you are lucky enough to live in a state that offers a secular or at least inclusive convention!

Will you be attending a homeschool convention this spring? Weigh in on this week's poll. (http://www.secularhomeschool.com/threads/178-It-s-Homeschool-Convention-Time-Will-You-Attend)

03-19-2010, 10:18 PM
I wouldn't say that I have NO interest WHATSOEVER but I don't plan on attending. FPEA is the local big state convention and it takes place in Orlando so within 1 hour of my house, but it's pretty religious and last year, no workshops appealed to me. Plus since I'm not a member, the cost is pretty high for what I get out of it. I went 2 years ago on my own, just for 1 day, and I actually had a surprisingly good time and heard Susan Wise Bauer speak (a million miles an hour!) about the writing process for kids, which was very interesting. But it was my first year of using other people's curriculae so I was excited to hear about various approaches. Now I want to read about it online and ponder it and not feel like a sheep being moved from room to room to room to hear people hawk their goods. So I'll look at the schedule once it's published and then decide then.

Terri, who is a member of this group, puts together a secular convention in the St Pete area (LIFEFEST). It's a huge undertaking and I'm grateful that she does it. I haven't made it there yet though.

03-19-2010, 10:36 PM
It's not that I have no interest what so ever. I just haven't looked into any. I've seen a few things posted on a few yahoo groups, but they were out of state. I'm still not sure whether I'd go if I found one close.

03-19-2010, 11:27 PM
I already attended our provincial convention back at the end of Feb. It was great! We got to hear Andrew Pudewa speak this year. Our convention is decently inclusive and the schedule of events is marked as to what is Christian or General. Although some workshops are by exhibitors we spent the whole weekend going to non-exhibitor talks. We got some great books at the used-book sale and some new stuff, too.

I've only been to two conferences since we've just started but they've been invaluable to us. Last year convinced us we could homeschool our children and this year we learned some important things on how to deal with some of the issues we face in our homeschool now that we're doing it.

03-20-2010, 12:45 AM
i attended my state inclusive convention last week. So you missed me! I still havent blogged about it . . . i've been pretty out of it. Honestly, i seem to find the full conventions overwhelming. I was exhausted for a full week after the one last year, too. But they did a smaller convention, home schooling high school and college applications, and that one was great. I'm not sure what the difference was.

03-20-2010, 09:46 AM
I'm actually hoping to go to the one in Ohio early April. My mom has thus far said she can "probably" take my kids (so my husband can come with me) so I'm still waiting on a definite answer. There's another one about 2 1/2 hours away, but I'm not sure if I'll go or not. I'm not too interested in the speakers, so I would be going just to look at people's used stuff.

03-20-2010, 11:56 AM
I've considered going to the Inhome conference held just outside Chicago, but initially there were scheduling conflicts with other things we were doing. Now as we've been homeschooling longer, I've found the desire to go diminish. I think we just find what works for us. I'm afraid that if I go, I'd see other ideas that I think would work only to find that what we were already doing is our best fit.

03-20-2010, 06:03 PM
I am hoping to go to one, just to get "charged" and all that, but the closest ones to me are very religious with mostly religious-based education vendors and speakers... I'm still holding out hope that I'll find one, but I'm doubtful.

03-20-2010, 09:13 PM
I want to try to go to this one


by myself, no kids or husband. I think for a first time, it would be to overwhelming to try to juggle the whole family. It's not too terribly far, but far enough I'd have to stay in a hotel over night.

Anyways, it's on my to do list for this year :)

03-21-2010, 04:22 AM
I want to try to go to this one


by myself, no kids or husband. I think for a first time, it would be to overwhelming to try to juggle the whole family. It's not too terribly far, but far enough I'd have to stay in a hotel over night.

Anyways, it's on my to do list for this year :)

Ooh! Oak Meadow will be there? I'm so jealous! I wish they would bring their curriculum to the Midwest Convention!

03-21-2010, 06:26 PM
I've gone a couple of times to my local one, but it seems just like sales pitches. Yawn. But the charter school I just joined does one in the summer; I will probably give that a try this summer. It's not only free but I'm served breakfast and lunch. If it turns out to be all sales pitches at least I get fed and can hang out with a friend :-).

Jenny in Atl
03-22-2010, 08:50 AM
Nope! I've got one very near to me, and I've gone a number of years in the past. But, it's the same old thing, a few bks & some odds and ends I can buy, along with a long line of Christian work-shops. It's just a waste of $ and time.

03-22-2010, 02:35 PM
The only conference within a reasonable distance is a Catholic Homeschooling conference. Some of the presentations look interesting, but I can always buy the transcripts later if need be. I'm not interested in their vendors, so don't see a reason to make the drive and pay the admission fee.

03-22-2010, 10:13 PM
Totally OT, but Jenny in Atl, I love your avatar picture! "Amelie" is my favorite movie, I think. I luuuurve it.

03-23-2010, 12:24 AM
I don't have any interest in attending our local convention as it is not at all inclusive. Unfortunately, dh really wants to go. I think it is because I get so much more interaction on boards like this one and email groups that I don't feel the need to go and be frustrated while going helps him feel involved. The funny thing is, of the two of us, he is by far the more secular and gets much more annoyed at the lack of offerings for secular homeschoolers.

03-23-2010, 02:44 AM
Lol, Kim, that's funny! I'd have to drag my husband by the hair to get him to go to a homeschool conference! Although he is my biggest supporter, his opinion of homeschoolers in general isn't very high, due to all the drama that I have witnessed and reported to him when I was frustrated. Plus he's a homebody anyway. I lament that he doesn't get too involved (if at all) but in reality, it's great because I'm free to do pretty much as I please. Even though he is a believer, he's not over my shoulder trying to control what I do or say.

03-23-2010, 11:59 AM
I've read with great interest all the reactions to the various conventions. The negative reactions especially interest me and have me curious as to who usually organises the conventions in your areas. I think for those who see their conventions as completely non-secular the reactions are obvious, but for those that see their conventions as basically a sales-pitch I am wondering if the convention is dealer-organised. Our provincial convention is volunteer-organised by members of the provincial homeschool board. I wonder if that's why I felt more positive about it.

And Snoopy you could be talking about my wife in some ways (tho I'm the homebody in our case). She's very supportive and likes to go to the conventiion, too, but does almost nothing in the day-to-day homeschooling unless I ask her to. She does admit that it's hard for her to get involved because she doesn't know what I've been doing and doesn't want to mess it up. There are times I wish she would just pick something to do, such as art because I rarely do art myself, because there are times we miss several days because I'm too busy/tired/whatever. But like you say of your husband, she's supportive and lets me do as I please, so I can't complain.

03-23-2010, 12:34 PM
I would like to go to the homeschool convention around here but it is heavily religious, they don't even allow secular curriculum to be sold. I think there is another one that is also in the area, that is smaller, but does allow secular curriculum to be sold. So I might try to go to that one.

03-27-2010, 01:05 AM
We just had our big state convention last weekend. Patrick Farenga was the keynote speaker and had 3 workshops (I took 2 of them) and was fabulous to listen to. Our big one is only done every other year, and is inclusive. There's usually a couple of workshops that are religious, but they typically state so in the description, so it's easy to steer clear. There's also a smaller Christian convention (I've never been) and there's an unschooling conference right over the border into Washington every year (never been to that one, either, but I hear that it is inclusive).

04-01-2010, 07:02 PM
We have one coming up here soon, the Texas Home School Coalition which is mostly a religious mass of homeschooling stuff from what I can see. But, since we have all sorts of crunchy religious folks in these areas and it looks like a big convention, I figure I can browse things and get ideas ambiguously. :)