It’s my turn to share about the encouragement I received from this year’s Teach Them Diligently Convention. I realize this is coming late: Teach Them Diligently Dallas was about a month ago! However, it took me a while to process everything I learned at the convention. Now that it’s back-to-school time, many of those lessons are having an influence on my direction and preparation.
My sister Elizabeth and I traveled down from the Tulsa area to the Dallas Sheraton, where the convention was held for the first time. Over a three day period, there were more than 140 sessions available to choose from. We attended eight workshops in person, and I also bought the MP3 recordings of all the workshops to take home. I have been continually listening to them ever since. In fact, I have listened to a few over and over again.
I love how Teach Them Diligently always seem to work around the same theme. Homeschooling is “heart work” — it isn’t just about education (although that is there) but more about discipleship. My favorite sessions were: “How to Have a HEART for your Child” with Rachael Carman, “Attention Obsessive Compulsive Perfectionists: CHILL OUT” (also with Rachael Carman), and “Parenting by Faith not Fear” with Jon and Ann Dunagan.
Here are a few witty things Rachael said in one of her sessions:
“Take a break from your device and meet with the Divine.”
“Choose against always running to your phone and run to the throne.”
“Don’t settle for the virtual; do something vital.”
But really, Rachael packs so much encouragement and insight into her sessions, it is hard to unpack it here in one post. You just have to hear her for yourself (or get a recording of her sessions)!
The Dunagans are the sweetest, most joyful couple I have seen. Their ministry, Harvest Ministry, is focused on world missions. Ann also has a fairly new ministry called Daring Daughters. Their session about “Parenting by Faith not Fear” was very convicting for me.
The session Mp3s I have been listening to this month have been so great: I am so thankful I bought the complete set! I’m able to now hear from really awesome speakers that I may not have attended at the convention because I hadn’t heard of them. Some of my favorite audio sessions that I have listened to over and over are:
- “Chick Chat” by Todd Friel
- “Don’t Miss the Gift in Your Child” by Carol Barnier
- “Say Goodbye to Survival Mode” by Crystal Paine
- “The Power of Affirmation” by Israel Wayne
- “Preschoolers and Peace” by Kendra Fletcher
- “Raise Them Up, Don’t Crush Them” by Mark Hamby
I also enjoyed “Large Family Homeschool” by Amy Roberts, although in homeschooling circles my family of four children wouldn’t be considered a “large” family. I have unearthed valuable nuggets from almost every session I have listened to, but these are my favorites. The three I have listened to over and over are: Chick Chat, Don’t Miss the Gift in Your Child, and Attention Obsessive Compulsive Perfectionists: CHILL OUT. You can still purchase the Teach Them Diligently Convention Audio set online (click here).
The convention facilities at the Dallas Sheraton were very nice. We stayed in the connected hotel, which made it much more convenient to come and go. There was also a food court across the street so that most of the time we didn’t have to pay expensive hotel food prices, although the food court closed around 6pm. Elizabeth and I had a fun adventure walking around downtown Dallas looking for restaurants a couple of nights. The session rooms were very nice and large, and the vendor hall was huge, filling up two very large rooms.
I always love buying on site from vendors such as Rainbow Resources, Apologia and Mardel. We also bought items from many of the smaller vendors and got to know quite a few new vendors as well. I missed companies such as Miller Pad and Paper, J.M. Cremp, Diana Waring and Institute for Excellence in Writing, which I have shopped from at homeschool conventions in the past. I also thought Mardel could have had a bigger presence than they had. However, my sister and I really enjoyed shopping from the vendors present and getting a chance to talk to owners and representatives from many of them.
We were impressed at how organized and well run everything was, and of course how polite all of the Teach Them Diligently volunteers were. The Nunnery family does such an excellent job organizing this massive undertaking! And they are super friendly and approachable to boot.
Once again, Teach Them Diligently has been a life-changing experience for me. I am spiritually convicted, yet encouraged and inspired at the same time. I’m also very excited to start the next school year with re-priotized goals. I don’t just want to raise educated children. I don’t even just want to raise good, moral, responsible children. I want to raise children that LOVE GOD and have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Did you attend any homeschool conventions this year? If so, what were your most important take-aways? What are your favorite homeschooling events and conferences? If you’ve never been to any, where do you look for homeschool resources, education and inspiration? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.