This was my third year attending a Teach Them Diligently Convention. The biggest blessing of the conference this year was being able to attend with three generations of my family: My mom, who homeschooled us in the 1980s, my homeschooling sister and sister-in-law, and three of our homeschooled daughters.
My mom, my sister Elizabeth, my daughter Virginia, and Elizabeth’s eldest daughter Stormie took a road trip down to Dallas from Tulsa. We picked up my sister-in-law Renée and her eldest daughter Audrey, who had flown in from Denver, on our way to the Sheraton Dallas Convention Center, where we stayed in two rooms next door to each other. It was a girl’s weekend like no other!
It was so gratifying to see my mom and my daughter enjoying workshops and speakers along with me. When my mom homeschooled us back in the 1980s, there wasn’t much support for homeschoolers. We knew almost no one who homeschooled. Now my daughter is engaged to a homeschool graduate, and they are planning to homeschool their own children someday. It is just so awesome to see the homeschool legacy my parents started continuing on!
My mother in law, who lives in Dallas, also came to have coffee with my daughter Virginia and decided to stay for a workshop on essential oils, and she blessed us all with lunch out as a family. Quite a party!
Although having three generations of family attend was the highlight, I was really encouraged and energized by many speakers as well. Some of my favorite sessions were the keynote sessions with T.C. Stallings and the Benham Brothers. Rachael Carmen’s new sessions — “When Doubt Creeps in,” “That Child,” and “How Many Times do I Have To Tell You?” — were exactly what I needed to hear right now in my homeschooling and parenting journey. I also attended some great sessions with Todd Friel and Mike Snavely of Mission Imperative.
The Mom’s Night of Refreshment was an awesome time of fun and devotion. I had really been looking forward to it. Someday I am going to make it to one of the Real Refreshment Retreats.
One of the things we did that night was write down what we hear ourselves saying to our children a lot that could be something God is trying to say to us. Mine was: “That is not a good idea.” I had realized I must say this a lot when my four year old started saying it. I wonder what God is trying to tell me in that saying?
Saturday night after the convention was over, we enjoyed one more night at the hotel together. We had the greatest time just sitting in our hotel room watching Michael Jr. Comedy videos (he had introduced T.C. Stallings), asking Siri silly questions on our iPhones, sharing some of our favorite funny YouTube videos with each other and joking around. That will be one of my favorite memories from this weekend.
Another great memory I have is our drive home to Tulsa. Although we were tired and a little grumpy, everyone began singing worship songs together whenever a great classic came on from the playlist. I kept looking in my rearview mirror and seeing Stormie, my mom, Ginny, and even my sister singing to the Lord God. It’s hard to drive with tears in your eyes.
Have you attended a homeschool convention this year? If so, what are some of your key take-aways? Have you attended a homeschool conference with your spouse, children or other family members? Do you have homeschool graduates who plan to homeschool their own children?